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Successful Flex & Rigid-Flex Designs for Streamlining Production

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The flex and rigid-flex manufacturing process is inherently more complex with more process steps than those found in a rigid PCB of similar technology. When it comes to flex PCB designs, this is driven by the difference in materials combined with the many added items or features that can be incorporated into a design.

These include stiffeners (of varying materials / thickness / locations), pressure sensitive adhesives, shield layers, strain reliefs, etc. For rigid-flex designs this can become additionally complex as all the available flex items are combined with all the technical items found in rigid PCBs. These items potentially interact and can negatively impact the efficiency of the production process.

Streamlining is defined as making a process more efficient and effective. Having a design that streamlines the production process will have the benefits of improved delivery times, reduced part cost, improved manufacturing yield, and even potentially improved long-term part reliability.
In this webinar where we review the many areas of flex and rigid-flex designs that can impact how streamlined a design is for production.

For more information on our flex and rigid-flex PCB solutions visit https://www.epectec.com/flex/.

Publié dans : Technologie
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Successful Flex & Rigid-Flex Designs for Streamlining Production

  1. 1. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability Successful Flex & Rigid-Flex Designs for Streamlining Production 04.25.2019
  2. 2. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 2 Introduction  Definition: Streamlined – Designed or arranged to offer the least resistance. – Reduced to essentials. – Effectively organized or simplified.
  3. 3. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 3 Introduction  Flex & Rigid-Flex: – More materials and production process steps than rigid PCBs. – Many more “additional items” than Rigid PCBs. • Additional materials & process steps • May interact with one another and create additional technical challenges – Streamlining a flex or rigid-flex design has a much greater impact on delivery and cost.
  4. 4. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 4 Introduction – 2 Layer Rigid vs 2 Layer Flex  Rigid PCB: – Materials: Rigid core, soldermask, silkscreen – Processes: Drilling, plating, imaging, soldermask, surface finish, silkscreen, ET, outline routing – Totals: Materials = 3, Processes = 8  Flex Circuit: – Materials: Flex core, coverlay (and or soldermask), silkscreen, stiffeners (FR4 and or Polyimide), PSA – Processes: Drilling, plating, imaging, coverlay routing / drilling, coverlay lamination, soldermask (if required), surface finish, stiffener drilling / routing, stiffener lamination, PSA drilling / routing, PSA application, silkscreen, ET, outline profiling – Totals: Materials = 6, Processes = 17
  5. 5. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 5 Introduction – 4 Layer Rigid vs 4 Layer Rigid-Flex  Rigid PCB: – Materials: Rigid cores, prepreg, soldermask, silkscreen – Processes: Inner layer imaging, layer lamination, drilling, plating, outer layer imaging, soldermask, surface finish, silkscreen, ET, outline routing – Totals: Materials = 4, Process = 10  Flex Circuit: – Materials: Rigid cores, prepreg, flex core, coverlay, soldermask, silkscreen, stiffeners (FR4 and or Polyimide) – Processes: Inner layer flex imaging, coverlay routing / drilling, coverlay lamination, stiffener drilling / routing, stiffener lamination, layer lamination, drilling, plating, outer layer imaging, soldermask, surface finish, silkscreen, ET, flex area rigid material removal, outline profiling – Totals: Materials = 7, Processes = 17
  6. 6. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 6 Agenda  Design for Manufacturability Review (DFM)  Design & Construction  Material Selection  Manufacturing Data Sets: Complete, Detailed, Accurate  Impedance Requirements  Flex Area Via & Plated Through Holes  Additional Features – Stiffeners, PSAs, Shield Layers, Epoxy Strain Reliefs
  7. 7. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 7 Design for Manufacturability Review (DFM)
  8. 8. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 8 Design for Manufacturability Review (DFM)  Key early step in the design development process.  Initial step at the concept stage to valid design direction.  Repeated multiple times for sophisticated design.  Prevents future design road blocks and delays.
  9. 9. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 9 IPC 2223 Design Standard  Industry Capabilities  Manufacturability  Reliability
  10. 10. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 10 Design & Construction
  11. 11. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 11 Design & Construction  Rigid-Flex Construction: – Mid flex layers preferred for balanced build. – Minimizes warp & twist in arrays. – Simplified manufacturing process. – Improved flexibility.
  12. 12. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 12 Design & Construction  Rigid-Flex vs Flex with Stiffeners: – Which solution dependent upon component requirements. – Flex Circuit with Stiffener: • More cost effective due to reduced material requirements and process step • Application limitations – Rigid-Flex: • More capable technology • Increased costs due to materials and additional process steps
