Flexible circuits are used in many miniature electronic devices to carry power and control signals to/from mating electronics. Flat Flex Cables (FFC) and Flat Printed Circuits (FPC) are widely used in virtually all industries as the most common way to economically connect many high-density interconnects in a low-profile small PCB footprint.
Limitation With ZIF & LIF Connectors
Low-profile ZIF and LIF (zero and low insertion force) connectors are used to interface FFC – FPC circuits to PCBs. While ZIF and LIF connectors are great for meeting the product needs of integrated electronics the connectors have a limited actuation life creating a significant need to testing FFC – FPC based electronics. In addition, ZIF and LIF small formats are difficult to work with due to their small size, creating a secondary need for a fixture that is more ergonomic for operators and adaptable for automation.
FlexibleTest fixtures are typically used between a DUT (device under test) and the electronics driving circuitry to operate or test the DUT. With an integrated FlexibleTest fixture the connection is made once to the test board’s delicate ZIF or LIF connector.
This Test Repeats Thousands of Times
Fixture plugs directly into your test electronics
Your device-under-test easily inserts into your fixture
Your test sequence is executed as if the DUT is plugged directly into your ZIF or LIF
Test sequence executes reliably. No damage to your ZIF or LIF connector or DUT flex
Moving the fixture’s ergonomic lever rotates a CAM motion which applies a compression force to a proprietary elastomeric element that bridges the DUT flex to the fixture’s termination FFC or PCB. The element compression perpendicular to the circuit creates a soft contact that does not mark or indent the DUT flex, further improving reliability when the DUT is later integrated into the final product. When the electrical test is complete the reverse motion of the lever CAM reduces the force, uncompressing the elastomeric element, opening the electrical circuit, and allowing a zero force removal of the dut flex.
Flexible Test elements have been in use for many years as a connection method. Fabricated specifically for test fixture operation their design mimics a standard FFC/FPC electrically which providing very long life mechanical operation as well. Very often over 10,000 actuations.
If an element needs to be replaced a new element can be installed in minutes.