We use FPCs in applications when we require flexibility and conductivity. However, we do not use it when we need mechanical strength. Since FPCs are thin and lightweight, we use them in portable devices such as cell phones, digital cameras, and walkie-talkies. We can use them in larger devices such as peripheral and power supplies.
1. Reduce weight and space
Since FPCs do not have terminals for electrical connectors, we can use them in devices that need to be light but need to connect the output of many components. For example, a portable GPS device can use an FPC to connect a small battery to the main unit. The main unit has an internal rechargeable battery. However, the GPS receiver also needs a power source and several other functions such as a display and buttons. The FPC provides all these components, connecting them.
2. Easy customization
FPCs are flexible, and we can cut them to the desired size. Since they are not soldered, they can be easily removed from the circuit board and modified for new uses. You can make a whole new electronic product by adding an FPC with additional components onto a board already used for another purpose. For example, we can add an FPC to connect an external battery to an existing product. They include a car radio, increasing its functionality without completely replacing it.
3. Meet dynamic flexing requirements
We use FPCs primarily on portable devices with their flexibility and low weight. They can conform to flexible products like a cell phone or cut them to the desired size for a new circuit board. These properties make them an ideal choice for use in consumer electronic products.
4. Flexing for easier installation and service
We use FPCs in solar panels for homes and buildings, satellites, power generators, and electric vehicles. One can install solar panels easily in places where they cannot build a roof, or the landscape makes it difficult. The flexibility of these FPCs means they can conform to many different environments while still providing an electrical pathway between the various components. We also use FPCs in electric vehicles. This is because they have a lightweight structure while maintaining the required strength to ensure they will not break when driven.
5. Impedance control
Manufacturers make FPCs of high-quality materials and have high electrical conductivity. So, we also use them in consumer electronic products that require impedance control. The main advantage of using FPCs instead of soldered connections is that we can easily control the impedance, which is necessary for mobile devices like cell phones.
We need to expand some electronic devices such as solar panels or electric vehicles later. This is due to technological advances or improving user needs. These products can use an FPC to connect to various other components that we can add later as we require new functions.
7. Increase reliability and repeatability
When we use FPCs in solar panels, we weigh the FPCs and mechanically test them to remain steady once installed. This process ensures that the product will be reliable and operate smoothly in many different environments.
8. Thermal management
Products that we can design use FPCs with good thermal management. Since we cannot solder an FPC to the main board, we can move and replace it with another one to change its thermal properties. This process ensures that the product will always perform well.
9. Improve aesthetics
We can design FPCs to be very thin to reduce the size of the final product and make it look very nice. By printing components on a thin film instead of inside an FPC, one can achieve this. Manufacturers print the components on top of the FPC. It still appears connected to it while retaining its function and appearance.
10. Eliminate connectors
FPCs can eliminate the need for connectors because they can be easily removed and reconnected to other boards. Since there are no connectors and terminals, you do not need to disassemble the product every time you access a cable. You can then reconnect the FPC later, reducing production costs and ensuring that the product looks clean.
11. Reduce assembly cost
FPCs can reduce the assembly cost in many cases. For example, semiconductor companies need to add new components to their production lines. We can use the FPC with other components to create a circuit board. This increases the product’s functionality while decreasing production costs.
12. Increase scalability
FPCs can connect many components onto a central board to create a larger device. Since they are flexible and have low weight, we can assemble these boards into a large product that provides high-performance features.
13. Provide uniform electrical characteristics for high-speed circuitry
Since companies manufacture FPCs using the same high-quality materials and techniques as optical fiber, they provide reliable electrical characteristics for high-speed circuitry. As a result, these circuits can operate at very high speeds without becoming unstable.
14. Improve signal integrity
We can design FPCs to improve signal integrity by reducing noise and reflection. They can also enhance transmission performance and resistance to electromagnetic interference (EMI).