Printed Circuits is a leading manufacturer of custom rigid flex printed circuit boards (PCBs). Our hybrid rigid flex boards merge elements from both hardboard and flexible circuit styles, offering a thinner and more versatile circuit that can be easily tailored to meet specific needs.

At Printed Circuits, we are proud to offer an extensive portfolio of rigid flex PCBs built with our state-of-the-art technology. Our advanced equipment ensures higher product yields, improved fine line capabilities, and reduced production costs when compared with alternatives. With equipment ranging from laser direct imaging to direct soldermask printing and smart X-ray drilling systems, we have the ability to produce custom rigid flex boards for even the most complex and challenging systems.

Board Attribute Standard Technology Advanced Technology
Layer Count 4-20 22-30
Board Thickness .009″ – .093″ .006″ – .125″
Internal Imaging .003″/.003″ .002″/.002″
Minimum Dielectric .001” .001”
Minimum Copper 12µ
Minimum Drilled Hole .008″ .006″
Minimum Laser Via .006” .004”
Aspect Ratio 10:1 > 10:1
PTH Size Tolerance .003″ .002″
Impedance Tolerance +/- 10% +/- 5%
Buried Resistors Yes Yes
Buried Capacitors Yes Yes

Learn more about our fleet of cutting-edge equipment below.

Pluritec Automatic X-Ray Registration/Drilling System (AKA “Smart Drill”)

Our Pluritec Inspecta Combo HPL X-Ray registration system, or “Smart Drill”, is a significant improvement on standard drills. The system uses x-rays to locate fiducials and inspect layer to layer registration to account for any dimensional shift, skew, or rotation prior to drilling. The computerized system will also compare the layer registration analysis to the annular ring requirements before drilling to ensure that the panel is within your tolerances. If not, the system automatically discontinues the process to avoid wasting time and money on further operations.

The SmartDrill uses a dual head system, which allows for controlled depth drilling, routing, inspection, and statistical analysis for selected sections of the panel or the entire panel as needed. This allows registration to be analyzed and achieved within accepted tolerances by panel, array, part, or location.

Pluritec inspecta combo drilling system

The benefits of the SmartDrill system are numerous:

  • Registration assessment. Registration compliance can be analyzed immediately after lamination.
  • Time management. The process does not have to be completed in full before analyzing the registration, thereby avoiding last minute delays.
  • Increased yield. Drill automation and computerized X-ray analysis allows for higher yields in production, thereby minimizing waste and reducing overall production costs.
  • Dual head system. Dual heads offer more versatile and detailed manufacturing control, for improved tolerances on all aspects of the circuit.

Laser Direct Imagers and Automatic Optical Inspection

To ensure the highest quality printing, Printed Circuits uses Laser Direct Imagers exclusively, and state of the art automatic optical inspection machines from Orbotech.  The next generation imaging technology is used on all innerlayers, outerlayers and soldermask layers.  The work is inspected using Orbotech AOI machines, including our new Orbotech Ultra Dimension AOI machine.  It is designed especially for inspection of circuitry below 25µ (.001”) in width as well as laser via inspection.  It includes built in 2D metrology, allowing us to accurately dimension circuit attributes, both top and bottom, with reporting capabilities as well.

Paragon 9800 Laser Direct ImagerParagon 9800 Laser Direct Imager

Burkle High Temperature Lamination Press

Our Burkle high-temperature lamination press provides superior quality lamination that is both reliable and versatile. To adapt to a changing market, we have expanded our capabilities to encompass the advancing material needs of current technology. The press consists of six openings, a full vacuum, and computerized hot oil heating and cooling operations up to 625° F – ideal for high temperature materials. In addition, the Burkle press includes computerized operations through the Burkle Process Technologies Control Center, to ensure the ideal processing of a wide variety of materials for the most cutting-edge technological applications.

Burkle high-temperature lamination press

Notion n.jet Direct Soldermask & Legend Ink Printer

We know that technology is an ever-changing part of our industry, which is why Printed Circuits has invested in the next generation of technology for advanced circuit board printing with the Notion n.jet Direct Soldermask and Legend Ink Printer. This machine prints soldermask and legend ink directly onto our rigid flex printed circuit boards using 3D technology, thereby reducing production work and enhancing accuracy while still maintaining soldermask dam integrity.

With four-point alignment technology, the Notion printer ensures that the mask is precisely aligned and accounts for offset, rotation, and trapezoidal distortion. A vacuum hold-down table prevents unwanted movement during the printing process, for more accurate and reliable registration. In addition, the printer is capable of sequential serialization and the marking of bar codes and QR codes.

notion soldermask and legend printer

Compared to traditional mask printing, the Notion printer reduces the number of steps in the application, baking, imaging and developing soldermask process from five steps to one, significantly reducing production time, labor, and risk of potential errors. Waste is greatly reduced when compared to other mask reproduction methods. Overall production time is also minimized, which allows for higher production with greater efficiency and cost savings.

Zünd High Speed CNC Cutter and Routing Machine

Our Zünd High-Speed CNC Cutter and Routing Machine is the highest quality computerized and fully automated CNC machining equipment on the market. The unit allows us to cut and shape materials in a wide range of shapes and sizes for use in flexible circuits, coverlayer, and bondply. Our Zünd machine features a continuous table, which enables us to better cut rolled materials and particularly long materials. The Zünd’s state-of-the-art router head allows optimal fabrication of hardboard sections of our rigid flex boards. The exceptional precision and flexibility of our Zünd machine allows us to create a wide range of circuits and components with unmatched speed and accuracy.

Zund CNC cutter and router machine

High-Speed, Fully Automatic Pluritec Drills and Routers

We offer a wide range of drilling and routing capabilities with our Pluritec EVO multi-station micro drill and routers, with modular work cells. This equipment offers advanced technology to enhance our PCB manufacturing processes, including 50 μm control depth drilling and routing and drilling capability down to 4 mil (0.1 mm). The fully automated system allows for 24/7 operation, so we can ensure optimal product turnaround with low labor costs.

Pluritec automatic drill and router

Superior Rigid Flex PCBs From Printed Circuits

(Click to enlarge)

Equipment & Capabilities

At Printed Circuits, we regularly acquire the most current, cutting-edge technology so that we may continue to provide superior rigid flex PCBs for even the most complex and mission-critical applications. Since 1977, Printed Circuits has been at the forefront of the circuit technology industry. Our central location in Minneapolis, Minnesota is home to one of the largest concentrations of flexible circuit manufacturers in the world, which offers us immediate access to the best technology and talent in the industry.

Operations at our manufacturing facility are efficiently run by more than 90 industry specialists and craftsmen, many of whom have worked with Printed Circuits for more than a decade.  More than 85% of our work is built to IPC 6013 class III.

To ensure that we are exceeding industry standards, our facilities carry the following certifications and accreditations:

  • Mil-PRF-31032
  • ITAR Registration
  • U.S. and Canada Joint Certification
  • ISO 9001:2015 Certification
  • IPC Membership

Printed Circuits is proud to serve a wide range of industries, including medical, military, aerospace, and industrial and commercial manufacturing.

To learn more about our rigid flex PCB fabrication equipment and capabilities, reach out to our team today.