Evolution of Printed Circuit Board(PCB)


This chapter is all the evolution of the Printed Circuit Board since they were invented, the changes they have undergone, through the years, their present state, and the future of these components.

A Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is a gadget that is meant to provide mechanical support and connect all the electronic components through the use of conductive pads and other features etched from copper sheets and overlaid into a material that does not conduct electricity.

Before the Printed Circuit Boards became the standard in the production of electronics, the industry majorly relied on point-to-point construction. This method led to unreliable designs and bulky products which required large sockets. The problem was eliminated when the PCB became part of the production of electronics.

The 1st Printed Circuit Boards are nearly not recognized as compared to the modern designs in the present age. The important function was for creation of an electrical path on an insulating substrate for movement and control of the electrical current. Since the invention of the first PCB, a lot of changes have been made to improve the concept. Both developments of the material and computerization have aided in the continued evolution of Printed Circuit Board into other circuits that are being used in modern days electronics.


Paul Eisler is the first intellectual who invented the Printed Circuit Board in the 20th century. He is, therefore, the father of the Printed Circuit Board.

He developed the PCB to operate a radio system.

Printed Circuit Boards and their year of manufacture.

  • The invention of Charles Ducas in 1925 called “Printed wire” involved the creation of an electrical path direct to an insulated surface on a flat timber board. Though the concept eliminated the use of complex wiring it did not work.

  • In 1936, the father of PCBs Paul Eisler developed the first PCB to be used in the radio system. The same technology was taken up by the military of the United States and was used in the proximity fuses that were used during the period of World War II.

PCB diagram of 1936.


A Proximity fuse is used to donate an explosive device automatically when the distance between the target becomes smaller than the expected value.

A fuse contains only the mechanical or electronic elements used to signal or actuate the detonator. Some fuses have a small amount of primary explosive to initiate the detonator and others may have fused with large explosive charges that include an explosive booster. The diagram below shows a proximity fuse.

A radio proximity fuse for anti-aircraft

  • In 1943, Eisler continues to improve in his invention of the PCB to a higher advanced design that involved etching of the circuits on copper foil on a non-conductive material i.e., glass, paper.

The above diagram shows the 1943 Printed Circuit Board

  • In 1944, Britain and the US worked together and developed proximity fuses to be used during mining, making of bombs, and artillery shells throughout of WWII.

The above diagram shows a Printed Circuit Board of 1944

  • In the year 1948, the army of the US released printed circuit board tech to the citizens, and the Printed Circuit Board (Printed Wiring Boards), PWBs started to evolve.

The above diagram shows 1948 Printed Circuit Board

  • In the 1950s, transistors were discovered and introduced into the market which led to a reduction in the overall size of manufactured electronics. It also made it easier to use the Printed Circuit Boards and slowly improved the eelectronic’sreliability.

A diagram showing different types of resistors

1950 Printed Circuit Board

  • Between the 1950s and 1960s, double-sided Printed Circuit Boards evolved. One side consists of electrical components and the other side identification printing. The PCB designs are incorporated with zinc plates together with corrosion-resistant substances and coating are applied in order to avoid degradation.

A double-sided Printed Circuit Board

  • In the 1960s, Integrated Circuit is introduced to the electronic designs industry. An (IC) also known as silicon chip-enabled millions of components to be put on that single chip producing more power and reliability than before in the electronics that had these devices. In order to accommodate a new number of Integrated Circuits, the conductors in the Printed Circuit Board had to grow higher resulting in many layers in a single PCB. The ICs are small which leads to a reduction in the size of the PCB making the connections and soldering to become difficult.

The diagram above shows the 1960 Integrated Chip/silicon chip

  • During 1970, PCBs are incorrectly being connected to the dangerous polychlorinated biphenyl, PCB chemical. This resulted in confusion in the public together with the health department. The Printed Circuit board name was then changed to Printed Wiring Board (PWB) until in the 1990s when the PCBs were phased out.


The diagram below shows a 1970 PCB

  • Between the 1970s and 1980s, a solder stop mask of polymer material is developed to initiate easier soldering application to the copper circuit without dividing between adjacent circuits by a greater distance increasing the circuit density. An imageable polymer material coat is developed and can be applied to circuits and modified further improvement of the circuit density.

The solder stop mask is applied to the copper traces of the Printed Circuit Board to protect it against oxidation.

Printed Circuit Board solder stop mask.

  • In the 1980s, new technology was developed and was named SMT. All the previous Printed Circuit Boards had wire leads that had to be soldered into the holes of the PCB. The holes consumed a larger space which when used well could lead to the mounting of another circuit. When the surface mount technology components were introduced and were soldered directly to the small pads of the PCB without the holes. They became the manufacturing standard and were applied to replace hole components also improving power, and reliability as it leads to reducing electronic production costs.

Surface Mount Technology



  • Through-hole components are expensive to manufacture compared to surface mount technology.
  • Surface mount technology does not have leads while through-hole components have holes for mounting.
  • Surface mount technology requires advanced design compared to through-hole technology.
  • Surface mount technology has a lot of mounting pins as compared to through-hole components.
  • Surface mount technology enables automation at lower costs as compared to through-hole technology.
  • Surface mount technology has high production at low costs as compared to through-hole technology.



  • SMT designs are light due to the smaller PCB design.
  • Production process setup is faster.
  • SMT gives room for high circuit speeds.
  • Components can be placed on two sides of the circuit board.




  • You require to hire a skilled person at an expensive cost.
  • Tools for the components are expensive to acquire.
  • Most surface mount technology components are difficult to install.
  • The reliability of solder joints becomes a concern since less solder is applied to the joints.
  • It is not easy to identify components.



In Through-hole technology, electronic components have leads that are inserted into drilled holes in a Printed Circuit Board and soldered to pads on the other side.


  • It is more reliable for products that require strong connections between the layers since it can withstand a lot of stress.
  • Its bonds are more expensive enabling it to be reserved for heavy components.
  • It can be used with breadboard sockets.


  • Consumes a lot of time during production due to the drilling of multiple holes.
  • Costs of production are high.
  • The holes consume a lot of space on the board.
  • Tracing signals is not easy.


  • In the 1990s, Printed Circuit Boards continues to become smaller as CAD becomes more famous. The use of computer designs automated many steps in the Printed Circuit Board and leads to complex and advanced designs with smaller and lighter, perfect and miniature components. The manufacturers work to improve their device’s performance, reduction of electrical consumption and cost.

  • In the 2000s, the Printed Circuit Boards manufactured have become tiny in size, have more layers, and are complex.

The Flexible printed circuit boards became common and provided an cost friendly option and helped in saving a lot of space which was ideal for designing packages.

An improved Printed Circuit Board of 2000

  • In 2006, a process called Every Layer Interconnect (ELIC) was developed. The process uses stacked micro vias that are filled wih coper to make the connections through the layers of the PCB. This enables the developers to make proper connections between two or more layers in the board.

