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Automotive electronics Flex PCB application

Automotive electronics Flex PCB application
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Automotive electronics Flex PCB application

  • Automotive electronics Flex PCB application
    Printed circuit boards are used in many ways in the automotive industry and have changed the way that people drive. Anti-lock brake systems and other safety and security features, ECU systems that control engines, and GPS navigation systems all require PCBs. The need for PCBs will increase as vehicle owners and drivers demand more accessories in vehicles, such as televisions that passengers can view.
    A printed circuit board used in a car or truck, sub assembly or dealer support system must be highly reliable, long-lasting and be highly competitive in price. American Circuit Technology meets these criteria by providing PCBs specifically designed to withstand the harsh conditions to which drivers of vehicles expose automotive electronics. American Circuit Technology offers high temperature laminates and copper and aluminum substrates, as well as differential copper plated PCBs that are unique in the industry. These differential copper plated PCBs have twenty ounces of copper on one side and one ounce of copper on the other. This configuration offers optimal signal application Automotive electronics and high power.
    American Circuit Technology is ISO 9001-2008 certified, and offers co-design and co-engineering services, just-in-time consignment, prototyping and limited series production. The company strives to provide quality products as well as quality services.

    High Performance, Reliable Automatic Transmissions Rely on Flex Circuit Cables for a Better Engineered Interconnect

    The automotive industry is under constant pressure to reduce production & assembly costs and to increase overall productivity and reliability.

    Challenge: :Reduce Production and Assembly Costs without Compromising Reliability

    Solution: DuPont™ Pyralux® LF & FR Acrylic Adhesive-Based Flex Circuit Cable Assemblies Withstand the Harsh Environment of an Automotive Powertrain

    Application Description

    It is an on-going challenge to find ways to simplify complex designs especially when they are required to function in the very harsh environments of the automotive world. This is particularly true in electrical interconnects. Electronic systems and controls are becoming a greater percentage of the overall cost of the car and are more and more the focus of reengineering efforts.

    In this case a complex discrete wire cable harness for an automatic transmission gear box control was difficult to build and assemble. However, it was quite reliable so any alternative approach in addition to being less expensive would have to survive a difficult performance requirement: work flawlessly while continuously immersed in automotive transmission oil at 120°C for the life of the car.

    Materials Selected and Why

    A flex circuit cable was proposed as an alternative to the more complex individual wire / cable assembly. The use of a flex circuit eliminates the need to bundle a number of individual wires together to form a cable. Routings are determined by a single artwork rather than by individual wires. Maintaining the accuracy of the design is assured by semiautomatic processing from start to finish. Clearly these "pre-fabricated" cables would be easier to build, would reduce assembly costs and eliminate rework but would flex circuits survive the performance and reliability requirements?

    DuPont™ Pyralux® FR and Pyralux® LF acrylic adhesive based flexible laminates were chosen as the preferred material. In general acrylic adhesives offer superior resistance to thermal degradation than epoxy adhesives which are typically used in flex circuit applications.

    The initial design was qualified by exposing the circuit to 150C oil at two atmospheres for 90 days. Pyralux® acrylic laminate passed this qualification test with flying colors. The flex cable was internally qualified as a replacement for the wire harness and was installed in vehicles. Its actual performance was monitored over time and during these field trials it performed flawlessly. Today, more than 20 years after initial qualification and adoption, Pyralux® circuits are still being fabricated and installed in this application. Millions of circuits have been produced for various gearbox systems & car platforms, and there has not been a field failure reported that involved a material performance issue Automotive electronics.

    Examples of Automotive Printed Circuit Board Applications.
    • Airbag Deployment
    • Antilock Brake Systems
    • Audio & Video Equipment
    • Communication Equipment
    • DC/AC Power Converters
    • Digital Displays
    • Electronic Computer Unit (ECU) / Car Computers
    • Electronic Mirror Controls / Automatic Dimming
    • Emergency Assist
    • Engine Coolant Level (ECL) Monitors
    • Engine Timing Systems
    • Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
    • Interior LED lighting systems
    • LED Brake Lights
    • Navigation Equipment
    • Power Distribution Junction Box
    • Power relays
    • Radar & Radio Systems
    • Remote Diagnostic Systems
    • Security Systems
    • Transmission Sensors

    PCB Solutions for Automotive Electronics
    There is constant research and development taking place in the automotive industry to make automobiles safer and easy to use. With introductions of technologically driven products, there is a need for rigid and flexible circuit boards to enhance the overall automobile experience for a customer. Rigiflex’s printed circuit boards are the solution to this growing requirement.

