From the Publisher: Emerging Sectors for EMS
By Eric Miscoll, EMSNOW Publisher
I have stated on this platform several times that I believe electric vehicles (EVs) are the next big product growth wave for the EMS industry. This is forecast to be as significant a sector growth wave as when computers, peripherals, networking, and cell phones expanded the TAM for outsourcing in previous waves of growth. These waves were then followed by the expansion into low volume/high mix sectors such as the regulated industries of mil/aero and medical equipment.
Now the growth arena has moved into what used to be categorized as the industrial sector, which functioned as the catch-all ‘other’ category in the past. Now that category is probably due for some amplification and redefinition.
Products that are in this end sector include robotics, drones, smart agriculture, smart homes / cities driven by sensors and the industrial internet of things (IIoT). These applications are exploding, and the EMS industry is poised to benefit from these OEMs’ relative lack of experience in electronic manufacturing. Companies adding technology to farm equipment, irrigation systems, and livestock monitoring tend to be startups or companies with other core competencies. EMS companies that develop design platforms for these applications are becoming true manufacturing partners in these applications.
Another product type that I think will be growing in significance will be the equipment used in various applications of geoengineering (e.g., carbon capture and storage (CCS), direct air capture (DAC)). Technology-based solutions to climate change are just beginning to emerge. Start-ups and global multinationals alike are looking for ways to adapt their business to changing regulations, and technology to monitor and analyze emissions and environmental impact will have to play a role.
Point of care (POC) medical products in diagnostics and analytics are another growth area. As explained in this Benchmark blog, the trend is to add more flexibility and mobility to the equipment used for patient care, enabling better telemedicine and at-home care. EMS companies are well-poised here as well to help the medical instrument and equipment companies to add POC devices and connectivity to their products.
Another area of product design worth mentioning is gaming. This comes under the category of ‘consumer’ but the technology is evolving and expanding into industry sectors with the use of VR in manufacturing settings. The human-machine interface for these applications – the gaming console, the VR headsets, the ruggedized tablets to be used in new settings will require the EMS industry’s expertise.
These products are now becoming much larger businesses and therefore being separated from the traditional sectors into which they were previously stuck since they did not fit neatly anywhere else. This fact is underscored by recent surveys of EMS companies who include them under the ‘other’ sector when queried about the industry sectors they serve.
These are the products where the OEM’s expertise is in data analytics, software, mechanical engineering, and so forth. Where electronics is an add-on rather than primary feature. Think large industrial cranes as an example or harvesting equipment. Electronics is not a core competence of those OEMs so it is a natural piece of business to outsource to EMS companies.
What other type of product sectors do you think are growing in significance for the EMS industry? Let us hear from you either by email email@example.com, or on LinkedIn. Keep the conversation going.
In other news, the EMSNOW editorial team will be taking a break and handing the content reins to SCOOP Founder Philip Stoten for the next week or so. Expect the unexpected as Phil shares his unique perspective about the global industry from his current home base in Melbourne, Australia.