Interactive Guide to Flexible Circuit Technology Print E-mail
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Written by Bob Willis   
Wednesday, 29 October 2003 19:00

Produced by Teknoflex
Interactive CD-ROM Format

Teknoflex has been through a number of transitions over the years, but is one of the most established producers of flexible circuits in the UK. They have one of the few reel-to-reel flexible manufacturing lines in Europe, which is impressive to watch in action. Their engineering team has a lot of experience in flex and is passionate about the technology. This free CD-ROM has been a long time in the making and includes much of the information that the company has provided to design engineers over the years in two volumes of well-illustrated text. Although it may just be a sales tool, few CDs like this provide so much useful information.

Flexible circuits are unique as a packaging solution, intriguing to manufacture because of the expansion and contraction of the base materials and a pain to assemble unless you follow correct design rules. Some specific guidelines are included on the CD, but the assembly section could have been more specific since tooling is the key to assembly. Some of the assembly section is weak and very few soldering issues are covered (Although I've found this to be true of the flexible circuits textbooks on the market as well).

It is nice to have a reference to many of the "do's and don'ts" of flex design and manufacture in one place. The material will certainly benefit design departments, but a direct discussion with a flex supplier is still the best approach.

The CD is split into key sections covering: Technologies, Design, Electrical Considerations, Material, Assembly, Quality, Design Checklists, and a Glossary of terms.

The CD-ROM is text-and drawing-based and should have incorporated more photographs to illustrate good and bad design. Video footage of the reel-to-reel facility would have been interesting to many engineers and those with a passing interest in flex. The company does include useful capability information alongside the parameters of the flex materials.

Any design or process engineer will benefit in reviewing the information on this CD. If you want to move on to a book on the subject, try the manuals by Joe Fjelstad.

Lead-Free Electronics—2004 Edition
Edited by Sanka Ganesan & Michael Pecht



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