Component carrier for optical sensors
Harting in Germany has launched component carriers that can be used directly with sensors, eliminating manual assembly and replacing flexible PCBs.
The component carrier serves as a connecting element between a printed circuit board (PCB) and components such as LEDs, ICs, photo–diodes or sensors. A range of electronic components can now be fitted directly onto the carrier, replacing flexible circuit boards and adding sensors for detecting the position.
The company launched the custom version of the technology in 2020:
- 3D-integrated carrier replaces flexible PCBs
- Harting targets automotive applications with 3D-molded interconnect
The measuring sensors of a scanning head for position detection, for example on a linear slide with guide rails, are often mounted onto flex PCBs. As magnetic, optical or inductive systems, they record the exact position of the slide. To do this the sensors must be positioned exactly at a 90 degree angle. The capability to mount these as precisely as possible improves the accuracy of the measurement results. A second sensor is often installed in the measuring head for redundancy. In addition, the status of the evaluation electronics is displayed using LEDs; these are mounted onto a flex PCB.
With the component carrier the flexible PCB can be replaced completely. The injection-moulded plastic body already provides very precise 90-degree angles for mounting sensors. The component carrier eliminates the need for time-consuming manual assembly of the flex PCB and allows the sensors to be positioned more precisely. Another advantage of the component carrier is that the width of the sensor modules can be further reduced to less than 8 mm.
The component carrier with the assembled electronic components comes in a blister pack for further processing in SMD assembly facilities, and the soldered components are secured with an adhesive so that they do not detach during reflow soldering.
This is possible as Harting 3D-MID (mechatronic integrated device) provides the complete value chain for these 3D assembly technologies, making German headquartered Harting the largest supplier of 3D-MID components outside of Asia.
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