Electronic products are commonly used by our from daily used electronics to automation and control, to medical equipment, vehicles and aeroplanes, and even avionics and aerospace. Without a Printed Circuit Board, you cannot create your desired electronic device. The Printed Circuit Boards are of various types according to their material, technology and usage. Some are traditional and some are new. According to their material, they can be divided into FR-4 material PCB, Aluminum material PCB, Ceramic material PCB, polyimide material PCB., etc; according to their technology, they can be divided into double layer PCB, multilayer PCBs, HDI PCBs, blind and buried vias PCBs, impedance control PCBs, IC substrate PCB., etc.
To fulfil the demands for flexibility, currently, PCB manufacturers are producing rigid, rigid-flex, and flexible PCBs. Out of these three, flex circuits are preferred the most because of the lightweight, low-cost and excellent flexibility they provide.
Flexible PCBs can be bent many thousands of times without breaking. Besides, you can twist and bend them in whatever direction you like to make them fit into a particular enclosure. Flexible circuit boards have some many advantages, but it is not easy to find a trusted partner. In there article, we talk about how to choose the right manufacturer for your flex PCB fabrication needs; a professional flex PCB fabrication manufacturer produces your flex circuit boards to avoid any problems.
How To Choose The Right Flex PCB Manufacturer
Suppose you are worried about how to find a trustworthy partner for your flex PCB fabrication. If you are not sure how to settle on one among multiple PCB suppliers, please consider the following factors before deciding which one to choose.
Do they have the right equipment?
Flex PCBs are not conventional circuit boards like FR-4 material PCBs. To create high-quality flex PCBs, you need a manufacturer who uses modern and advanced equipment. Besides, specially designed equipment dedicated to flexible PCB production is also needed.
If they do not invest in the latest technology or the special equipment for flex PCB fabrication, you should consider other options in the market because, without the right equipment, a manufacturer will never be able to create the right board for you. Hence, you should partner up with a flex PCB manufacturer who invests in suitable equipment.
Do they have qualified technicians?
The next question you should ask yourself while selecting the right manufacturer is do they have qualified technicians for flex PCB production. As we have mentioned before flex PCBs have been introduced recently in the manufacturing industry.
Therefore, not every PCB manufacturer will be highly skilled at creating flex PCBs. You should look for a manufacturing company that hires skilled and qualified professionals. It takes a lot of knowledge and understanding of the process to crack the right method of manufacturing a flex PCB.
Are the products high quality?
Quality cannot be compromised. If you want to invest and partner up with a manufacturer, you have to make sure that they are capable of delivering high-quality flex PCBs. There are also some factors that you should keep in mind because they indicate good quality in a flexible circuit.
Ask yourself if a PCB manufacturer can make PCBs that are high-density, durable and have fast connection speeds. Before giving a bulk order, you can request a pilot design to evaluate its performance and efficiency. Besides, quality certifications like ISO9001 are also helpful for the approval of a flex PCB fabrication company. However, an onsite audit is the most direct and useful way.
Are they budget-friendly?
Budget is crucial when running a business. Manufacturing flex PCBs is expensive because of the base polyimide material is expensive, and the advanced equipment and technology needed to make them.
However, a flex PCB manufacturer you team up with should be mindful of your budget. Competent manufacturers can produce high-quality PCBs and minimize costs. You will only be able to invest in other business areas to make it competitive and profitable if you can find a balance.
Quick turnaround time
To get more production in a shorter period of time, you need a flex PCB manufacturer with a fast turnaround. It will also give your business an advantage in the market. You will be able to adapt to changes in requirements and trends to beat the competitors.
If the production period is shorter, your storage costs will be reduced, stock can be reduced, and resources can be used more efficiently. Lastly, flexibility is key in a changing marketplace. If a flex PCB manufacturer has shorter production cycles, they can manufacture more quickly and adjust to changes in demand or design.
Therefore, ensure that your manufacturing company has a large number of production lines if you want a quick turnaround time.
Are They Certified?
Before choosing a manufacturer, do not forget to verify their certification. A system known as a Quality Management System ensures the quality of products PCB manufacturers deliver.
You have to make sure that the manufacturer you are planning to team with follows the QMS standards in its procedures. Out of all the QMS certification schemes, confirm if the flexible circuit boards manufacturer company has received an ISO9001 certification.It is because an ISO certificate proves that a manufacturing company uses best practices and procedures to create high-quality products. Besides, the UL certificate is also very important for flex PCB fabrication.
Do they meet your requirements?
A key consideration you should not ignore when picking a manufacturer is whether or not they fit your needs. Flex PCBs can be used in multiple devices and instruments. Ask yourself if a manufacturer can produce a flex board for the equipment of your industry standards or your brown requirements.
A manufacturing company that has had extensive experience producing PCBs for mobile phones may be unable to create boards for medical applications. So you must find a flex circuits manufacturer that can meet your individual demands.
Are PCBs stored and shipped properly?
Once the production is completed, the next important step is to store the circuit boards. If they are not stored properly, they can get damaged, causing not just a loss of time and effort but also money. Flex circuit boards cannot survive harsh environmental conditions like humidity and heat.
Therefore, a PCB manufacturer should make arrangements to deliver the final products safely without any damage. It will be more expensive to repair damaged products, so make sure your manufacturer packages the finished circuit board in vacuum seals to avoid oxidation and damage.
Do they have great customer service?
Lastly, make sure that your manufacturer offers satisfactory customer service. There may be times when you run into unforeseen issues that call for quick adjustments to the design.
Only a manufacturer that values its customers will be able to accommodate you in the event of an emergency. Good customer service lays the foundations for long-term relationships, which create a stable and exclusive customer base.
If your manufacturer has good customer service, they will be fully involved in the process and offer valuable opinions that will help refine your products. Finally, make sure that your manufacturer practices effective communication because only then you will be able to trust them.
It is not easy to find a trusted partner for your flexible circuit board production needs. But with consideration and careful check of the above tips, you will narrow down your supplier list, and find the right flex PCB manufacturer. But please always note that launch a trial order first before mass production, so a trusted partner needs time to approve.