Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design SMT Electronics Assembly Manufacturing Forum

Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design Forum

SMT electronics assembly manufacturing forum.

Large Footprint Flex PCBs

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Large Footprint Flex PCBs | 30 September, 2009

I'm just throwing this out there, but is anybody manufacturing large footprint flex circuit PCBs? (I'm talking assemblies 18-36" in length) We're in the midst of quoting a new opportunity that involves several flex circuits of this size. Currently our "process window" can accommodate PCBs up to 18" in length. I'm just wondering how large a mountain I'm going to have to scale with this one. It looks fun. I think it's do-able, I'm just not certain we can make any money doing it.

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Large Footprint Flex PCBs | 1 October, 2009

Good Morning Here are a few thoughts. When mfg large flex circuits you will need to fixture them to create a stable production environment. As such, the foot print fo the product grows. So you may require systems that can handle 20 inch width by 38 inch length.

For products this large there are only a few mfg that accomodate these sizes. And while there may be more vendors, here are the ones I am aware of: ERKA for screen printing, MYDATA for pick and place, PROMATION for conveying systems, and I think Heller offers a large format oven.

Flex circuits may also offer additional assembly considerations so please review thermal impact and other aspects before quoting.

Hope this helps to start the ball running


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Large Footprint Flex PCBs | 5 October, 2009

We managed to run a ~30" board on an Assembleon Topaz/Emerald with only an 18" capacity by getting creative with the board sensors/clamping and running it as two programs, the manufacturer actually helped us through the workaround. I think we hand printed the paste though. The board wasn't too wide so no changes were needed to fit in the reflow oven.

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Large Footprint Flex PCBs | 6 October, 2009

Thanks for your help!

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Large Footprint Flex PCBs | 19 November, 2009

We do continuous reel-to-reel flex circuit PCB's with a typical "panel" width being 12". (The PCB pattern repeats every 12".) We have done some product that was 24" by doing one half of the board then the other through the screen printer. We have several Assebleon pick-n-place machine that can handle up to 36" boards in reel-to-reel format, but these are more of a custom machine.

Let me know if I can be of any help though.


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