Top Tips for choosing OEM Flexible PCB Manufacturers

There are several important factors to consider when choosing a manufacturer. These factors include one-stop service, packaging, lead time, testing, and cost. By following these tips, you’ll be able to find the right manufacturer to meet your needs. So whether you’re looking for a PCB manufacturer that can meet your exact specifications or one that can deliver on time, the following tips should help you choose the right one.

Choosing a flexible PCB manufacturer

Rigid-Flex PCBs are a popular type of printed circuit board. They can fit a particular package. For example, a star-shaped electronic device will require a PCB that bends into a star shape. This type of PCB assembly helps the manufacturer save space, which in turn reduces manufacturing costs.

Choosing a flexible circuit manufacturer for your OEM project requires careful consideration. We must consider all the fabrication costs, material availability, and fabrication process. In addition, depending on your requirements, you may need to consider additional factors. For instance, layer count, heat sinking, and a detailed analysis of PCB material layup are critical to the final product.

When choosing a flexible PCB manufacturer for OEM, ask about their experience. Flex PCBs are extremely delicate, and we should package them carefully to avoid damage. Find a manufacturer with the experience to handle this type of product and can provide you with shipping services. Experienced manufacturers can also quote you faster and provide a BOM with great precision.

Packaging

When shipping rigid-flex PCBs by sea freight, it is critical to protect them from moisture and other factors affecting their performance. While they may have waterproof housing, bare PCB boards are vulnerable to moisture during shipping. Consequently, choosing the best packaging solution for PCBs traveling via sea freight is vital.

First, it is essential to determine the design and layout of the board. This is because the flexible circuit design will affect the circuit performance, cost, and manufacturability. For this reason, designers and fabricators should work together to develop a mock-up that will be ideal for the PCB. This allows designers to make the necessary calculations and fabricators to confirm the final layout.

Testing

When choosing a rigid-flex PCB manufacturer, it is essential to consider the quality of service offered by the OEM. Quality service means striking a balance between speed and performance validation. Getting a 24-hour delivery of a faulty board is not ideal for your production schedule. Selecting a manufacturer that provides extra steps is essential to ensure reliable solutions and customer satisfaction.

Quality assurance involves performing extensive PCB testing and analysis to detect and resolve defects. Manufacturers can use several different techniques to test printed circuit boards. These testing methods vary in their intensity, but they all have advantages. For example, automated testing is faster than manual inspection, which allows the manufacturer to detect early failures and develop load capacity.

Quality

When choosing an OEM flexible PCB manufacturer, it’s essential to pay special attention to the quality of the final product. Flex boards require special techniques and machinery for proper manufacturing. They can also fit a particular package, such as star-shaped electronic devices. This helps minimize the amount of space used, which reduces manufacturing costs.

Copper pads should be 1 to 2 mm in diameter, and there should be enough space between the pad and the vias. The board should also be marked with three or two fiducial marks if it’s staggered. If a breakaway tab helps remove a PCB, it is a less expensive but riskier option.

Cost

The cost of OEM flexible PCB manufacturing depends on various factors, including design standards and quality. It can also depend on the material used to make the base and solder mask. Each of these factors can heavily influence the cost of the finished product. Fortunately, we can control many factors to lower the cost of the finished product.

Most reputable companies make sure to make a prototype before mass production. This is essential as identifying errors during the post-production phase can prove costly. Moreover, it is advantageous for the engineers and designers to provide feedback on the design before the production process begins.

Customer Service

Finding an OEM flexible circuit supplier that provides high-quality service and can meet the needs of small-volume and medium-sized companies may be challenging. For example, many large companies offer PCB assembly but don’t always provide the personalized service that smaller OEMs need and don’t respect customer’s copyright.

When choosing a PCB supplier, a Quality Management System (QMS) is the first thing to look for. ISO 9001 certification signals a basic QMS, which includes a quality policy, manual, procedures, corrective action, Gerber file suppliers, employee training, and continuous improvement. The company should also make its yields available for review. Having other certifications can also prove the competency of the supplier.

Experienced and knowledgeable staff: OEM Flexible circuit Manufacturers should be able to provide the expertise and experience to help meet their customers’ needs. Experienced staff can draw from their own experience and develop new ideas for their customers.

Quality control: A reliable OEM Flexible PCB supplier should be able to meet all of your demands, including the quality of their products using advanced equipment. A high-quality product requires a quality PCB.

Why is rigid Flex PCB So Expensive?

The price of flex PCBs is dependent on the materials used. Flexible PCBs can be made with multiple layers or with a single copper layer. However, it is generally best to use high-temperature materials as they can handle high temperatures without transferring heat to the adjacent components. In addition to copper, rigid-flex PCBs consist of flexible adhesives and substrates. Polyimide film (PI) is a common substrate constituent that remains flexible even when heated. It is possible to use flexible PCBs with copper thickness as small as 1/3 oz. However, buying FPCBs in large quantities will lower overall costs.

Rigid-Flex PCBs have multiple layers, costing 1.5 to 2 times as much as single-sided circuits. This is due to the increased number of processing steps and materials used to produce the board. Double-sided circuit boards also require more expensive materials, meaning they are more expensive than single-sided circuit boards.

The diameter of the drill bit used for flex PCBs can vary. The standard drill bit is eight mils in diameter, but a more advanced drill bit is five mils in diameter. A smaller diameter requires more time to drill, which adds to overall costs. Therefore, choosing the right drill bit is essential to avoiding stress points and achieving a flexible circuit board.

Rigid-Flex PCBs are also more expensive than rigid circuit boards. But, they allow manufacturers to produce products with compact dimensions, which is a growing market. They also allow for higher circuit density and reduce the number of manufacturing errors. However, vendors price flex PCBs per square inch, and the larger the board size, the higher the cost.