The structural electronics market is expected to register a CAGR of 15.3%, during the forecast period of 2019-2024. Improvements in 3D technology and the rise of IoT are the factors fueling the growth of structural electronics market. In addition, there is an increase in the demand for lightweight, cost-effective, and compact products. Structural electronics offer these advantages, thereby augmenting their usage in a wide range of applications.
- Structural electronics is replacing the old components-in-a-box approach with smart materials, such as smart skin, load-bearing parts, and e-textiles. The key capability of structural electronics is to reduce the weight of the product and is expected to disrupt the automotive and aerospace sectors.
- Advancements in material science to develop stretchable conductive materials, application diversity, and government funding are expected to play a vital role in driving the advancements in the Structural electronics industry.
- For instance, one of the largest Japanese car companies experimented a 3D printing of ultra-lightweight vehicle seats, based on bird-bone structure, and is expected to become the first 3D-PE (3D Printed Electronics) with electrics and electronics built into the seat.
- However, lack of technological awareness is to hamper the growth of the market , during the forecast period.
Scope of the Report
The term, structural electronics (SE), refers to a next-generation based electronics technology, which involves the printing of functional electronic circuitries, across irregular-shaped architectures. SE is expected to replace bulky load-bearing structures within a circuitry, with smart electronic components which can conform to complex shapes, ensuring optimum space utilization. SE offers different and better ways of implementing electronic functionalities into the products.
Key Market Trends
Automotive Sector to Account for a Significant Growth
- Structural electronics include electronic components and circuits that act as load-bearing, protective structures, by replacing the dumb structures (such as automobile bodies) or conformally placed upon them.
- The critical capability of structural electronics to reduce the weight of a product is projected to disrupt the automotive sector. Structural electronics is expected to be next big thing in smart cars, as the elements of structural electronics would be integrated within the vehicle's body and undercarriage, thereby resembling the human nervous system and enabling cars to instantly recognize touch and damage.
- In addition, in the future, hybrid/electric cars are expected to use structural electronics, with printed OLED (organic light emitting diode) incorporated inside and outside the car roof.
- Moreover, the boom in automobile production across the globe with adaption to new technology changes such as lightweight and compact parts will witness significant demand for structural electronics, over the forecast period.
North America to Account for the Largest Share in Structural Electronics Market
- North America's robust financial position enables it to invest heavily in advanced solutions and technologies. The higher penetration of structural electronics in the region can be attributed to the high adoption of such products in conductors, photovoltaic products, and sensors, which are used in high-end cars and space vehicles.
- Structural electronics has shown tremendous progress in the United States and is supported by vast R&D activities. For instance, in order to drive the technology that couples flexible substrates, printed circuits, and thinned silicon die, NextFlex research center with around USD 165 million in private and public backing has been formed.
- Moreover, electric vehicles are primary consumers of structural electronics, which is expected to propel the growth of the market studied, as North Americans are increasingly adopting electric cars.
- Besides, the increasing usage of IOT and 3D technology across various industries is projected to fuel the demand for structural electronics, over the forecast period.
The structural electronics market is highly consolidated. The reason being, structural electronics is highly sophisticated technology which makes the new player very tough to enter this market. Moreover, top players have a major share of the market. Some of the key players include The Boeing Company, Panasonic Corporation, TactoTek Oy, Canatu Oy, Neotech AMT GmbH, Toyobo Co. Ltd., among others.
- April 2019 - BO-LA and TactoTek jointly announced that they have signed an agreement for BO-LA to market and sell injection molded structural electronics (IMSE) solutions. This partnership brings together leaders in their respective technology domains to advance the market for integrating electronic functionality within molded plastics.
- April 2019 - Boeing and the Australian Space Agency have signed a statement of strategic intent to help advance the agency's goals to expand Australia's domestic space industry.
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