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PCB-Mar2017

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8 The PCB Magazine • March 2017 Now, isn't that the mantra we all hear to- day? For me, it's Tai Chi to maintain physical flexibility. But of course, that is not what we're here for. We're talking flexible circuits, includ- ing all the variations of same, which is why we called this issue "The Wide World of Flex." Be- cause the world of flex is broad—and it's rapidly getting wider. We just came from a dynamic IPC APEX EXPO in San Diego. Spirits and optimism were high all around. We had fun with some new video equipment in our booth; IPC celebrated its 60th anniversary; the show floor was busy and so were the conference rooms; there was a really good PCB Executive Forum; I met a bunch of new people and a few that I have been want- ing to talk with over the past year. So, as mentioned, our topic this month is flex circuitry and it is more than apropos as the flex market is going nowhere but up. As more designers learn about the versatility of flexible circuits, not just the well-known bending and flexing, but building into unusual shapes and sizes. So we have a varied lineup of articles and columns covering many different flex types. I asked All Flex's Dave Becker to write a lead article about the different types of flexible cir- cuits and he did just that. We gave it the title of our topic: The Wide World of Flex. Who knew there was more to this topic than just flex and rigid-flex? Anyone who has worked with flex circuits knows that one of the most difficult problems is handling them during fabrication and assem- bly. Tara Dunn of Omni PCB supplies us with many tips to help improve in this area. Next, John Talbot of Tramonto Circuits gives us a fine article on flexible heaters, an interest- ing market for flex manufacturers. He explains common uses of these heaters and then gets into detail on design criteria. ESI's Patrick Reichel continues the ESI series on laser processing with a discussion on process development. Discussing tradeoff choices, by Patty Goldman I-CONNECT007 Stay Flexible! PATTY'S PERSPECTIVE

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