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Securitag Assembly : Patent Issued for Crimping Apparatus and System for Crimping a Flexible Printed Circuit (USPTO 10014641)

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07/12/2018 | 09:13 pm

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- Securitag Assembly Group Co. Ltd. (Taichung, TW) has been issued patent number 10014641, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventors are Chen, Tung-Sheng (Changhua County, TW); Chen, Shih-Ching (Tainan, TW); Chuang, Chih-Cheng (Nantou County, TW).

This patent was filed on July 21, 2015 and was published online on July 3, 2018.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "The present invention relates to a technique for electrically connecting two mutually isolated circuit layers to each other and, more particularly, to a crimping apparatus and system and method for electrically connecting two mutually isolated circuit layers formed on a flexible printed circuit to each other through mold pressing.

"Please refer to FIG. 1A, which illustrates a flexible printed circuit. Generally, the flexible printed circuit 1 comprises an isolation layer 10, a first circuit layer 11, and a second circuit layer 12. The isolation layer 10 is formed from a flexible material and the first and second circuit layers 11 and 12 are respectively formed on upper and bottom surface of the isolation layer 10 whereby the first circuit layer 11 is electrically isolated from the second circuit layer 12. In one specific application, there is a need for electrically connecting the first circuit layer 11 to the second circuit layer 12 which is implemented by a crimping operation where a stress is acted on the flexible printed circuit 1 such that a portion of metal material of the first circuit layer 11 penetrates throughout the isolation layer 10, thereby binding to a portion of metal material of the second circuit layer 12 such that the first circuit layer is electrically connected to the second circuit layer 12.

"In the conventional art, the crimping process is performed by using a resilient element for storing a resilient force by which the mold pressing can be operated. Thereafter, the resilient force is released for driving a mold to press the flexible printed circuit 1 whereby the first circuit layer 11 formed on the upper surface of the isolation layer 10 is penetrated throughout the isolation layer 10 and electrically connected to the second circuit layer 12 formed on the bottom surface of the isolation layer 10. In one operation embodiment, such as roll-to-roll manufacturing process, since a plurality of flexible printed circuits are sequentially arranged on the flexible substrate, it is necessary to control a plurality of resilient elements for simultaneously performing the crimping process on the plurality flexible circuits respectively corresponding to the plurality of resilient elements. It is well known that the key for performing crimping process toward a plurality of flexible printed circuits simultaneously is the compression control of the resilient elements, i.e., the height of the pressing mold. However, a compression control for ensuring each resilient element to possess the same compression magnitude at the same time so as to generate the same resilient force for mold pressing is difficult. Accordingly, the consequence of crimping process using resilient elements will induce unstable of electrical conduction between the first and second circuit layers 11 and 12 as well as will cause the difficulties of the same compression magnitude of each resilient element adjusted and tuned by the engineers.

"It is also known that the crimping quality depends on the stability control of the compressive stress exerted on the flexible printed circuit 1 during crimping process. If the compressive stress is insufficient, such as the illustration shown in FIG. 1B, the binding force between the first and second circuit layers 11 and 12 is not enough thereby causing circuit layer 11 to break away from the circuit layer 12 in the subsequent manufacturing process and, finally, it will become a defect within the product of the flexible printed circuit after the roll-to-roll manufacturing process. On the contrary, if the compressive stress is excessively applied to the flexible printed circuit, such as the condition shown in FIG. 1C, a damaged portion 13 is easily generated thereby affecting the binding strength and the electrical conduction between the first and second circuit layers 11 and 12. In addition, since there a damaged portion 13 on the flexible printed circuit 1, the upper and bottom molds will mutually contact with each other during the crimping process thereby causing the upper mold to rub against the bottom mold directly so as to reduce the lifetime of the mold.

