This month in Flex007 Magazine we take a closer look at the ins and outs of rigid-flex from design through assembly. Our authors provide tips to help you on your journey. There are tips for everyone, whether you are interested in the design end or concerned about assembling your product.
This month’s cover art was inspired by some of the stories we’ve heard lately about companies that are being forced into using flexible and rigid-flex circuits. This is happening for a variety of reasons: Sometimes rigid boards won’t fit the shrinking enclosures anymore, or the company just needs a rugged, reliable circuit.
We have the flex information you need in this sophomore issue of Flex007 Magazine, the quarterly magazine dedicated to flex system designers, electrical engineers, flex PCB designers, and anyone responsible for integrating flex into their products at the OEM/CEM level.
In our first feature interview, Todd MacFadden of Bose discusses his company’s rapid expansion into the world of flex circuits—from about 90% rigid PCBs four years ago to around 66% flex and rigid-flex today—and how his team managed to get up to speed so quickly. (Hint: They communicated heavily with flex fabricators.) Next, Anaya Vardya and Dave Lackey have provided an excerpt of their recent I-Connect007 eBook The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to…Flex and Rigid-Flex Fundamentals, focusing on some of the mechanical and electrical issues that are peculiar to flex and rigid-flex design.
Then, Jarrod Schulte of Cadwell Industries explains in an interview what attracted his department to flex: the high level of reliability required by their medical devices. And in an interview with Barry Matties, Prototron Circuits President Dave Ryder and General Manager Kim O’Neil discuss their Tucson facility’s recent decision to offer flex and rigid-flex circuits, as well as some of the hurdles they’ve overcome and what OEMs are looking for in a flex supplier.
We also have columns by our regular contributors Joe Fjelstad of Verdant Electronics, John Talbot of Tramonto Circuits, Bob Burns of Printed Circuits, and Tara Dunn of Omni PCB. And this month, let’s welcome a new columnist—Jahn Stopperan of All Flex, who has taken over the All About Flex column with the retirement of his colleague Dave Becker.
Welcome to the first issue of Flex007 Magazine. This new quarterly magazine is dedicated to flex system designers, electrical engineers, flex PCB designers, and anyone responsible for integrating flex into their products at the OEM/CEM level.
For this first issue of Flex007 Magazine, we asked some of the top flex experts to share their thoughts about flex, rigid-flex, and the overall flex market. For our first experts discussion, we spoke with Jonathan Weldon of Dupont Electronic Materials, Mark Finstad of Flexible Circuit Technologies, and Scott McCurdy and Scott Miller of Freedom CAD about how their companies approach flex and the many related issues. In our second experts discussion, John Talbot of Tramonto Circuits discusses the flex trends he’s seeing in the overall market, along with some of the uniquely demanding flex products such as extra-long flex circuits. Next, Kelly Dack, CID+, gives us a review of his CID class’s trip to Streamline Circuits, and their exploration of flex fabrication processes.
From Dave Lackey and Anaya Vardya of American Standard Circuits, we have an excerpt from their I-Connect007 eBook, The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to Flex and Rigid-Flex Fundamentals. And Steve Robinson of APCT explains his plans for the future after acquiring new flex and rigid-flex capabilities with his acquisition of Cartel’s subsidiary Cirtech.
Joe Fjelstad marks the return of his column Flexible Thinking with a discussion about how much flexible circuits have changed over the years. In John Talbot’s column Consider This, he explains how to handle returned material authorizations. In All About Flex, Dave Becker shares a variety of ways that flex traces can fracture, and some solutions for keeping fractures away. And in his new column Flex Time, Bob Burns of Printed Circuits breaks down some of the many reasons that rigid-flex is so expensive compared to rigid and regular flex circuits.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
How does one get from the concept and design of a flex circuit to the final product, especially when that product is pushing the limits of technology, is an unusual shape, has a short time-to-market, or all of the above? We have articles and columns to help with that, but the main takeaway is: Team up with your supplier and customer and work together for the optimal solution. Plus, in this issue you’ll learn more about 3D printing and how it fits with flex.
Other Articles and Columns
Designing a flex circuit on a flat plane is one thing but conceptualizing and realizing its final three-dimensional configuration can be challenging. Contributing authors offer plenty of help and advice in this issue, and our columnists, as always, provide their perspective on a wide range of flex and rigid-flex subjects.
Have an idea for an article or expertise of your own to share? Let us know!
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