The most common problem with flexible circuits is underestimating the effort required to launch a successful program. Too often, supply chain teams treat flex like a commodity, devoting little time and effort to the process. As a result, expected outcomes are poor quality, higher startup costs, and a delayed product launch.
The following are five common mistakes businesses make when launching a flexible circuitry project:
When it comes to supplier selection, not doing your homework is a big no-no. There are a variety of flexible PCB manufacturers to choose from, each with its own set of skills and issues. Assuming that “any provider” can meet your needs or making a decision solely based on pricing is a formula for disaster.
Keeping your supplier out of the design process: Manufacturing a flex circuit has several complexities; it is flexible adds design issues that a rigid board does not have. Your supplier can assist you in developing a product that is more dependable, easier to construct, and ultimately less expensive. Forcing your supplier to build to print might lead to additional quality problems, late deliveries, and a less dependable product.
PCB CAD software to design a flexible circuit is linked to the initial point. Still, China PCB software does not address typical PCB manufacturing and quality design challenges, particularly flexible circuits. Sharp edges, solder fillets near bend points, and material stability difficulties are just a few of the problems that traditional China PCB design software overlooks.
Compressed Timelines: The flex is frequently the final piece of the electronic package to be designed. The product team is already behind schedule when dealing with the flex circuit. Short cuts may be forced due to time constraints. As a result, the product is poorly designed and will have severe production and reliability concerns over its lifetime. You will also be compelled to pay a premium for quick turnaround production.
Flexible Circuits can work in dynamic flex applications with millions of cycles, proving that there are no limits to flex. This can lead to the mistaken belief that the circuit is unbreakable. Mechanical abrasion, a severe bend radius, and twisting, on the other hand, might induce premature failure. A skilled supplier can inform you of any application’s long-term restrictions.
Flexible circuits are frequently the most cost-effective method of interconnecting electronic packaging, and they have a lot of advantages in terms of durability, weight, and design. Avoiding the blunders mentioned above can go a long way toward ensuring a successful product launch.