Technical Articles From Vitronics Soltec
Read technical articles about electronics manufacturing added by Vitronics Soltec
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8 technical articles added by Vitronics Soltec
Selective soldering in an optimized nitrogen atmosphere
Sep 29, 2021 | Gerjan Diepstraten
In PCB circuit assemblies the trend is moving to more SMD components with finer pitch connections. The majority of the assemblies still have a small amount of through hole (THT) components. Some of them can't withstand high reflow temperatures, while others are there because of their mechanical robustness. In automotive applications these THT components are also present. Many products for cars, including steering units, radio and navigation, and air compressors also use THT technology to connect board-to-board, PCB's to metal shields or housings out of plastic or even aluminium. This is not a simple 2D plain soldering technology, as it requires handling, efficient thermal heating and handling of heavy (up to 10 kg) parts. Soldering technology becomes more 3D where connections have to be made on different levels. For this technology robots using solder wire fail because of the spattering of the flux in the wires and the long cycle time. In wave soldering using pallets the wave height is limited and pin in paste reflow is only a 2D application with space limitations. Selective soldering using dedicated plates with nozzles on the solder area is the preferred way to make these connections. All joints can be soldered in one dip resulting in short cycle times. Additional soldering on a small select nozzle can make the system even more flexible. The soldering can only be successful when there is enough thermal heat in the assembly before the solder touches the board. A forced convection preheat is a must for many applications to bring enough heat into the metal and board materials. The challenge in a dip soldering process is to get a sufficient hole fill without bridging and minimize the number of solder balls. A new cover was designed to improve the nitrogen environment. Reducing oxygen levels benefits the wetting, but increases the risk for solder balling. Previous investigations showed that solder balling can be minimized by selecting proper materials for solder resist and flux....
How to Manage Material Outgassing in Reflow Oven
Nov 24, 2020 | Gerjan Diepstraten
In a lead-free reflow process, temperatures are higher, and materials use outgasses more than in a leaded reflow process. The trends toward higher density populated boards and more pin-in-paste technology also increase solder paste use. More components and more solder paste result in more outgassing of chemistry during the reflow process. Some assemblies report condensation of vapors when the cold printed circuit board enters the oven. Little is known about the interaction between these condensed materials in terms of the interaction between these condensed materials and the reliability of the assembly. Apart from the question of reliability, a printed circuit board contaminated with a small film of residues after reflow soldering is not desirable....
Reduce Pollution of Process Gasses in an Air Reflow Oven
Jul 02, 2019 | Gerjan Diepstraten
The introduction of lead-free solders resulted in a selection of different chemistries for solder pastes. The higher melting points of lead-free alloys required thermal heat resistant rosin systems and activators that are active at elevated temperatures. As a result, more frequent maintenance of the filtration systems is required and machine downtime is increased.</p><p>Last year a different method of cleaning reflow ovens was introduced. Instead of cooling down the process gasses to condensate the residues, a catalyst was used to maintain the clean oven. Catalytic thermal oxidation of residues in the nitrogen atmosphere resulted in cleaner heating zones. The residues were transformed into carbon dioxide. This remaining small amount of char was collected in the catalyst. In air ovens the catalyst was not seen as a beneficial option because the air extracted out of the oven was immediately exhausted into the environment. When a catalyst is used in an air environment there is not only the carbon dioxide residues, but also water. When a catalyst is used in an air reflow oven the question is where the water is going to. Will it condensate in the process part of the oven or is the gas temperature high enough to keep it out of the process area? A major benefit of using a catalyst to clean the air before it is exhausted into the environment is that the air pollution is reduced dramatically. This will make environmental engineers happy and result in less pollution of our nature. Apart from this, the exhaust tubes remain clean which reduces the maintenance of air ovens.</p><p>This paper will give more detailed information of catalyst systems during development and performance in production lines....
Design Rules For Selective Soldering Assemblies
Feb 14, 2018 | Vitronics Soltec Oosterhout
This document describes general guidelines and attention points for PCB design regarding selective soldering. The guidelines can be applied for Select Wave and/or Multi Wave soldering process in both leaded and leadfree alloy. When a PCB is designed according to these guidelines, a stable and solid solder-process can be guaranteed....
Effective Methods to Get Volatile Compounds Out of Reflow Process
Feb 11, 2016 | Gerjan Diepstraten
Although reflow ovens may not have been dramatically changed during the last decade the reflow process changes step by step. With the introduction of lead-free soldering not only operation temperatures increased, but also the chemistry of the solder paste was modified to meet the higher thermal requirements. Miniaturization is a second factor that impacts the reflow process. The density on the assembly is increasing where solder paste deposit volumes decreases due to smaller pad and component dimensions. Pick and place machines can handle more components and to meet this high through put some SMD lines are equipped with dual lane conveyors, doubling solder paste consumption. With the introduction of pin in paste to solder through hole components contamination of the oven increased due to dripping of the paste....
Position Accuracy Machines for Selective Soldering Fine Pitch Components
Feb 27, 2015 | Gerjan Diepstraten
The drive towards fine pitch technology also affects the soldering processes. Selective soldering is a reliable soldering process for THT (through hole) connectors and offers a wide process window for designers. THT connectors can be soldered on the top and bottom side of boards, board in board, PCBs to metal shields or housing out of plastic or aluminum are today's state of the art. The materials that are used to make the solder connections require higher temperatures. Due to the introduction of lead-free alloys, the boards need more heat to get the barrels filled with solder. This not only affects the properties of the flux and components, but the operation temperatures of solder machines become higher (...)
First the impact of temperature will be discussed for the separate process steps and for machine tooling. In the experimental part measurements are done to verify the accuracy that can be achieved using today's selective soldering machines. Dedicated tooling is designed to achieve special requirements with respect to component position accuracy....
Quieting the Noise: Quality Wave Soldering Depends on Control of Its Many Parameters.
Jan 24, 2008 | Gerjan Diepstraten, Senior Process Engineer, Vitronics Soltec BV
The wave solder process is characterized by a large number of process parameters. To understand them all and their interactions is challenging, particularly when it comes to lead-free soldering. Wave soldering has a number of sub-processes, which include fluxing, preheating, soldering and cooling....
Lead-free Wave Soldering of Simple to Highly Complex Boards. Process Optimization
Jan 10, 2008 | Denis Barbini, Vitronics Soltec; Paul Wang, Microsoft; Peter Biocca, ITW Kester; Quyen Chu, Jabil
This research takes an in-depth look at the challenges encountered in developing a lead free wave soldering process based on the specific products as well as on specific materials. It attempts to provide the reader with the information necessary to make educated decisions in selecting materials and controlling various process parameters in order to execute a rational implementation strategy for a reliable and robust lead free wave soldering process....