    As a leading American printed circuit board manufacturer, Rigiflex designs rigid, flexible, and rigid-flex printed circuit boards to meet demanding electronic applications that comprise high heat and high speed and motion. Our PCBs are reputed for providing solutions for electronic products and operations such as:

    Transmission controls
    Running lights
    Rear LED lights
    LCD displays
    Comfort control units
    We cater to the electronic needs of the automotive industry by providing single and multiple layered PCBs. Our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Anaheim, CA comprises the latest in design, manufacturing and testing equipment. We can build our PCBs with more than 24 layers as per the client’s requirements.


    Trends in the Automotive Market are being driven by electronics. Studies show that innovation in automobiles is connected to electronics approximately 90% of the time. This includes the movement toward the “connected car”.

    Flexible Circuit Technologies’ second largest market is Automotive and with the continued growth of electronics in this space, we see increased demand for flexible circuits and assemblies.

    Today, we support automotive applications through OEMs and Contract Manufacturers that serve this market all across the globe.

    Flexible Circuit Technologies is TS 16949 certified an essential requirement for serving the automotive market. Our ability to provide high quality products at competitive pricing has been very attractive for our automotive customers.

    The technology of flexible printed circuits has developed over many years from its roots in the Aerospace and Defence industries to become a major growth sector of the printed circuit industry. Applications now extend across almost all sectors of industry including "motor-tronics". In any modern car you will find EMUs (Engine Management Units), ABS systems, air bag electronics and much more waiting to be connected. The choice open to the designer is to stay with wiring looms that have been used since the car was invented or use flexible circuits which provide the most cost-effective option.

    Virtually every electrical and electronic circuit in "motor-tronics" is suitable for employing flexible circuit technology, including headliner and door panel interconnections, fuse boxes, sensors and audio circuits.

    The naturally planar construction of a flexible circuit enables it to be simply fixed to a variety of surfaces simplifying modular assembly, interconnection and eliminating bulky cable ties. This also has the major added benefit of eliminating annoying rattles and opens up the prospect of much smaller connectors being employed in the vehicle than has traditionally been the case. Again, this affords considerable benefits in terms of space utilisation and, among others, weight. An average cable harness weighs around 10 times that of an equivalent flexible system with connectors and the benefits are obvious.

    Historically one of the major factors limiting the application of flexibles in the motor car was that of low cost manufacture and capacity. With the much higher volume utilisation of flexible circuits, the ongoing development of materials and the introduction of high volume reel to reel manufacture, these limiting factors have now been removed.

    The modern approach being adopted by automotive manufacturers means that flexible circuits are the interconnection of the choice as the annual growth in usage until the year 2002 is projected to be some 55%.

    There are, of course, key factors to be considered in designing flexible circuits if the lowest total cost of ownership is to be achieved, toward that end it is essential that the design engineer seeks advice from the circuit manufacturer before building in what might turn out to be costly constraints. Material utilisation, material selection, cover-coat selection and proposed assembly methods, among others, are all factors and innovative techniques which enable circuits to be designed in a small envelope and folded to produce the ultimate shape and which contribute to the overall installed cost of the circuit.


    Custom Search
    PCBs (41)
    Suppliers of printed circuit boards and related electrical/electronic components.
    Adient, Ltd. in Plymouth, Michigan.
    A provider of automotive systems and facility management and control. Products include seating and interior systems such as seats, overhead, door, instrument panels, trim, storage and batteries.

    AISIN U.S.A. Manufacturing, Inc. in Seymour, Indiana.
    Develops and manufactures automotive components and systems such as door frames, roofs, latching systems, brakes, engines, seating, trim molding, etc.

    Analog Devices, Inc. in Norwood, Massachusetts.
    A supplier of high performance analog, mixed-signal, digital processing, and MEMS ICs for the demanding signal processing requirements of automotive safety, security, infotainment, powertrain, body and chassis electronics systems.

    CalsonicKansei North America, Inc. in Lewisburg, Tennessee.
    Manufacturer of automotive interior and electronic systems. Products include meters, plastic components, and instrument panels.

    Continental Corporation in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
    A supplier of automotive powertrain, car body, chassis, safety and interior & infotainment systems and components. Areas of expertise include piezo common rail diesel injection systems; air-fuel modules and complete air induction systems; electronic throttle controls (ETCs); mechatronic transmission controls; multipoint, multi-loop airbag controllers; pressure sensor satellite for side airbags; 24 GHz near-field radar sensing; occupant weight and classification sensors for airbags; tire pressure monitoring systems; intelligent switching units; electronic climate-control units; window closure force limitation motors with anti-pinch; passive keyless entry; human factors optimized instrument clusters; commercial vehicle mobile office systems; advanced driver information and navigation systems; re-configurable displays; and vehicle cockpit systems, etc.

