What quality control
measures are in place for this service?

We are quality approved to ISO9001.

Flexible PCB Materials

Flexible circuits are constructed by building up component layers, eg. base, copper, coverlay, stiffener. Bonding between each component layer is provided by an adhesive layer (epoxy or acrylic).

The materials selected must be appropriate for either static (eg. one time bend into a camera) or dynamic applications (eg. hard disk drive).

If components are to be attached, the base material must be selected to withstand solder temperatures, and a stiffener may be added.

Flexible base materials are relatively dimensionally unstable and have to be processed on small step & repeated blanks, typically of a size only 20% of that used for rigid pcbs. Flexible PCBs are significantly more expensive than rigid pcbs.

What is the flexible circuit service?

We manufacture and supply flexi-rigid PCBs and flexible circuit boards. We construct flexible circuits by sequential build up of flexible component layers, such as base polyimide, copper, cover-lay, and stiffeners bonded by an adhesive layer (epoxy or acrylic).

Our capability includes single sided, double sided (with or without PTH), multi-layer and flexi-rigid PCBs.

The materials selected must be appropriate for either static (e.g. once only bend into a camera) or dynamic applications (e.g. hard disk drive). Stiffeners are normally applied in the region of the flexible circuit where components are mounted.

Mechanical tooling must be selected according to the volume and accuracy required. Tooling may be either CNC soft tooling (low cost but high unit costs), steel rule (volumes up to a few thousand pieces, medium cost, low dimensional stability), or hard steel punch & die sets (more durable, accurate, & higher cost).

Who uses the service?

Flexible and flex-rigid circuits are often used to achieve very tight packaging of electronics within small enclosures.  Circuits may be assembled as “flat” systems which are folded to fit a smaller enclosure. They can serve as “printed” cable harnesses and of course when flexible electrical connections are required.

What are the benefits to users of this service?

We will share our experience of 60 year’s making PCBs. Our aim is to supply high quality flexible circuits with reliable deliveries, competitive pricing, and excellent technical support. Flexible PCBs can be challenging to assemble, but our expertise makes any order a possibility. Our extensive in-house contract electronic assembly experience allows us to design production pallets for flexible PCBs which optimise assembly efficiency.

What quality control
measures are in place for this service?

We are quality approved to ISO9001. Circuits will be automatically optically inspected and 100% electrically tested. Plated copper, gold and nickel thicknesses are checked with fully calibrated test equipment.

What technology and machinery is used?

A wide variety of specialist process equipment is required to manufacture flexible PCBs. These include laser direct imaging, ink-jet printing, flying probe testing, direct metallisation lines, vacuum lamination presses, small hole drilling machines, and integrated strip-etch-strip lines.

Do you still have a question?

Read Our FAQs

FAQ's

Single Sided

  • Samples 10-15 w/days
  • Production 3-4 weeks

Double Sided

  • Samples 10-15 w/days
  • Production 3-4 weeks

Multi-layers

  • Samples 10-20 w/days
  • Production 4-5 weeks

Rigid-flex

  • Samples 10-25 w/days
  • Production 5-6 weeks

Computer & peripherals: Notebook computers, LCD monitors, Hard disk drives, Printers, CD Roms.
Consumer products: Cameras, Camcorders, Monitors.
Telecommunications: Cellular phones, Wireless phones.
Office equipment: Faxes, Copiers, PDA.
Automobiles: Instrument panels, ABS systems.
Aerospace & military: Satellites, Radar, Missiles, Smart weapons.
Medical instruments: Hearing aids, Heart pacemakers.
Industrial: Motors
Others: Smart cards, Toys.

Copper foil : RA copper 17.5, 35, 70 microns
Copper foil : ED copper 17.5, 35, 70 microns
Base film : Polyimide 17.5, 25, 50 microns
Base film : Polyester 25, 50, 75 microns
Coverlay : Polyimide 25, 50, 75 microns
Coverlay : Polyester 17.5, 35, 70 microns
Coverlay : Solder mask 25, 50 microns
Adhesive : Epoxy 20 – 35 microns
Adhesive : Acrylic 20 – 35 microns
Stiffener : Polymide 25 – 175 microns
Stiffener : Polyester 25 – 300 microns
Stiffener : Glass-epoxy 0.1 – 1.6 mm

The principle manufacturing operations for a double sided flexible circuit are set out below.

  • Cut blanks
  • Drill << CNC drill tool
  • Plate copper (electroless & and electrolytic copper)
  • Laminate and UV print << Photographic tooling
  • Develop
  • Etch
  • Clean
  • Attach coverlays << punched coverlays (2 sides)
  • Hot Lamination
  • Visual inspection << 100% inspection
  • Finished treatment (HASL or Au/Ni)
  • Legend Print
  • Apply stiffener << punched/routed stiffener
  • Punch & die profile << punch tool
  • Electrical test << test fixture
  • Component assembly
  • Electrical test of assembly << test fixture
  • Visual inspect << 100% inspection
  • Pack
  • Minimum track & gap 0.075mm
  • Minimum hole diameter 0.3mm
  • Min total thickness, single sided 80 microns (inc CVL)
  • Min total thickness, double sided 210 microns (inc CVL)
  • Hole diameter tolerance, before plating +/-0.05mm
  • Hole diameter tolerance, after plating +/-0.10mm
  • Outline tolerance (Hard punch tool) +/-0.05mm
  • Pitch Tolerance +/-0.05mm
  • Conductor width tolerance +/-20% of width
  • Maximum economic length of flex circuit 500 mm

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