Due to the increase in the development trend in the aerospace industry which includes light weight, multifunction, and assembly densification greater preference has been given to the manufacturing process of these flexible printed circuits. Flexible printed circuits are a type of board that is made up of circuit board which has a flexible base and has a more number of features compared to the traditional ones. The number of flexible base to be used in these circuit boards depends on where you are using it.
Manufacturing of flexible printed circuits
Usually, FPC manufacturer can be done through a process named as photolithographic technology sheet by sheet. One more advanced process which has recently come up is named as roll to roll technology.
- Shearing: In the first step of FPC manufacturer, cut the material as per the design and the pattern in less wastage of the product.
- Computer Numerical Control drilling: To satisfy customer design and process demand, holes are made in the circuit board to make alignment holes, testing vias, components, etc.
- Plating through the holes: In the double sized flexible boards, both top and bottom layer are not conductive so plate covers are drilled between layers to understand the pattern of the circuit.
- Lamination: The pre- treated board is passed through hot roller to laminate it with dry film.
- Exposure: The circuit board is transferred to a dry film to create an exposure.
- Development: Ultra violet light is passed on the dry film which will be polymerized and hardened and the dry film on the non- exposure area can be removed off.
- Etching: After development, the non exposure area is wiped off with the help of a chemical and the protected area will be kept.
- Automated optical inspection: With the help of this, the quality of the circuit is checked.
- Pre-lamination: The circuit board is covered with an insulating layer known as coverlay to protect the circuit.
- Hot press: The board covered with coverlay is passed through a hot press machine to form adhesion between copper and coverlay.
- Finish: Cover the bonding area with the help of nickel or gold to protect them and making the terminator working.
- Printing: If there is any logo to be printed which indicates the company or something of that pattern then silk screening is done.
- Testing: Electrical and function tests are done to check the defects in the circuit board.
Roll to roll lamination
The primary function of roll to roll manufacturing is that it can complete the whole process starting from shearing to hot press at a same time. The production efficiency of roll to roll lamination is higher compared to photolithographic technology.
Advantages of flexible printed circuit
Lower thickness, lighter weight, accessible for three dimensional assemblies, more space saving, dynamically bendable are features of this type of flexible printed circuit board. They are widely used in many industries such as automobile, aerospace, defense, medical units, etc.
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