Automated Assembly Corporation is an industry leading contract manufacturing firm headquartered in Lakeville, Minnesota. Located in two state-of-the-art 25,000 sq ft manufacturing facilities with ESD certified conductive flooring, Automated has assembled and supplied products for organizations such as 3M, Aston Martin, and TransCore. Automated specializes in contract manufacturing of assembled flexible circuits, reel to reel flex circuity, flexible substrate assembly, LED assembly, rugged RFID tags, and RFID products.


JJS Emphasizes Need for Baking Prior to flexible Printed Circuit Assembly

England-based JJS Manufacturing is an EMS company that makes a specialty of end-to-end purchasing, manufacturing (Printed Circuit Board assembly, box build, cabinet, electro-mechanical) and supply chain solutions. The corporation supplies complicated, hugely configurable, low-to-medium-volume industrial electronics products across a variety of markets such as industrial automation, process control, test and measurement, and laboratory technology.

Editor Stephen Las Marias spoke with Russell Poppe, manager of technology, about the complications of handling flexible circuit assemblies and provides means to address them.

Stephen Las Marias: From your experience, what are the key challenges in flexible circuit assembly?

Russell Poppe: From an assembly point of view, baking the flexible circuits prior to manufacturing assembly is critical as they can be vulnerable to delamination. With that being said, baking any Printed Circuit Board before manufacturing is best practice and something we always do at JJS.

One of the greatest challenges in flexible circuit assembly is making sure that the circuits stay flat, specially through the printing and pick-and-place steps. The parts of the circuit requiring SMT placement must have an FR-4 stiffener designed in underneath; but it is important to work with the Printed Circuit Board supplier in advance. Getting the panelization right is crucial so that the boards don’t bend when the parts are put or when they move through reflow. Panel design is often a challenge as flexible circuits are sometimes unusual shapes! It may also be recommended to have a tailored carrier or pallet to hold the flexible circuits in place throughout the process; nonetheless, these carry added costs-generally a few hundred pounds each.

Learn more from JJS Manufacturing Russell Poppe

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