Flexible Circuits and Membrane Switches
Simpler and more reliable electronic interconnections are possible with flex circuits and membrane switches, and tight tolerances and fine-line circuits are an important benefit. Because of these properties, flex circuits and membrane switches require accuracy in cutting. Preco has the unique and distinct advantage of offering a variety of solutions for processing flex circuits. Preco has die cutters, screen printers, laser systems and ink jetting systems to process flex circuits and membrane switches.
During manufacturing, flex circuit and membrane switch materials often react differently to printing, etching, or curing processes, so it is critical that proper alignment of the parts is achieved - without pilot holes. It is also important for die cutters to have the flexibility to adjust their processes to take into account the properties of materials used in the manufacturing process. In some cases, that may mean more than one machine to do the job. Fortunately, Preco has incorporated into one system, the capability to die cut flex circuits and membrane switches with the ability to compensate for stretching and shrinkage. Preco processes both sheet and coil, to utilize optical registration to maintain cut-to-print tolerances. In addition, virtually any type of tooling can be used for long or short runs.
Preco also provides laser cutting systems as an option. Some of the advantages of laser cutting include non-contact processing with superior edge quality. Intricate patterns with precise detail are easily cut with no burrs, debris or strands left. Whether you use a fixed beam, flying optic or galvo, the laser cuts at high speeds with web widths ranging from 457mm to 1422mm. Processing can be indexed or on the fly.
Manufacturers of membrane switches and flex circuits know that design flexibility is important, for ease of production. Preco’s quick set-up and easy control adjustments make the MTS-Series screen printers the choice for critical fabrication environments. Print-to-image accuracy (x-y-theta) is as precise as ±0.05 mm @ three-sigma, for specially-built applications. For medium and narrow-web formats, Preco has the most accurate screen printing equipment in the industry today. Another solution from Preco is the MetalJet® 6000, which delivers a precise inkjet-produced pattern resulting in a layer of solid metal copper.
- Automated processing through a variety of available sheet handling systems that pick and place units from sheet feeders.
- Cut-to-print accuracy to ± 0.0005" (0.0125mm) in 1, 2, and 3 axis with Preco camera registration systems.
- Material waste minimized via a Preco special CCD registration system that picks up registration targets within the image area or in the edge waste.
- Labor intensive pilot or registration hole punching process is eliminated by use of the Preco registration system.
- Reduced die costs with high speed processing. Increases throughput with fewer cavities by reducing make ready time, decreasing scrap, and increasing registration time.
- Rejects caused by material flex are minimized.
- Faster adhesive laminating, reduced labor with Preco lamination systems that register the adhesive to the pre-printed stock.
- Automated testing of 100% of stock circuits before final die cut and assembly via a bed of nails tester.
- Custom built for all industries and markets with help from Preco’s Engineering and Design team.
- Indexed or on-the-fly processing
- Fixed beams, flying optics or galvo's
- Non contact processing
- Superior edge quality
- High speed processing on-the-fly
- Quick setup and pattern change
- Vision alignment and registration
Preco's engineers have expertise in cutting flex circuits and membrane switches. Preco technology includes optical recognition of patterns, targets, color differences, optic markers, or other registration. Contact Preco to discuss your flex circuit cutting needs.