Space Is Money – How Flex PCB Can Help You Save Big

In the electronics industry, the name of the game is lighter and smaller. Consumers want sleek, beautifully designed computers and gadgets that still pack a big computing wallop. That is to say, for designers, at least, space is money.

If you can make your product smaller and less bulky than the competition, you will gain the market advantage. Flex printed circuits boards (aka flexible circuits or flexible pcb) are designed to give you all the space you need to create innovative new product designs.

Now let me talk about the trouble with Rigid Printed Circuit Boards

If you’ve ever had to work with rigid printed circuit boards before, you know how much of a nightmare they can be. You have to find space for them and work the rest of the components around them. Flex printed circuit boards give you back control over your design. Because they can flex, you can fit them into smaller spaces, which frees up space for more components, that can make your product more powerful, more efficient, or both. They fold, twist, and roll, making it easy to find a spot for them. This also gives you the opportunity to place other parts in a better order for the most efficient sub-assembly possible. Better part placement refers to less energy waste, a longer battery life, a more solid overall configuration, and a better operating product. It also means you have control over how you map out the inner workings of your product for optimum setup.

In the fierce electronics industry, even a slightly better assembly can put you ahead of your competition and turn your product into a bestseller, while they get left in the dust.

Flex PCBs also weigh less. Even shaving off a few ounces on your product could make a noticeable difference that will make it easier for your customers to use it, wear it, and carry it. The more they want to interact with your device, the more hooked they’ll become.

Want to learn more about flex PCBs? Just contact Best Technology. Do not hesitate any more. We can explain how they work and help you determine if adding them to your next product will save you space and money.

Introduction to A Flexible Circuit Coverlay

During the flexible printed circuit board manufacturing process, a flex circuit coverlay (aka coverfilm) is used to encapsulate and protect the external circuitry of a flexible circuit board.
flexible circuit coverlay serves the exact same function as solder mask that is used on a rigid printed circuit board. The difference with a flex coverlay is the needed element of flexibility and durability it provides to the flex PCB design.
The coverlay consists of a solid sheet of polyimide with a layer of flexible adhesive that is then laminated under heat and pressurized to the circuit surfaces. The required component feature openings are mechanically created using drilling, routing, or laser cutting.
Typical coverlay thickness is 0.001″ polyimide with 0.001″ of adhesive. Thicknesses of 0.0005″ & 0.002″ are available, but only used as needed to meet specific design requirements.
For more information visit our website to learn more about our flex & rigid-flex PCB manufacturing process!

The Future of Flexible Circuits

As predicted by Best Technology Co.,Ltd., the market for flexible circuits is going to continue to expand steadily in the future, just as it has been doing for the past three decades. The reasons for this are not hard to find, as, on one hand, flexible circuits continue to support the existing technology so important to different industries, while on the other hand, advanced flexible circuits are able to comfortably meet the futuristic demands being made by up-coming industries, including the military, avionics, aerospace, telecommunication, consumer electronics, medical, and automotive.

One of the latest applications that flexible circuits have independently triggered as an explosion is the wearable electronics market. Wearing electronics on the body essentially calls for comfort, and flexible circuits guarantee this. Some examples of wearable electronic applications prevalent on the market are wrist-worn activity and body function monitors, foot-worn sensors, wearable baby monitors, medical sensors, pet monitors, and electronics on worn clothing. By bending and forming flexible circuits to suit the curve of the human body, the applications provide comfort for long wear and use.

Since establishment on June 28, 2006, Best Technology has been dedicated to being your best partner of flexible circuits solutions for our customers. We prefer to lose quantity rather than lose quality and with adhering to the company culture for so many years, more and more customers have been attracted by us. We are so grateful for what we have obtained so far and we will insist on providing the most satisfactory products and services for our customers. Welcome to Best Technology.

When You Want Your Flex Circuit Boards on Time

If you have a new product launch on the books, and it’s going to be a big project. Your PR department is already spinning the press release, and your marketing department has been laying the groundwork for months. Suddenly, your flex circuit board vendor says that they’re running two weeks behind. That’s not a problem, is it?

As a business owner, you can’t afford to miss a product launch deadline or to run out of inventory when your customers are eager for your products. That means every single step in your supply chain must be reliable. If one vendor falls behind, the entire system grounds to a halt, meaning costly delays or mad scrambling, which is unacceptable.

Then,when you are seeking for vendors, consistency is the key. At Best Technology, we understand how important it is to meet your deadline. We are experts in manufacturing flexible circuit boards and rigid flex circuits based on the highest quality standards and we have accumulated much experiences since our establishment on June 28, 2006. We also own an excellent shipping department capable of getting your order to you on time wherever you are. You can rest assured we will not fall behind and cause delays!

If you are looking for a new flex circuit vendor or are unsatisfied with your current vendor, contact us today. We will give you a surprise.

Imaging Process for Flexible Circuits

One of the first steps in manufacturing a flexible circuit is to build a circuitry pattern. In order to define the circuit pattern correctly, one needs to understand the basic process for building a circuit. Processes tend to fall in one of the following two categories:

1. Subtractive

The substrate begins with copper bonded to the dielectric, the unnecessary metal is removed; the remaining metal defines the circuit traces. The basic process steps for a subtractive process are:

Create resist pattern

Etch away exposed metal

Remove resist

Continue to process

Many possible methods are adopted for the creating the resist pattern, the following are two of the more common ones.

I. Screen Print

Screen print resist pattern

Cure resist

Etch

Remove resist

II. Photo Image

Apply resist coating

Photo expose image onto resist

Develop away unexposed resist

Etch

Remove resist

Screen printing stands for a tool made by forming a negative of the desired pattern on a woven screen mesh. The resist material is pushed through the open mesh and forms the circuit pattern on the substrate. The initial state of the resist material is normally a paste or semi-liquid. After the material is applied to the substrate, the resist needs to be cured. The cured resist protects the covered copper areas during the etching process.

In regards to photo imaging, a photo tool is created that is the negative of the desired pattern. The photo tool is placed over the resist coated substrate and flooded with a UV light. The photo tool allows the light to cure the resist where the pattern is to be created and blocks the light everywhere else. The UV light causes a chemical reaction in the resist and transforms it to have the chemical and physical properties to withstand the etching process. The developing solution strips away all the “un-cured resist” exposing the bare copper to be etched away.

2.Additive

The substrate begins with just the bare dielectric (possibly with a seed coating), the metal is added to the surface to directly form the circuit pattern. The basic process steps are:

Apply conductive material

Cure conductive material

Continue to process

The additive material is usually a paste and is often applied by screen printing. The applied paste is then cured to reach its optimal properties. Materials that have outstanding conductive properties tend to require very high temperatures to cure. The dielectric substrate for flexible materials is a limiting element for the temperature level and tends to restrict the types of additive materials that are used to create a circuit pattern. Generally speaking, the electrical, physical and chemical properties of this type of circuit are significantly lower than the properties achieved via the subtractive process.