Five competitive reasons to streamline microelectronics manufacturing with micromachining

Engineer showing a computer microchip on motherboard background. Electronic circuit board with processor. Source: Adobe

Electronics manufacturing faces increasing pressure to make devices smaller, more functional and more affordable. Meeting all those demands can be challenging, but micromachining can help.

Micromachining involves machining components on the micrometre scale, which is all but impossible with conventional equipment. This smaller-scale approach to manufacturing may seem excessive initially, but it has several significant advantages.

1. It enables smaller components

The most obvious benefit of micromachining is that it can produce smaller components. Larger tools struggle to create electronics parts of less than a few millimetres, but today’s consumers want tinier devices.

Consumers will spend upwards of $1.5 trillion on Internet of Things (IoT) solutions by 2025. Manufacturers must create gadgets that fit a much wider variety of environments to meet that demand. Consequently, they’ll need smaller form factors, which micromachining enables.

2. It’s more precise

Micromachining is also inherently more precise than conventional methods. Because the tools themselves are smaller, any deviation will produce less of an impact. It also means they can create more intricate designs without error.

Equipment failures are a leading cause of downtime in manufacturing, leading to high production costs. Using more precise machines enables businesses to minimize their operational expenses. In turn, they can justify lower consumer prices to remain competitive.

3. Smaller machines need less energy

Micromachining is more energy efficient. Tooling arms with less mass don’t take as much power to move. Similarly, producing smaller components means less movement in general, further reducing energy consumption.

This efficiency has two substantial advantages. First, it reduces production costs. Secondly, it’s more environmentally friendly, helping manufacturers appeal to today’s sustainability-minded customers.

4. Micromachining is more flexible

Some micromachining equipment is compact enough to fit on a desk. These small form factors enable more flexibility within the production line. If the facility must adapt to embrace a more efficient workflow or make new products, it can do so with less disruption.

Quick changeovers are more cost-effective with short production runs, though larger ones are better for long-lasting runs. Given how quickly the electronics industry changes, though, it’s generally best to prefer flexibility over longevity. This adaptability also helps account for supply chain disruptions.

5. It minimizes time and material waste

Micromachining’s speed, flexibility and precision prevent waste. Manufacturers spend less time adjusting workflows, minimizing downtime. Higher machining accuracy reduces errors to avoid material loss.

These reductions minimize production costs, but their benefits go further. They also promote higher sustainability. Considering industrial waste generation is 18 times that of municipal waste, any improvement is valuable. The industry’s public image will improve as more manufacturers embrace this technology.

Micromachining is the future of electronics manufacturing

Electronics will only get smaller as technology grows, and consumer demand for affordable prices will rise. Micromachining is a key resource in meeting these shifting trends. Without it, manufacturers may struggle to keep pace.

These five benefits highlight how micromachining is the method of tomorrow. Manufacturers that capitalize on it before it becomes the industry standard will gain an early edge over their competitors. Those that don’t will have to play catch-up.

Emily Newton is an industrial journalist. She has over five years experience covering the industry as the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized.


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