    Debron Industrial Electronics, Inc. in Troy, Michigan.
    An electronics contract manufacturer specializing in PCBAs, wire harness/cable assemblies and Box-Build assembly services.

    DENSO International America, Inc. in Southfield, Michigan.
    A supplier of powertrain control systems including diesel injection products, engine control components, and system control components. Electric systems including engine electrical products, safety and chassis systems products. Electronic systems including body electronics and electronic devices. Thermal systems including air conditioning, cooling systems, and Automotive electronics environmental systems such as radiators etc.

    Electri-Cord Manufacturing Company in Westfield, Pennsylvania.
    Produces wiring harnesses and molded cable assemblies to the automotive and other industries. Other products include printed circuit board assemblies.

    Excel Electrocircuit, Inc. in Orion, Michigan.
    A manufacturer of printed circuit boards.

    Flexible Circuit Technologies, Inc. in Plymouth, Minnesota.
    A supplier of flex circuit design, rigid flex circuits, flexible circuits, heaters, etc.

    Flextronics Company in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
    A global manufacturer of electronics and electromechanical products. capabilities include advanced electronic technology development, advanced product development, advanced manufacturing engineering, prototyping, and program management (APQP). Business units include electronics, electromechanical, and electrical, serving the automotive, appliance and other industries.

    Fujikura America, Inc. in Santa Clara, California.
    Manufactures automotive electrical distribution components. Products include wiring harnesses, junction boxes, ECU units, air bag cables, pressure sensors, seat belt reminder sensors, heat pipes & assemblies, and film antennas, etc.

    Fujitsu Components America, Inc. in San Jose, California.
    A supplier of electromechanical relays, plug-in relays, PCB relays, resistive touch panels, wireless modules, etc.

    Futaba Corporation of America in Huntsville, Alabama.
    A printed circuit board (PCB) contract manufacturer specializing in PCB population, selective soldering, and protection. Products include vacuum fluorescent numeric and dot-matrix displays including large multifunction graphic panels for various automotive instrument panel applications.

    II Stanley Co., Inc. in Battle Creek, Michigan.
    A manufacturer of automotive lighting assemblies. Products include active headlight systems, cylindrical head lamps, and projector + alpha head lamps, etc.

    Jabil Circuit, Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida.
    A global provider of electronic technology applications, circuit board assemblies and electronic modules for interior and underhood applications.

    Judco Manufacturing, Inc. in Walled Lake, Michigan.
    Products and services include electric switches, wiring harnesses, custom injection molding, assembly, & design. Processes include injection molding, pad printing, hot stamping, insert molding, complete machine shop, automated wire processing, precision assembly, printed circuit board assembly, keypads, and metal stampings/terminals.

    Keihin Carolina System Technology, Inc. in Tarboro, North Carolina.
    A supplier of electronically actuated devices and electronic control unites (ECUs). Products include PCBs, spool valves, auto transmission solenoids, etc.

    Magna International, Inc. in Aurora, Ontario.
    A supplier of automotive systems, assemblies, modules and components. Capabilities include the design, engineering, testing and manufacture of automotive interior systems; seating systems; closure systems; body and chassis systems; vision systems; electronic systems; hybrid & electric vehicles/systems; exterior systems; powertrain systems; roof systems; as well as complete vehicle engineering and assembly.

    Mektec International Corporation in San Jose, California.
    A manufacturer of flexible printed circuits.

    Methode Electronics, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois.
    Designs, manufactures and markets devices employing electrical, electronic, wireless, sensing and optical technologies to control and convey signals through sensors, interconnections and controls. Products include switches, sensors, electric modules, air bag clock spring assemblies, and wire harnesses.

    Multek Corporation in Northfield, Minnesota.
    A high volume, roll-to-roll flexible circuit manufacturer, processing single and double-sided circuits using a wide array of technologies from screen printing and punching to high definition and laser drilling. Products include flexible circuitry, assemblies and materials for a wide variety of automotive interconnect applications. Other products include technical materials and adhesives technology for applications such as flat cable tapes, barrier tapes, etc.

    Nartron Corporation in Reed City, Michigan.

    We provide end-to-end solutions to the global automotive market. With the increasing automotive electronic content, we focus on the development of platforms for driver assistance systems, safety-related control devices, electronic steering modules, and Automotive electronics.

