Parlex's new flex circuit manufacturing technology to be presented at Disruptive Technology Conference
Apr 06, 2004
Parlex Corporation announced the initial qualification of prototype circuits for the mobile telecom industry to utilize its new Print & Plate Technology which has been developed under a joint venture. Parlex will be presenting this new flex circuit manufacturing technology at the IPC Technology Market Research Council Disruptive Technology Conference to be held May 13 & 14, 2004 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Flexible circuit products typically are manufactured through a subtractive process where flexible copper clad laminates are chemically etched to remove all copper except that forming the circuit pattern. Print & Plate is an additive technology that incorporates a "build up" process. Using a Nashua Corporation (NSH) proprietary high speed commercial printing process that incorporates a Parlex developed high performance ink, a circuit pattern is printed on a flexible substrate material. Copper is then selectively plated on the printed lines using a unique high-throughput roll to roll electrolytic plating process. The principal savings from Print & Plate are significantly reduced material costs, dramatic reductions in manufacturing processes and virtual elimination of expensive waste treatment processes.
Print & Plate technology represents a significant cost advantage over traditional copper based circuit technology. Initial target markets include mobile telecom, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), and automotive interiors. Early design focus has been limited to single and double sided circuits not requiring fine lines or high densities. Parlex estimates a total addressable market in excess of $150 million today. To date, we have delivered a number of prototype orders with pre-production scheduled over the next three months. Initial production is anticipated in July 2004.