When building circuit boards, it is sometimes necessary to strike the proper balance between rigid and flexible PCBA construction. Rigid-flex PCBs accomplish this. Although these boards are utilized across a wide range of applications, industrial environments present unique challenges well-suited to the combined qualities of stability and flexibility that rigid-flex PCBs provide. By following good guidelines, you can optimize rigid-flex PCB technology for industrial applications.
Rigid-flex PCBs are used in commercial products, critical medical devices, automotive, and defense aerospace systems. Applications include communications, monitoring and control devices, networking, signal processing units, imaging, and GPS systems. These boards are also widely used in industrial environments, as listed below.
Industrial Use of Rigid-Flex PCBAs
- Climate control systems
- Automation systems
- Surveillance systems
- Test equipment
- Lighting systems
- Electrical switching applications
When used in industrial systems, rigid-flex PCBs must meet durability and reliability requirements for the sometimes harsh environment of product manufacturing.
Rigid-flex boards share most of the same advantages as flexible PCBs. To realize these advantages, however, you will need to incorporate important considerations—as outlined below—into the development process.
Optimal Rigid-Flex PCBA Development Guidelines
- Put component footprints on rigid planes.
- Mount components in rigid areas of the board.
- Maintain consistent geometrical trace alignment in flex areas.
- Keep spacing between conductors constant for flex traces.
- Choose materials that satisfy bendability and environmental requirements.
Following these guidelines will help ensure your rigid-flex PCB meets or exceeds its durability and reliability objectives. In addition, you should also incorporate best practices for industrial PCBA development to avoid premature breakdown or other failures due to excessive high voltages, currents or temperatures.
|Tempo's Custom PCB Manufacturing Service
To build rigid-flex PCBs for industrial environment applications, work with an experienced CM with the expertise and commitment to produce boards that meet structural standards. Tempo Automation, the industry leader in high-quality PCBA prototyping and on-demand production, has a reputation for building reliable boards for deployment in the harshest environments.
Tempo employs a white-box turnkey PCBA manufacturing process that promotes collaboration and transparency between engineers and CMs. This allows us to quickly deliver high-quality boards for standard and non-standard designs that meet industrial and production facility criteria for prototyping and on-demand production. We also provide downloadable DRC files in Altium Designer, Cadence Allegro, Mentor Pads, other CAD formats, and Excel.
If you are ready to have your design manufactured, try our quote tool to upload your CAD and BOM files. If you want more information on CAD files or how to incorporate your design into a CAD format, contact us.