In a survey of UK electronics companies attending Southern Electronics and Manufacturing show, the UK-based embedded system solutions developer ByteSnap Design, extracted several growth trends for the industry. These include electric vehicles (EV), the Internet of Things (IoT), AI and 3D printing among others.
Some 21% of respondents cited EVs as the largest growth area this year, followed by 14% for IoT. A further 9% of companies expected growth to come from AI and 4% from the 3D printing and the medical sectors.
The UK government has brought forward the ban on selling new petrol, diesel or hybrid cars from 2040 to 2035, which opens new opportunities for EVs – from the vehicles themselves to the infrastructure. Whereas for IoT, the interest is understandable with the growing number of IoT connections in 12 key growth sectors, including consumer electronics, smart cities and intelligent buildings, predicted to grow from around 13 million in 2016 to over 150 million by 2024 in the UK.
ByteSnap also asked delegates about the longevity of electronics products. “Many respondents are bucking a perceived short electronics lifecycle trend,” stated its report. “Our survey revealed how our industry produces high-value electronics with long product life cycles. Therefore, it’s vital that we design with longevity in mind to maximise a potentially more profitable niche we have worked hard to create.”
Only 16% of companies surveyed reported their product lifecycles were two years or shorter, 4% reported lifecycles of 2-5 years, and 14% lifecycles of over five years. The most interesting results were that 10% gave their product lifecycles as 5-10 years, 45% as over 10 years.
These figures compare to those of a previous study, when ByteSnap discovered that 18% of electronics industry respondents identified the pressure to deliver projects quickly as a major concern. And 17% were concerned about component obsolescence, a factor that can render an entire product difficult to sell and decimate the return on investment of developing a new product.
Other trends the survey uncovered relate to new designs created by UK electronic product developers:
“Many respondents are still heavily involved with analogue design and, whilst this area has not seen the levels of transformation the digital component sector has over the last few decades, there are still many exciting new innovations being released that are bringing new life to this sector,” stated ByteSnap’s report.