Flex PCB Prototyping

Leading the way for over 40 years

Flex PCB Prototyping

Flexible PCB prototyping is the process of manufacturing quick functional replicas of a product manufactured using substrate material that is naturally flexible. In fact, it is one of the most important technologies in use for advanced electronic products. Not without reason.

The big advantage with flexible circuit boards is of course the fact that they meet dynamic flexing requirements. In addition, flex PCB prototypes can be designed to withstand extreme temperatures. High-temperature resistance also typically comes with good chemical resistance as well as resistance to radiation and UV exposure. Some of the other advantages that flex circuit boards offer include:

  • They are lightweight and thin and therefore lend themselves to miniaturization.
  • As their name suggests, they offer flexibility and hence more freedom to decrease the mechanical footprint.
  • Flex PCB prototypes are resistant to high temperature, oils, gases and acids.
  • Flex PCB prototyping is highly durable. The reduced number of interconnects allow them to handle changing forces and improve their resistance to shock.
  • They have high signal integrity.
  • They can support high circuit densities.
  • They lend themselves to reduced wiring errors.
  • On account of fewer assembly steps involved, they tend to be relatively low-cost
  • They offer improved heat dissipation.

As a leading prototype to production flex PCB manufacturer, at Mer-Mar Electronics we offer high quality flex PCB prototyping services to suit your bespoke requirements. In addition, we offer quick turn flex PCB Prototype services that makes go-to-market that much easier. A large portfolio of satisfied clients stand testimony not just to our design and prototype to full production run manufacturing capacity, but also to our technical and engineering capabilities. Our state-of-the-art equipment as well as superior technical expertise ensure that getting early functional replicas of your products was never so easy. You can easily test and ratify your product’s functional design. In addition, our PCB prototypes help reduce the overall project cost as any issues are found in the early stages of the cycle.

The Preferred Partner for Flex PCB Prototyping

Superior facility – Our state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment as well as our technical expertise enable us to produce high quality flex PCB prototypes that are significantly ahead of the curve. You can count on our experienced staff that is armed with industry best practices. What that means is that you do not have to reinvent the wheel.

Adherence to strict industry standards – When it comes to PCBs, you cannot afford to take any chances. We ensure strict adherence to leading industry standards. Besides we have robust testing procedures that ensure you are covered.

Quick turn around time – Our quick turnaround times ensure that your go-to-market time is significantly reduced and your competitive advantage, heightened.

Easy to scale up – The big advantage of partnering with us is not just that we offer you prototype quantities with an eye for detail. It is also that we offer you scalability. So, when you need to order a full production run, we have you covered as well.

Stringent tests on components – With complex projects, we ensure there is individual testing of each component to identify flaws, if any. In turn it leads to necessary replacements and ensuring viability of the PCB.

Flex PCB Prototyping Services

Flex PCB Prototyping

Flex PCB Prototype Design

Count on us to offer you initial efficient flex PCB designs that work well for your miniaturized product. In addition, we offer robust design for manufacturability tests. This ensures that you do not have to deal with delays or costly errors when it is time to move to the full production stage.

Flex PCB Prototypes

Additive Manufacturing

With our additive manufacturing systems and processes, we can craft the most complex multilayer PCBs with ease. These prototypes come with high component density and miniaturization.

Flexible PCB Prototyping

Single-sided, dual-access and sculptured flex circuits

We offer single-sided flexible circuits which have a single conductor layer made of copper on a flexible polyimide material. You could also opt for dual access flex circuits where access to selected features is available from both sides. Sculptured flex circuits are a subset of normal flexible circuits that are manufactured through a multistep etching method.

Flexible PCB Prototypes

Flexible PCB Turnkey Services

We offer full turnkey prototype services. Bank on us for part procurement at the most cost-effective rates and efficient assembly. In turn, what this offers to you is the ability to focus on your core competencies.

Flex PCB Prototyping Service

PCB Prototyping and Production flexibility

With our on-demand services, you do not have to commit to any volume requirements. Simply state your requirement and have the most high-quality flex PCBs made available to you.

Flex PCB Prototyping Process
Step 1: Flex PCB Build Up

This is a primary phase where the base material is saved. The main material used is largely polyimide. To save polyimide, it is recommended to keep the circuits close to each other. For this, the nesting technique is used.

