Specialized In Multilayer And Rigid-Flex Technology.

Flexible Circuit Manufacturing & Assembly as well as multilayer flex and rigid-flex circuits and also provide SMT component assembly on these products.

 

Specification
Layer Counts
1-4 Layers (Ultimate: 5-8 Layers)
Tolerance of Finger Width
±0.1 mm (Ultimate: ±0.05 mm)
Min Distance between Pads
4 mils (Ultimate:3 mil)
The thickness of Finished Product(Flex part,no stiffener)
0.05-0.5 mm (Ultimate:0.5-0.8 mm)
Type of Surface Treatment
OSP HASL, Lead-free HASL, Immersion gold, Hard gold, Immersion silver, OSP
Impedance Tolerance: Single-Ended
±5Ω(≤50Ω),±10%(>50Ω)
Ultimate: Single-Ended
±3Ω(≤50Ω),±8%(>50Ω)

Flexible PCB Manufacturing Capability

CategoryProject ItemNormal CapabilityUltimate Capability
 FPC Base Material(Adhesive)

ShengyiSF302:PI=0.5mil,1mil,2mil;Cu=0.5oz,1oz

ShengyiSF305:PI=0.5mil,1mil,2mil;Cu=0.33oz,0.5oz,1oz

/
MaterialFPC Base Material(Adhesiveless)

SongxiaRF-775/777:PI=1mil,2mil,3mil;Cu=0.5oz,1oz

Xinyang:PI=1mil,2mil;Cu=0.33oz,0.5oz,1oz

Taihong PI=1mil,2mil;Cu=0.33oz,0.5oz,1oz

Subang AP:PI=1mil,2mil,3mil,4mil;Cu=0.5oz,1oz

PI=1mil,2mil,3mil;Cu=2oz

PI=1mil,2mil,3mil,4mil;Cu=2oz

 Layer1-4 Layers5-8 Layers
 The thickness of Finished Product (Flex part,no stiffener)0.05-0.5mm0.5-0.8mm
 Size of Finished Products(Min)5mm*10mm(Bridgeless);10mm*10mm(Bridge)4mm*8mm(Bridgeless);8mm*8mm(Bridge)
 Size of Finished Products(Max)9inch*14inch9inch*23inch(PI≥1mil)
OthersImpedance ToleranceSingle-Ended:±5Ω(≤50Ω),±10%(>50Ω)Single-Ended:±3Ω(≤50Ω),±8%(>50Ω)
 Impedance ToleranceDifferencial:±5Ω(≤50Ω),±10%(>50Ω)Differencial:±4Ω(≤50Ω),±8%(>50Ω)
 Tolerance of Finger Width±0.1mm±0.05mm
 Min Distance to the Edge of Finger8mil6mil
 Min Distance between Pads4mil3mil
 Minimum Laser Hole0.1mm/
MechanicalMinimum PTH0.3mm/
 Min NPTH Tolerance±2mil(Ultimate+0,-2mil or +2mil,-0)/
 Solder Bridge Min Width(bottom copper<2OZ)4mil(Green),8mil/
Solder MaskSolder Bridge Min Width(bottom copper2-4OZ)6mil,8mil/
 Overlay ColourWhite、Yellow(printed character: White)/
Surface Treatment

Type of Surface Treatment

Selective Surface Treatment

OSP   HASL, Lead-free HASL, Immersion gold, Hard gold, Immersion silver, OSP

ENIG+OSP,ENIG+G/F

/

Flexible PCBs: The Ultimate Guide

As the name indicates, flexible PCBs are easy to bend and fold. PCB manufacturers use flexible dielectric base materials such as polyimide or polyester films to design these PCBs. Also known as flex circuits or flexible printed circuit boards, flexible PCBs facilitate heat dissipation properly due to the thin dielectric substrate used in their construction. 

You can bend, shape, wrap, or fold these PCBs into any 2D or 3D shape. These features make flexible PCBs perfect for use in several applications with compact space availability such as in medical and surgical equipment, consumer electronics, automotive and space industry, and smart wearable devices. 

Due to their space-saving, lightweight, and durable nature, Flex PCB are incredibly useful in places where standard rigid PCB fail to accommodate. If designed and fabricated properly and with the right materials, Flex PCBs offer robust interconnections to sustain dynamic conditions for a long time. 

How are Flexible PCBs Manufactured?

How are Flexible PCBs Manufactured
Flexible PCBs Manufacturing Process

Flexible PCBs’ manufacturing involves several steps to form thin and flexible boards which are easy to bend, fold and shape. Here are the steps that complete the PCB manufacturing process.

Step 1: Fabricate flexible laminates by bonding copper to PI film

Step 2: Laminate coverlay and copper foil

Step 3: Drill holes for vias and through holes

Step 4: Electroplate holes to form conductive vias

Step 5: Image and develop photoresist for circuit pattern 

Step 6: Etch away unwanted copper

Step 7: Strip photoresist and apply solder mask over bare copper

Step 8: Expose and develop a solder mask

Step 9: Cure solder mask and apply surface finish 

Step 10: Punch or route PCB to final shape

Step 11: Print silkscreen legends and conduct electrical tests

Step 12: Singulation and packaging 

Key Steps in the Flexible PCB Manufacturing Process

Design of board structure and layout using design software

This crucial step requires you to create a board structure and PCB laminate design through different design software. The choice of software depends on the project and the features required. Programs such as Xpedition, Altium Designer, and Cadence PCB Editor can handle challenges that come with flexible materials.

