Over the last decade, flexible circuits, or flex PCBs, have emerged as one of the fastest-establishing market segments for interconnection products. Part of the reason that PCB manufacturing is up so much in terms of growth is because they are commonly used within a large range of quotidian electronic products in addition to many easy-to-transport and very small electronic devices.

Industries for which flex PCB assembly is commonly utilized include transportation, communication, medical professions, industrial sectors, automotive manufacturing, military needs, consumer electronics, and communications. Printed circuit boards utilize an assembly process in which a naked board is stuffed with the necessary electric components to create a working printed circuit assembly. On the other hand, flex PCB assembly utilizes flexible plastic substrates upon which are mounted electronic instruments to form functional electronic circuits.

There are a wide variety of flexible PCB assembly solutions available to the electronics manufacturer seeking the right form of flex PCB for their particular product. When looking for the one that is right for your needs, it is important to consider whether or not you will require PCB manufacturing, sourcing of components, flex PCB assembly, or testing, all from one single provider or if you will require additional manufacturers.

flexible PCB assembly

Flex circuits feature an arranged pattern of printed circuitry that can be quite aesthetically pleasing and they have been seen in many movies and TV shows. Flex PCBs are a hallmark of contemporary electronics and can include a number of different flexible materials in its assembly. When seeking out flexible PCB assembly solutions, it’s best to find and use a provider who is able to offer a range of choices in terms of the flexible material used, including the option of using components that are very similar to those used in nonflexible PCBs while still enabling the board to fit the desired shape required of it in the device.

The history of flexible printed circuits can be traced back to the very beginning of the twentieth century when the methods used in contemporary printed circuit boards, as well as those used in flex PCB assembly, were being developed by the likes of Thomas Edison. Flexible printed circuits were originally developed to serve as a substitute for traditionally-used wire harnesses, with its earliest applications emerging in the communications sector during World War II. In the many decades since then, the proliferation of portable electronic devices and other popular electronics that call for flexible printed circuits has surpassed the demand for many of the innovations it was developed in concurrence with.

After all, in its most basic manifestation, a flex PCB is simply a wide range of conductors that are attached to a dielectric film of an extremely thin width. Those modest beginnings laid the groundwork for a massive number of flexible PCB assemble solutions available to the modern inventor and engineers in Silicon Valley, the home of many flex PCB assembly plants. So when designing or simply playing with the next world-changing mobile electronic device, remember that flex PCBs are at the heart of the device and are what makes such technology even possible.