Since the invention of Printed Circuit Boards and their introduction of them into the market for usage, various types of PCBs have evolved as listed and discussed below.

  1. Single-sided/ one side printed circuit board.
  2. Double-sided/ two sides printed circuit board.
  3. Multilayer printed circuit board.
  4. Rigid printed circuit board.
  5. Flexible printed circuit board.
  6. Rigid-flex printed circuit board.
  7. High frequency printed circuit board.
  8. Aluminum-backed printed circuit board.

Single-sided printed circuit board

In single-sided printed circuit board, it contains only one layer of the base material. The layer which is covered with a thin layer of copper metal is a good conductor of electricity.

The PCB has a protective solder mask that is applied on top of the copper layer.

Process of making a single-sided printed circuit board

  • Using any CAD designing software to make a layout of the PCB.
  • Print your layout on the paper.
  • Take the copper plate fiberglass PCB substrate.
  • Iron the layout of the PCB on the copper side of the board.
  • Place the board in a solution of copper chloride for some time for copper to etch out.
  • Use a scraper to remove the laser ink from the PCB tracks
  • Apply a solder mask.
  • Do the drilling of holes
  • Do the soldering of all the electronic components.

Benefits of a single sided-PCB in the modern market.

  • The cost of production is low since fewer materials are needed.
  • The probability of failing is low.
  • It is easy to understand due to a smaller number of components.
  • Most suitable simple designs.

Most single-sided PCBs are used in;

  • Light-emitting diode.
  • The relays.
  • Calculators
  • Sensors
  • Power supply.
  • Timers
  • Radio
  • Printers
  • Camera

Double-sided printed circuit board.

A double-sided printed circuit board has two-sided traces on both the top and bottom layers. On both sides of the board, conductive copper can be mounted to allow traces of copper to cross over each other.

Advantages of double-sided PCB

  • they permit density in components thus making the laying of tracks a neater process.
  • It provides increased cooling.


The double-sided circuit board is applied in wide applications to satisfy the necessities of the project. The list below is where they’re applied.

  • Converters
  • Relay controls.
  • Power converters
  • LED
  • Controls within the industry
  • Power supplies.
  • Ultra-power saves systems.
  • Personal control hard drives.
  • Phone systems.
  • Power amplifiers.

Multilayer electric circuit board

A multilayer electric circuit board is formed with three conductive layers of copper foil. Several layers of the double-sided PCBs are laminated and sticked together with layers of insulations between them..

The whole building is arranged during this the two layers are placed on each sides of the pc circuit boards to form a connection to the sarrounding. The electrical connections are achieved by plated through holes (vias)

The multilayer circuit board came into existence due to evolving changes within the industry.

Electronics became more complicated over time and need more complex circuit boards.

The computer circuit boards are affected by noise, and crosstalk which ends within the requirement of following a particular design pattern. the design considerations make it hard/difficult to urge a satisfactory performance from one or double-sided circuit board which ends up within the existence of a multilayer electrical circuit board.

Multilayer electrical circuit boards became more popular within the electronics market. they’re made of different sizes and thicknesses so that it can accommodate or fit the needs of their use. Most PCBs have an honest number of layers since an odd number of layers can cause warping within the circuit which is cost-effective to produce.

Benefits of the multilayered circuit board

  • Are small in size but more powerful.
  • Are light in weight since the PCB is small in size.
  • Have the main quality compared to single and double-sided layer electrical circuit boards.
  • Have increased durability. they’re going to bind the heat and pressure used to bind them together.
  • Have flexible construction techniques.
  • Are more powerful.


  • they’re expensive to shop for.
  • they’re difficult to style.
  • Consume plenty of it slow during the manufacturing process hence tiresome.
  • Their availability is proscribed within the manufacturing industry.

Multilayer circuit board is extremely applied in complex systems named below.

Electronics i.e., smartphones. Each electronic contains a PCB.

In telecommunication systems for signal transmission and satellite applications.

Industrial control systems run the machinery due to its durability and functionality.

for treatment and diagnosis.

In automotive, cars have more electronic components used for various applications within the system.

RIGID electrical circuit BOARD

because the name suggests a rigid electric circuit board cannot bend from its original shape. it isn’t flexible and thus cannot be modified or folded into the opposite desired shape.

The following are the benefits of an electric circuit board.

  • Are cheaper
  • it’s more durable compared to flexible circuit boards.
  • Can exist for an extended period.
  • Has top of the range
  • Is applied to many electronic devices.
  • Has more demand and supply.

Uses of the rigid circuit board

Many companies on the planet use these types of boards in several electronic gadgets because they supply increased circuit density and reduce the load of the board.

  • ICT department
  • Telecommunication devices.
  • Servers
  • Signal transmission
  • In satellites
  • within the medical industry
  • In military equipment.

FLEXIBLE electrical circuit BOARD.

It is a circuit that gives connection to the electrical components with the help of the conductive copper wires in order to convey mechanical support? it’s the muse of various electronic projects, with miniature, compact, and fewer unpredictable PCB designs.

Let’s start.

A flexible PCB encompasses the conductive layer made out of tracks of copper.

Flexible PCBs types:

There exist four types of this flexible PCBs

  1. Single-Layer PCB

This as you will be ready to see from the name will have only 1 layer of copper that’s placed on top of the dielectric layer

  1. Multiple Layers

Has three or even more conductive copper layers that are separated apart by the dielectric substances.

  1. PCB with Rigid-Flex

This is a mixture of both the flexible and thus the rigid layers to form a board that will have the facility to combine many components with an excessive amount of flexibility.

  1. Flexible PCB from HDI

HDI is the abbreviation for high-density interconnect


  • Antilock brakes
  • Satellites
  • Medical devices
  • Cameras
  • Battery packs
  • Ultrasound probes
  • Fuel pumps
  • Motion systems
  • Avionics
  • Manufacturing devices
  • Airbag apparatus
  • Medical devices
  • Universal Product Code equipment
  • Semiconductor test

RIGID-FLEX computer circuit BOARD

The rigid-flex computer circuit board comprises rigid and versatile board technologies. The circuit card is created from several multiple flexible inner circuit layers. This has more benefits like stability, assembly, and signal transmission.

Rigid-Flex Circuits: Rigid-flex are made of many schematic layers that are connected by an epoxy pre-preg bonding film, almost like the multi-layer flex schematics. Component presence is higher in rigid-flex schematics.

The following are the advantages when employing a rigid-flex computer circuit board.

  • It is flexible hence enabling the manufacturer to form without many considerations.
  • Has a reduced packaging size hence light in weight.
  • It is often designed to suit smaller areas.
  • It will be utilized in highly demanding applications.
  • Has reduced circuitry failure thanks to the mixture of rigid and flex circuits.

HIGH-FREQUENCY computer circuit BOARD

They transmit electromagnetic waves with minimal losses. it’s mainly utilized where transmissions of signals between objects are required.

The board features a symptom flow at high rates. The circuit boards are mainly applied in HDI technology.

