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Seminar: Flexible and Rigid-Flex PCB Design for Manufacturing by Vern Solberg

Headshot of Vern Solberg

Vern Solberg

Specialized in SMT and Microelectronics

Date and time:

July 26th, 2023

From 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Pacific time


This class will be hosted at our facility in Sunnyvale, CA.

Price: $245



Circuit design, fabrication and SMT assembly process principles

This tutorial will furnish the ‘Design for Manufacturing’ principles established for flexible and rigid-flex circuit fabrication. Additionally, guidance will be presented in developing surface mount component land pattern geometry and methods for providing the physical reinforcement that will contribute to ensuring quality, reliability and manufacturing efficiency. Although fabrication processes are similar to the more traditional rigid printed circuit board, flexible circuits furnish unlimited freedom of end-product geometry while retaining the precision density, and repeatability of rigid-based printed circuits. The flex-circuit can also be designed to replace complex wire harness assemblies and connectors to further improve product reliability. They also have a significant advantage over the hard-wired alternative because they fit only one way, eliminate wire routing errors, and can save up to 75% on space and weight. Because the flex-circuit conductor patterns can maintain uniform electrical characteristics, they have proved to contribute in controlling noise, crosstalk, and impedance. Participants will also have an opportunity to review and discuss the latest revision of IPC-2222 and PC-2223, the Sectional Design Standards for Flexible Printed Boards.

The objective of the material presented is to furnish the design professionals, systems engineers, assembly and test engineering specialists with a thorough understanding of the materials, fabrication process variations and preferred design practices for flexible and rigid-flex circuits. In addition, the requirements for automated SMT assembly will be defined and include detailed discussion regarding panel planning and SMT assembly process variations.



1. Flexible circuit applications and usages

  • Commercial/Consumer
  • Industrial/Automotive
  • Medical/Aerospace
  • Establishing end use criteria

2. Base material and flexible circuit fabrication processing

  • IPC Standards for flex and rigid-flex dielectrics
  • Base material and metallization technologies
  • Preparing for flexible circuit fabrication
  • Addressing fabrication suppler capability

3. Flexible and rigid-flex circuit planning and DfM design principles

  • Flex circuit outline planning
  • Circuit routing and interconnect methodologies
  • Static fold and bend requirements
  • Dynamic bend prerequisites

Break: Tour of the Sierra Circuits fab house

4. SMT component selection and land pattern development

  • Passive SMT components
  • Leaded and Lead-less SMT semiconductors
  • Array packaged semiconductors
  • SMT Component reinforcement criteria

5. Documentation for flexible and rigid flex circuitfabrication

  • Dimensioning and tolerance criteria
  • Defining primary physical features
  • Preparing detailed requirements for FAB
  • One and two copper layer flex
  • Combing flexible and rigid materials

6. Preparing for automated in-line SMT assembly processing

  • Conveyor handling of complex flexible circuit shapes
  • Palletized flexible circuit array for robotic assembly
  • Features and documentation required for robotic assembly
  • Surface mount assembly and process alternatives


About Vern Solberg

Vern Solberg is an independent consultant specializing in SMT and microelectronics design and manufacturing technology. He has served the industry for more than thirty years in areas related to both commercial and aerospace electronic products and is active as an author and educator. Additionally, Vern has served IPC as chairman and co-chair in developing the current IPC 7900 series standards, is a recipient of the IPC Presidents Award, the Raymond E. Pritchard Hall of Fame Award and a two-time recipient of the Surface Mount Technology Associations ‘Founders Award’. In addition to developing numerous technical papers and furnishing the Designers Notebook column for Design 007 Magazine, Solberg holds several patents for IC packaging innovations including the folded-flex 3D package technology and is the author of three books related to SMT design for manufacturing, the latest being ‘PCB Design Engineers Handbook for Surface Mount and Microelectronics’.


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