The Importance of the Flexible Printed Circuit in Modern Electronics

If you look at any older electronics item you’ll see a rigid printed circuit board inside. In fact, the printed circuit has been a mainstay in electronics for many decades and it has many benefits. However, thanks to modern technology like the flexible printed circuit, many new and innovative possibilities are opening up.

What is a Flexible Printed Circuit?

Flexible printed circuits are sometimes referred to as flex circuits or flex PCBs (printed circuit boards). They are created by layering a thin flexible conductive material (to form circuits) with an insulating polymer. The initial uses were for wiring harnesses and they were first used during the Second World War. However, in recent years flex circuits have seen a rise in popularity with the advent of better materials and semiconductors.

Types of Flex Circuits

* One Sided
* Double Sided
* Multiple layer
* Flex-rigid – this is a combination of flexible and rigid circuit boards

Flexible Printed Circuit Benefits

You will see flex PCBs in a wide range of applications and for good reason. Here are some of the benefits they provide:

* Production efficiency – if you are in the business of electronics assembly you will appreciate flex circuits because they require less labor. A great deal less work needs to be done for tasks like wrapping and routing. In addition, there is much less soldering needed and this can save on production costs as well as decrease the time it takes to complete assembly. This can provide greater efficiency with lower operating costs, which is good for your business.

* Higher quality – flexible printed circuit technology makes assembly much easier and there are fewer chances for human error. For example, if one connection is not soldered properly, the entire device may fail, which means a refund, replacement, or repair. In addition, fewer errors translate into higher quality and greater customer satisfaction.

* Design versatility – electronic designs with straight and rigid circuit boards makes it difficult to utilize new and innovative features. Flex circuits combined with flat flexible cable make it possible to come up with a limitless possibility of features and designs. For example, some of the thinnest electronic devices are possible because of flexible printed circuit design.

* Better Heat Dissipation – flex circuits provide more room for airflow and the ability to dissipate heat. In some cases, this makes it possible to eliminate or reduce the size of cooling fans. This lowers costs, lightens weight, and provides a smaller and more convenient product.

Flexible printed circuit design is helping many electronic companies produce better products and at lower prices. In addition, they can offer more dependable products and this is a “win win” situation for the consumer and the manufacturer.

Gopher Electronics offer flexible printed circuit solutions for business in a wide variety of selections. Visit us on the Web today at http://www.gopherelectronics.com/custom-solutions/ to see what we can do for you.

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