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34 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2018 Vexos Corp. is a high-mix, low to mid-volume EMS provider with facilities in the United States, Canada and China. Vexos primarily focuses within the automotive, industrial, networking, communication, medical and security market segments. Harry Chan, Deputy GM and VP Manu- facturing for Vexos Shenzhen, is responsi- ble for all aspects of manufacturing through continuous process improvement, produc- tion management, and development of manu- facturing talent and teams. In an email inter- view with SMT007 Magazine, he shared the challenges when dealing with flexible circuit assemblies, and strategies and techniques to address them. Stephen Las Marias: What's driving the increas- ing demand for flex and flex assemblies? Harry Chan: The major factor for flex circuits is new technology and the need to work with PCBAs that can be manipulated to conform to the finished product. Also, moving to smaller devices means limited space allocation for key components. As OEMs and device manufac - turers work with smaller components for their products, flex circuits provide a viable solution. Las Marias: What are the top three challenges when it comes to flexible circuit assembly? Chan: We have developed key processes through our manufacturing systems to better manage the way we build products that use flex circuits. The most common areas we encounter are: 1. Flatness and temperature profile control in the SMT process: Understanding the nature of the board and controlling environment at the SMT level is very important to the success of the product. 2. Difficult or impossible to repair/rework: Sometimes, we come across RMA request from our customers that can be a challenge from a repair or rework standpoint. 3. Handling/storage issues: We adhere to proper storage conditions. Vexos has key handling and manufacturing processes in place to ensure we meet these challenges when handling or storing flex printed circuits boards. Las Marias: What strategies do you employ to address these challenges? Feature Interview by Stephen Las Marias I-CONNECT007

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