The following are applications of high-frequency computer circuit boards.

  • In communication systems
  • Production of ammunition and firearms employed in the military industry.
  • In the marine and aviation industries.

ALUMINUM-BAKED computer circuit BOARD

An aluminum computer circuit board is formed of a metal substrate that mainly contains a mix of aluminum.

The aluminum circuit boards are mainly employed in projects that need cooling and also the insulating dielectric is suitable for the availability of an appropriate exit for warmth.

They are mainly applied in;

  • LED circuit boards.
  • Used in power conversion systems.
  • Applied within the motor.

We have discussed how the computer circuit boards were invented and also the various stages they underwent until this day. The invention has made the manufacturing industry grow as things still change. this can be a changing world where technology is happening we should always be able to embrace it.


Introduction to PCB Panelization


Printed circuit board panelization is a technique where manufacturers of smaller boards manufacture them and connect them as a single array making it easier to move through an assembly line. The individual boards can easily be removed from the array for installation into a product.

An array which is also called a printed circuit board panel is a term used in printed circuit board manufacturing where a single PCB is combined multiple times to make a larger array of connected boards. The process is referred to as stepping out of the individual boards.

Many manufacturers have good ideas for coming up with different kinds of printed circuit boards. As they move to the warehouses to start producing them, it becomes difficult due to some misconceptions to come up with a standard printed circuit board. For this reason, it is important to have the following design considerations to meet the required standards in the industry.

Printed Circuit Board panel strength

An increased board count per panel increases the strength and reduces vibration. This then shows that for a manufacturer to produce a strong and long-lasting array board, he should consider using several arrays on the board.

The component layout

This includes the placement of all the components and connectors on the board. Those that hung off the edge are the ones that especially limit the penalization process. During the manufacturing process, the producer should be keen on the allocation of the components on the board to meet the standard.

Printed Circuit Board shape

Manufacturers produce different types of shapes of the Printed Circuit Board. The shape of the board can sometimes complicate parallelization. Some of the board shapes are complex. One can use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software’s to fit unusually shaped boards into an array.

Tooling holes

All tooling holes should best be placed in the panel rather than in the circuit board when the boards are being placed in an array. The fabricators do not produce individual boards but produce panels, therefore, the holes should be placed in the panel.


Boards that are brought in the array are the primary reason for making an automated assembly less expensive and faster. Arrays can also be useful because they can allow the increase of tooling rails, and holes which help in assembling.

Tooling rails/ frames of the array. They make simplify how to hold the arrays during the assembling process as it provides stability.

The tooling holes should be drilled from the top to the rails such that the array can be pinned down to avoid unwanted motion during the process of assembly. They are drilled to a required specification.

Fiducials are made out of copper on the rails which help the automated pick-and-place equipment by giving an equal reference point.

There are majorly three types of array that the manufacturers use and the manufacturer has to determine which one to use.

They include;

  • Scored
  • Tab routed
  • The mixture of scored and tab routed


The proper printed circuit board array panelization and arrangement ensures there is a low rate of damaging the individual boards when handling and during assembly. Scored array offers a few important benefits for separating boards from the array.

Advantages of using a scored printed circuit board

  • It allows the designer to minimize the space between the individual boards.
  • Minimal cost of assembly
  • Less material per board is used.
  • Has better mechanical stability.


Tab routing is required when one has designed an irregular shape. Because the tab routed arrays are less sturdy than the scored arrays, the tooling rails should be added to all four sides of the array. This will give the array of printed circuit boards more support while handling the assembly process.

In tab-routed arrays, the printed circuit board is the one that is routed and held together using the small tabs.

In tab-routing panelization, the printed circuit board array that can conveniently use a V-groove method will instead use a tab routing method. With this type of method, the printed circuit boards are pre-cut from the array and held on the board with tabs.

Tab routing and scouring are used when board sides have given are straight and can be shaped while irregular sides should be tab-routed.

A diagram showing tab routing activity

In printed circuit board manufacturing, various components are chosen and used by the manufacturer to come up with the standard PCB required by the consumers. As a result, we have various methods of how to arrive at the required components to fit the need and meet panelization standards.

The following are various tips for choosing the components

  1. Component footprint Decisions

As a designer, you must select printed circuit board component footprints and land patterns that will provide strong roots for the printed circuit board components. It is always good when you use the numeric keys to make a plan. A designer who cannot follow and comply with the datasheet has a high tendency to get an incorrect component footprint that leads to more errors.

  1. Use of good grounding practices

The grounding planes are important features of the printed circuit board with all components that should possess the majority of the bypass capacitors. Capacitor size and frequencies should be keenly observed. You should ensure that you observe good grounding practices during the printed circuit design process.

  1. None-lead free components to be separated from lead-free components

It is very key to separate all defined lead-free parts from the undefined to make sure a lead-free arrangement when choosing a printed circuit board component. It is advisable to label all the ingredients as lead-free to avoid confusion. It is always important for the designer to make his or her customer aware of the modifications because there is a variation that exists between lead-free and non-lead-free.

  1. You should assign the virtual parts footprints

The virtual parts consist of power signals and ground. During the printed circuit board component schematic construction, all the virtual parts should be put into consideration and not ignore their importance in the process of designing printed circuit board components.

You should therefore get a better understanding of your printed circuit board assembly parts when you keep in touch with the bill of materials created.

  1. Make sure you have the complete bill of material (BOM) data

Bill of Materials data is another thing to give maximum attention and it should be complete. One can follow the bill of the material report to get the information after that to review and fill in the manufactures data on every single part before advancing to the printed circuit board design stage.

Suppliers can work faster and solve some problems earlier when they have a complete bill of material.

  1. Check the spare gates

To ensure that the whole printed circuit board works efficiently you have to check out for every additional obstacle. To ensure you promote the printed circuit board’s independent functions every spare gate in the drawing helps in understanding and running the board for other members. All component symbols made for printed circuit board layout and printed over the PCB board are helpful during the assembly and must be positioned correctly when connecting to unwired input.

  1. Every connection with one pad

The composition of the printed circuit board components must follow one rule which is one pad for one connection for proper alignment during the assembly process. If there are other components on the pad like the capacitors and resistors another pad must be recreated.

  1. Component package choice.

You should choose a component package that adds a touch of perfection to your design to speak for your work as a printed circuit board designer. Some choose components that work against them which leads to mistrust among their customers

The manufacturer also needs to choose what kind of board he will use to produce his printed circuit design. Before the development of the printed circuit boards, the board materials were being mostly covered by nests of entanglement that could easily fail. This could also result in a short circuit once the wires started to crack.

  1. Speak to your component delivery

This is another technique a printed circuit board with perfectly formed components. According to the bill of material, the printed circuit board components should be delivered in all parts to make sure the appropriate arrangement of all the kits.

It is important to have an agreement with the manufacturer on the best means to get the components to prevent problems encountered during the delivery process.

