FPC - flexible circuit with benign folding ability
Flexible printed circuit board, also referred to as FPC or flexible circuit, has gained significant popularity as one of the most widely utilized types of circuit board alongside rigid PCB. Unlike rigid PCB, flexible PCB offers the advantage of being foldable and bendable, making them ideal for various applications where size reduction and flexibility are crucial.
For companies involved in the production of wearable devices or those focusing on miniaturized and lightweight electronic products, engaging the services of professional flex PCB manufacturers is highly recommended. These manufacturers possess the expertise and specialized equipment required to design and fabricate flexible PCB with precision and reliability.
Flexible PCB Services with FS Technology
One common challenge faced by customers seeking flex circuit solutions for their projects is the difficulty in finding manufacturers who can meet their specific requirements. While flexible PCB circuits have been used in the electronics industry for a considerable period of time, they still present certain limitations compared to traditional PCB. One such limitation is the complexity of building a Multi-layer flexible PCB.
However, at FS Technology, we take pride in our ability to provide comprehensive flexible PCB manufacturing and assembly services that surpass industry standards. With our state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and skilled engineers, we have the capability to produce flexible PCB with up to 10 layers.
- Robust Manufacturing Capability: Meet the production requirements of flexible PCB ranging from 1 to 10 layers and a maximum size of 610×1650 mm. Whether your application is simple or complex, our products are designed to meet the demands of various industries.
- Value-Added Services: In addition to manufacturing services, we also provide design upgrades, component assembly, and component procurement. We also provide various surface finishes options, such as HASL, lead-free HASL, immersion gold, immersion tin, immersion silver, gold plating, OSP, carbon ink, ENEPIG, and gold finger.
- Advanced Workshop: FS Technology includes an independent manufacturing and assembly workshop, By managing the entire production process in-house, we eliminate intermediaries and offer cheaper flexible PCBA to our customers. This also enables us to accept small batch orders, with a minimum order quantity (MoQ) as low as 1. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for small businesses and companies requiring prototyping services.
- Customization Options: Accept a wide range of Gerber file formats, including POWERPCB, PROTEL, PADS2000, CAD, AUTOCAD, ORCAD, P-CAD, CAM-350, CAM2000, and more. We also provide customized services to ensure that your flexible circuit scheme is tailored to your specific needs. Additionally, we offer expedited solutions, allowing us to deliver flexible PCB prototypes in as fast as 1–2 days, accelerating your project timeline.
FPC Example Display
Flex PCB Capabilities
|Available Materials||Polyimide PCB, High Tg Polyimide PCB, Polyester PCB|
|Material Thickness||25 µm – 50 µm|
|Copper Thickness||18 µm – 35 µm|
|Minimum Hole Diameter||0.004”|
|Drill Aspect Ratio||35:1|
|Drilling Technology||Blind/Buried vias and Micro vias|
|Impedance Control||Yes (10% tolerance)|
High Quality Flexible PCB Manufacturer
I believe that no company says that it is not high-quality, so how can we judge? FS Technology recommends judging whether it is a reliable flexible printed circuit board manufacturer from the perspectives of manufacturing technology and detail processing!
Advanced Manufacturing Technology
While subtractive manufacturing remains the mainstream technology in the PCB industry, FS Technology recognizes the diverse needs of customers and has expanded its capabilities to include additive and semi-additive manufacturing technologies for the production of flexible FPC boards.
In the subtractive process, we selectively remove excess copper foil from the surface of the copper-clad laminate to create the desired circuit pattern. This mature and reliable traditional technology offers cost advantages, making it a preferred choice for many manufacturers and customers.
The additive process involves electroplating the circuit pattern onto the substrate without an existing circuit pattern. This method is particularly beneficial for high-density flex PCB manufacturing. However, it is important to note that additive manufacturing is still considered less mature and can result in higher project costs, making it less frequently used.
To address the limitations of pure additive manufacturing, we have developed the semi-additive method. This approach utilizes UV-cured film and employs electroplating technology to increase the copper thickness of the circuit to the customer’s specifications. The excess copper layer under the photoresist is then removed through flash etching to achieve the desired circuit pattern. The semi-additive method offers greater flexibility in copper thickness, allowing for precise control independent of line width. With this technique, we can produce flex PCB boards with a minimum line width/line spacing of 14μm/14μm and a minimum aperture of 55μm.
The ability to manufacture an FPC board does not guarantee high quality. However, at FS Technology, we prioritize attention to detail, including service, quality control, and special treatment, to ensure superior results.
In terms of service, we offer turnkey solutions, starting from design and culminating in the delivery of high-quality flexible PCBA boards to your doorstep. In addition to traditional SMT and THT, we also specialize in flip chip technology, enabling direct chip-to-substrate connections through inversion.
Furthermore, we recognize the importance of minor processing to maintain the optimal condition of flexible circuit PCB. At FS Technology, we offer a wide range of surface treatment options beyond immersion gold, immersion tin, and immersion silver. Our surface treatment services include HASL, lead-free HASL, gold plating, and more. To enhance our competitive edge within the industry, we provide several complimentary services for flexible PCB prototype, such as three anti-paint services.
Given that flexible circuits are more expensive and fragile, we prioritize testing during the manufacturing and assembly processes as part of our comprehensive quality management system. In addition to standard visual inspections, we conduct ICT, Flying Probe Testing, and functional testing on the PCBA to ensure smooth project progress and superior product performance.