    As automobiles head toward increased electrification, we are at the forefront of advanced power packaging, power modules, and next-generation inverters for hybrid and electric vehicles.

    IMI's Key Capabilities
    Automotive Camera Platform
    Sensors and Imaging Contract Design
    Power Electronics
    COB Manufacturing
    Product Miniaturization
    Test Equipment Development
    Rigid Printed Circuit Board Assembly
    Flex Printed Circuit Assembly
    Flip Chip Process
    Automatic Pin Insertion
    Simultaneous Engineering
    ISO/TS 16949:2009 Certified Lines
    Critical Part Monitoring (CPM)
    Reject Profile Analysis (RPA)
    Parts Average Test (PAT)
    Statistical Bin Analysis
    Product Experiences
    Automotive Camera
    PCBA for Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
    Tire Pressure Sensor PCBA
    Car Windshield Temperature and Humidity Sensor
    Electronic Power Steering (EPS) Rotor Position Sensor (RPS)
    PCBA for Headlight
    Switch Controller for Main Light
    Communication Power PCBA
    Body Control Module (BCM)
    Antenna Receiver / DAB Tuner
    Powertrain Control Solutions
    Semiconductors used in Electric Drive/ Hybrid Electric Vehicles
    Fuel Management
    Pump Driver
    Steering Wheel Control Device
    Cockpit Control Device
    Audio Processor
    Plastic Injection

    An electronic systems integrator. Products include electronic sensors and controls. Applications include smart power systems closure products such as power windows, doors and sunroofs.

    New Sabina Industries, Inc. in Sabina, Ohio.
    A manufacturer of automotive instrument clusters and head-up displays

    Newtech 3 in Wixom, Michigan.
    A supplier of wire harnesses and circuit board assemblies.

    Omron Automotive Electronics, Inc. in Novi, Michigan.
    Product application areas include RF technologies (remote keyless entry, passive entry, tire pressure monitoring, vehicle immobilizers); closure controls & switches (power window switches, Automotive electronics power seat switches, accessory switches, hidden switches, antipinch controllers, and other closure controllers); electric power steering controls; electronic control units (DC/AC inverters, body control ECUs, daytime running light controllers, rear wiper controllers, rear defogger timer controllers, etc.).

    The material selection will depend upon the application, with the higher specification options being selected for the most demanding circumstances such as use in the hostile environment of the engine compartment. In these instances it is not unusual to find Polyimide (Kapton) selected for reasons associated with its thermoset characteristics and tolerance of higher temperatures. In less arduous applications, such as instrument clusters, headliner circuits and door panel circuits, Polyester is the normal choice as it is the lower cost option and, while being thermoplastic in nature, it is rarely subjected to high temperatures. A relatively new material, PEN (Polyethelene Napthalate), is gaining popularity because it fits between Polyester and Polyimide from a performance point of view.

    Flex PCB.
    Learn more about our prototype and production flexible and rigid-flex PCB fabrication services. Get low-to-high volume rigid-flex, and flex PCB quantities manufactured with industry leading quick turnaround times for rigid-flex and high density interconnects (HDI) PCBs.

    PCB services.

    rigid-flex PCBRigid-flex PCBs - High quality rigid-flex printed circuit boards.

    rigid-flex PCBFlex PCBs - Fully flexible printed circuit boards for all markets.

    HDI flex PCBHigh Density Interconnect PCBs (HDI PCBs) - Circuits with high reliability and performance.

    multilayer flex PCBMultilayer Flex Circuits - Single, double, and multilayer flex and rigid-flex circuits.

    Markets served.

    Medical PCBMedical - Diagnostic hardware, medical electronics and medical imaging devices.

    Telecommunications PCBTelecommunications - High frequency chip carriers and fiber-optic communication products.

    Industrial and Commercial PCBIndustrial & Commercial - robotics, consumer electronics and LED lighting applications.

    Car and Automotive PCBAutomotive - Camera modules, lighting and other automotive electronics.

    Highlighted manufacturing capabilities.
    As an ISO 9001 leading prototype-to-production flexible PCB manufacturer, we have flex and rigid-flex PCB capabilities that other companies can't compete with. As your flexible circuit supplier, you will be able to build boards with line and width spacing down to 19 microns (.75 mil) and 1 mil micro vias. Consult with our flex PCB design and engineering services team to help you determine what the optimal technologies are for your project's application. We also offer extremely fast quick turn flex circuit prototyping services. View our full flexible and rigid-flex capabilities or contact us to learn more.

