We are in the midst of a global chip shortage, prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent surge in demand and growth of IoT devices.
Despite the easing of the pandemic, there is no sign of this shortage ending any time soon, with the president of IBM, Jim Whitehurst recently saying the global chip shortage may last a couple more years.
This makes it more important for devices to be made more durable, avoiding the need for them to be repaired or replaced so frequently, as every replacement, reduces the availability of chips.
As manufacturers look for a way out of this situation, the growth of IoT combined with the chip shortage call for manufacturers to add the right protection in the factory from the very outset.
What are the consequences of the global chip shortage?
The severity of the global chip shortage has gone up a notch recently and now affects millions of people. As the demand is bigger than the supply, a significant number of companies are feeling the pinch from car makers, smartphone manufacturers, to appliance producers. Nobody is exempt as some of the biggest names have been hit by the shortage, including the likes of Tesla, Sony and Apple.
The shortage will be felt the most amongst consumers, as it may make products more expensive, with sellers on Amazon or eBay inflating prices and consumers bearing the brunt of the cost.
Can nanotechnology increase the lifespan of devices?
According to Juniper Research, the number of IoT devices in 2021 will have reach 46 billion – a 200% increase compared to 2016. Every one of these devices has a chip in them which will be exposed to environmental threats over time, whether they are kept indoors or outdoors, through temperature swings, air conditioning and moisture. Consequently, if they start to corrode, manufacturers won’t be able to afford to keep sending out engineers to fix them, because the cost will go through the roof.
The EEA found electronics are at least 2.3 years shorter than they were designed for, highlighting the importance of increasing their lifespan during the global chip shortage.
One of the biggest risks to the integrity and longevity of products is liquid damage, as five in every six (83%) manufacturers would expect their electronic products to fail within a year without liquid protection.
To improve their lifespan, manufacturers should require different levels of liquid protection, from splash resistance to submersible devices.
Nanocoating solutions provide tremendous value for manufacturers. The initial investment significantly extends a product’s life, providing cost savings from fewer returns as well as acting to strengthen the brand image and reducing e-waste.
Fortunately, solutions like P2i plasma nanocoatings can be seamlessly integrated within manufacturers’ supply chains or overall manufacturing processes to ensure that liquid protection is built into devices at the design stage.
Meeting consumer sustainability needs
Building reliability and sustainability in at the design stage is particularly important as the growing number of IoT devices and a shortened lifespan of today’s devices raise environmental concerns. Damage to a device can cause vital components to corrode, making it unusable and ultimately unrepairable. The partnership between liquid protection suppliers and manufacturers will reduce electronic waste and ensure the sustainability of their products.
Taking a long-term approach to the problem
The global chip shortage highlights the need for devices to be built to last, while alleviating the demand for chips. Building liquid protection into devices will help manufacturers increase the sustainability of their products and lessen their environment al impact.
P2i have developed a range of solutions to protect devices against humidity and weather, to splashes and spills, and to full immersion to a depth of at least 2 metres for 30 minutes.
More information about our range of liquid protection coatings can be found here.