The IoT (Internet of Things) market is expanding rapidly. With that expansion, it is bringing an unprecedented demand for wireless connectivity. According to Forbes, the worldwide IoT marketplace is expected to grow from a $157B industry in 2016 to $457B by 2020.
Manufacturers and consumers are only becoming hungrier for more wireless connectivity. Not only do people want their devices to be connected to the internet, they expect it. The demand for custom antennas to fit specially sized devices is also increasing.
Off-the-shelf antennas can’t provide the specific and unique functions that the booming tech market is looking for. That is why it is more important than ever for you to find the right antenna design for your wireless device. And also the right manufacturer to partner with.
Read on, and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about custom antennas.
More often than not, custom antennas are going to consistently deliver better performance. A custom antenna will be designed not just for the specific functions you need it to do but also for its enclosure. This is so that you won’t have to worry about any frequency interruptions.
Custom antennas also allow you to have control over your device’s multi-band capabilities.
If a cellular device needed to connect across frequencies such as WiFi, LTE, and WLAN (Wireless LAN), a custom antenna would be an ideal way to go. And you may need more than one multi-band antennas depending on your connection needs.
Custom antennas can also be more cost efficient in the long run. If you’re planning for high-volume output, it can be more cost effective to go custom. When you buy off-the-shelf ones you may also need to include other add-ons. Conversely, you might end up getting an antenna that comes with superfluous features.
Let’s go over what to look out for when shopping for the right custom antenna for your device.
You want to partner with a manufacturer who is going to work with you. They should understand your device and what you’re trying to accomplish with the antenna.
Their engineers need to understand your device’s shape and size as well as the material it is made out of.
The manufacturer should ask you where the product is likely to be sold. This way they can ensure the antenna is compliant with local and federal regulations.
You also want an engineering team that is going to stick to the budget and schedule. They should communicate with you from development to production.
You want to choose a custom antennas manufacturer who is going to use the latest and best available technology. This includes the use of artificial intelligence and 3D simulations.
By using detailed 3D models, the engineers can save time and labor while still getting accurate specifications.
These highly advanced tools also allow engineers to test their simulations against real-world obstacles. These include mechanical and environment regulations, gain and pattern regulatory restrictions.
After the antenna has been designed and simulated, it is time to make the prototype. You’ll want a manufacturer who has all of the machinery necessary to fabricate antenna models. This includes 3D printing.
In this step of the manufacturing process, the engineers will be able to get more measurements. They can also check that everything is ready for production.
Partner with a manufacturer who also does on-site testing. This will end up saving you from delays and any unexpected surprises.
Look for a company which has tools such as network analyzers. They should also use compact test chambers, and power testing machinery.
Test chambers can be extremely helpful. They allow engineers to measure the antenna’s performance in a physical space.
More than anything, you want to partner with a manufacturing company that is reliable and trustworthy. They should also be able to meet your required output.
Great antenna design is useless if it can’t actually be fabricated at an affordable cost with excellent performance. Find a company with a proven track record for making consistently good products and with rates that you can work with.
Make sure that they use high-quality testing equipment. Plus they should have antenna test chambers as well as documented assembly processes.
Be sure to confirm the company’s average lead time as well. And that they are completely compliant with all proper legal policies.
It is also advisable that you choose a manufacturer who uses confidentiality agreements. This is to ensure that your product’s privacy is safe.
Antennas aren’t the most durable products in the world. And like all technological tools, they can be subject to damage. There are custom antenna manufacturing companies who also specialize in antenna refurbishment and replacement.
Skilled companies can help customers even if the original antennas originated from a different manufacturer.
It is also possible to customize off-the-shelf antennas. Often times, clients will want to adjust the length of an antenna or “tune” it to alter its performance.
As you can tell, there’s a lot involved when it comes to buying custom antennas. Choosing the right manufacturer is a critical and necessary part of the process.
Always be sure that you are working with a company who is reliable, communicative, and competent.
Are you looking for an experienced team to help you with your next antenna? Contact us today to discuss your upcoming projects!