A printed circuit board consists of four layers that are heat laminated together into a single layer. The types of materials used in printed circuit boards from top to bottom are;

  • Silkscreen
  • Solder mask
  • Copper
  • Substrate


The silkscreen is the topmost layer of a printed circuit board that is used as a reference for placing components on the printed circuit board. It requires a special ink whose standards color is white, red, yellow, etc.

This layer applies ink traces to detect printed circuit board components, the test points, warning symbols, logos, and other marks. It can be found in the solder section. This kind of method is expensive.


Silkscreen designs vary from simple designs to complex ones that fail which if you do not apply is like having limited knowledge.

The guidelines below will guide you in making a workable silkscreen

  • The method your printed circuit board manufacturer uses to make silkscreens

Most manufacturers cannot make silkscreens using the three-screen printing methods. The printed circuit board method affects your primary design elements like the size location of markings and others.

  • Account for silkscreen items during printed circuit board layout

For someone to be able to read your screen well, marks such as polarity and reference indicators should be adjacent to their related components. As you make your design, you should be able to consider the additional spacing requirements to avoid covering the indicators.

  • Choose your fonts according to your manufacturer’s printing method

Some of the printed circuit board design packages will allow you to make any silkscreen font. However, your manufacturer may only be able to support a few fonts. You should therefore contact your chosen printed circuit board service provider and guide you in choosing the right font.

  • Do not use excess silkscreen markings

Do not be tempted to apply signs of every component and its information that is not useful to the assembly.

For you to make maximum use of printed circuit board identification and labeling even on small boards, you should observe the following.

  • Start with regulatory requirements.
  • Manufacturer markings and identification.
  • Prioritize aids like polarity.
  • Consider tasting aids like jumper indicators.

How to choose a printed circuit board silkscreen manufacturer

It is good and wise to seek services from reliable silkscreen manufacturers for you to produce high-quality products and have good services.

Almost all service providers have come up with a robust curve that suits the PCB printing process.

Ensure you maintain a good friendship with your manufacturer to perfect on Computer-Aided Design or the manual one before embarking on the actual production. This is where you will determine the font size, spacing, color, and other silkscreen design considerations.

After you are done, go through your design and check the errors and readability issues. Collaborate with your manufacturer to make good and valid decisions.

The Solder mask

The solder mask is also called solder resist. It is a thin polymer layer that is applied to the printed circuit board copper tracks to prevent oxygen reactions from taking place and also protect them against environmental damages.

when some

Purpose of solder mask

A solder mask is the printed circuit board’s primary protector from any form of corrosion and oxidation.

The solder mask also creates a cover between the soldered joints and other conductive parts during the assembly of the printed circuit board, therefore, protecting against the formation of the solder bridges.

Printed circuit board types of solder masks include

  • Liquid epoxy

It is a low-cost form. You simply have to use the woven mesh to support the ink-blocking pattern. The epoxy liquid acts as a thermoset polymer for hardening during curing. The solder mask dye is combined with this liquid epoxy.

  • Liquid photo imageable solder mask

This applies the photolithography technique that has a dry film. You can spray a liquid photo imageable solder mask over the board.

You are supposed to create the photography mask from the given Gerber files according to the required solder mask.

  • Dry film

Dry film is placed on sheets of solder mask with the aid of a vacuum laminated process. This process makes the unexposed solder mask stick to the printed circuit board and removes bubbles that may occur in the film. After the exposure, the unexposed mask should be removed using a solvent and thermally cured for the remaining ones.

  • Top and bottom side

On the two sides of the printed circuit boards, there are always two solder masks.

Copper in printed circuit boards

All printed circuit board manufacturers use copper because it is a good conductor of electricity. As the electric current moves along with the printed circuit board, copper keeps on heating which avoids damaging and stressing the entire printed circuit board. With other alloys, the printed circuit board could heat unevenly and the system may not function well.

Basics of copper base printed circuit board

It has multiple layers which include a copper base, an insulating layer, and the copper circuit layer. Copper-based PCB is divided into 2 categories.

  • Embedded copper coin printed circuit board
  • Buried copper coin printed circuit board

Advantages of copper printed circuit boards

  1. The copper track is used between various components which makes the entire unit small to fit in any tiny device.
  2. If any part of the printed circuit board is damaged and the labeling is transparent, the damaged part can easily be replaced.
  3. The copper PCB takes less time to assemble.
  4. Chances of the short circuit are eliminated due to its tight arrangement.
  5. Correctly laid copper PCB reduces noise which enhances good performance.
  6. Copper printed circuit boards are highly reliable and cost-effective

The disadvantage of copper printed circuit board

  • Copper printed circuit boards can carry less current due to their small size.
  • Its use is limited to small components only.
  • Its soldering needs maximum attention since it’s tiny in size.
  • It overheats and hence can damage the entire component.

Applications of copper printed circuit boards

Copper printed circuit board is applied in various fields of technology in different industries.

  • It is used in solar power converters to increase its efficiency.
  • Used in renewable energy.
  • Use in power rectification.
  • Used in communication devices.
  • Applied in overload relays.


Printed circuit board substrate is the substrate material used. The right choice in a printed circuit board design is the substrate used which is important for high-speed printed circuit board design. The substrate has a great influence on the finished printed circuit board design to withstand voltage, dielectric constant, and other electrical properties.

Types of substrates

Substrates can be grouped into five types each one of them having a unique set of characters and characteristics and specific applications.

  • Flame Resistant two

This is a lower grade of the substrate which is made of impregnated paper that is easy to machine over a fiberglass substrate material. It is also called phenolic.

  • Flame Resistant four

Fiberglass substrates are made up of fiberglass material.

  • RF

This substrate comprises low dielectric plates and is used in circuit boards for applications in high-power radio frequencies. This material is rigid and can also be drilled, cut, or machined

  • Flex

Not all circuit boards use rigid core materials. Some of them are designed to be slightly flexible or very flexible and are called flex circuits.


  1. Size of the panel

The maximum and minimum dimensions of the panel are determined by the machines used for each process of the printed circuit board manufacturing line. To enable proper handling of the panels the dimensions should be at least 50 mm in length.

  1. Form of the panel

Some of the PCBs have irregular contours to meet the standard of limited installation spaces hence lacking the two parallel edges. For proper handling, machines material should be added around the irregular-shaped printed circuit board.

  1. Handling margin

To ensure proper handling of the panels a narrow strip must be left free all around at the edge of the panel.

  1. Preparation of singulation

There are two different ways of preparing the panel for the final singulation. The preventive measures protect the panel and printed circuit board from damage and increase the cutting speed.

  1. Geometries of printed circuit boards

PCBs can have different and complex geometries due to individual requirements of the assembly. Mechanical separation like sawing is limited regarding their possible contour.

  1. Technical cleanliness

Many industries like medical technology need to ensure the technical cleanliness of surfaces and the cutting edges. Various panel separation processes are different in their possibilities in terms of the degree of purity they can achieve. Some of the methods produce large particles that cannot be removed easily.

