Electronics manufacturing services (EMS) are growing, but EMS companies are still striving to make sure that progression continues.
That was a big topic of conversation recently at Productronica, one of the largest electronic manufacturing events in the world. Held in Germany, the show attracted more than 2,000 exhibiting companies and 55,000 visitors.
Consultant and publisher Eric Miscoll has been around for a few years and has seen the EMS industry ebb and flow several times. In this debate, I was invited to comment on what might be the next big driver for the industry along with guests from two of the world’s largest EMS companies, Jabil and Zollner.
The industry finds itself in positive mood right now on the back of several growth years. The panel identified several technologies and trends that might drive further growth in the coming months and years. On the technical side the industry in constantly challenged by miniaturization and opportunities exist as assembly techniques and semiconductor techniques get closer to each other. Talk of the forth industrial revolution or of IIoT has been prevalent at this and other industry events for the last five year, but real solutions are now driving adoption and in turn investment.
Additive manufacturing or 3D printing came up as an opportunity and a disruptor that could have a sizeable impact to the way manufacturing is distributed, as well as a technique that, once industrialized, provides all kind of benefits for manufacturers, brands and consumers, not least opportunities around mass customization.
For me, one of the exciting opportunities for EMS lies beyond electronics. The EMS industry has spent close to six decades learning to manufacture and to manage hugely complex supply chains and I believe they are the best in the world at making stuff. Some major players have already started to spread their wings into industries like apparel or packaging with great success. Flextronics is now Flex and Jabil Circuits is now just Jabil and I expect more to follow. The language is changing and the industry will likely follow.
Listen in on the debate by clicking on the video below.
Filmed on location in the SCOOPstudio under the sponsorship of Aegis, Cogiscan, Jabil, KIC, Koh Young and Radius Innovation.