Determination and procurement of necessary materials

Once the design is ready, it’s time to procure all the necessary materials for flexible PCB manufacturing. The materials include base materials such as polyimide or polyester films, copper traces, coating layers and adhesives.

Specific flexible PCB design based on the intended application and customer specifications

While designing flexible PCBs, it is essential that you always remain in touch with customers to meet their and intended applications’ needs precisely. You need to take care of several things like printed board types, plating requirements, number of layers, type of materials used, design process, component placement, or any additional placement of electrical components.

Design verification and error checking

Another critical step during flex PCB manufacturing is verifying design and checking errors. This is important to meet specific functions and requirements of flex PCB. You may use several methods to complete this process such as automated optical inspection, electrical testing, DFM checks, in-design inner layers checks or quality inspection. All these verifications are essential to reduce overall production costs, streamline manufacturing, and minimize manufacturing delays.

Creation of Gerber files containing information for PCB fabrication 

Creating Gerber files through PCB design software helps you store location data and the shape of every element in the PCB. Each PCB layer has a separate Gerber file. These Gerber files also help you to create stencils, perform DFM and inspect your board.

Cutting flexible single- and double-sided layers

Cutting out single or double-sided flex layers using a hydraulic punch and die set which is capable of punching many flex circuits at one time.

Drilling

Drilling holes is a crucial step involving either mechanical or laser drilling. You can also drill multiple plated flex substrates. Based on the requirements, you can either drill plated through holes, blind/buried vias, or micro vias. Proper drilling ensures optimal functionality and reliable connections in flexible PCBs.

Through-hole plating: this process ensures electrical conductivity in the holes through copper electroplating. That’s why this is a very crucial step. Make sure that you do at least 1 mil copper plating in through hotels to add mechanical support.

Etching of final outer layer copper patterns

In the outer layer etching process, the etch resist is removed to expose copper. After that, unwanted copper is removed through chemicals. Finally, you also need to etch away the solder plate. After all these etching steps, you get the required copper pattern on the outer PCB layer.

Application of solder mask and silkscreen

Adding a solder mask is another important step in PCB manufacturing. This preventive layer stops the solder from adhering to unwanted areas. Also, the solder mask covers all non-conductive areas. As solder masks block solder flow, they enable uniform electrical connections during the soldering process. Along with the solder mask, silkscreen printing is another critical step. Through silk screen printing, you can add graphics, marks, and logos to indicate details, placements, and polarity of the flex PCB.

Surface finish plating

After completing the flex PCB, you’ll need to do surface finishing of the PCB layer. However, the type of surface finish used depends on the cost-effectiveness of the project, durability, and RoHS compliance. Different surface finish materials include Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold (ENIG), Organic Solderability Preservatives (OSP), HASL, and LF HASL.

What are the Advantages of Flexible PCB Manufacturers?

What are the Advantages of Flexible PCB Manufacturers
Flexible PCB Manufacturing Advantages

Flexible PCB manufacturers have many advantages in comparison to traditional rigid PCB manufacturers, all thanks to the unique properties of a flex PCB. Some of them are:

  • Standardized, large-scale automated production compared to rigid PCBs: automation of production is more pronounced and used in flex PCB manufacturing, all thanks to material properties and space efficiency. Owing to lower connectors and wiring harness requirements, flex PCB manufacturers realize the great benefits of standardization and economy of scale.
  • Ability to provide rapid prototyping services: Flex PCBs are made of polyimide or polyesters. These materials can be rapidly mounted in different shapes. The use of 3D printing is also prominent in flex PCB manufacturing. Therefore, manufacturers can churn rapid prototypes as per customer requirements.
  • Use of high-quality laminates like FR, Rogers, and Aluminum: Flex PCB manufacturers can customize the product by using high-quality laminates such as FR, Rogers, and aluminum, depending on requirements for electrical and thermal conductivity, durability, cost, and weight.
  • Capability to manufacture highly reliable rigid-flex and HDI PCBs: Flex PCB manufacturers can produce high-density interconnected PCBs having high reliability, as the flex PCBs have space efficiency. More and more components can be packed in a small space and layers, leading to more functions in a single board.
  • One-stop shop for PCB assembly needs: Manufacturers of flex PCB can cater to different requirements on a single production line, as the substrate is flexible and mouldable to customized shapes and sizes.
  • Fast production and delivery times: Thanks to rapid production techniques available for flex PCB production, the delivery time of such PCBs from the shop floor to consumers has reduced a lot over time.

Why Choose OurPCB?

OurPCB is a renowned ISO:9001 certified manufacturer of flex and rigid-flex PCBs in China. We have a huge clientele (more than 2000) spread across the world, We are there for you in every step of PCB manufacturing and assembly. Having expertise in wiring harness and cable assemblies, our team always ensures to fulfill our customers’ needs at affordable prices.

Thanks to the flexibility, reliability, space efficiency, and low weight of flex PCBs, the demand for flex PCBs is growing in all industries. If you need any help related to your PCB requirements, contact us. Our team is there to guide you through the process.

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