  1. Space between printed circuit boards

For you to be able to cleanly cut out the printed circuit boards with the respective tool certain distances must be put into consideration during the design phase.


  • It saves on money and time
  • It improves work efficiency
  • It improves product quality
  • Prototype printed circuit design can add different design
  • It protects printed circuit board from vibration and shock

All manufacturers are therefore advised to choose the right components when coming up with their designs to fit the customers’ needs and work efficiently.


New Trends in PCB Manufacturing


The utilization of printed circuit boards (PCB), particularly in customer hardware, continues to grow rapidly. Generally, the growth is impelled by current electronic consumer requests for scaled-down and profoundly performing gadgets like cell phones and wearables. In certain areas like military and clinical, there is demand for high functionalities and advanced capabilities. Such requests can be achieved by applying and finding new materials, parts, and production methods.

Thusly the PCB business keeps on facing open doors and difficulties in the technological era. The financial advantage of limiting production costs becomes more vital for most manufacturers. However, as the business embraces state-of-the-art technology, creation cost ascends as manufacturers collaborate with tech specialists to use their facilities and stay on top of things.

While it is difficult to project the specific patterns that will drive the eventual pattern of the PCB business, an organization with clear visions can essentially impact the next generation of hardware by recognizing a challenge and finding answers to solve them. The most effective way of deciding what’s to come is by analyzing the current situation. Thusly, let us direct our concentration toward the top trends that will shape the fate of electronic industries.

What is a PCB?

A printed circuit board is a laminated board consisting of a conductive and insulating layer sandwiched together. PCBs have two corresponding capacities; attaching electronic parts in the assigned areas on the external layers through soldering.

Common types of PCBs

Printed circuit boards are grouped into different kinds given assembling process, design determination, and application prerequisites. Before picking a PCB design you want to use, you must consider the space required, handling capability, and mechanical and electrical dependability. Let’s take a look at these types of PCBs;

  • Single-sided PCBs.
  • Multilayer PCBs
  • Double-sided PCBs
  • Rigid PCBs
  • Rigid-Flex PCBs.
  • Flex PCBs

PCB Manufacturing Process

Before defining PCB manufacturing, it could be useful to define a couple of different terms and their interrelationships.

  • PCB Development: is defined as the most common way of taking a circuit board design to production. This normally incorporates three phases; plan, assembling, and testing.
  • PCB Manufacturing/ fabricating: This is the development or production of a PCB design. This is a 2-venture process that starts with board creation and ends with the assembly of PCBs.
  • PCB Testing: this is the 3rd phase of PCB production which is performed in the wake of assembling. Testing during improvement is done to access the board’s capacity to play out its expected functionality. During this stage, any mistakes or regions where the plan ought to be adjusted to further develop execution and one more is started to consolidate the plan changes.
  • PCB Assembly: PCBA is the subsequent phase in PCB production in which the board parts are mounted to the uncovered board through a soldering cycle/process.

Here is the PCB manufacturing process.

PCB manufacturing is the cycle or strategy that changes a circuit board plan into an actual construction in light of the determination given in the design package. This actual indication is accomplished through the below activities or procedures:

  1. PCB Design and output:

  • Circuit boards ought to be thoroughly viable with, a PCB format made by the designer utilizing PCB designing software. The used PCB design software incorporates; Altium Designer, OrCAD, Pads, Ki CAD, Eagle, and among much others (NOTE: Before PCB creation, planners ought to illuminate their contract manufacturer about the PCB design software adaptation used to plan the circuit since it maintains a strategic distance from issues brought about by disparities.)
  • When the PCB configuration is endorsed for creation, creators send out the plan to design their producers’ support. The most often utilized program is called broadened Gerber. Gerber additionally goes by the name IX274X.

Gerber document

  • The PCB business birthed expanded Gerber as the ideal result design. Different PCB design software perhaps calls for various Gerber record age steps, they all encode complete essential data including copper following layers, drill drawing, gaps, part documentations, and different choices. All parts of the PCB configuration go through checks now. The product performs oversight calculations on the plan to guarantee that no mistakes go undetected. Developers likewise inspect the arrangement concerning components connecting with track width, board edge dividing, traces, and opening gaps and size.
  • After a careful design process, the designer forwards the PCB to PC Board Houses for creation. To guarantee the plan satisfies necessities for the base resistances during the assembling process, practically all PCB Fab Houses run Design for Manufacture (DFM) checks before circuit board creation.
  1. From File to Film

  • PCB printing starts after the designer yield the PCB schematic documents and producers conduct a DFM check. Producers utilize an exceptional printer referred to as a plotter, which makes film images of the PCBs, to print circuit boards. Even though it’s a laser printer, it is not a LaserJet printer. Plotters utilize unquestionably exact printing tech to give an exceptionally definite film of the PCB design.

PCB dark ink

  • The eventual outcome brings about a plastic board with a photo negative of the PCB in dark ink.
  • For the internal layers of PCB, dark ink addresses the conductive copper portions of the PCB. The leftover clear part of the picture indicates the areas of non-conductive material.
  • The external layers follow the contrary example: light for copper, yet dark alludes to the area that will be scratched away. The plotter naturally fosters the film, and the film is safely put away to forestall any undesirable contact.
  • To accomplish the ideal arrangement of all films, registration openings ought to be punched through all films.
  • The precision of the opening happens by changing the table on which the film sits. Whenever the minuscule alignments of the table lead to an ideal pair, the opening is punched. The openings will squeeze into the enlistment pins in the subsequent stage of the imaging system.
  1. Printing the Inner layers of the PCB

  • The formation of films in the previous step plans to delineate a figure of copper way. Presently it’s an ideal opportunity to print the figure on film onto a copper foil.
  • This progression in PCB production prepares us to make genuine PCB. The fundamental type of PCB involves a cover board whose center material is epoxy gum and glass fiber which are likewise called substrate material.
  • Overlay/lamination fills in as an optimal body for getting the copper that structures the PCB. Substrate material gives a durable and dust-safe starting stage for the PCB.
  • Copper is pre-fortified on the two sides. The cycle includes shaving away the copper to uncover the plan from the films.
  • In PCB development, high standards of cleanliness are considered. The copper-sided cover is cleaned and passed into a disinfected environment. During this stage, no residue particles must be on the cover. A deviant bit of dust could make a circuit be short or stay open.
  1. Removing the Unwanted Copper

  • With the photo negative eliminated and the solidified resist covering the copper we wish to keep; the board continues to the following stage: undesirable copper removal.
  • Similarly, as the soluble arrangement eliminated the oppose, an all the more remarkable synthetic planning consumes the abundance of copper.
  • Not all copper sheets are made equivalent. A few high-density boards require bigger measures of copper solvent and differing lengths of holes. As a side note, heavier copper sheets require extra consideration for track spacing.
  • Now that the solution removed the undesirable copper, the hardened opposed safeguarding the favored copper needs washing off. Another solvent achieves assignment. The board currently shimmers with just the copper substrate essential for the PCB.
  1. Layer Alignment and Optical Inspection

  • With every one of the layers clean and prepared, the layers require arrangement punches to guarantee their alignment. The openings adjust the internal layers to the external ones.
  • The expert places the layers into a machine called the optical punch, which allows a definite correspondence so the enlistment openings are precisely punched.

