All Flex adds in-house laser ablation capability

Northfield, MN - Flexible printed circuits and heaters maker All Flex Flexible Circuits has purchased an optical laser ablation system. The company has been manufacturing flexible circuits for nearly a quarter of a century, and added flexible polyimide and silicone rubber heater circuits to their product line in 2008. Additional services include comprehensive surface-mount and through-hole component assembly.

The additional laser capability will allow the company to further expand internal capabilities for flexible circuits requiring features for high-density interconnection. One of the last steps in flex fabrication is excising individual parts from the substrate panel. Laser cutting is done by an optically controlled beam that defines the cutline and internal hole patterns. Sophisticated optical laser equipment has software algorithms to maximize cutline and via generation accuracy.
The advanced system gives the company the in-house capability to laser-cut the outline for extremely small or tight-tolerance applications. Depending on required tolerances, the company also excises circuits using traditional methods such as a steel rule die or a Class "A" hard die.    

The laser purchase will help alleviate manufacturing constraints, allowing for about 30% more floor space to add new technologies and capabilities, according to the company.

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