Rigid Flex for Military Applications

Flexible and rigid flex circuits have long been used in military applications. They are the ideal packaging medium for high shock applications and/or extended vibration service environments.

Recent technological advances in robotics, unmanned vehicles, weapons systems, targeting, guidance, vision and camera systems have only driven further growth in rigid flex applications in the military sector.

Developing military electronic devices have unique reliability, dependability, and survivability requirements, as well as strict performance standards. Rigid flex enables defense contractors to meet these competing demands, helping them produce lightweight military equipment without sacrificing functionality and ultimate never fail reliability.

Capabilities

The military/defense sector pioneered the use of flexible and rigid flex circuits in the early 1980’s.  Flexible and rigid flex circuits are the ideal packaging medium for highly reliable never-fail electronics, a necessity in modern weapons, and electronic systems. They are increasingly being used in creative applications to develop state of the art unmanned military vehicles, robotic electronics, ruggedized computers and electronic systems, arming, aiming, guidance, fuzing, surveillance, cameras and other critical applications.

Manufacturing Equipment

Registering thin laminates with other materials of varying dimensional stability, demands state-of-the-art equipment and processes. At Printed Circuits, we manufacture our circuits with the most advanced equipment on the market. Our facility features Laser Direct Imagers from Orbotech, and UV/CO2 laser drill/routers, X-ray smart drill, ENEPIG line and other process technology for high reliability circuits – allowing us to build most of our boards to IPC 6013 class III, or beyond.

In-Process Testing

Printed Circuits uses microsectioning, X-ray verification, thermal stress analysis, automatic optical inspection, electrical testing, and CMM dimensioning during in-process testing and final acceptance of your circuit boards.

We use clean rooms in our material layup area to reduce FOD, flying probe electrical testing, and controlled impedance modeling and test/verification to ensure that you receive the best flexible and rigid flex circuits available.

Our products are built to the highest manufacturing specifications in the industry – typically the Military Performance specification MIL-PRF-31032 or IPC 6013 class III. Some of our customer specific specifications go beyond 31032 and 6013 class III. Printed Circuits is certified to ISO 9001:2015, registered with the US Department of State for ITAR, and we have the most comprehensive library of constructions approved to UL 94 V-0 standards in the industry, for your products that may have commercial applications as well – thus allowing you to certify your product to UL without the wait and cost of obtaining UL approval.

Volume and Delivery

Backed by decades of experience with flex and rigid flex circuits, we have the expertise needed to manufacture high-volume production runs as well as small-volume prototyping. We’re able to deliver quick prototypes in as little as three weeks, and high-volume orders in six to eight weeks.

To ensure successful product integration and launch, Printed Circuits offers design assistance to every client, and particularly those who are new to flex and rigid flex design. We’re capable of working with very thin dielectric materials, materials with dissimilar X/Y dimensional stability, and very thin circuit board composites. We work with mechanical, electrical, process, CAD and layout engineers alike – offering design recommendations provide optimized manufacturing yields and cost reduction.

Some customers request several different designs when prototyping new concepts and products. We are happy to accommodate, enabling you to check and test your design assumptions before production begins.

Most of our work meets IPC 6013 class III requirements or beyond, making us the ideal provider of flexible and rigid flex circuits for defense contractors. We have excellent quality management systems, finely tuned processes, and the experienced personnel needed to deliver defect-free, high-quality and highly-reliable military electronics components.

Our customer satisfaction surveys consistently return high marks for responsiveness, design assistance, high quality, and affordability. Quality audits from our customers further speak to the strength of our processes, personnel, and equipment.

Printed Circuits is pleased to offer cutting-edge solutions to the packaging challenges posed by modern military electronics design and manufacturing. If you’d like to partner with us on your next product or project, contact us today.