  13. 13. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 13 Design & Construction  Part Size & Shape: – Significant cost impact due to material requirements, material utilization, number of production panels required and yield rates. – Manufacturer input for optimum assembly array configuration.
  14. 14. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 14 Design & Construction  Initial Draft  Revised Design
  15. 15. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 15 Material Selection
  16. 16. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 16 Material Selection  Common Industry Materials: – Copper: ½ - 1 OZ • Rolled Annealed & Electrodeposited – Flex cores: 1- 3 mil • Adhesiveless & Adhesive Based – Coverlays: ½ - 1 mil thickness Polyimide + ½ mil to 2 mil adhesive  Material Formats: – Offshore: 250mm wide roll format (500 mm available) – Domestic: 18” x 24” panels Stay within the industry standards for improved delivery & reduced costs.
  17. 17. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 17 Manufacturing Data Sets: Complete, Detailed, Accurate
  18. 18. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 18 Gerber Data Sets: Complete, Detailed, Accurate  Manufacturing & QC Standards  Material Specifications  Critical Dimensions  Material Stack-up  Complete Gerber Data Set – Stiffeners – PSAs – Shield Layers – Epoxy Strain Reliefs Eliminates interpretation errors.
  19. 19. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 19 Impedance Requirements
  20. 20. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 20 Impedance Requirements  Impedance Construction: – Stripline (3 layer) vs Surface Micro Strip (2 Layer) • Surface Micro preferred due to reduced flex thickness – Combination of Dielectric / Line Width / Spacing: • Dielectric: 2 – 3 mil • Line Widths: 3 – 4 mil • Line Spacing: 5 – 7 mil – Many Designs Not Optimized for Flex Applications • PCB design rules applied using thicker cores. Limits flexibility and mechanical reliability. • May not meet minimum bend requirements mechanical reliability.
  21. 21. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 21 Flex Area Via & Plated Through Holes
  22. 22. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 22 Flex Area Vias & Plated Through Holes  Application: – Flex Section Components – Shield Layer Via Stitching  Processes & Cost: – Additional drilling & plating processes – Plating process = Selective pad plate – May require additional processes depending upon surface finish Apply when required. Avoid if possible.
  23. 23. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 23 Additional Features Stiffeners, PSAs, Shield Layers, Epoxy Strain Reliefs
  24. 24. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 24 Additional Features: Stiffeners  Applications: – Component Area Support – ZIF Contact area thickness specifications  Added materials, processes & cost for each different stiffener. – Multiple lamination cycles, profiling & drilling process. While stiffener costs are minimal, delivery can be significantly impacted. Apply where required.
  25. 25. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 25 Additional Features: PSA  Application: – Adhere flex circuit within enclosure – Affix Zero bend radius areas to prevent bend from being re-opened  Added materials, processes & cost for each different PSA. – Multiple profiling, drilling, and application processes While PSA costs are minimal, deliveries can be significantly extended.
  26. 26. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 26 Additional Features: Shield Layers  Application: – EMI & RF shielding – Replaces additional copper layers – Improved flexibility and lower cost over additional copper layers. – Interconnects to ground with conductive adhesive and selective coverlay openings.  Preferred option for shielding non-impedance- controlled designs. – Manufacturers assistance required to incorporate shield layers into design / data set.
  27. 27. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 27 Additional Features: Epoxy Strain Reliefs  Application: – Acts as a mechanical strain relief at the rigid to flex transitions. – Prevents flex from creasing at a rigid section if bent in close proximity.  Inexpensive option but may significantly impact delivery. – Manual application process due to 2-part epoxy system. – Applied to 1st side, baked, applied to 2nd side and baked. Use only where and when required.
  28. 28. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 28 Summary
  29. 29. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 29 Summary  Streamlining or optimizing a flex or rigid-flex circuit design starts at the concept stage.  Reviewed multiple times as design is developed and finalized.  Input from manufacturer recommended. – Design elements can and will interact. Potentially creating additional manufacturing complexities and costs. – Material selection and utilization feedback.  Evaluate all design elements at the prototype stage and adjust design to improve optimization.
  30. 30. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 30 Our Products Battery Packs Flex & Rigid-Flex PCBs Cable Assemblies Printed Circuit Boards RF Products User Interfaces Flexible Heaters EC Fans & Motors
  31. 31. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 31 Q&A  Questions? – Enter any questions you may have in the control panel – If we don’t have time to get to it, we will reply via email
  32. 32. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 32 Thank You Check out our website at www.epectec.com. For more information email sales@epectec.com. Stay Connected with Epec Engineered Technologies Follow us on our social media sites for continuous technical updates and information:

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