PCB application and use

PCB application and use

From smart-phones to kitchen appliances, electronics play a large part in our daily routine. At the heart of each of electronics is a printed circuit board (PCB). It is the foundation of a majority of electronic products today. These components come in a vast array of configurations, allowing them to serve a variety of functions. As electronics expand and develop across industries, PCB applications continue to grow as well. Today, the use of PCBs spans just about every industry and continues to evolve into new industries and applications. PCBs are the major functional centers of most electronics in the modern world. Circuit boards connect components to one another through a series of related circuits.

Most people will recognize printed circuit boards when they see them. You'll find these small green chips at the hearts of electronics. PCBs come in an infinite number of configurations and are made with a variety of materials. Such flexibility allows PCBs to function in a variety of capacities and applications. We've explored a handful of these applications in more detail below.

Medical Devices

Electronics contributes significantly to the health-care industry, functioning as diagnostic, monitoring and treatment devices. The medical applications of these electronic devices continue to grow as electronics evolves to become more efficient and dense, leading to endless new possibilities.

At the heart of these medical devices are PCBs. PCBs within the medical industry are highly specialized in order to fit the unique constraints of medical devices. In many medical applications, a small package is needed to meet the size requirements for an implant or emergency room monitor. For this reason, medical PCBs tend to be specialty high-density interconnect PCBs, also referred to as HDI PCBs. Medical PCBs may also be made with flexible base materials, allowing PCB to flex during use, which can be essential for both internal and external medical devices.

Because of the health implications associated with them, medical PCBs are held to higher standards than most other PCB types. Repeatability and reliability are two essential qualities medical PCB suppliers must achieve, in addition to compliance with stringent medical regulations.

Medical PCB applications grow as quickly as the medical device industry itself. A few of the most common medical PCB applications include the following:

• Monitors: Personal and healthcare monitors including blood glucose monitors, heart rate and blood pressure monitors, and more.

• Scanning Technology: CT scanners and ultrasonic technology often use PCB-based electronics.

• Control Systems: The equipment controlling fluid infusion, flow rate and dispensation is electronically controlled.

• Internal Devices: Heart pacemakers and similar internal medical devices maintain patient health, run by minuscule PCBs at their centers.

• Scientific Instrumentation: Medical research uses numerous scientific instruments to study disease and test patient outcomes. These include electronic microscopes, photometers and control systems for generators and compressors, among other things.

Consumer Electronics

Consumer electronics are the devices we use daily, such as smart-phones or computers. Even the newest models of refrigerators often include electronic components. Within every one of these devices is a PCB.

Due to the high volume at which these consumer electronics are manufactured, the amount of PCBs produced to control them must be equal in quantity. These high-volume PCBs have low per-unit cost, keeping the price of the final product relatively small. The challenge is maintaining the uniformity and quality of these PCBs, which is why PCB manufacturers have to comply with strict industry standards and quality-control measures to ensure that every consumer electronic functions as expected.

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