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Design007-Nov2020

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86 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2020 Flex007 Feature by Chris Clark MINCO Every now and then, advances in technology come along that dramatically improve the way entire industries are able to address key chal- lenges. In healthcare, IoT-enabled devices continue to make waves. IoT components—like innova- tive sensors that can track heart rhythm, body temperature, and many other physiological sig- nals—are delivering accurate, real-time mea- surements at the bedside to help doctors and nurses monitor key health data with greater ease than ever before. With similar advances in data accessibility, hospital executives can respond quickly to changes within their sys- tems while also navigating fluctuating and external pressures like staffing shortages and labor costs. In aerospace, new emerging part manufac- turing processes are empowering manufactur- ers to imagine and design lightweight, cus- tomized parts. These innovative practices are driving down aircraft weights and reducing the burden of the traditional cost of ownership fac- tors such as fuel and machine downtime. While IoT and manufacturing advances right- fully receive their due for these performance and cost-saving innovations, each requires key technology components at their foundation. For example, the printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing industry—no doubt a contrib- utor in many IoT-enabled systems—has seen the rapid adoption of rigid-flex technology in recent years. Alongside trends in IoT and manufacturing, engineers across industries are integrating rigid-flex into their designs to save space, increase durability, and reduce produc- tion costs—a sought after trinity of benefits. In fact, according to one recent market report [1] , industry forecasters anticipate a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8% over the next five years in the rigid-flex PCB category— rising to an estimated $7.53 billion by 2025. When we look a little deeper, it's easy to see why this is the case. As industries drive for more sophistication and improved total cost of ownership, rigid-flex is uniquely positioned to give engineering teams and manufacturers the best possible chance of building components Five Ways Rigid-Flex Is Driving Global Innovation

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