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Using Rigid-Flex PCBs to Improve Design Reliability

Reliability is a significant consideration in all designs, but more so in specific industries. The costs of either initial failures during assembly or more critically latent in the field failures can be excessive in both the expense and consequences. A benefit of rigid-flex technology is the ability to improve the reliability of a design. This applies to both the electrical functionality, and more importantly, the mechanical performance of the finished parts.

Mechanically, reliability is improved in two areas: the elimination of many points of interconnect between multiple rigid sections and a reduction in the total weight for improved shock and vibe performance. Electrically, rigid-flex designs allow for both improved signal integrity, for high-speed controlled impedance requirements, and effective shielding for EMI and RF sensitive designs.

In this webinar we review the multiple aspects of rigid-flex technology that will improve the reliability of your designs.

For more information on our rigid-flex PCBs, visit http://www.epectec.com/flex/.

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Using Rigid-Flex PCBs to Improve Design Reliability

  1. 1. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability Utilizing Rigid-Flex PCBs to Improve Design Reliability 02.21.2020
  2. 2. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 2 Agenda  Mechanical Reliability: – Points of Interconnect – Shock & Vibe Performance – Minimum Bend Capabilities – Durability  Electrical Reliability: – High Speed Signals – EMI / RF Shielding  IPC 2223 Guidelines for Reliable Constructions
  3. 3. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 3 Introduction
  4. 4. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 4  Definition: Reliability – Ability of an apparatus or system to consistently perform its required function without degradation or failure.  Reliability engineering studies identified: – “Majority of electronic failures occur at a point of interconnect.”  Critical to many Class 3 applications – Military – Aerospace – Life-supporting medical – Automotive Introduction
  5. 5. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 5 Introduction  Cost Benefits – Improved final assembly yields. – Eliminates latent, in the field, failures, and associated product return and or replacement. – Opportunity to offset added rigid-flex solution costs. – Securing repeat business.
  6. 6. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 6 Mechanical Reliability: Points of Interconnect
  7. 7. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 7 Mechanical Reliability: Points of Interconnect  Interconnects are potential sources of failure.  Rigid-flex is deemed to be an integrated construction.  Eliminates all points of interconnect between independent rigid component areas.  No additional interconnects required between flex and rigid layers.  All connections are plated vias/holes with same reliability as rigid PCBs.
  8. 8. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 8 Mechanical Reliability: Points of Interconnect
  9. 9. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 9 Mechanical Reliability: Points of Interconnect  Example – Standard “wired” solution: • Up to 6 interconnect points for each circuit. • PCB to connector solder joints (2). • Header to receptacle connections (2). • Wire to receptacle connections: – Soldered or crimped (2).  Added Benefit – Reduces potential assembly errors. – Cannot be assembled incorrectly.
  10. 10. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 10 Mechanical Reliability: Shock & Vibe Performance
  11. 11. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 11 Mechanical Reliability: Shock & Vibe  Reduced Weight – Improved shock & vibe performance. – Weight = approx. 20% or less of a wired solution.  Impact dependent upon length of flex section(s) – Longer the flex, the greater the weight savings, the greater the improvement.  Flex sections easily attached/strain relieved to enclosure with pre-attached PSAs (double sided tape).  Material ductility & flexibility reduces impact of shock & vibration events.
  12. 12. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 12 Mechanical Reliability: Bend Capabilities
  13. 13. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 13 Mechanical Reliability: Bend Capabilities  Thinner flex constructions allow for: – Tighter bend capabilities due to: • Thinner copper circuit layers. • Thinner core & insulating layers. – Min. bend radius capability guidelines: • Function of finished flex thickness: • Static Bend: 10-30 X • Dynamic Bend: 80-100 X – Less potential induced stress in the bend areas as compared to bulkier wired solutions.
  14. 14. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 14 Mechanical Reliability: Durability
  15. 15. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 15 Mechanical Reliability: Durability  Polyimide Materials – Excellent resistance to wide range of chemistries and environments: • Acids, Basics, Solvents, Gasses • UV exposure • Radiation exposure • Temperature – Abrasion resistant – Long life mechanical properties – High dielectric strength: > 5 KV per 0.001”
  16. 16. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 16 Electrical Reliability: High Speed Signal Performance
  17. 17. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 17 Electrical Reliability: High Speed Signal Performance  Flex circuit materials and constructions inherently well-suited to high speed signal applications. – Highly uniform material thicknesses. – Improved DK values over standard rigid materials. – Uniform line width and spacings. – Eliminates signal reflections due to connector systems. • Added benefit: – Eliminates high-cost controlled impedance connector systems.
  18. 18. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 18 Electrical Reliability: High Speed Signal Performance
  19. 19. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 19 Electrical Reliability: EMI / RF Shielding
  20. 20. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 20 Electrical Reliability: EMI / RF Shielding  Flex can easily and effectively be shielded to high levels against EMI & RF.  Multiple shielding methods available: – Flex specific shielding films • Preferred solution for shielding only requirements • Highly flexible, slip properties
  21. 21. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 21 Electrical Reliability: EMI / RF Shielding – Addition copper shield layers • Necessary for controlled impedance applications – Silver ink shield layers • Replaced by shielding films
  22. 22. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 22 IPC 2223 Design Standard: Reliability Guidelines
  23. 23. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 23 IPC 2223 Design Standard: Reliability Guidelines  Released: 1998  Established specific design, material, and structure requirements for flex & rigid-flex circuits.  Collaborative program between: – IPC, material suppliers, manufacturers. – Address developing plated hole reliability concerns in flex and rigid-flex due to increased design complexity. Ebook Download: https://info.epectec.com/guides/ipc-2223-design-standard-for-flex-and-rigid-flex-circuits
  24. 24. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 24 IPC 2223 Design Standard: Reliability Guidelines  Materials – Adhesiveless flex materials  Construction / Manufacturing – Selective flex coverlay – Pre-preg only laminations – Air gap constructions  Design – Min. via/plated hole spacing to flex transition(s) – Min. bend capability guidelines • Static & dynamic Transition Zone
  25. 25. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 25 IPC 2223 Design Standard: Reliability Guidelines
  26. 26. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 26 Summary  Design Reliability – Critical element of all projects. – Consequences of a failure in Class 3 products require every effort to ensure highest possible reliability.  Rigid-flex Technology Improves – Reliability: • Significant reduction in points of interconnect/failure locations. – Performance: • High Speed Signals & Shielded Designs. – Durability in harsh environments. – Shock & vibe performance through weight reduction.
  27. 27. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 27 Summary  IPC 2223 Design guidelines – Must be followed to ensure finished part reliability.  Added Benefits – Smaller/tighter packaging requirements. – Cost-savings opportunities: • Reduced/simplified assembly requirements. • Overall packing size reduction. • Purchasing/inventory management costs.
  28. 28. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 28 Our Products Battery Packs Flex & Rigid-Flex PCBs Cable Assemblies Printed Circuit Boards RF Products User Interfaces Flexible Heaters EC Fans & Motors
  29. 29. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 29 Q&A  Questions? – Enter any questions you may have in the Control Panel – If we don’t have time to get to it, we will reply via email
  30. 30. Manufacturing That Eliminates Risk & Improves Reliability 30 Thank You Check out our website at www.epectec.com. For more information email sales@epectec.com. Stay Connected with Epec Engineered Technologies Follow us on our social media sites for continuous technical updates and information:

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