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70 The PCB Magazine • June 2015 small to medium batches. The newer flying probes have some advantages over fixtures: • Registration holes are not required for alignment • Pad sizes down to .003" can be tested successfully without the mis-registration and damage a fixture could induce • Machines can compensate for minor mis-registration by the use of multiple fiducials, adjusting test point hit location and enhanced localized area registration algorithms. The use of stretch frames comes in to play here and is a great advantage. The circuit is placed in the clamping system of the machine and then is stretched tight to provide the robust contact area as a rigid board. The circuit can then be tested either single or double sided. An- other option if only single sided and a complex geometrical layout the circuit can be attached to a rigid plate and then placed into the machine and tested. As noted earlier, the system can also compensate for minor misregistration by ad- justing test point targeting. Another advantage that circuits with embedded passives such as re- sistor cores can be reliably tested. The only real disadvantage in this method is time. However with the time and cost required to build some of todays' flex and rigid-flex circuits the tradeoff of time vs reliable/repeatable and damage free results is a small price to pay. Flex technology can only get more advanced. Airline manufacturers and military have been us- ing flex for a long time, and increasingly, by the automoive industry—so it is not going anywhere. Testing flex is a challenge, but today's equipment is highly suitable to combat this challenge. PCB teSting toDD FLEx AND RIGID-FLEx CIRCUIT TESTING: CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS continues Todd Kolmodin is the vice president of quality for Gardien Services uSa. realtimewith.com CliCk To View ViDeo inteRView Guest Editor Dick crowe and nick Koop, Senior application Engineer at TTM Technologies, discuss the latest revision of the flex-rigid/flex standard that is underway. The flex-rigid/flex circuit industry is booming and in many cases north america is the preferred area for manu- facture. IPC Standard 6013 Heading to Revision D by Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2015

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