  • When the layers are set together, it’s difficult to address any mistakes happening on the internal layers. One more machine plays out a programmed optical inspection of the boards to affirm an all-out shortfall of deformities.
  • The first design from Gerber, which the producer gets, fills in as the model. The machine checks the layers utilizing a laser sensor and continues to electronically contrast the computerized picture and the first Gerber record.
  • Assuming that the machine observes an irregularity, the examination is shown on a screen for the specialist to survey. When the layer passes the assessment, it moves to the last phases of PCB creation.

New Trends in PCB manufacturing.

The internet of things technology is growing very fast in every sector and the world is realizing that it is very important for every electronic gadget to have it. Similar initiatives are happening in the area of printed circuit board design.

  • For PCB design, if you are not embracing the most recent technologies, we expect you to come across too many difficulties.
  • In the beginning, you might start with low volumes of the PCBs to act as prototypes and testing specimens before you can proceed to mass production of the same.
  • Below we shall look at the most available types of PCBs patterns that you might encounter in the market.

Trend 1: High-Power Boards now in High Demand

  • The modern-day innovation has moved a notch higher by allowing the manufacturers to make the high power voltages printed circuit boards that are av]ble to hanf]dle power of up to 48 volts
  • This type of board is capable of wori]king with the multiples of the gadgets that are available.

Trend 2: PCB Auto placers

Autoplacers are very important in the proves of PCB manufacturing and are always remembered by the PCB manufacturers

  • It is a computerization method that has made it more proficient in the process of electronic gadgets production.
  • The auto places have improved the operational speed and quality of adverts.

Trend 3: Biodegradable PCBs

  • The issue of electronic waste has become a global crisis. To make sure that we solve this issue, it has necessitated the introduction of biodegradable PCBs to replace the non-biodegradable ones.
  • The disposal of PCBs especially from electronics was a source of pollution to our environment.

Trend 4: Flexible PCBs

Internet of Things e

  • The adaptability of the PCB is very vital as it helps in dealing with a few capacities.
  • it might not surprise you that the adaptable printed circuit boards are getting more demand than the fixed ones. The other name for the adaptable PCBs s flexible PCBs.

Trend 5: High-Density Interconnect

  • High density interconnects (HDI) was created in light of the interest for increasingly small items with more noteworthy capacity, particularly as far as controls.
  • This ability takes into account fewer layers in the PCB stack-up and advances fast sign transmission.
  • HDI production faces difficulties with manufacturing vias to such an extent that several vias might be directed inside a small region, which presents issues like noise and impedance.
  • To expand this idea, each layer interconnects (ELIC) and any layer interconnect (ALIC) ought to be seen with developments throughout the next few years.

Trend 6: The Need for Energy-Efficient Electronics

  • Natural worries are crucial during the creation cycle as well as all through the lifecycle of the gadgets. Limiting energy utilization is a progressive approach to lessening costs, making organizations and buyers go for low-energy consuming contraptions.
  • Electronic manufacturers should embrace green creation processes while simultaneously making contraptions that center pay workers can manage.
  • The pattern towards energy-effective hardware has prompted an appeal for related advancements, similar to voltage manager ICs. It is projected that expanding energy utilization worldwide will make shoppers embrace energy protection measures, such as utilizing low-energy utilization gadgets.

Trend 7: Fashioning Strategic Partnerships to Minimize Production Costs

  • A review led by Price water Coopers (PwC) laid out that agreement creation is going through a huge change. As Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) progressively contract out item designs and advancement to Electronics Manufacturing Service (EMS) organizations, they are limited by large usage and transform fixed costs into variable expenses, a huge part of controlling manufacturing costs.
  • This pattern presents possible open doors for EMS organizations to empower them to wander into new business lines and extend their income margins. Most PCB producers are thinking about coordinating administrations that create more profit. According to a fashioner’s point of view, they are thinking about giving more plan administrations to sub-congregations and final results. According to a quality point of view, they are extending their quality testing limits. For the most part, the more administrations they give, the more they adventure into shared plan PCB producing (JDM) and old design manufacturing (ODM).
  • While fashioning key associations is monetarily valuable, you should consider a few variables to partake in those advantages. EMS and OEMs should assess their current client and item portfolios, adjust their techniques to plans of action well, and survey incentives to guarantee they line up with purchaser requests and the executives’ choices.

Trend 8: The Need for Green PCB Manufacturing

  • Becoming environmentally friendly isn’t just directed to hipsters and displeased Xers right now. As the world keeps on feeling the effect of climate change, shoppers, countries, and non-legislative associations are placing more strain on manufacturers to move to green production strategies.
  • Additionally, ecological offices across the world are carrying out carbon exchanging procedures, driving green manufacturing further.
  • With fabulous plans in progress to drive research in green assembling, manufacturers who will be ISO guaranteed will see a great deal of interest, even in districts that are not at the lower furthest reaches of the creation cost scale.

Trend 9: The Internet of Things (IoT)

  • IoT is a multi-layered plan that calls for speedy correspondence among layers and parts. This innovation is generally applied in running keen homes and work environments and in remote checking and control. The primary assembling issue for IoT printed circuit boards is accomplishing various principles and guidelines that characterize their creation.

Trend 10: The Demand for Smart Devices Continues to Increase

  • Brilliant hardware, for example, cell phones and wearables, are sought after at this moment. However contraptions like cell phones have been present for a very long time, their capacity to associate with shrewd homes, workplaces, and self-driving vehicles is a recent fad. This pattern will speed up essential organizations between PCB makers and state-of-the-art tech specialist co-ops to smooth out the production of savvy gadget PCBs.
  • For innovation specialist organizations, this pattern opens more income creation streams. In any case, PCB producers are confronted with the test of getting secure, adaptable, and associated gadgets into the market, taking into account that the availability idea isn’t their area of specialization.
  • PCB producers should be adaptable and versatile to be on the ball in the always-changing electronic requests. They can profit from these changing customer patterns by embracing functional changes and fostering an artful mentality among their laborers. Specialists accept that advancement can forestall a sliding pattern in deals in created item classifications like PCs and TVs.

Trend 11: Commercial-Off-The-Shelf Solutions (COTS)

  • The commercial off-the-shelf solution (COTS) refers to products already available in the market for use. They incorporate Printed circuit parts, and boards that come “with no guarantees.”
  • Aviation is an industry where we see PCB innovation use COTS often. For instance, new space improvement solutions are executing PCB COTS to decrease the expenses of significant drives while guaranteeing quality and security all while finishing projects quicker.


We have examined the current top PCB trends that will extensively shape the electronic business in the coming years. The above-examined patterns could confront a few difficulties and also leave scope for development, where new advances are created.

