When it comes to designing devices with integrated circuit boards, one of the things you should be considering is rigid flex circuitry. Rigid flex circuits allow you to fit your circuit boards to the device you're building so that you don't have to build the device to fit the shape of the board. This is one of many benefits to rigid flex circuit boards, and understanding those benefits will help you determine if these boards are a good fit for your product design needs.

More Control Over Size and Weight

Few things can hinder the creative design process like having to alter your vision to fit the components inside. In addition, sometimes those alterations leave you with something bulkier and heavier than you really wanted to put on the market. Flexible circuit boards will fit well in applications where no other board could fit. They're lightweight and thin, which means that they aren't going to add to your component weight any more than absolutely necessary.

The flexible nature means that you can fold them and squeeze them into even tight spaces, and you can shape the board any way that you want. Since you can use them to replace some wiring components, you'll even be able to eliminate the mistakes that can be made in hand-wiring some of your components.

General Component Durability

The rigid flex design reduces the number of interconnections required between the circuits because you can make boards that are sized and shaped to suit your needs. The reduced interconnections also reduce the risk of failed connections and shorts. The material that these boards are crafted from will help to absorb vibration and shock, which can reduce the risk of damage in a high-demand environment like a factory or manufacturing line.

Reduced Costs

Since the rigid flex boards are designed to be more compact, you'll be able to reduce the amount of casing material and packaging. This can reduce your manufacturing and packaging costs significantly on large production runs. In addition, you may find that you need fewer parts than you would with standard rigid circuit boards, because you can fit the rigid flex boards around existing components instead of having to design it the other way around.

You may also have less chances of lost product and production interference due to incorrect installation, because these circuit boards can only be installed in one direction. This eliminates installation mistakes, wiring errors and quality-check rejections. When you eliminate production errors like this, your manufacturing investment will be spent on usable parts, which saves you money over time.

Heat Resistance and Thermal Stability

These boards are also resistant to heat. The polyimide or similar material used to insulate the boards is known for its thermal stability, which makes these boards a great choice for environments where there's a risk of heat buildup. Since they dissipate heat so well, you'll find less expansion or contraction in the boards when heat is a factor. These boards are also resistant to acids, oils and gasses. You'll also find that these boards are resistant to damage from things like ultraviolet rays, which will also help to prolong the usable life of your circuit boards and your products in general.

As you can see, there are many reasons to invest in rigid flex circuitry for your production line. If you're looking for new circuit boards as part of your manufacturing operation, you may want to talk with a local supplier of printable circuit boards. They can help you explore the many components that make up flexible circuit boards so that you can decide which construction is the best for your current application.

For more information on rigid flex circuit boards, check out a company like Streamline Circuits.