Flexible Circuit Technologies: Offering more than just Circuit Designing
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Flexible Circuit Technologies: Offering more than just Circuit Designing

Mark Finstad, Sr. Application Engineer, Flexible Circuit TechnologiesMark Finstad, Sr. Application Engineer
Since the 1950s, flexible circuits have played a large role in innovation, development and miniaturization of modern electronic devices. Their apparent flexibility and better heat dissipation properties aided engineers substantially in designing some of the best inventions of the 21st century. However, designing such circuits come with their fair share of challenges. Being flexible and flimsy, the circuits are hard to manufacture and thus require total dedication of an organization to be even close to good at manufacturing them. Flexible Circuit Technologies (FCT) is an organization that not only offers its clients the ability to design various types of flexible circuits but also help them manage various aspects of product life-cycle from supply chain management to shipping.

FCT is one of the few electronics manufacturing companies that don’t believe in a one size fits all circuit design. Everything the company designs is custom. FCT caters directly to the individual customer, listens to their needs and accommodates them into its circuit design. The company designs standard flexible circuits, as well as rigid-flex-hybrid circuits that contain rigid sections within flexible circuits where SMT (Surface Mount Technologies) can be mounted. Depending on the device, the company also makes flexible heaters for the heating of a variety of products including medical devices, and they also produce membrane switches.

FCT’s dedication to the needs of their customers was demonstrated when a client asked them to develop a design to heat a solution for a medical device. The organization first explained to them the types of products that they make. FCT then provided the customer with a few variations of prototypes of different power levels that the customer could implement in their prototypes to determine the design most suitable for their need. Later—after several prototypes—FCT helped the customer to zero-in on a product that satisfied all its requirement parameters. FCT then reviewed the overall design and developed a final design that was aimed at reducing overall costs of production to the client. As a result, the client attained the best overall solution and FCT is producing the product by the millions in support of this high-volume program.

Along with designing and producing circuits for their broad customer base, the company also offers other value-added services. For example, beyond designing and producing circuits, FCT also performs specialized EMS related assembly service, as well as offering supply chain management services in support of the overall program.

Carey Burkett, Vice President

 
The company also utilizes its test engineering team to help with electrical and functional testing of the designed circuit and make sure that the assembly is performing as per the client’s requirements. FCT also provides complete product box-build services, i.e. develop the complete product in its own facility. In short, FCT value-added services range from early-on design all the way to when the product is packaged and ready-to-go.

We provide superior flex circuit design support that lead to cost effective designs that will perform within customer applications and from there provide extremely responsive service!


The level of service FCT provides is dependent upon customer needs. For example, if a customer wants to purchase bare-flex circuits only, FCT is happy to accommodate; at the same time; should the customer have added requirements for assembly, product module builds to complete box builds, FCT is well equipped to meet these requirements. For large accounts and/or more complex programs; FCT responds by surrounding the customer with support and assigning a dedicated account team.. The FCT account team most often includes a program manager that will manage the overall program and customer communications along with an application engineer responsible to help the client develop the technical solution related to the circuit. The technical engineers—along with the assembly engineers—ensure that they meet the customer’s assembly and box-build-related requirements. The account team also often comprises of localized sales support to ensure that the team is meeting all the requirements within the selected deadlines. As Carey Burkett, VP (Business Development) says, “Putting an account team together that is committed to the success of that customer is extremely important.”

With customer’s ever growing need for packing more electronic capability into smaller spaces, the need for flex circuits will continue to increase across all markets. FCT intends to ride this wave of market trends and continues to grow while providing EMS and assembly services for its customers. The company plans to improve its capabilities and create more complex rigid-flex and HDI (High Density Interconnected) related circuits. FCT has also made investments towards research and development of ultra-high-speed circuits that require special materials to operate on the gigahertz frequency range. The organization is also building a new factory in 2020 that will contain an advanced technology R&D group dedicated to innovative designs to facilitate the customer’s needs. As Mark Finstad, FCT’s Sr. Application Engineer says, “We’re always looking for newer technological niches as per the client’s needs. We will then fill them with what’s necessary to support them.”

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Flexible Circuit Technologies

Company
Flexible Circuit Technologies

Headquarters
Minneapolis, MN

Management
Mark Finstad, Sr. Application Engineer and Carey Burkett, Vice President

Description
Flexible Circuit Technologies (FCT) is a global supplier of Flexible Circuits, Rigid-Flex, Flexible Heaters, Sub-Assemblies, and related Value Added Services. Most often, they work with engineers who are seeking support for their product development efforts. Founded in 2000, Flexible Circuit Technologies is a privately held company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. PCB, Rigid-Flex, Flat Flex, Membrane Switches, Flexible Circuits, Flexible Heaters are some of the specialties of the company. FCT is well equipped to meet all the needs from providing open, flexible circuits to sub-assemblies, to complete box builds, to supporting the clients in finding other partners