In the age of rapid technological advancement, smart technologies and devices have become integral parts of our daily lives, revolutionizing how we communicate, work, and interact with the world around us. From smart homes and wearable gadgets to connected vehicles and IoT-enabled industrial equipment, these innovations are shaping the future. According to an IoT forecast published by Cisco, in 2023, the number of interconnected devices owned globally was 3.6 per person.
At the heart of bringing these cutting-edge products to market lies the electronic manufacturing services (EMS) market, which is projected to record over 5% CAGR over 2023-2032, as per a report published by Global Market Insights Inc. Smart technologies demand intricate designs and miniaturization to pack advanced functionalities into compact form factors.
EMS companies possess the expertise to translate complex designs into tangible products. Whether a smart thermostat with a sleek interface or a fitness tracker with sensors that monitor various parameters, EMS providers excel in creating products that seamlessly blend functionality with aesthetics. With the advent of Industry 4.0 and the increasing demand for cutting-edge technologies, electronics manufacturing services will play a crucial role in shaping the future across various industries, including healthcare, renewable energy, and automotive.
EMS emerges as a key smart manufacturing tool
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, also known as Industry 4.0, has ignited widespread change across various industries worldwide. One of the most notable transitions is the increasing adoption of automation, as companies strive to optimize production lines for heightened efficiency, reduced costs, and elevated product quality.
For EMS providers, this translates to harnessing cutting-edge technologies such as automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, and key Industry 4.0 principles. These innovations empower the creation of smart factories that elevate efficiency, resilience, and customer contentment through seamless integration of machines, processes, and systems. This environment fosters continuous data collection, analysis, and action. By employing this data-centric approach, more informed decisions are made, leading to streamlined processes and enhanced performance.
In March 2022, Huawei, a global front-runner in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), inaugurated the Huawei Local EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Service) Factory in Brazil—a groundbreaking moment marking the nation’s first foray into 5G-powered smart manufacturing. The state-of-the-art facility was equipped with artificial intelligence, cloud, and IoT technologies, to ensure improved production efficiency and productivity. The launch essentially underscored the fusion of advanced tech and manufacturing prowess, propelling the Brazilian manufacturing landscape into a realm of heightened sophistication and innovation, and paving new pathways of success for the EMS industry.
EMS in healthcare technology
The influence of the EMS industry is not limited to consumer electronics; it encompasses the development of several groundbreaking technologies poised to shape the future. Electronics manufacturing service providers play a significant role in producing components for electric vehicles, renewable energy systems, and advanced medical devices, to name a few.
The healthcare sector in particular is at a pivotal juncture in recent years, facing the challenge of handling increased demand, backlogged appointments, staff strikes, and capacity constraints due to several global events, most notably the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to this, many healthcare organizations are embracing digitization, implementing advanced medical technologies and connected devices, and unlocking new possibilities, such as remote patient monitoring (RPM). Based on a report from Global Market Insights Inc, the medical and healthcare segment accounted for over 5% share of the electronic manufacturing services market in 2022. Much of this progress is attributed to government initiatives promoting the digitization and electrification of medical equipment worldwide.
For instance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and European Commission announced the inception of a digital health partnership in June 2023, wherein WHO will adopt the European Union’s system of digital COVID-19 certification. This will pave the way for a global system that enhances mobility and safeguards global citizens against ongoing and future health threats, including pandemics. This initiative represents the foundational step towards the WHO Global Digital Health Certification Network (GDHCN), aimed at delivering improved health for all through an array of digital healthcare products.
The integration of technology, particularly the Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity, is revolutionizing healthcare, offering convenient ways to monitor patient health. RPM technologies hold promise as solutions for the self-management of patient conditions and providing continuous health insights to medical practitioners. Electronics developers are taking note of this trends and actively working to establish targeted EMS facilities for the production of advanced tech-based solutions for the medical domain.
For instance, in August 2021, US-based Kimball Electronics launched a dedicated business unit, Kimball Medical Solutions, offering multifaceted manufacturing solutions for medical customers. Leveraging the full extent of Kimball Electronics’ capabilities, the new business unit was designed to serve as a single-source partner for all medical manufacturing needs, expediting speed to market throughout the product lifecycle and providing comprehensive electronics manufacturing, precision injection-molded plastics, contract manufacturing, assembly, and packaging services.
All in all, the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) market is witnessing an exciting era of transformation and growth. The integration of advanced medical technologies and IoT-driven solutions is revolutionizing patient care, while governments’ initiatives drive digitization and electrification further. As the EMS industry embraces digitization, collaboration, and innovation, smarter factories, enhanced efficiency, and groundbreaking products will power a dynamic landscape that will continue to drive progress and propel businesses into a new era of success.