How To Reduce Your Rigid-Flex PCB Fabrication Cost
Rigid-flex printed circuit boards or PCBs are excellent for electronic devices that need flexibility and durability. They incorporate aspects of both hardboard and flexible circuits, with rigid layers on the outside to create a more sturdy structure while retaining electrical conductivity and softer circuitry in between those layers so it can bend any damage.
Rigid-flex PCB is also easy to assemble into precise applications. It has a small and flexible configuration, which makes it well suited, especially where circuit weight or space is of particular consideration.
Rigid-flex boards may be useful in military, aerospace, and medical settings. They show resilience against high levels of shock or vibration but come at a higher cost than rigid boards.
You can exercise cost-saving measures to ensure that rigid-flex PCBs are still an excellent choice for your application. The materials used, the number of circuit layers, including the design processes, can be tailored to meet the needs of your project.
This blog will discuss some of the advantages of using rigid-flex circuit boards, why they are expensive and how you can reduce your fabrication costs.
Cost of Rigid-Flex PCB
Rigid-Flexible Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) provide designers with increased design freedom. They enable them to create custom layouts that cannot functionally be replicated using Rigid-PCB designs.
This makes these boards ideal for specific projects, such as those involving complex electronics like digital cameras. These electronics require space on the front side and at least one backside component area containing connectors.
Rigid-flex PCBs are more expensive than traditional PCBs as they are made of costlier materials.
A circuit board is not simply a single sheet with lots of holes in it. It might seem like the simplest thing to make, but there are many different types, and each one has its function.
For example, Type III circuits have more layers than standard boards because they offer better protection against magnetic interference from outside sources such as radio waves or heaters.
While type IVs provide even greater security thanks to their rigid construction that resists wear-and-tear over time for high-end applications requiring constant movement. These can be found in things like vehicles where you need an uninterrupted power supply.
The price difference between them isn't just based on materials. There are also labor costs involved when considering extra inspection and testing. A well-constructed circuit board can be the difference between a successful product and one that is left on shelves.
Factors, such as whether an epoxy or polyimide rigid substrate will form your layers and what adhesive you use to bond them together have cost implications in manufacturing time.
How to Minimize Rigid-Flex PCB Cost
You can lower the cost of rigid-flex printed circuit boards by tailoring them to suit your needs. Many factors will affect this: from the thickness and layer count down to complications involved in the printing process.
Keep Number of Layers To Minimum
When designing your board, the number of layers should be kept to a minimum. The fewer plies there are between each layer, the easier it is for boards to bond together and have higher manufacturing yield rates. This helps reduce material costs by producing more quality products that require fewer materials.
Use Less Flexible Laminate
The fewer layers of flexible circuitry you use, the most economical your board will be. Flexible laminate is more expensive than rigid laminates, so limiting it can lower costs drastically.
For Overall Thickness Use Rigid Board Laminates
The additional plies of flexible laminates can be costly, especially if an exact thickness is desired. The rigid board laminates are the most affordable material available for construction. They will allow you to achieve a specific overall thickness without much expense.
Limit Impedance Requirements
The desire for high-speed design is tempting, but there are some pitfalls. Limits on controlled impedance requirements should be limited to the testable values that you want in production panels. This limits the fabrication of large coupons for both segments with many parts removed from your board, which can quickly get very expensive.
Consult Hemieixin for rigid flex pcb fabrication, as achieving good yields can be difficult.
Achieving a high yield in your design is essential. Consult with one of our fabricators to get some ideas on how to improve your manufacturing process and save costs.