Foresight Vehicle: Large Area Flexible Circuits for Automotive Applications Manufacturing Technology - A Review of Process Options
It is the intention of motor vehicle manufacturers to achieve weight and cost savings by replacing wiring harnesses with flexible printed circuits in doors, roof liners, boots and cockpits. These circuits will be required in high volume and must meet the requirements of the vehicle and equipment suppliers with respect to cost effectiveness and reliability while presenting an achievable, economically sound manufacturing technology to the circuit suppliers. Design issues include requirements for CAN-bus1, EMC/RFI protection, 42 volt systems and the integration of functional modules 2,3,4. Alternative construction options and criteria for their assessment are proposed. The range of processes from which a manufacturing technology can be established are identified and discussed. The challenges presented to available processes and equipment by the potentially very large circuits are examined.