First class into the future

Electronic components

First class into the future

In view of technological progress, megatrends and market developments, how should an electronics company position itself in the future to achieve the "right move"? ZVEI's 4th "Technology Roadmap" provides comprehensive answers.

In the age of "X-4.0" and the "Internet of Things" it is difficult to chronologically point out milestones of technology. Many developments seem to "fly past" you, or at some point they just happen to be there, with no prior signs of emergence or evolutionary history. Especially in the electronics industry you can quickly gain this impression.It is clear, however, that one cannot block technological progress and everything connected with it. This applies in particular to an industry that is both a driver and a beneficiary of this development. From a business management point of view, it is more than recommendable to jump on the right bandwagon at the right time in order to secure future success.

"Only those who recognize and take up technological developments at an early stage can generate greater benefits from them and gain advantages in international competition.“

Dr. Andreas Lock, Chairman of the ZVEI Technology Platform Working Group

This is precisely where the "Roadmap" comes in - catchwords such as "early detection", "megatrends" and "technology trends" describe the framework conditions that must be recognised and understood in order to not miss the "train", but ideally to travel "first class". Sustainability is not only required today, it is also an existential must. After all, what good is the best technology if it runs out of resources tomorrow or if demographic change does not allow it to mature into acceptance? In this context, this leads to an economic approach that inevitably focuses on topics such as "urbanisation", "energy & climate", but also on an economy's own striving for balance in various respects.

If one leaves the macro view, which may be somewhat diffuse for the individual company, the "technology roadmap" offers important and concrete clues for the early identification of entrepreneurial opportunities and risks while integrating new business fields and markets.This requires not only the right instinct, but above all tools with which trends can be identified on the basis of facts, options for action identified and priorities defined. On the basis of the "state of the art", forecasts can be made about the type, speed and direction of possible technological developments, thus laying the foundations for the right decisions.

The fact that the ZVEI – Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie e.V. –devotes so much attention to this topic is due to the fact that electronic components and assemblies will make a major and essential contribution to technical progress. There are only a few technical products that are not controlled by electronics if they are not already completely embedded in the Connected World. The connection between macro- and micro-world contributes decisively to the comfort improvement of our daily life. Software, which has been included as a new main topic in the roadmap, also plays an increasingly important role here.

The authors of the two ZVEI Divisions "Electronic Components and Systems" as well as "PCB and Electronic Systems" also address other challenges with their contributions in this issue. In this way, the considerations of the markets and the associated factors are systematically linked with non-technological, but no less important topics. Political preparation, for example through the granting of subsidies, but also trends such as "urbanisation" coupled with a changing "demographic development" are presented, as is the need for an adapted education system in order to prepare future skilled workers in the best possible way for the "world of tomorrow".

"Business must seize the opportunities offered by digitisation."

Bernd Enser, Chairman of the Technical Commission of the ZVEI trade associations Electronic Components and Systems and PCB and Electronic Systems

The roadmap begins with the megatrends of globalization, demographic change, sustainability and digitization with associated sub-trends. However, this is only one level of consideration, because from a holistic point of view there are also topics such as software, material trends and important manufacturing aspects.

The second level is dedicated to the requirements, guidelines and laws from different areas or interest groups, which can have a considerable influence on the future viability of technology and products.

The third dimension is the market. Requirements and trends are explained here, as are direct relationships, e.g. to product life cycles or application fields. The special feature here lies above all in the holistic approach, starting with the product development process through industrialization to the phase-out. Finally, an intellectual bridge was built to the question of who should do all this in the future. This aspect was taken into account by thinking about research, education and investment in the minds of the future.

The technological outlooks and assessments are essentially based on the expert knowledge of the companies active in the working group and ZVEI – with the support of individual external experts. They are aimed equally at non-experts, such as programme planners, decision-makers, etc., as well as at experts. With regard to the non-experts, the contributions are not purely subject-specific, but meet the requirement of a certain technical depth.

(Fig: ZVEI e.V.)

Related links

The compendium is now also available online at the following link:
Technologie-Roadmap "Next Generation"


  • Manufacturing
  • Human Resource Management
  • Sustainability
  • Components