Rigid Flex technology was developed by military engineers several decades ago. Nowadays is a common technology widely used in consumer markets. According to our previous experiences, KLG made the assumption that CENELEC -50155 Rail regulations could be strongly supported by this solution. This paper is the history and proof of how to apply this idea to a new market focused on reliability. And the results so far confirm it was a good decision.
KLG as a leading supplier of technological solutions is using Rigid Flex in several of their solutions. An example of this technology introduction is a railway project, where a SIL2 safety grade display has been developed.
PCB Technology was fixed to Rigid Flex, with FR4 rigid and flexible part (as flex requirements were not tight), 6 Layer and Impedance control, as we’re using DDR, USB and other high frequency signals. With Rigid Flex Technology we’re able to reduce the number of wires from 17 down to 2 and PCB number from 5 to 1. Consequently:
- FIT/MTBFs ratios where boosted significantly, as a reference number, every connector can imply around 1000-2000 FITs.
- Assembly time is reduced and quality improved. Fewer components are faster and easier to assemble and less probable to be wrongly assembled.
- More reliable, as signals are staying inside a single PCB, radiating less, being less susceptible to noise and cannot be “accidentally” disconnected due to a connector failure.
PCBs have been designed, manufactured and checked to meet IPC-A-600 CLASS 3, so high reliability of the PCB by itself is guaranteed.
As a summary, by using this technology, KLG has been able to deliver a more reliable, cheaper and better adapted solution to our customer.
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Written by Enrique Osorio