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JJS Stresses Significance of Baking Prior to flexible Circuit Assembly

England-based JJS Manufacturing is an EMS enterprise which focuses on end-to-end purchasing, manufacture (PCB assembly, box build, cabinet, electro-mechanical) and supply chain solutions. The company supplies sophisticated, hugely configurable, low-to-medium-volume industrial electronics products across an array of industrial sectors for example, industrial automation, process control, test and measurement, and lab technology.

Editor Stephen Las Marias talked with Russell Poppe, manager of technology, concerning the challenges of treating flexible circuit assemblies and provides methods to tackle them.

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

Russell Poppe: From an assembly viewpoint, baking the flexible circuits in advance of manufacturing assembly is vital since they can be at the mercy of delamination. Having said that, baking any PCB ahead of manufacturing is best practice and something we constantly perform at JJS.

One of the primary difficulties in flexible circuit assembly is to ensure the circuits remain flat, specifically through the printing and pick-and-place steps. The parts of the circuit requiring SMT placement need to have an FR-4 stiffener designed in underneath; but it is equally important to work with the PCB provider up front. Getting the panelization right is essential so that the boards don’t bend when the parts are placed or when they move through reflow. Panel design could be a difficult task as flexible circuits are often unusual shapes! It might also be recommended to have a customized carrier or pallet to hold the flexible circuits in place through the process; however, these carry increased costs-usually some hundred pounds each.

Learn more from JJS Manufacturing Russell Poppe

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