As North American supply chains are still recovering from the impacts of pandemic-induced disruptions, we are seeing surges of sourcing demands in advanced manufacturing services. To help the 1.6 industrial professionals who use our platform monthly find what they need, this month's categories of note include everything from aluminum PCBs to digital safety standard training, all curated to ensure you can find exactly what you need.
1. Aluminum Printed Circuit Boards
Aluminum printed circuit boards are more in demand than usual, thanks to a global shortage. At the end of March, sourcing activity for PCBs was already up 70% year-over-year, and it is only expected to grow, especially for companies in the automotive and consumer electronics sectors.
2. Bridge Repair and Rehabilitation Services
Bridge repair and rehabilitation services are a badly needed service: a recent report presented by the ASCE graded US bridges as a C, lower than previous years' grades. These important parts of our infrastructure may see some upgrades soon if either the American Jobs Plan or the Republican Infrastructure plan pass the house and senate.
3. Die Attach Circuit Assembly Services
Die attach circuit assembly is a method for assembling circuits now, but they may be part of a very different type of assembly in the future. One recent innovation involves connecting circuits attached to the skin through bioelectronic ink, drawn on with a special pen, for healthcare monitoring.
4. ISO 14000 Training Services
Some companies may want to invest in new ISO 14000 training services. ISO 14000, which regulates how businesses should build environmental management systems, has been expanded in recent years by the International Organization for Standards. New rules like ISO 14011 and 14012 add additional direction around how to audit these systems and what qualifications auditors should have.
5. 3D Modeling Services
One of the faster growing types of 3D modeling includes Building Information Modeling (BIM), which allows architects, construction managers, and others to collaborate on a project. Downloads of BIM files off Thomasnet.com alone increased by 1000% in the three years before 2019, and if proposed infrastructure legislation passes, demand will increase further.
New processes are being developed to strengthen bellows, Monel® or otherwise, including techniques using heating and axial compression. This allows them to better absorb energy, which in turn allows the bellows to replace induction heating, potentially cutting down on equipment costs.
7. Cloud Computing Services
Cloud computing services are changing as next-generation systems are put in place. Newer cloud computing will be more focused on decentralizing computing away from data centers, which will affect self-learning systems, data-intensive computing, and the service space.
8. ISO 27000 Training Services
ISO 27000 regulations, regulating information security management systems, provide guidelines on how to keep digital information secure. Regulations like these are increasing in importance as cybersecurity threats grow. 61% of factories surveyed in November 2020 reported dealing with cybersecurity incidents, with 43% of those that had reporting production shutdowns of four or more days.
9. Aerosol Contract Manufacturing
Aerosol contract manufacturing isn't just in demand to produce spray disinfectants. A new additive manufacturing technique called Aerosol Jet Printing (AJP) has been gaining ground as a way to manufacture flexible and hybrid electronics.
10. Smart Lockers
Smart lockers were already catching on as a solution to supply chain congestion in crowded cities, as they allow for multiple deliveries at once outside of standard hours. With the increase in online ordering since the start of the pandemic, they may be implemented more quickly than they would otherwise have.
11. Portable Misting Systems
Portable misting systems are one way to cool off, but they are far from the only one. Other options include biomass energy, which burns biofuel to create electricity to power air conditioning, and geothermal systems, which draw from cooler temperatures underground.
12. Ultra-Thin Wall Tubing
Used in medical devices, ultra-thin wall tubing may get a run for its money as 3D printing continues to expand in medical and other manufacturing. The market for 3D printed medical devices is predicted to hit $6 billion by 2029.
13. Ladder Guards
Ladder guards are an important safety tool; unsafe ladders are #6 on OSHA's list of top safety violations. The biggest problem, however, is inadequate fall protection, followed by bad communication about hazards and unsafe scaffolding.
14. Flexible Sensors
Flexible sensors have a future in the medical field, with their ability to move with the body more easily than rigid ones. Newer flexible sensors that dissolve over time could provide additional benefits since they'll allow patients to recover without a second surgery to take them out.
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