Why Buy Flexible PCB Board
Printing technology is improving all the time, and more options are appearing before our eyes, so why should you buy a flex PCB for your project? What are its advantages? Which projects need it more?
Advantages of Flexible PCB
It is commonly believed that the manufacturing cost of PCB follows the order of rigid < flexible < rigid-flex combination. This holds true when solely considering manufacturing costs. However, the cost of electronic projects encompasses various factors, such as materials, dimensions, structures, and purchase quantities. An often overlooked aspect is that the use of flexible PCB can lead to a reduction in the number of components required. This, in turn, can result in cost savings in component procurement and electronic assembly.
It is an important strategy to select PCB according to the needs of the project, and the application of flexible PCB is wider in comparison, which is reflected in many aspects. The first is that the properties of bending and folding make it suitable for complex three-dimensional space. Second, it is compatible with almost all types of connectors, especially ZIP connectors. It is important that high-quality flexible PCBs use polyamide or polyester film as the base material to avoid the generation of toxic gases after heating.
Flexible PCB has a small thickness, typically around 0.004 inches, which makes them thinner and lighter compared to rigid PCBs. This slim profile, combined with their ability to adapt to three-dimensional spaces, enables more efficient utilization of internal space within devices, ultimately reducing overall volume and weight. The compact size and flexibility of these PCBs make them well-suited for accommodating complex circuits and supporting multi-functional large-scale projects.
Applicable Fields of Customized Flexible PCBA
With a history of over 20 years, FS Technology has emerged as a leading flexible PCB factory, catering to diverse industries such as consumer electronics, medical devices, IoT, and automotive fields. Let’s delve into the wide range of applications for flexible PCBs based on our past case studies:
- Consumer electronics: The demand for miniaturization in consumer electronics has been met through the utilization of flexible circuits. Our collaboration with a prominent children’s smartwatch manufacturer exemplifies this trend. By providing an upgraded design solution and competitive flex PCB quote, we ensured improved signal transmission and forged a strong partnership.
- Automotive systems: We have a key customer in the automotive field, a formula racing company based in the United States. Through turnkey services, we have supported their GPS systems, airbag deployment systems, and braking systems. Continuous collaboration between our engineers and the client has facilitated smooth project advancement.
- Commercial robots: As the field of intelligent robotics continues to evolve, we have extended our services to cater to the specific requirements of this industry. Our flexible PCB is integrated into Human-Machine Interface (HMI) machine layouts. These boards are commonly used in shopping mall equipment, such as barcode readers and integrated processing devices.
- More: In the medical field, the flexible PCB we produce follows the ISO13485 standard. For tower and light circuits, the design of the flex board will be integrated with various components. For advanced applications such as satellite stations and communication grid circuits, we have developed application-specific resistors and capacitors that allow the boards to be used in different circuit types, including ripple and filter circuits.
Rigid vs Flexible vs Rigid-Flex
This is a circuit type that is distinguished according to the degree of softness and hardness, whether it is in price, application or process. In order to help you make a more correct choice, here are some guidelines!
|Features||Rigid PCB||Flexible PCB||Rigid-flex PCB|
|Flexible||Rigid PCB is flexible in design because of the ease of manufacturing multiple layers, but physically cannot be bent or folded.||It is difficult to design circuits with more than 10 layers, but it helps to achieve more compact layout and higher circuit density due to its bendable folding.||Using a flexible circuit to link a rigid body and a flexible body, there is a concept that is easily confused, that is, a semi-flexible PCB.|
|Application field||For computers, watches, mobile phones and other simple applications that require certain physical resistance.||Size- and weight-sensitive devices such as wearables and medical devices.||Combining the advantages of rigid boards and flexible boards, the price is often higher, and it is suitable for products with design freedom and higher integration.|
|Size||Whether the physics is greater in the thickness of the substrate or the size of the board.||Boards are thinner and can be folded or bent to reduce size.||There can be multiple layers of structure, and the thickness of the plate can vary.|
|Cost||It is less difficult to manufacture and almost all factories have production capacity, and the cost under the same conditions is often lower.||Rare things are expensive, and flexible PCBs are relatively difficult to manufacture, and even more difficult for multi-layer structures, often with relatively high prices.||It is the most expensive of the three PCBs due to the need to use more material and is difficult to manufacture, which of course is considered worth it.|
Flexible PCB FAQ
That is for sure. FS Technology has its own factory including manufacturing workshop and assembly workshop, which can meet all the processes of flexible PCBA production.
Yes, we are known for being turnkey, which means we can complete design projects. Whether your project is in the conceptual stage or requires an upgrade, our team of engineers will assist you!
In order to allow customers to enjoy a better service experience, we do not provide online quotations, but communicate with you by email. If you urgently need this service, please get the latest price list through the email below.
First when we receive your design files, our engineers will review the accuracy of the files. Secondly, advanced equipment is used for production. Finally, the quality inspection is completed through a variety of inspection methods.
We recognize that flexible PCBs offer the advantage of facilitating airflow, which aids in the cooling of the circuitry. However, it is important to consult the material specification guide before implementing flexible PCBs and ensure that the operating temperature does not exceed the specified maximum value. In cases where high temperatures and voltages are involved, customers often prefer to utilize IMS PCB due to their superior thermal management capabilities.