Is the production cost of flexible PCBA higher than rigid PCBA?
27 December 2023
The unique properties of flexible PCBA make it more and more widely used in various industries. So, is the production cost of flexible PCBA higher than that of rigid PCBA? We will analyze and discuss it in this article.
1. Raw material cost
Flexible PCBA uses flexible substrate materials such as polyimide or polyester, which are more expensive than the rigid FR-4 materials used in rigid PCBA. The higher cost of flexible materials is due to their unique properties as well as the more complex manufacturing processes required to produce them. Polyimide film for flexible PCBA substrates costs about $100 per square meter, while FR-4 laminates cost only about $2 per square meter.
The difference in material costs leads to a higher cost of raw materials for flexible PCBA.
2. Complex Manufacturing Process
Flexible PCBA requires a more complex manufacturing process, with additional lamination steps, laser drilling, and precise handling of flexible materials in the manufacturing process, which requires a 30% increase in time and more labor compared to rigid PCBA. Compared with traditional production lines, the automation level of flexible PCBA production is also lower, and will rely on more manual operation. The degree of automation of rigid PCBA can be more than 90%, but the degree of automation of flexible PCBA production line is usually only about 60%.
3. Lower yield
The yield of flexible PCBA is usually lower than rigid PCBA, so the unit cost is higher, according to the industry average, the yield of flexible PCB is about 5-10% lower than rigid PCB.
4. Quality Control
Flexible PCBA is more prone to defects and requires stricter quality control measures during the manufacturing process, which also increases production costs.
Due to the use of more expensive raw materials, more complex manufacturing processes, lower yield and strict quality control, the production cost of flexible PCBA is substantially higher than rigid PCBA. But flexible PCBA is still indispensable for modernizing the design of new electronic products
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