Latest iNEMI Roadmap highlights trends & technology needs for the electronics manufacturing supply chain
Tuesday, 16 August 2011 00:06
The 2011 iNEMI Roadmap is the most comprehensive roadmap published to date by the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI). The 1800-page document, created by individuals representing all aspects of the electronics manufacturing supply chain, features 27 chapters that provide in-depth discussion of six product sectors and 21 different manufacturing, component/subsystem, business process and design technologies.
The more than 575 individuals who contributed to the 2011 Roadmap represent over 310 corporations, consortia/associations, government agencies and universities, located in 18 countries.
New in this edition is a combined chapter on MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) and sensors. Sensors have been covered in previous roadmaps, and MEMS technology has been discussed in several chapters; however, this is the first time that MEMS technology has been discussed as a standalone topic. Also this cycle, the Packaging chapter was expanded to include discussion of component substrates.
“This latest roadmap represents more than six man-years of work by people who are ‘in the trenches’ of electronics manufacturing,” said Bill Bader, CEO of iNEMI. “We have also continued to increase the number of participants outside of North America for a truly global view of this international industry. The end product provides a comprehensive view, from both a geographical and technology perspective, and is a very valuable tool to help companies anticipate future industry needs.”
Two topics that are repeatedly discussed in several of the chapters are 3D packaging and component traceability, both of which have broad-reaching effects. Increased momentum in the move toward 3D packaging creates issues up and down the supply chain, affecting assembly processes and equipment, design and simulation tools, reliability methodologies, thermal management strategies and cooling technologies, and test and inspection strategies. There is a growing need for product traceability and product data reporting. This need is driven by increased concerns about, and occurrence of, counterfeit parts; legislation to prevent trade in “conflict minerals” from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; expanding environmental legislation banning “materials of concern,” which compels companies to require detailed product data attributes; plus requirements for medical OEMs to maintain traceability of critical bill of material components as well as the final product.
There are ongoing challenges regarding R&D funding. The restructuring of the electronics industry from vertically integrated OEMs to a multi-firm, globally distributed supply chain has resulted in a disparity in R&D needs versus available resources. Critical needs for research and development exist in the middle part of the supply chain (IC assembly services, passive components and EMS assembly), and yet these are the companies least capable of providing the resources. At the same time, manufacturing R&D responsibility is transitioning to EMS companies and their supply base in low-cost geographies, creating additional challenges in linking future product needs to research resources. As this issue becomes more critical, industry collaboration is gaining traction in a number of venues (e.g. university R&D centers, industry consortia, ad-hoc cross-company development teams). Government, academia and industry consortia will need to formulate ways to adopt and develop emerging technologies within the global outsourcing environment.
Other strategic concerns include:
- Consumers are increasingly concerned about the impacts that electronics products may exert regarding safety, energy usage and the environment. Conflicting sources of public information can cause confusion and less-than-optimum solutions.
- Harmonization of environmental regulations for electronic products must be driven through international standardization.
- The mechanisms for cooperation between industries, and among researchers working in all advanced technologies, must be strengthened. Cooperation among OEMs, ODMs, EMS firms and component suppliers is needed to focus on the “right” technologies and to find ways to deploy them in a timely manner.
- Disruptive technologies offer opportunities for innovation. In order to ensure success, the supply chain must be willing to invest with a long-term perspective in mind.
Click here to download a backgrounder (PDF) that summarizes some of the key trends and highlights discussed in the 2001 Roadmap.
The 2011 Roadmap is free for iNEMI members and is for sale to non-members, with special discounted pricing available for universities, research institutions, government agencies and non-profit organizations. For the first time, individual chapters are available for sale and can be purchased on, and downloaded from, the iNEMI website. For information about purchasing options and pricing, go to http://www.inemi.org/node/1863/buy.
The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative’s mission is to forecast and accelerate improvements in the electronics manufacturing industry for a sustainable future. This industry-led consortium is made up of more than 95 manufacturers, suppliers, industry associations and consortia, government agencies and universities. iNEMI roadmaps the needs of the electronics industry, identifies gaps in the technology infrastructure, establishes implementation projects to eliminate these gaps (both business and technical), and stimulates standards activities to speed the introduction of new technologies. The consortium also works with government agencies, universities and other funding agencies to set priorities for future industry needs and R&D initiatives. iNEMI is based in Herndon, Virginia (near Washington, D.C.), with regional offices in Shanghai, China; Limerick, Ireland; and Tokyo, Japan. For additional information about iNEMI, go to http://www.inemi.org.