Electronic devices play an integral in our lives. Each day, these products help us perform various tasks around the house, including cooking, cleaning, and entertainment. Electronic devices have many PCB applications outside the home as well. For these devices to function, they heavily rely on printed circuit boards, also known as PCBs.These boards are created using non-conductive material and incorporate pads, lines, and other features etched from copper sheets.
Currently, PCBs are available in various types, including single-sided, double-sided, and multilayered PCBs. Some PCBs are rigid, while others are flexible. Some have a combination of both rigid and flexible parts.
As mentioned earlier, PCBs have widespread applications. In this article are six of the most common PCB applications.
Application of PCBs in Consumer Electronics
Consumer electronics take the most significant chunk when it comes to overall PCB applications. Consumer electronics refer to people’s devices every day, including computers, smartphones, and kitchen appliances.
Because consumer electronics are available in a high volume, the PCBs used to control them must also be produced in massive quantities to meet the demand. To maintain quality and uniformity in such a vast volume of PCBs, companies that manufacture them must comply with strict quality control measures and industry standards. It ensures that the final product functions optimally.
1.1 Common Consumer Electronics That Use PCBs
The number of consumer electronics that have PCBs is massive. Below are several examples of:
1.1.1 Computer Electronics
All laptops and desktops have PCBs at their cores. Screens and other peripheral devices that are associated with computers contain PCBs as well.
1.1.2 PCB Applications—Mobile Devices
Today, tablets and smartphones are an essential part of people’s daily routines. These devices have a wide variety of functions, including functioning as alarm clocks and GPS.
1.1.3 PCB Applications—Recording Devices
Recording devices like microphones, digital cameras, and camcorders have internal PCBs that help them to work appropriately.
1.1.4 Home Appliances
Your microwave, coffee maker, refrigerator, electric oven, and other appliances run on electronic components that use PCBs.
1.1.5 Entertainment Systems
Your entire entertainment system, from the TV set to the video-game console, runs on PCBs.
Do you know Light Applications in PCB?
Over the years, LED lighting solutions have increasingly gained popularity within many industries due to their low energy consumption, remarkable light output, and unquestionable efficiency. By integrating LED lighting with a printed circuit board, the lighting gains more versatility. Printed circuit boards increase the applications of LED lighting solutions, particularly when it comes to indicators and displays.
2.1 Common Applications of PCB LEDs
2.1.1 The Telecommunications Industry
A wide array of telecommunications equipment uses PCBs for controlling their LED displays and indicators. Lightweight PCBs with high durability are preferable in this industry due to the density of the material used. Because of their impressive heat transfer properties, aluminum PCBs are superior to FR4 variants.
2.1.2 PCB Applications—The Computer Industry
Another area where PCB applications are evident is the computer industry. Most laptop and desktop indicators and displays feature PCB-based LEDs. Aluminum-based PCBs are highly favored because computer technology tends to be highly heat-sensitive.
2.1.3 PCB Applications—The Automotive Industry
Dashboard indicators, brake lights, headlights, and other panel displays make use of LED screens. PCB LEDs are preferable because of their durability and affordability.
2.1.4 Storefront Applications
Business signage and displays are increasingly making use of PCB LEDs. Most businesses use customizable screens to direct customers to their storefronts.
PCB is Also Vital in Medical Facilities
The healthcare industry uses a vast array of electronics daily, especially when it comes to diagnostic, treatment, and monitoring equipment. As electronics become increasingly efficient, their medical applications evolve too.
Medical electronics rely heavily on printed circuit boards. All PCBs within this industry tend to be highly specialized to accommodate the unique requirements of medical equipment. High-density interconnect printed circuit boards (HDI PCBs) are usually preferred when it comes to medical applications. To allow for flexing during use, PCBs in this industry may feature flexible base materials.
3.1 PCB Applications—The Need for Reliability
The medical industry is susceptible. Therefore, medical PCBs are subject to higher standards than PCBs used in most other sectors to ensure reliability and uniformity.
