Last week, we took a look at the use of printed circuit board assemblies (or PCB assemblies) in the aerospace industry. This week, we’ll turn our attention to another industry sector that is using PCB assemblies now more than ever before in its history: the automotive electronics industry.
As automobiles and trucks have become increasingly complex, with drivers demanding more and more on-board accessories for their vehicles, the need for PCB assemblies in vehicles has increased significantly over the past few years.
Indeed, the growth in the use of more and more advanced automotive electronics in vehicles is supported by the use of PCB assemblies, without which many of the applications simply would not be possible. Printed circuit boards offer vehicle manufacturers the potential of bringing advanced automotive electronics and high-performing technologies to their customers, technologies such as:
- Advanced onboard GPS navigation systems
- Sensor-driven anti-lock brake systems
- ECU systems that control actuators in engines, making them perform optimally
- Onboard entertainment consoles, such as televisions and monitors
- Adaptive cruise control systems
- Onboard safety and security features, such as blind-spot detection and collision avoidance systems
- Electronic power steering
- Additional smaller but important features, such as climate control, fan speed controls, intermittent blinkers and wiper controls, and even some vehicle radios and sound systems use PCB assemblies
In a nutshell, automotive electronics that take advantage of PCB assemblies result in vehicles that are safer, more reliable and better performing.
Companies involved in manufacturing automotive electronics, including PCB assemblies, must be able to produce printed circuits boards that will perform in harsh environmental conditions — from the heat and pressure of an engine to the coldest outdoor temperature. It is critical that they have a demonstrated track record of producing defect-free automotive electronics that perform reliably over a long period of time.
Look for a company with years of experience producing automotive electronics and printed circuit boards for the automotive industry, with a quality Management System in place to ensure quality — a company like ADCO Circuits. Preferably the company should be registered to the ISO/TS 19949 specification which is an automotive sector-specific quality management system.