Advantages of Flex PCBA in Electronic Manufacturing

Modern electronics require lightweight, yet durable, components. Heat, vibration, and moving parts will take its toll on traditional connections. Flexible printed circuit boards offer solutions to all these potential problems and more. Using flex PCBs are beneficial in many different applications and will work well in nearly every project. Before you outsource your next electronic manufacturing project, consider the advantages of incorporating flex circuits.

Advantages of Flex PCBA

What is a Flex PCB?Legacy - Square

A flex PCB is a flexible circuit with very thin substrates and high levels of physical flexibility. They can be molded into complex three-dimensional shapes and used for many different applications. A flex circuit can be formed in ways that would be impossible to achieve with a ribbon cable or rigid printed circuit boards. Flex circuits fall into three classes, from minimum to high inspection, and five types, which is determined by the number of conductive layers, construction, and the presence or absence of plated through holes.

Which Applications are Best for Flex Circuit Boards?

Flex circuit boards can be used in many different applications. The number of applications and uses for flex PCBs is too great to list thoroughly. If it is something you wear, carry, or drive, chances are it has flex circuit technology. Although there are multiple consumer industry applications, there have been great developments in several areas in particular.

·   Aerospace Applications

The flexibility, reliability, and performance of flex circuit makes it ideal for many devices needed for aerospace technology, including heads-up display, holographic waveguide helmet-mounted display, and liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) display.

·   Medical Applications

Hearing-assist devices benefit greatly from flex circuit technology, as do many wearable medical devices.

·   Automotive Applications

There are a number of advantages to using flex circuit technology in automotive parts. The resistance of flex circuits to vibration make them ideal for use in motor vehicles.

More Than Design

What are the Advantages of Flex PCBs?

Flex PCBs have an enormous number of advantages over conventional ribbon cables or flat cables. Technology continues to strive for an increase in capabilities while the space we want to house it in becomes smaller and smaller. As this demand grows, flex circuits step up to meet the challenge exceptionally well.

  • A flex circuit can be formed in complex shapes in three dimensions with branches to multiple connectors, which would be impossible to achieve with ribbon cable.
  • Flex circuits can be interfaced with rigid boards without the tall and bulky connectors other cables require.
  • Flex circuits perform well in ultra-high-vacuum environments, such as space.
  • Flex circuits are lightweight, with a weight reduction of up to 75% when compared to other materials.
  • Using flex circuits reduces assembly cost by reducing the number of components and interconnections. This also allows for high-quality efficiency for mass production.
  • Standardized construction of flex circuits eliminates the source of potential errors from hand-built harnesses.
  • Flex circuit boards can be made to fit where other solutions aren’t viable.
  • Using flex circuits offers tighter bend capabilities.
  • Flex circuits require fewer interconnects, resulting in improved reliability.
  • Flex circuit technology performs well in vibration and shock environments.
  • Flex circuits perform well in harsh environments.
  • Flex circuits have excellent resistance to chemical, radiation, and UV exposure.

When outsourcing your PCBA, consider partnering with a shop well versed in flex PCB technology. Performance benefits are plentiful, but the added cost savings make flex circuits well worth the consideration. Increased reliability of flex circuits means that your product will last longer, ultimately cutting costs in the long term. Not sure if flex circuits would be ideal for your next build? Contact Levison Enterprises today for answers to any electronic manufacturing questions you have. As a trusted partner, our knowledge and experience becomes an extension of your capabilities, and we can guide you through any aspect of your project from idea to design to packaging and shipping. Let’s talk about it today!

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