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JJS Emphasizes Significance of Baking Prior to flexible Circuit Assembly
England-based JJS Manufacturing is an EMS enterprise which makes a speciality of end-to-end purchasing, manufacture (Circuit Card assembly, box build, cabinet, electro-mechanical) and supply chain solutions. The company supplies elaborate, highly configurable, low-to-medium-volume industrial electronics products across a number of markets incorporating industrial automation, process control, test and measurement, and lab technology.
Editor Stephen Las Marias spoke with Russell Poppe, manager of technology, on the complications of treating flexible circuit assemblies and provides strategies to deal with them.
Stephen Las Marias: From your experience, what are the primary challenges in flexible circuit assembly?
Russell Poppe: From an assembly point of view, baking the flexible circuits prior to manufacturing assembly is important as they can be vulnerable to delamination. Nevertheless, baking any Circuit Card prior to manufacturing is most effective practice and some thing we constantly do at JJS.
One of the primary challenges in flexible circuit assembly is making sure that the circuits remain flat, in particular throughout the printing and pick-and-place operations. The components of the circuit needing SMT placement should have an FR-4 stiffener designed in underneath; however, it is also essential to work with the Circuit Card provider at first. Getting the panelization right is crucial so that the boards don’t bend when the components are placed or when they go through reflow. Panel design is usually a headache as flexible circuits are often times strange shapes! It might also be vital to have a tailor-made carrier or pallet to hold the flexible circuits in place during the entire process; on the other hand, these carry increased costs-usually a few hundred pounds each.
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