"Accordingly, there is a need for a crimping apparatus and system and method that is insensitive to the pressing height of mold press and to the influence of pressed material and is also easily adjusted by the user for electrically connecting two mutually isolated circuit layers to each other thereby solving the conventional problem of the crimping process."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention provides a crimping apparatus and system and method for crimping the flexible printed circuit in which a fluid pressure is converted into an action force acting on the pressing mold and the pressing mold is driven to move by a translation module for pressing an object with a constant stress. By means of controlling the fluid pressure, the action force or stress acting on the object during the press procedure can be kept constant thereby generating better quality of crimping result. In addition to preventing the flexible printed circuit from being pressed by excessively applied action force, thereby generating damaged structures, the present invention further prevents friction between the pressing molds, e.g. upper mold and bottom mold, so as to extend the lifetime of pressing mold.

"In one embodiment, the present invention provides a crimping apparatus, comprising a pressure module, a pressing mold, a translation module, and a pressure control module. The pressure module is configured to provide a pressure through a fluid. The pressing mold is connected to the pressure module for receiving the pressure provided from the pressure module. The translation module is connected to the pressure module for moving the pressure module toward an object whereby the pressing mold is moved to press the object. The pressure control module is configured to control the pressure of the fluid within the pressure module when the pressing mold presses the object so that an action force that the pressing mold acts on the object is kept constant.

"In another embodiment, the present invention further provides a crimping system, comprising a roll-to-roll conveying module for conveying a flexible substrate roll, at least one pressure control module, and a plurality of crimping apparatus. The roll-to-roll conveying module has a plurality of flexible printed circuits formed thereon, and each flexible printed circuit comprises an isolation layer, a first circuit layer formed on an upper surface of the isolation layer, and a second circuit layer formed on a bottom surface of the isolation layer. Each crimping apparatus is configured to correspond to one of the flexible printed circuit and comprises a pressure module, a pressing mold, and a translation module. The pressure module is configured to provide a pressure through a fluid. The pressing mold is connected to the pressure module for receiving the pressure from the pressure module. The translation module is connected to the pressure module for moving the pressure module toward the corresponding flexible printed circuit so as to move the pressing mold to press the flexible printed circuit thereby causing the first circuit layer to penetrate throughout the isolation layer and connect to the second circuit layer. The at least one pressure control module is configured to control the pressure of the fluid within each the pressure module when the pressing mold presses the flexible printed circuit so that an action force that the pressing mold acts on the flexible printed circuit is kept constant.

"In a further embodiment, the present invention further provides a method for crimping a flexible printed circuit. At first, at least one flexible printed circuit and a crimping system are provided, wherein each flexible printed circuit comprises an isolation layer, a first circuit layer formed on an upper surface of the isolation layer, and a second circuit layer formed on a bottom surface of the isolation layer and the crimping system comprises at least one crimping apparatus respectively corresponding to the at least one flexible printed circuit, each crimping apparatus further comprising a pressure module, a pressing mold coupled to the pressure module, and a translation module. The crimping system further comprises at least one pressure control module for controlling a fluid flowing into the pressure module. After that, a step of controlling the translation module of each crimping apparatus to move the pressure module thereof toward the corresponding flexible printed circuit is performed thereby leading the pressing mold to press the corresponding flexible printed circuit. Finally, a step of controlling the pressure generated by the fluid inside the pressure module is performed whereby an action force generated by the pressing mold is kept constant during the pressing mold pressing the flexible printed circuit such that the first circuit layer penetrates throughout the isolation layer and electrically connects to the second circuit layer.

"All of these objectives achieved by the crimping apparatus and system and method for electrically connecting two mutually isolated circuit layers formed on a flexible printed circuit to each other are described below. The accompanying figures are schematic and are not intended to be drawn to scale. In the figures, each identical, or substantially similar component that is illustrated in various figures may be represented by a single numeral or notation (though not always). For purposes of clarity, not every component is labeled in every figure. Nor is every component of each embodiment of the invention shown where illustration is not necessary to allow those of ordinary skill in the art to understand the invention."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Chen, Tung-Sheng; Chen, Shih-Ching; Chuang, Chih-Cheng. Crimping Apparatus and System for Crimping a Flexible Printed Circuit. U.S. Patent Number 10014641, filed July 21, 2015, and published online on July 3, 2018. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=10014641.PN.&OS=PN/10014641RS=PN/10014641

Keywords for this news article include: Asia, Taiwan, Business, Securitag Assembly Group Co. Ltd..

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