Is your business made up of mainly low volume/high mix customers?
If you run a contract house you have little room for error when reflowing solder paste. You can’t afford to scrap any assemblies and every one must be soldered right the first time.
Are you using a wide variety of solder pastes (no clean/water soluble/leaded/unleaded) with lots of changeover?
How do you ensure that your reflow ovens are set to achieve the right profile and are operating correctly?
Some profile rigorously; some casually; some not at all. Visual and/or profiled verification of solder conditions are necessary, but not enough by themselves. Solder joints might be fine, but sensitive components are easily overheated in the process of making those joints look good. Damaged passive components jeopardize product performance and life expectancy, and create serious downstream liability issues.
How do you determine that your thermal processes are in control?
Every year new talent enters the work force and training in the art of reflow soldering is limited or judged too costly. Worse still, much learning about the reflow process only occurs as the result of failures caused by incorrect reflow process settings. Perhaps worst of all, many reflow machines are still running with the same settings set generations ago because no one currently available has the skill to make them better at achieving the proper profile.
Just because many industry veterans understand the issues around reflow soldering and thermal profiling doesn’t mean new talent can hit the road running. And, since most every electronic assembly will pass through reflow soldering, wave soldering, or sometimes both, it’s important to step back and take a look at the reflow solder process, dissect it and understand what’s important to measure and control.
We’d like to help. Our We Know How resources at www.murraypercival.com can provide you with solid technical reference materials. Our friends at ECD have a great series of training programs that you can absorb right at your desk, at a time most convenient to you.
Check them out. Your customers will appreciate it.