Design007 Magazine

PCBD-June2014

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June 2014 • The PCB Design Magazine 31 a carrier fixture with individual parts broken from the panel after component soldering. Car- rier plates are also used with cavity openings al- lowing access to reflowed solder in a wave sol- dering machine. Fixturing for SMT assembly is often done with vacuum assist or by bonding the flex panel to a low tack carrier plate. Both methods allow the panel to be held in place through processes including solder stencil, SMT placement and reflow. Pre-cutting or routing the individual parts prior to assembly allows them to be eas- ily removed from the panel post assembly. The myriad of individual parts and variety of assem- bly requirements leads to a wide variety of fix- ture options. There are companies specializing in this type of tooling that can also assist with ideas and custom fixtures. Summary Flexible PCBs are used extensively through- out the electronic market for a wide variety of reasons, including their ability to move in an application, their light weight, and extreme thinness. They can also be used in high current- carrying applications and are often populated with components with assembly processes typi- cal of rigid printed circuits. There are certain important design, processing, and handling considerations that separate flex circuits from their rigid cousins. Many suppliers offer printed design guides and early involvement of a flex supplier is recommended as a design unfolds. This early involvement will help insure proper tolerances, costs, and constructions are consid- ered for a robust and reliable adaptation of the technology. PCBDESIgN realtimewith.com CliCk To View Panel discussion video What's trending in flexible circuitry right now? Find out in this fascinating iPC aPex exPo roundtable, "What's new in Flex?" Moderated by verdant electronics' Joe Fjelstad, it features al Wasserzug of Cirexx and Mike Jawitz of Boeing discussing the latest breakthroughs in flex circuitry. What's New in Flex? by Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO Dave Becker is the v.P. of sales and marketing at all Flex Flexible Circuits and heaters, which specializes in low to medium volume flexible circuits and flex circuit assembly. feature FLExIBLE CIRCUITRY...A 3D PACkAgINg TooL continues

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