Tewkesbury company sets a world record
By James Yioung | 15th April 2019
A Tewkesbury-based company has produced what is believed to the world's longest ever circuit board.
Ashchurch-based Trackwise has just shipped a multilayer, flexible printed circuit to the United States - that measures in at an eye-popping 26 metres - the length of three London buses.
The circuit distributes power and control signals across the wings of a solar-powered, unmanned aerial vehicle and is one of 50 supplied by Trackwise for the vehicle.
Because the circuits are made using Trackwise's patented Improved Harness Technology, it can provide a weight saving of nearly 60 per cent over a traditional wire harness circuit.
This will enable the UAV, which is being manufactured in the US, to achieve higher payload and/or improved speed and range.
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Conventional FPCs are rarely more than two metres in length, primarily due to limitations of manufacturing processes.
IHT overcomes these limitations, enabling FPCs of unlimited length to be produced - including the record breaker.
Trackwise CEO Philip Johnston said: "There are many new applications emerging for long, lightweight FPCs but aerospace is a natural fit: weight savings, high reliability and cost-effectiveness are critical.
"We're also seeing growing interest from a variety of sectors including medical and automotive.
"For the latter, manufacturers are challenged to reduce vehicle weight to improve fuel efficiency at a time when there's an ever-growing array of electrical and electronic circuits in their vehicles."
Trackwise are a Gloucestershire success story who floated on the London AIM market in July 2018.
They reported a 23 per cent increase in revenues for the 2018 financial year last week , with their proprietary IHT technology at the forefront of their progress.
Based on the Ashchurch trading estate near to the M5 Motorway, Trackwise employ around 40 people and celebrated their 30th anniversary earlier this month.
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