These patterns will proceed with the development of printed circuit board fabricating technology. The fate of the circuit board industry is brilliant and will be getting rid of the side-effect in their performance and scaling down. Moreover, being naturally cognizant and controlling creation costs will assume a major part in molding the eventual fate of this industry.


Introduction to Rigid-Flex PCB


Due to technological changes, the type of assembly steps and materials used in any production tends to change. The change experienced is either a change that will bring solutions to a market or create a foundation for the next technology. Rigid circuit boards existed in the market place and they were doing quite well. Later rigid-flex circuit boards were introduced. They were designed to provide solutions and act as a replacement for rigid printed circuit boards. Rigid-flex circuit boards, as the name suggests, are a hybrid of flex and rigid circuits. This technology ensured that it serves both the rigid and the flexible parts. Many years ago before the invention of printed circuit boards, electronic circuits existed as flexible and free-wired, with possible additional use of solder strips. Mechanical anchorage points were components such as potentiometers, variable capacitors, switches having their solder lugs, and socket electron tubes.

In this article, we are going to talk about rigid-flex printed circuit boards. Everything, from design, applications, advantages, and many more.

How Rigid-Flex PCB came to Existence

  • Before the introduction of rigid-flex PCBs, the existed the rigid PCB. This was a solid printed circuit board that was not flexible. This type of circuit board could not be bent or forced out of shape it was a solid-state board.

  • The trend in aerospace products development includes miniaturization lightweight, multifunction, assembly densification, etc, a high requirement was seen being startup for PCB technology and the process of manufacturing.
  • A flexible printed circuit board is a type of electronic circuits board that is made of a flexible substrate substance featuring more advantages compared to rigid printed circuit boards. They include;
    • Smaller thickness
    • Lightweight
    • More space was saved
    • High freedom in electronic and mechanical design
    • Bending feature
  • It was made of a solid substrate having copper tracks and components layouts where through-hole components, surface mount devices, and mixed PCB assembly could be soldered either automatically or by use of through-hole technology.
  • These flexible PCBs are used everywhere since they can fit in any housing. They just need some folding to fit in the space available.

  • Later designers realized that they needed a printed circuit board that was more advantageous to them and that’s how rigid-flex printed circuit boards came into existence.
  • The combination of both the rigid and flexible PCBs brought so many advantages for the user in terms of signal transmission, size assembly, stability, and many more.
  • Electromagnetic signals are capable of running faster and softly for flex PCBs because of the perfect electrical and thermal performances of the flexible substrate materials. The flexibility is widely used in many manufacturing areas such as; instruments, automobiles, medical care, aerospace, and military
  • Due to further development of flexible printed circuit boards, their next step should be the Rigid-Flex printed circuit boards, the HDI Flex PCBs, and embedded flexibles amongst which Rigid-Flex private circuit boards attract the most applications.

Materials used in Rigid-Flex Printed Circuit Boards Technology

  • When it comes to the rigid-flex PCBs performance, it will always depend on the substrate material that flexible dielectric, and flexible adhesive films.
  • Flexible dielectric films contain;
    • Polyester (Mylar) is common for products of low-end.
    • Polyimide (Kapton) is the most common type.
  • Fluoropolymer (PTFE) for aerospace and military products

When the three flexible substrate materials are put into comparison, polyimide will feature the topmost dielectric constants with excellent mechanical and electrical properties and resistance to high temperatures. Almost similar to polyimide when it comes to performance, polyester has bad high temperatures resistance.

  • Fluoropolymer or Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is used in products with high frequencies accompanied by the low constant of the dielectric. Their performances can be demonstrated in the table below:

Types of Rigid-Flex Printed Circuit Boards

Only two main types of rigid-flex PCBs are existent in the market or are rather popularly known.

  • Flex to install

This board only folds once when the device is removed or assembled for the first time. The flex part remains stable throughout usage, besides some movements that might occur in case of high oscillation applications are experienced.

Flex to install

  • Dynamic flex

This printed circuit board is a special category of the rigid-flex PCB family. It can be folded and bent many times as per the design or the product needed during the end product phase. This type requires special consideration to ensure the flexible portion of the board can withstand repeated wear and tear. If proper design procedure is followed using the correct bend radius, dynamic flex can be bent over ten thousand times.

Manufacturing Technology of Rigid-Flex PCBs

Technologies used to manufacture every PCB tend to differ from each other. It depends on the type of PCB one needs and the performances they require it to deliver. In the case of rigid-flex PCBs, there is a difference in the fine circuit manufacturing technology and the micro via manufacturing technology. Since every electronic equipment and product is developing towards lightweight and miniaturization, multifunction and assembly densification, advanced printed circuit boards are attracting the most attention including rigid-flex PCBs, HDI flex-rigid PCBs, and embedded flex-rigid printed circuit boards.

  • Rigid-flex PCBs are fabricated through selective and orderly layer stack-up of flexible PCBs and rigid PCBs with plated through holes technology responsible for the connection between its layers.
  • The advent of rigid-flex PCBs can very effectively lower electronic products’ volume and their quality. They can enhance this by replacing harnesses and connectors that were applied in traditional electronic products. In addition, rigid-flex PCBs are capable of solving contact and intense heat problems caused by harness and connectors, rapidly improving the reliability of these devices.
  • From the 1970s, rigid-flex PCBs were built by stacking up the rigid boards onto the flexible boards. Several signs of progress and optimization have experienced new and numerous flex-rigid printed circuit board manufacturing technologies.
  • For flexible substrate material, the polyimide (PI) double-layer plate covered with a copper layer is used as a flexible core and polyimide film is applicable to give protection to the flexible circuits. Adhesion will depend on the low flow and all the components are laminated for the printed circuit board to be manufactured.
  • equipment volume and quality are reduced so that they are greatly applied in electronic devices that need to be bent over and over again.
  • The flexible substrate material features excellent dielectric stability that they are fit for higher frequency signal transmission and independence control. It can also withstand radiation, temperatures, shock, and extreme environments. The dielectric ensures the smooth running of electronic devices.
  • Additional conductive layers use either flexible or rigid insulation. This depends on the product’s requirement specification. The outer layer on the boards despite their price contains exposed pads to ensure safety. Here conductors are used in the primary hard or rigid layer, while in the flexible plates through-hole technology is used for any additional layer of the flexible and rigid layer.
  • Other projects need traditional rigid technology and design, while others contain restrictions that prevent manufacturers from using the larger, less flexible boards. An example; if standard board design is used, portable devices and mobile will be affected. Very many moving parts and components don’t perform well when subjected to certain conditions. On the other hand, mobile devices need to be portable, have lighter weights, and can withstand harsh conditions such as cold, heat, and humidity at times.

