Towards the Automated Coverlay Assembly in FPCB Manufacturing: Concept and Preliminary Tests [chapter]

Marcello Valori, Vito Basile, Simone Pio Negri, Paolo Scalmati, Chiara Renghini, Irene Fassi
2021 IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology  
AbstractIn modern electronics, flexible and rigid-flex PCBs are largely used due to their intrinsic versatility and performance, allowing to increase the available volume, or enabling connection between unconstrained components. Rigid-flex PCBs consists of rigid board portions with flexible interconnections and are commonly used in a wide variety of industrial applications. However, the assembly process of these devices still has some bottlenecks. Specifically, they require the application of
more » ... ver layers (namely, coverlays), to provide insulation and protection of the flexible circuits. Due to the variability in planar shape and dimensions, the coverlay application is still performed manually, requiring troublesome manipulation steps and resulting in undetermined time-cycle and precision.This paper aims at the improvement of the industrial process currently performed, by proposing an approach for the automation of Kapton coverlay manipulation and application. Since these products are commercially provided as a film with a protective layer to be removed, the peeling issue is addressed, representing a challenging step of the automated process; the results of a systematic series of tests, performed in order to validate the peeling strategy, are reported in the paper. The overall assembly strategy relies on the development of a customized multi-hole vacuum gripper, whose concept is presented and contextualized in the proposed assembly process by outlining a suitable workcell architecture.
doi:10.1007/978-3-030-72632-4_3 fatcat:nhew5g7545gglfzw5iuvwvynse