    We've got you covered for both prototype and production quantities.
    prototype to production flexible and rigid-flex PCBs
    With Flex PCB, you skip the PCB brokers and go straight to the source. Start prototyping in our USA facility or directly where your production run will be in China (one of our two Flexible PCB manufacturing facilities in China). This allows you to know what materials and components are most effective during large volume PCB fabrication runs.

    It's not just our design and prototype-to-production manufacturing capacity that makes Flex PCB different; our technical, engineering, procurement and customer services gives us a competitive advantage.

    Expanding horizons. Innovative thinking

    The automotive industry is constantly developing automobiles in order to strive for enhanced safety and superior technological abilities.These constant innovations increase the need for rigid and flexible circuit boards to heighten the overall automobile experience for a customer.
    Excello Circuits designs rigid, flexible, and rigid-flex printed circuit boards to meet demanding electronic applications that can withstand high heat, speed and motion. We go beyond to ensure reliability and long lasting products that withstand the harsh conditions to which drivers expose automotive electronics.
    We support the full range of our automotive customers’ PCB needs – from prototypes to production and from simple to the most advanced technologies. Excello Circuits has a long history of serving the automotive market and we understand the critical requirements of our customers.

    Do you need inventory stocking for your flex or rigid-flex PCBs? Get pull and push inventory that meets your specific needs. Order in high volume, but let us manage your inventories with JIT (Just in Time) deliveries.

    We also provide flex and rigid-flex PCB assembly services that reduces your vendor count, production delays, and quality issues. From single component to complicated box builds, let Flex PCB do your component sourcing, assembly, and testing.

    In some instances it may be necessary to provide EMI/RFI screening and this can be accomplished a number of ways. The most cost effective approach, and coincidentally the one which provides the most flexible construction, is to use silver Polymer screens encapsulated with a screen-printed or photo-imageable covercoat. In some applications, however, it may be necessary, because of the frequencies involved, to resort to cross hatched screens. This obviously has higher cost implications (typical dimensions are shown in table 1). The assembly techniques, when using flexible circuits, vary according to the material and the type of assembly.

    Simple crimp-on or ZIF (zero insertion force) mechanical connectors for interfacing with the outgoing world are more than adequate and the connector industry is responding to the need for lower profile, lower mass, reliable connector systems more befitting this technology than is the case with traditional connectors.

    The weight savings when comparing flexible circuits with a conventional wiring harness are very considerable with flexible circuits on its own often weighing less than 20% of their more traditional counterparts. This, coupled with the prospect of lower mass connectors, means a massive gain for the automotive industry.

    The current carrying capability for any allowable temperature rise depends on both resistance and the ability to dissipate heat by conduction, convection and radiation. The thin, flat form of flexible circuit conductors makes them better heat dissipators than round wires of equivalent cross section, see figure 1. Typically, an electric sunroof or electric window motor requires around 8A and the flexible circuit will easily handle these relatively heavy currents, or indeed signal currents in alarm detector circuits, see table 2.

    Automotive application examples

    Whilst flexible circuits have been in existence for over 30 years, application has been limited in most cases to general electronics and not until recently has the car become another highly complex electronics package. For example, when one of the world's leading automotive electronics manufacturers wanted to produce a new electronic lock for a luxury car maker the problems and costs involved in joining four small printed circuit boards with connectors or a flex rigid multilayer almost resulted in the project being abandoned.

    The electronic lock, see figure 2, comprises four small printed circuit boards, manufactured as a "biscuit" of two sets of four per board, that are linked together and can be folded into a three dimensional form for compactness.

    Automotive Medical Industrial Wearables Consumer Products CMs, EMSs, Product Development Labs
    Flexible Circuit Technologies, Inc. a leading supplier of flex circuits & designs
    Flex Printed | Rigid Flex | Heater Flex | Flat Flex | Membrane Switches
    Get a Quote

    Quality and excellence are our main goals. We utilize the finest grade materials in our manufacturing process. FR408, polyimide, glass epoxy, and Kapton are some of the materials that we use to create our printed circuit boards. To ensure proper PCB function at high temperatures, we coat our products with leading grade finishes. A few examples of these are:

    electrolytic wire bondable gold
    immersion gold and silver
    Rigiflex products all undergo intensive quality system testing. Our PCBs also go through complete soldering processes to keep all components joined together even in extreme environments. To meet the needs of global industries, we perform AOI and Flying Probe tests on all our products.

    Our products are manufactured and tested to the stringent rules of IPC-6012/6013, AS 9100, and ISO-9001. Rigiflex is an ITAR registered company. We are known for producing zero defect printed circuit board assemblies.

For furhter information, please feel free to contact us, www.pcbsino.com