Rigid-flex Design

  • The manufacturing process of the rigid-flex printed circuit boards nearly resembles that of the old hardboard circuit, but some layers are flexible circuitry running through the hardboard. The fabricator adds plated through-holes in order to make connectivity to the layers of the rigid circuit regions of the flexible circuit.
  • Some of the configurations will create the rigid-flex printed circuit board that is assembled just like the hardboards, but it is also able to fit in the product that has space constraints.  This makes them most used for continuously flexible applications which are also called dynamic flex applications. If rigid-flex PCB is well designed, it is capable of withstanding millions of flex cycles without a single failure. The flexible and the rigid substrates will form a single integrated unit which can be manipulated further to a three-dimensional subassembly.
  • It is very important at times to distinguish between rigid-flex and flex PCBs with stiffeners, which at times it can be used for the same applications. Stiffeners used on flexible circuits will always provide the required stability for the assembly.
  • Rigid-flex PCBs make the manufacturing process easier while giving a much high density for electronic components and schematic/ circuit routing. When this is not required, flex boards that have stiffeners might be enough and less expensive too.

  • Rigid-flex printed circuit boards can be quite more costly than their comparable hardboards. Their prices are usually twice or even thrice the cost of a flexible circuit that has a stiffener. Moreover, its high cost is justified by where it finds its application specifications and environments which include:
    • Highly reliable applications; in case an assembly might be exposed to too much or looping shocks, or high environmental vibrations, connectors that have flexible cables are most likely to be destroyed. Rigid-flex printed circuit boards offer high reliability even when it’s subjected to excessive environmental vibrations.
    • Highly dense applications; on very small enclosures, it’s very impossible at times to attach all the cables, components, and connectors that an electronic printed circuit board can be folded to very small shapes, offering wonderful space saves for these instances.

Production Flow

Since the soft and hard bonding board is a combination of both the flex PCB and the rigid PCB, the production of the plates should have both the FPC equipment of production and PCB equipment of production.

  1. First of all, electronic designers and engineers draw a trace and layout of the soft bonding plate with respect to the requirement specification.
  2. After the drawing part, the drawing is then forwarded to the flex-rigid PCB factory or production units. The fabricator deals with and plans the necessary documents and arranges the FPC manufacturing line to generate the required FPC, PCB line of production to produce PCB. The two soft and hard boards are then produced by the plan’s requirements of electronic and electrical engineers.
  3. Here there are several detailed inks. This is the final part of or rather the final process for the production of the soft and hard plates. It is one of the most important parts. The flex-rigid printed circuit board is tested. So many details are needed to be confirmed before shipping is initiated. Generally, a full smart inspection is carried out. This is done to allow the supply and the demand to cause the loss of related benefits, so the value is relatively high. Below is the manufacturing flow of the flex-rigid PCBs.

Advantages of Rigid-flex Printed Circuit Boards

The combination of flexible and rigid boards makes it an extremely beneficial product for both applications as well as to the customers. Some of the advantages include:

  • Dynamic stability: Rigid-flex circuit boards fives the customer the liberty of packaging geometry while retaining the precision density and looping of printed circuits.

  • Money saving and space: Using rigid-flex circuit boards can bring an immense reduction in total computer circuit boards costs and expenditure. However, rigid-flex PCBs are costlier compared to flexible PCBs and rigid PCBs, but their assembly charges are less. this is often thanks to their small sizes and also the few connections in them. Rigid-flex computer circuit boards hence require less material for assembling. The few parts and connectors during assembling don’t only increase the yield but also reduce the acquisition and assembly costs of the ultimate product. Having a reduced number of connections also eliminates the risks within the logistics of a device. In simple terms, logistics and assembly costs are reduced when it involves rigid-flex computer circuit boards.
  • Security: Rigid-flex computer circuit boards provide secure connections for other components, providing stability and polarity. These circuit boards also help to scale back the number of connector components in an application.
  • Mechanical stability: The circuits tend to own an interchanging factor for the layer which forms a powerful foundation. Flexible boards will give the flexibility required for installation in small spaces while rigid boards will give stability.

  • Flexible design option: Rigid-flex computer circuit boards are often significantly deformed to any shape with no breakage. Its standard materials can withstand as many bending cycles as possible. thanks to the 3D design and therefore the multiple layers of flexible circuits, the rigid-flex computer circuit board offers increased flexibility to suit small devices. In summary, you don’t need to specifically design a tool in keeping with the desired specification of the PCBs as within the case of the rigid boards. The corners of the rigid-flex PCBs are generally to supply a versatile connection. it’s also possible to feature rigidness in its design when extra mechanical support is required.
  • Reduced packaging size: Product miniaturization has been applied in rigid-flex computer circuit boards thanks to the compacted size of the circuited boards. it’s easily manufactured to suit small electronic devices, that’s why it’s used is in designing several sophisticated circuits. Here the electronic devices are designed to be smaller in size and more versatile, so they fully serve the necessity of proper connection of small components. Thus it is often folded or bent to smaller devices and it’s also lightweight thanks to its small size.
  • Repair and maintenance are convenient: 3D designing has made the repair and maintenance easier and it’s not a tiresome task, unlike for rigid or flexible boards. The rigid-flex board is bent, folded, and twisted allowing technicians to mend and touch the issues anywhere they’re diagnosed during troubleshooting easily. Besides, the connection between rigid and flex sections is thru the board to board connectors, hence the circuit is evident and simple to debug. This makes it easy to detect the fault within the rigid-flex board and repair it during routine maintenance.
  • High chilling and aggressive conditions: Polyimide being the substrate material that’s used, has high thermal stability. This material can withstand high temperatures. Hence the rationale it’s suitable for stylish applications for military and defense purposes. It can retain the most effective features for both rigid and flex boards, and so it demonstrates extreme resistance to ultraviolet and radiation exposure and even harmful chemicals. it’s also ready to withstand environmental shocks and vibrations with other harsh conditions from the industries.

Applications of Rigid-flex Printed Circuit Boards

These types of circuits are found and applicable anywhere due to the technology used in every field. Some of the areas where its applications include;

  • Commercial applications
  • Military applications
  • Industrial applications
  • Digital cameras
  • Cell phones
  • Smart devices
  • In the medical industry, they are used to develop pacemakers for weight reduction, space, and flexibility.


Traditional rigid-flex computer circuit boards are hard to manufacture since there’s a comparatively low yield rate and high density and are difficult to repair if there’s a breakdown. within the manufacturing process, the rigid plate requires to be embedded into a fashionable flexible substrate material so that the staple waste rate remains high hence manufacturing technology is difficult. The substrate material contains a comparatively high coefficient of thermal expansion and high moisture absorption rate of large-area flexible substrate material, resulting in size tolerance accumulation. this may further affect circuit pattern, drilling, layer up, plating, and cleaning which results in a lower yield. Circuits that have embedded flexibility are capable of effectively reducing and avoiding the above-mentioned issues.

Rigid-flex PCB brings about the main explanation for rising costs, meaning raw materials and products should be utilized. If technicians, designers, and engineers can cooperate within the first stages of the project design, they’ll make sure that design work is completed at an occasional price hence avoiding excessive and unwanted costs.