The following steps include:

Looping

This involves adding a small amount of extra material known as the service loop, to the flex circuit prototypes.

Sizing conductor

Choice of thin copper ensures you add flexibility to the circuit.

Etching

This tool makes up for any isotropic loses that may occur in the manufacturing process. There are a number of factors that impact the line width, primary among them being:

  • Copper foil thickness
  • Type of conductor
  • Equipment Used
  • Etch Mask

Routing of the conductors

A flex circuit board lends itself to easy routing as folding and bending is that much easier.

Ground Planes

It is prudent to create crosshatched ground areas and keep the weight of the circuit board under check.

Step 2: Flexible Printed Circuit Board Fabrication Process

The fabrication process involves the following steps:

Sizing of the holes

With improved technology, it is possible to create holes as small as 25 micrometers.

Filleting

This process helps multiply the area of the pad as also distribute the stresses.

Button Plating

By this process a substitute plated through-hole is created.

Step 3: Consider Physical constraints

The common cover layer used in the manufacturing process include:

Adhesive-backed films

This is useful for dynamic flex circuit board prototyping applications.

Screen-printable liquid overcoats

This is particularly useful on account of its cost-effectiveness.

Photo imaginable liquid and film polymers

A new method of over-coating, it ensures that there are no irregularities. The functions of this cover layer include:

  • It prevents the solder from circuiting traces.
  • It offers protection against physical damages.
  • Protects the circuits from external electrification.

It is important that the following specifications be made available to us as per your bespoke requirements so that the Flex PCB prototyping can be designed accordingly:

  • Number of layers
  • Surface finish depending on the environment in which the PCB has to function. Common surface finishes include:
    • Hot Air Solder Level (HASL)
    • Electrolytic Tin Plating (RoHS compliant)
    • Immersion Silver (RoHS Compliant)
    • Immersion Tin
    • Gold and Soldering
    • Hard Gold over Nickel (RoHS Compliant)
    • Electroplated Soft Gold over Nickel (RoHS compliant)
    • ENIG (Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold) (RoHS Compliant)
    • Organic Coating OSP (RoHS Compliant)
  • Solder Mask
  • Copper weight
  • Thickness of the board
  • Hole sizes
  • Trace width

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Flex PCB Prototyping Capabilities

At Mer-Mar Electronics, our flex PCB prototype capabilities, span the following:

Features Capability
Standard Panel Size 18″x24″.
Copper Thickness 0.5 oz. To 6.0 oz.
Layers 1 – 20 layers
Finished Board Thickness 0.5mm~3.0mm (0.02″~0.12″)
Types of Flexible
Printed Circuit Board
PCBs Provided
  • Single-sided Circuits
  • Double-sided Circuits
  • Multilayer Circuits
  • Rigid Flex Circuits
Order Quantity There is no minimum order quantity.
Material Standard FR-4 material
Solder Mask White, Black, Blue, Green, Red
Legend/Silkscreen Color Black, White
Shielding Material Copper, Silver Ink, Tatsuta, Carbon
Flex PCB
Prototyping Options
  • Functional Prototypes
  • Working Prototypes
  • Visual Models
  • Proof-of-Concept Prototypes

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Application of Flex PCB Prototyping

Flex PCB prototyping find a wide variety of application including but not limited to the following industries:

  • Aerospace
  • Medical
  • Communications
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Automotive
  • Industrial
  • Military
  • Transportation

Certifications

ISO 9001:20015 Logo Itar Logo

We follow the requisite industry standards like

  • ISO 9001:2008 Certification
  • IPC-WHMA-A-610 Compliant
  • IPC-CC-830B Compliant
  • SBA Certified
  • IPC-A-610-D & ANSI/J-STD-001 standards
  • ISO 9001: 2015 Certified
  • ISO 13485: 2016 by Medical Devices Quality Management
  • International Traffic in Arms Regulation Compliant (ITAR)

Flex PCB Prototyping FAQs

Looking for flex PCB prototyping from Mer-Mar Electronics? Send us inquiry to Get a flex PCB prototyping quote based on your custom requirements.

If you have any queries regarding to our flex PCB prototyping services, flex circuit boards, flex printed circuit board prototypes or need an urgent assistance, then please don’t hesitate to contact our team of skilled personnel. Send us an email with your queries at sales@mermarinc.com or call us at (760) 244-6149. We are looking forward to hearing from you.