Electronics design and manufacturing trends in 2021


The world of electronics has changed to become nearly unrecognizable in the last 20 years. With the advent of global shifts in communication, remote services and disruptive tech… are even more drastic changes on the horizon?

ABC Assembly Inc. has been on this journey since 1999 and we’ve seen the whole kaleidoscope of technological evolution in the electronics manufacturing world. Even to the consumers who don’t have to deal with the intricacies of design, sourcing, and prototyping, it should come as something of a wake-up call that the USB drive was invented as early as 2000 and bluetooth headphones were brought to the mass market in 2002. 

This electronic tech has become commonplace and defined our lives. Considering that tech progression is accelerating, how fast will new technologies and market trends force us to reconsider our methods?

Today, one of the key challenges that our team faces is reinforcing our global sourcing network and boosting our talent pool with high-level specialists. The idea behind our drive for excellence in these areas is simple: we, like many of the market players at the avant-garde of electronics manufacturing, are considering how the tech world is about to change.

So, what should you be prepared for if you are a company in need of (or involved in) electronics design or manufacturing services? Let’s take a look at some of the trends that are already encroaching on 2021:

The need for fast prototyping. Rapid prototyping is becoming an increasing necessity for numerous business sectors. Among the two giants driving this trend are the Communications and MedTech industries that are pushing lightning-quick evolution due to the emergence of (I)IoT, 5G, remote services, biomedical advances, and many other factors. But even beyond that, smaller or niche industries are also facing the need for quick prototype development due to high rates of product competition, a growing number of tech startups, and so forth.

The need for outsourcing. Are you looking to expand to new markets? Are you getting ready to launch new product lines or extensive R&D? Be ready to push your company to its limits with global supply chains in shambles. Organizational strain, employee burnout, logistical issues, lack of local experts – these are all things you will likely have to contend with. Even giants like Rohde & Schwarz are resorting to outsourcing to local facilities and experts to avoid complications in the current global climate.

Shortage of materials and sourcing crisis. Some say it’s because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and some say that it’s been a long time coming. But regardless of the reasons, we have to face the reality that material sourcing is quickly becoming a huge issue in electronics manufacturing. More than that, experts say this trend will stick with us deep into 2021. Is your company prepared to handle a draught of components and materials? Do you have partners to cover this weakness? Answering these questions sooner rather than later may be critical to your success.

The continued rise of (I)IoT and VR/AR.  While the “Internet of Things”  has been around for a while now, its large-scale variation – the Industrial Internet of Things is also quickly putting the electronics industry through its paces. VR/AR tech is also finding accelerated adoption across a wide range of businesses from real estate and construction to digital services. These are very electronics-hungry technologies and you’d be well-advised to keep an eye on their effect on the market.

2021 looks to be a challenging year for the industry with many EMS providers having already missed their financial targets for the previous year. ABC Assembly Inc. is one of the lucky few in a uniquely advantageous position: we’re experts in rapid prototyping (24-hour prototypes have been our hallmark for years) and high-level procurement networks. So, while we are fortunate to be well-prepared for market needs, we’re still wondering: what new trends will our designers, engineers, procurement, and manufacturing specialists face in the nearest future?

We’re keeping our eye on global tech to provide you with updates (and to support our clients of course).