With an ever-growing number and variety of commercial and personal electronic devices, it has become more important than ever to ensure the most efficient possible methods of fabrication and design. Fortunately, the rise of flexible printed circuit boards, or flex PCB
, has dramatically advanced the state of the art in electronics fabrication.
Flexible Printed Circuit Boards Compared to Other Technologies
With the continuing growth in the use and popularity of consumer electronics minimizing weight, heat, and design and production expenses has become vital in order the ensure success. In addition, many consumers will make their purchasing decisions based on factors such as external appearance and ease of use. Due to this, traditional systems include wires and rigid circuit boards that often hinder the design process, forcing the product to be built around their internal components, rather than around the desires of the customer.
Flex PCB and rigid flex PCB systems
can eliminate this drawback, permitting systems to be designed around the appearance and needs of the customer. By eliminating wires and rigid circuit boards, these circuit boards can vastly reduce fabrication times, as well as permitting a far more flexible design model, where the internal components conform to the desired external shape and design, rather than the other way around.
In addition, flexible circuit board design components allow for a vast savings in terms of weight and space, often reducing the weight and volume of the unit by over 50 percent compared to other designs. This can allow for the inclusion of other systems without increasing the final size of the unit. In other cases, the weight and volume savings can simply be used to reduce the final size of the unit, making it more convenient to carry or use.
The Production Advantages of Flexible Printed Circuit Boards
Flex PCB systems are not simply useful in terms of allowing for better design or improved consumer appeal. They also radically reduce production costs at all stages of the process.
Flexible circuit boards require little in the way of wiring, which reduces the number of components needed during production, in addition to reducing the chance for employee related production errors. This, coupled with the flexible nature of the boards, drastically reduces the potential for vibration or shock related malfunction.
In addition, flex PCB units can be fabricated from a variety of materials to prepare for harsh conditions. Flexible printed circuit boards can be produced from materials that are waterproof, heat resistant, shockproof, and oil or corrosion resistant materials. This makes them superior to traditional circuit board designs for a variety of scientific and industrial applications.
Whether for small-scale production runs, individual prototypes or full-scale mass production, flexible PCB systems reduce expenses, improve durability, and add to the final functionality of the finished product. In addition, due to the advantages inherent in their design, flexible circuit boards reduce both the initial purchase cost and the long-term maintenance related costs of the final product.
It is for this reason that businesses and engineers should strongly consider focusing on flexible printed circuit boards and rigid flexible printed circuit boards for their future designs. By doing so, their products will remain at the cutting edge of modern electronic designs.