3.2 Common Medical Devices That Use PCBs
PCB applications in the medical field have increased over the years. The following is a list of the most frequent medical PCB applications:
Personal and healthcare monitors
Scientific Instrumentation, e.g., microscopes
Common Industrial Devices That Use PCBs
Manufacturing facilities and factories often rely on electronic equipment to get work done. High-powered applications for printed circuit boards are, therefore, quite common in this sector. Industrial installations controlled by PCBs often need to survive harsh conditions, including rough handling, vibrating machinery, and toxic chemicals. PCBs used in industrial electronics, therefore, need to be suited to these challenging conditions.
For that purpose, designers prefer thick copper printed circuit boards. These PCBs are comparatively much more abundant than the standard ounce variants. Thick copper PCBs effectively facilitate high-current applications as well as battery chargers.
Most electric drills used in the manufacturing industry have PCB electronics. Other industrial equipment that has PCBs at their core includes electric presses.
Solar power cogeneration devices, DC-to-AC inverters, and many other power control devices rely on PCB electronics.
Almost all equipment used to measure and control temperature, pressure, and other variables in the manufacturing process uses printed circuit boards.
How Does PCB Show up in the Car?
All cars manufactured today use electronic components to perform a wide variety of functions, unlike in the past where electronic circuits only featured in windshield wipers and headlight switches. Automobiles manufactured in the modern era can take full advantage of electronic circuit technology by incorporating printed circuit boards in new applications.
Sensor applications in today’s automobiles make use of PCBs that work with high-frequency signals. Modern technology uses radar technology; cars can now monitor blind spots and avert collisions. Systems like these improve road safety as well as the driving experience.
5.1 PCB Applications—Common PCB Applications within the Automotive Industry
5.1.1 Surrounding Monitors
Many new car models come with extensive safety systems that assist the driver in judging distances and monitoring blind spots accurately. Full-perimeter monitor systems make use of cameras or radar to alert the driver of nearby objects.
5.1.2 PCB Applications—Navigation Equipment
Many modern vehicles incorporate navigation devices to give directions to drivers in unfamiliar territory. GPS computers are now standard in most cars.
5.1.3 Control Systems
Fuel regulators, engine management systems, power supplies, and other car control systems use PCB-based electronics to manage and monitor resources.
5.1.4 PCB Applications—Video and Audio Devices
Modern cars feature advanced dashboards that help connect the vehicle to the music device, radio, or smartphone. Some family cars also have passenger movie screens. These video and audio devices make use of PCB-based electronics.
PCB a Wide Range of Aerospace Applications
Just like in the automotive industry, there’s a broad application of PCBs in the aerospace sector. PCBs in this industry must have a high degree of precision and durability. Rockets and jets usually undergo much turbulence in their atmospheric journeys, so an ordinary PCB is no good when enduring that amount of stress. Manufacturers use flexible PCBs instead because they’re light, small, and resistant to damage caused by vibrations.
To avoid technical issues during their use, aerospace PCBs need to be extremely precise. The optimal functioning of these PCBs is crucial to the safety of the crew.
6.1 PCB Applications—Common Aerospace Equipment That Use PCBs
6.1.1 Monitoring Equipment
Most monitoring instrumentation used within the cockpits and engines of rockets and airplanes incorporate PCBs. These instruments include pressure sensors, accelerometers, torque sensors, microphones, and force sensors. The products help in monitoring the function of the vehicle and enable communication with ground control.
6.1.2 PCB Applications—Testing Equipment
Besides helping the aircraft function correctly, PCBs play an integral part in developing and testing these vehicles. PCBs play a significant role in testing equipment that helps collect data, especially during the vibration, structural, or flight testing procedures. The data collected assists in the development of more efficient and safer air vehicles.
Printed circuit boards play an integral role in a wide variety of sectors. Any industry that uses electronic devices needs PCBs. Regardless of the application you’re using a printed circuit for; the PCB must be reliable, durable, and cost-effective. At WellPCB, we provide top-quality PCB solutions tailored to your unique needs. Our products adhere to stringent industry standards to ensure that every device performs as expected.
Would you like to learn more about our products and the industries we serve? Contact us today or visit our website for more information.