Navigating the Critical Challenges of Industrial Electronics in Harsh Environments

Navigating the Critical Challenges of Industrial Electronics in Harsh Environments

As electronics are increasingly integrated into mission-critical applications from airplanes to medical devices and the energy grid, companies must meet new challenges. Failure of these systems could be catastrophic.

Harsh environments include hot, humid conditions and destructive sua chua servo electric and magnetic fields. The specific environmental conditions in which a product is used affects its specifications and must be taken into account at the design stage.


Despite their ability to improve human life and boost productivity, electronics have short lifespans and stylistic obsolescence, which create vast quantities of discarded products, also known as electronic waste (e-waste). E-waste contains toxic materials and scarce precious metals such as gold, palladium, and cadmium.

Recovering the value of industrial electronic equipment (EEE) is a vital step in minimizing e-waste generation and achieving sustainable resource management practices. Compared to retrofitting and refurbishing, which focus on upgrading older devices with new technologies, remanufacturing is a more comprehensive strategy that encompasses disassembling, cleaning, repairing, and replacing components to produce a product with original functionality.

To promote remanufacturing as an alternative to disposal, we conducted an online survey with GCC-based industrial electronics repair technicians and identified the most common reasons for PCB failure and defects. The results of this study provide valuable insights for technicians to develop more effective repair techniques and repurpose EEE to help build a greener future.

Innovative Solutions

The adage “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” doesn’t hold water in the case of public transportation, mining equipment and other high-stakes industrial electronics. In many cases, a single faulty printed circuit board (PCB) can cause an entire device to fail, leading to significant operational costs and requiring an urgent replacement.

The Right to Repair movement is gaining traction globally as a fundamental way to increase the lifespans of electronic devices and create more sustainable business models. However, several factors including product design, intellectual property, consumer laws and taxation are hindering the process.

The ability to innovate and improvise are vital for technicians who work in challenging environments. One common interview question asks candidates to share a time they had to think outside the box to complete a difficult repair. This allows recruiters to assess the technician’s problem-solving skills and understand how they deal with unexpected challenges in a fast-paced environment. The ability to quickly find solutions demonstrates a technician’s creativity and commitment to quality.

Repairing Electronics in Extreme Temperatures and Humidity

In order to ensure that electronics will work reliably for their intended lifespan, manufacturers must subject them to rigorous testing. These tests will often include exposing the product to extreme temperatures, humidity and vibrations.

Temperatures that are too high can damage electronic components. This is especially true for circuit boards, where the solder that connects components can melt. When this happens, it can cause short circuits or even system failure.

Humidity can also cause problems with electrical components. It causes corrosion, electrical leakage and material deterioration. This can be caused by moisture penetrating packing materials, printed circuit boards and other surfaces of the components.

It can also create a problem with signal transmission by causing a lag in the time it takes for the electrons to move through the circuit. In some cases, the lag can be so great that the entire circuit can fail to function. This can be very dangerous for industrial equipment.