The Secret Life Of Electronics

Electronics are hidden in everything – even devices you don’t normally think of.  In fact, printed circuit boards are in many of the appliances, devices and tools you use every day.  Here are four examples of where electronics are now playing a bigger role than we ever imagined.

1.In your kitchen:

Graphic courtesy of

It may be hard to recognize, but the future of home technology has often played out in the kitchen.  From the “Monsanto House of the Future’s” electric oven and dishwasher to today’s “Internet of Things” complete with a refrigerator that tells you what groceries you need, electronics have driven what happens in the most-used room of the house over the past 100 years.  

Today nearly every kitchen device you use has a printed circuit board somewhere inside it. From your coffee pot to toaster oven to dishwasher to refrigerator, if there’s a sensor, timer or automation sequence, you’ll find a printed circuit board inside.  At Amtech, we often are asked to help design and produce PCB assemblies to fit inside common kitchen appliances, so nothing is a surprise today.

Don’t expect innovation to stop anytime soon in the kitchen. After all, while our Great-Grandparents were just happy to have an “icebox”, our great grandchildren will probably re-hydrate their foods by computer. 

2. In your garage.

It’s not just inside your house that you’ll find hidden electronics.  Have you been inside your garage lately?  Yes, there is a lot of news about electric cars saving the environment (and our wallets).  But beyond that, so many automotive devices require electronic circuit boards.

Automotive electronics are used in vehicles like electric golf carts or scooters, including for engine management, ignition, radio, carputers, telematics, entertainment systems, and more. Take a golf cart for instance. Electric golf carts are powered by a rechargeable battery pack and require no gasoline to operate. With more torque than a gas-powered engine, not only are electric carts more environmentally friendly, but much faster! In fact, they may even be able to replace a traditional car in many cities.

Modern electric transportation relies on PCB Assembly of circuit boards for the main propulsion motor control, as well as managing the battery system. Future autonomous equipment will rely on powerful computer systems, an array of sensors, networking, and satellite navigation, all of which will require electronics.

3. At the Doctor

Many medical devices are full of electrical parts.  Pacemakers, defibrillators, drug-releasing pumps, hearing aids, and diagnostic equipment for measuring, monitoring, and recording body functions such as heartbeat and brain waves. They all include printed circuit boards and relay information back to a computer to help keep you healthy.

But recent advancements in technology have taken things to a whole new level.  From wearable devices embedded in our clothes to robotic exoskeletons to help fight debilitating disease, the future of medicine involves electronics as much as pharmaceuticals.

4. On the field

Would it surprise you to learn that electronic circuit boards are now prevalent in the world of sports? Within the last few years, the athletic world has been entirely transformed by emerging sports technology. These technologies make it easier than ever for fans to get into the game, and for athletes to optimize their performance. 

Electronics can be used to monitor athletes performance and provide critical data, such as a mouthguard that also measures blood glucose levels to help avoid dehydration and heatstroke.  And the NFL and major college conferences are now looking at football helmets that can measure impact in real time to help athletes avoid repetitive micro-concussions that doctors believe can lead to severe brain injuries down the line.

Graphic courtesy of LX GROUP

Electronics also play a role in the games we play themselves.  An electronic strike zone is on the horizon for baseball.  Football is working on sensors to measure first downs (although we will certainly miss the old-school chain gangs running across the field) and hockey will likely use similar devices to determine when a puck crosses the goal line. Tennis has long relied on the Hawkeye System as a digital line judge, and more recently the same technology plays a role in international soccer competitions as a goal line monitor.  

In short, electronics have changed our lives in ways that we don’t even recognize, and none of it happens without Printed Circuit Boards.  At Amtech, we help our clients with manufacturing design to integrate PCBs into their devices across many of these categories – from IT to automotive to medical to industrial automation. We love figuring out how to overcome any number of manufacturing challenges to create these devices. From helping medical workers during the pandemic to extending end-of-life for products used in the automotive, heavy-duty truck and bus, military, industrial control, robotics, mass transportation, agriculture, and construction industries, Amtech is playing a key role in finding new ways to hide electronics and provide new solutions to the world.  Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.

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