This article will focus on energy consumption. Though this is not a new theme, it is a major one impacting the electronics industry more and more and leading to ever greater challenges. Electronic devices are essential parts of our lives. In Germany alone 1.8 million tonnes of electronic equipment are sold every year.
It is not so important that each of us regularly wants to have the latest mobile phone, but the latest model should always be better, faster and more user-friendly. And all of us think that we cannot live without the device.
We are very demanding. Not only should the equipment be better and have more functions, but it should also consume less energy. The raw materials needed are becoming scarce now, and sustainable energy is not even around the corner. It is therefore hard to meet all the demands. Alternative, sustainable energy sources account for only 13% of total energy sources in Germany, and still Germany is number one in Europe in this respect. In the Netherlands the share of sustainable energy sources is less than 6%, which is the worst performance in Europe.
For electronics producers energy consumption is a great challenge now and in the future. This does not only concern the energy efficiency while the appliance in question is in use, but it also relates to the energy used in the production of the appliance. The less the better. When the appliance has to be dismantled at the end of its lifecycle in order to retrieve the raw materials, etc., this again requires the use of energy.
In Germany green production methods have become quite common, but another reality is that many companies have outsourced their production to partners in countries where energy supply is still on the basis of coal. By now we all know what this means for the environment. For the corporate sector it means that a whole new way of thinking about energy use in production is needed. A few manufacturers, like Lenovo and Huawei, are showing us what we have to do. They are using solar panels to generate energy. Apple is also a pioneer, because they do not only use solar panels but also refrain from using harmful chemicals during the production process.
Green products are not only beneficial to the environment. They also contribute to a positive corporate image. The trend towards green production has a domino effect. This is obvious from the increased demand for voltage monitoring and reset ICs.
Looking at these developments the electronic interconnect industry has plenty of opportunities. From design to production staff is deployed that has been trained to the latest standards. This is the only way for a company to stay ahead of the competition and to keep a positive image among customers.