Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design SMT Electronics Assembly Manufacturing Forum

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Dek ProFlow Head



Dek ProFlow Head | 17 August, 2000

We are currnetly looking at switching form squeegee's to the Dek ProFlow head system. Just looking for feedback on the performance compared to squeegee's. Also here the ProFlow reduces the amount of waste of solder paste. Can anyone reflect on these issues?


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Re: Dek ProFlow Head | 18 August, 2000

Not that I have any experience with the proflow system but here are some words from a well respected former contributor on this forum who asked me to pass this one along.

"About DEK's Pro Flo system: Advantages considerably outway disadvantages. Speed nearly as advertised(100mm/sec vs. 25 with squeegees). No paste handling so no human interaction. No squeegees to mess with. Absolutely required for high volume applications but for few as some flex circuitry. Nearly all paste used. Prints consistent and print profiles excellent. Most early pro flo problems solved. Some considerations to be made with DEK to ensure proper installation, maintenance, and performance. Cost not an issue when considering benefits. You hardly need any print inspection of any type provided your stencil appertures, condition, cleanliness are as required. I've evaluated, qualified, installed, and operated most DEK automatic printers with squeegees and with pro flo. Works well in high mix, low volume as well as high volume, low mix."

This came so to speak as a somewhat "outerspace" message but I know that it�s from a person with great knowledge, experience and trustworthiness. Although not present on this forum anymore it�s nice to hear that he�s still alive and with the people and their problems out here. At Jimbo�s he would leave only the beer for us.



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Re: Dek ProFlow Head | 18 August, 2000

We have been using the Pro Flo for about a year and the print quality alone is worth making the move. It is flexible in that switching over to blades is pretty simple (if you need to), and the operators love it because clean up is a breeze. The only drawback I see is the cartridges are a bit wasteful 'cause they don't seem to fully empty into the chamber (but not a huge waste). Set up is pretty simple and if you call DEK they are more than willing to fax you good starting parameters. Since the paste isn't exposed to air it doesn't dry anywhere near as fast as blades so paste savings should be significant (although I have no statistical data for you). One problem is the paste tends to bleed around the cartridge but Loctite has redesigned their cartridges to get rid of this (works well), if you don't use Loctite make sure you get the shims that DEK will provide, Ive used them while screen printing glue and they worked well.

Good luck pr

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Re: Dek ProFlow Head | 18 August, 2000

I've heard there might be some problems when using an enclosed print head with water soluble paste. It dries out and compacts in the head. Just the opposite of what is claimed I know, but I hear it is wonderful when using no clean paste. Can anyone relate thier experiences with water soluble paste and an enclosed print head system?


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Re: Dek ProFlow Head | 22 August, 2000

Just out of curiosity, what's the maximum length print the Pro Flo is capable of? I think the Cross Flow option for the EKRAs that we use only goes up to 350mm, which is way short of what we'd need.

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Re: Dek ProFlow Head | 22 August, 2000

There are concretions that form inside the chamber when using a water soluble paste. They start forming and affecting print as early as 2 days. This is apparent no matter what type of print head you may be using. There has been over 30 water soluble paste evaluated and all seem to have the same issues. No clean is defintely the way to go when using these and the repeatability is remarkable. The most important thing to remember is to provide adequate board support across the intire print area to give a good gasketing between the board and the print head to avoid any bleed out at the ends and the sides of the blades. There are also many variables that will affect the printablity but all in all will work very well..

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