Have you ever stopped to think how the food on your table got there? When you take a close look behind the scenes, you’ll see that the Internet of Things (machine to machine) technology is a key component of the growing, harvesting, shipping, manufacturing and preparation of our food.
IoT isn’t new, but it’s something businesses soon won’t be able to operate without. Increasing efficiency and safety only scratches the surface of what the technology represents. From agriculture and the food industry in general, to oil and gas, to industrial manufacturing and beyond – IoT is poised to redefine how businesses currently produce, refine, transport and create the food and products we buy on a daily basis.
Here are just a few examples of what IoT is capable of. It can:
• Monitor temperatures, levels and pressures
• Track shipments and vehicles with incredible accuracy (supply chain)
• Automate and maintain equipment, appliances and tanks
• Maintain regulatory compliance (including HACCP)
To see IoT in action, watch our latest videos [INSERT VIDEOS] or take advantage of our insider reports created in partnership with Frost & Sullivan. Together they’ll help you see the many advantages and opportunities IoT represents.
• Read: Research firm Frost & Sullivan discusses best practices in IoT exploration and implementation in The Internet of Things: Growth opportunities and Essentials for Success. It looks at the numbers in Enhancing Business Productivity with the Internet of Things and discusses best practices and key capabilities to look for in a vendor in IoT Made Simple: Selecting the Right Partner for IoT
• Read: The true value of IoT is in its potential to change the world
• Read: Resolving business challenges with the Internet of Things
• Read: The Business Transformation: How the Internet of Things is going to change the way you work
• Read: What to consider when implementing an IoT solution
See how Rogers IoT solutions can turn little things into big opportunities. Get started with a complimentary IoT Readiness Assessment. rogers.com/DiscoverIoT
IoT PCB things to consider for Startups
As IoT products are so new, you would believe that getting an IoT printed circuit board (PCB) project off the ground starts by reinventing the wheel and experiencing a number of technical complications. That is definitely far from the truth.
However it doesn’t signify IoT startups have a obvious path to fame. Facing them is a considerable number of design and manufacturing issues that are completely unique to these small products. These factors to consider are required to be factored in for the fresh new IoT product to hit your objectives.
On the plus side, it’s a consideration for IoT startups to figure out that the basic foundation for a successful awesome product exists. This suggests experience and knowhow concerning the design, fabrication and assembly of these superior products are existing. Additionally, the most sage advice is for heady IoT product enterprisers and forerunners to take the advice that veteran electronics manufacturing services or EMS companies offer. These corporations together with their engineering team members have conducted the task with groundbreaking IoT businesses in Silicon Valley coming into the beginning of this appearing industry.
The PCB of an IoT unit is a different beast than the traditional one, which is a great deal larger and flat. IoT gadgets, on the other hand, comprise largely of either rigid-flex or flex circuit assemblies, which include their own groups of design layout, fabrication and assembly factors to consider and technicalities.
A top factor is to look for encountered designers who have undertaken lots of rigid-flex PCB designs. PCB space for an IoT unit is tight. So you would like the designer to have direct layout experience to productively design essential parts on that little area.
Besides that, nearly all IoT products are not fixed; they obtain sizeable movement and turning. Right here, the encountered designer plays an important role in calculating bend ratios and lifecycle iterations as a important part of a design. Some other essential design layout factors to consider comprise signal trace thickness, number of rigid and flex circuit layers, copper weight and stiffener placement. Stiffeners are widely used on flex circuits to make certain parts mounted on the flex circuit continue being tightly constantly in place to prevent movement.
One more account is through-hole component positioning in rigid-flex circuits. What makes that vital? Many of IoT products are founded on surface mount device placement. However , there might be through-hole parts, which are usually attached to either the rigid section or the flex area of the board. Through-hole parts are normally used to communicate input/output or I/O signals to the outside world. Doing this, those signals can show up utilizing an LCD or LED monitor. Through-hole component placement is an essential account in an IoT unit considering that when utilized on the flex portion of the board, appropriate stiffeners have to be designed and employed for good assembly.
Lastly in the layout category, the high temperature which parts bring in should be thought about. IoT products are starting to be more intricate with rigid-flex and flex circuits featuring upwards of 12 to 14 layers. Several products are digital. However , increasingly more analog products are getting used in IoT products. Analog circuitry causes much more heat than digital ones. This means heat expansion and also contraction rate must be taken into account. In tech lingo, this is actually generally known as the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion or CTE and the appropriate management of it.
Deciding on the best fabricator is very important and is linked to the EMS enterprise you have picked out. The fabricator you want should have IoT PCB fabrication experience. Amongst essential factors to consider here are assuring reliable adhesions between layers on both rigid and flex circuit sides, realizing all of the important calculations and obtaining a thorough knowledge of when current transfers from the rigid side to the flex side.
Such fabricators also must have an in-depth expertise in tremendously small-scale parts for instance 0201 and also 00105 device packages, package-on-package, and the use of fine-pitch ball-grid array or BGA packaged devices.
They additionally should have expertise in designing boards with pretty tight tolerances in terms of footprint for those sorts of BGA devices, in terms of up-to-date capabilities like laser direct imaging for putting the solder mask on the board. They need to have laser drills for via drilling with sizes of 5 mils or under simply because these IoT units could be so little that a standard drill size of 5 to 8 mils perhaps might not be all you need. They might have to go to a 3 mil, which means that you must have an excellent laser drilling capability indoors.
In the event you are placing via-in-pad, it’s a easy way to use the small space which is available on the rigid-flex board, however , it presents trouble for assembly. If vias aren’t 100 % planar or flat in shape, it could be a difficulty during the assembly of those tiny BGA packaged devices. This is because non-planar surfaces can put at risk the integrity of solder joints.
Oftentimes via in pads leave bumps when they’re not scoured appropriately after adding the vias and gold finish on the top. If there are bumps, then the solder joints in the assembly for those tiny BGA balls in those IoT devices might not be an appropriate joint. This may create intermittent connections, which can be a bigger issue to treat and fix. It all boils down to which EMS enterprise you’re using because they’re the ones who will find the fabrication facility to make a successful IoT device for you.
It’s crucial to head to encountered EMS companies that have successfully assembled IoT and wearable PCBs since they have unique tooling and fixtures already available, which are required for assembly to ensure components are placed properly, exactly and the printing is made effectively.
Printing is usually a issue for IoT products. If it’s a rigid-flex board, then there exists a change between thicknesses of the rigid and flex circuit portions, indicating a special fixture is required to keep the complete rigid-flex board planar or fully flat to permit effective printing to become carried out.
Startups really should be well prepared to pick the ideal manufacturing partners and EMS enterprises. By doing this they can make sure they’ve sufficient experience early in advance to get the multitude of design, fabrication and assembly details successfully performed since they are key to a thriving and on time IoT product launch.