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The Most Comprehensive Introduction to the Twelve PCB Applications

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 that are all etched from copper sheets


Currently, PCBs are available in a variety of 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.

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.

1. 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.

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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 ApplicationsMobile 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 ApplicationsRecording 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.

2. 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

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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 ApplicationsThe 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 ApplicationsThe 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.

3. 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 ApplicationsThe 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

Scanning Equipment

 Internal Devices

Control Systems

Scientific Instrumentation, e.g., microscopes

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4. 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.

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Industrial Equipment

Most electric drills used in the manufacturing industry have PCB electronics. Other industrial equipment that has PCBs at their core includes electric presses.

Power Equipment

Solar power cogeneration devices, DC-to-AC inverters, and many other power control devices rely on PCB electronics.

Measuring Equipment

Almost all equipment used to measure and control temperature, pressure, and other variables in the manufacturing process uses printed circuit boards.

5. 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.

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5.1 PCB ApplicationsCommon 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 ApplicationsNavigation 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 ApplicationsVideo 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.

6.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.

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6.1 PCB ApplicationsCommon 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.

7.1 PCB Applications In Maritime Industry

We mentioned the importance of PCBs on land and air. Similarly, Multilayer PCBs are a make-or-break feature in the maritime industry, too. Water vessels rely on precise data and electrical signals to relay accurate information. 

The PCBs in maritime applications need to resist flames, be lightweight, and be extremely moisture resistant. 

7.1.1 In Navigation Systems

Maritime vessels would not operate efficiently without accurate navigation systems. PCBs provide a communication channel for GPS systems, radar, and sonar. These systems guarantee safe, accurate movement and reduce the risk of collisions. 

7.1.2 In Maritime Communications

Fast and clear communications could be the difference between successful maritime missions and disaster or failure. Radio systems make all the difference here. PCBs are in all maritime communication devices, including radios, antennas, and automatic identification systems(AIS). 

7.1.3 In Control Systems

Apart from navigation, control is also vital for maritime vessels. PCBs help monitor power distribution systems, cruise control, and high-heat applications like engine performance regulation and alerts. 

7.1.4 In Submarines

Submarine interior control panel 

You cannot fail to mention the role of PCBs in submarines. They rely on pinpoint location accuracy, communication, and data transfer in harsh maritime environments for long periods. 

PCBs are in a submarine’s sonar, propulsion system, data encryption, and cruising systems. They are also in the sensors that control the sub’s air levels.

8.1 PCB Uses In Safety And Security

The safety and security industry has its prints everywhere. There are hundreds of applications relying on sensors and alert systems for effective safety and security assurance. 

PCBs in safety and security need to be all-weather, able to withstand harsh environments, small and light, and sensitive to any changes. 

8.1.1 Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detection Devices

Homes and businesses worldwide need active and functional smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. And since they need to be highly accurate and sensitive to changes, the PCBs need to communicate quickly as soon as there are any danger signs. PCBs are in the alarm systems to ensure prompt alerts.

8.1.2 Security Cameras

Security cameras and their complementary systems rely on the PCBs in the visual and audio parts. Motion sensors, audio transmitters, and image processors all have printed circuit boards.

8.1.3 Emergency Equipment

Emergency equipment in safety and security covers essentials such as display/warning signs. They use LED panels that have PCBs. Automatic response systems also rely on PCBs to improve timing. 

8.1.4 Access Control

Access control systems are at the core of safety and security equipment to control movement and reduce unauthorized access. PCBs enable communication and accuracy in smart locks, biometric readers, and card and eye scanners.

8.1.5 Automatic Public Address Systems

It wouldn’t be a complete safety and security system if a public address system were missing. The role of PCBs in these address systems is clear in evacuation instruction appliances and announcement equipment. Speakers, sirens, and alarms are parts of the safety and security ecosystem. 

9.1 Do PCBs Improve Military & Defence Technology?

Seeing as military and defense are all about precision and fast communication; it makes sense that PCBs improve these systems. 

Rigid PCBs in military and defense operations need to be accurate, sensitive to environmental changes, hardy, and hardly vulnerable to heavy shock and impact.

9.1.1 Portable Equipment

Military personnel constantly haul heavy packages in the field. Therefore, any equipment must be discreet and weigh enough to not cause inconveniences. Think of portable walkie-talkies, location devices, and other devices that use electrical connections. 

9.1.2 Surveillance and Recon

Military defense control room 

Military defense control room 

Field experts use devices with sonar, navigation, and tracking to conduct informed missions. These devices need data encryption and low signal loss data transfer, all traits of good PCBs. 

9.1.3 Weapons and Armory Access Control

Weapons and control of weapon storage rooms go hand in hand. Weapons need precision to minimize collateral damage. Guided systems also need highly accurate inner systems.
On the other hand, armory access control needs devices with sensors and enhances security. 

9.1.4 Cross-location and Distant Communication

Defense, as a round-the-clock function, requires regular and prompt communication. Every station and all personnel have communication devices that rely on PCBs for near-perfect signal integrity. 

10.1 PCBs In Renewable Energy

PCBs feature in green energy 

PCBs feature in green energy 

As we explore more energy-efficient ways to power homes and industries, we are uncovering ways to use sustainable energy to also protect the environment. Therefore, PCBs find themselves in the middle of a crucial shift to renewable energy.

Renewable energy PCBs must meet all the design considerations in reliability, size, and material availability to maintain sustainability. 

10.1.1 Power Generation

PCBs have different uses in solar, wind, and water power generation. However, all these methods generate electricity. They are in tough environments that require resistance to heat, moisture, salt corrosion, or friction. The copper in PCBs makes electrical transfers faster and more efficient.

The PCBs are in solar panels, wind turbines, home micro hydropower stations, and geothermal systems. 

10.1.2 Power Storage

Storage is a major part of renewable energy. Power storage systems pair with automation to store and release energy for use. These systems rely on PCBs for accuracy and energy efficiency.

10.1.3 Monitoring

You need to monitor usage statistics to make improvements. The monitoring systems require screens and indicators which also rely on electrically efficient PCBs. 

10.1.4 Electrical Vehicles

There is a big shift to EVs. However, these EVs function in areas with accessible charging stations. The charging stations utilize electrical systems to provide and store power. What’s common between EVs, charging stations, storage systems, and in-vehicle communication devices? PCBs.

10.1.5 Smart Grids

Smart grids have microcontrollers, chips, and power regulators. PCBs are central to the efficient functioning of these components. 

11.1 Applications Of PCB In The Fitness Industry

The fitness industry is huge. You cannot leave it if you’re discussing PCB applications. After all, the fitness industry is now rife with wearable tech, monitoring & communication systems, and storage.

11.1.1 Smart Wearable Fitness Tech

Manufacturers use PCBs in fitness devices to track progress and manage data. The PCBs in wearable tech are small, lightweight, and made from affordable material with maximum signal integrity.  

11.1.2 Fitness Appliances

Fitness machines are loaded with PCBs. Most of them are electric. Therefore, PCBs contribute heavily to their smooth operation.

12. Importance Of PCBs In Robotics

Robotics are possibly in every sector we have mentioned. Robots reduce inefficiencies in areas where human input is either not too necessary or requires fast computations. Therefore, you will find robots in med-tech, farming, assembly, and even PCB manufacturing. 

Lightweight PCB substrate materials are a major factor in manufacturing robotics PCBs. Additionally, they must do well in hot/cold environments such that you can deploy machines in any environment. 

However, PCBs in robotics might need extra quality assurance checks to ensure they operate correctly to the slightest degree. 


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.

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Emma Lu
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