(October 20, 2009) — Following are the new solders, fluxes, reflow ovens and profilers, wave soldering systems, conveyors, rework tools, and more for reliable, repeatable soldering by hand, selective soldering, wave, or reflow.
Solder and Flux
Jettable Solder Paste
AIM introduces NC257MD Jet Printable Solder Paste after a joint development project with MYDATA of Sweden. AIM NC257MD is available direct from AIM or its distributors. It is supplied in syringes with bar coded labels specially designed for the MYDATA MY500 Jet Printer. Jet printing is a perfect technology for customers that operate in a high mix production environment and many of these applications need the easy cleaning performance of AIM 257MD solder paste. AIM, www.aimsolder.com.
Lead-free Solder Paste for Jet Printer
ALPHA JP-500 jetting paste is a lead-free no-clean solder paste developed in co-operation with MYDATA, designed for compatibility with MYDATA’s MY-500 Jet Printer. JP-500 paste allows for rapid line changeover, especially for high-mix assemblers. The paste is zero halogen with a wide reflow profile window with good solderability on various board/component finishes. It offers good solder and flux cosmetics after reflow soldering. The paste is said to reduce random solder balling levels, minimizing rework and increasing first time yield. It has excellent pin-test yield for single and double reflow. It meets highest IPC 7095 voiding performance classification of Class III, and is capable of high reflow yield without the use of nitrogen. Cookson Electronics Assembly Materials, a Cookson Electronics company, www.cooksonelectronics.com.
For more on AIM and Cookson’s partnership with MYDATA, read MYDATA Qualifies Alpha, AIM Solder Pastes for Jet Printing.
Wave Solder Flux
ALPHA EF-6103 is an alcohol-based flux designed to optimize solderability and reliability in wave soldering. It was developed for both standard and thicker, high-density printed circuit board (PCB) applications in lead-free (standard SAC and low-Ag SAC alloys) and eutectic tin/lead (SnPb) processes. It is based on the EF-6100 and EF6100P wave solder fluxes, adding new intermediates to produce improved activity and higher pin test yields while maintaining high reliability. ALPHA EF-6103 is designed to minimize bridging on bottom-side QFPs, as well as improved pin testing, hole fill, and solder balling. Additionally, it provides good Pb-free solder joint cosmetics with an evenly spread, tack-free residue. Cookson Electronics Assembly Materials, a Cookson Electronics company, www.alpha.cooksonelectronics.com.
The InnoLot solder alloy suits high-temperature and high-vibration environments. It is capable of operating temperatures of 150°C and 2,000 thermal cycles from -55° to +150°C. The six-part alloy modifies SAC 387 with the addition of bismuth (3%), antimony (1.4%) and nickel (0.15%). It begins to melt at 206°C, becoming fully liquid at 217°C. The alloy is compatible SAC 305 and SAC 387 processes. Heraeus Materials Technologies, www.heraeuscontact-materials.com. For more on this alloy’s development, read Lead-free for High-reliability, High-temperature Applications .
Lead-free Low-temperature Solder Paste
Alpha CVP-520 is a lead free, no-clean, zero-halogen solder paste designed for pin-in-through-hole assembly of temperature-sensitive components. For mixed technology applications, this could enable electronic assemblers to reduce or eliminate wave or selective soldering processes. In some cases, less expensive substrates and components can be used because CVP-520 can be successfully reflowed when peak reflow temperatures are in the 155° to 190°C range. Components that could not withstand a lead-free reflow thermal excursion can survive when CVP-520 paste is used. The solder paste also has excellent print and reflow process yields for pin-in-through-hole applications. It has good fine feature printing on 0.30 mm circles at speeds up to 100 mm/sec. In-circuit pin test yields are high and the paste passes IPC, Bellcore, and JIS electrical reliability standards. Cookson Electronics Assembly Materials, a Cookson Electronics company, www.alpha.cooksonelectronics.com.
No-clean Gel Flux
RF741 no-clean gel flux is designed for electronic component rework and repair applications. The high-viscosity flux has a gel-like consistency and is easily applied by syringe dispensing. After being dispensed, RF741 stays in place until soldering occurs. Additionally, the flux eliminates the traditional problems experienced with controlling the application of low-solids no-clean liquid fluxes. The flux is compatible with most no-clean chemistries and leaves solder joints bright and shiny after reflow. It is classified as ROL0 per J-STD-004 and is compliant to Bellcore GR-78. EasySpheres LLC, www.easyspheres.com.
Low-Ag SAC Solder Paste
ALPHA CVP-360 lead-free, no-clean solder paste is formulated with low-Ag SACX 0807 and 0307 alloys. CVP-360 offers good in-circuit test (ICT) yields and was developed for assemblers of consumer electronics products. Spread and wetting are reportedly better than leading SAC 305 and SAC 405 solder pastes. Printing characteristics allow use of Type-3 solder powder, even when 12 mil features are being printed using a 5-mil-thick stencil. CVP-360 also allows high-speed printing and reduced stencil cleaning frequency. It offers a wide reflow process window, helping reduce head-in-pillow defects. Cookson Electronics Assembly Materials, a Cookson Electronics company, www.cooksonelectronics.com.
Modular Rework System
The MRS-1000 modular rework system is a convection rework system for the removal and placement of BGA/CSP and SMT components. It comprises a handheld convection tool with a wide array of nozzles, preheater, adjustable tool holder with board holder, and light magnifier. Capable of handling PCBs up to 12 × 12″, or larger using the stand-alone BH-1000 Board Holder, the manually assisted rework system is equipped to process components up to 40 × 40 mm. Standard features include programmability, a digital display, program storage of up to 50 profiles, and adjustability. Its HCT-1000 programmable handheld convection tool is equipped to remove and place SMT components, featuring digital controls, internal or external thermocouple feedback control, profile storage and integrated vacuum pick-up for component placement and removal. The hand-piece features vacuum and reflow buttons allowing the process to be operated manually or automatically, while the vacuum option incorporates automatic component lift off. The HN Series nozzles suit BGAs, QFPs, LGAs, PLCC, SOIC, and other components. The MRS-1000 also features the PCT-1000 programmable preheater, which maintains high levels of thermal control with fast temperature ramp up. The PCT-1000 is equipped with the highly advanced heater design found on sophisticated OK International rework systems. Its convection heater creates a vortex effect that efficiently directs and concentrates heat. Also included with the rework system, the ATH-1000 adjustable tool holder features a board holder, locking hand-piece retainer, Z-axis stop and mounting configurations. The LM-1000 light magnifier features 4× magnification and integrated LED lighting for shadow-free illumination. OK International, http://www.okinternational.com/product_convection/mrs_1000.
Jointly Developed Rework Material
This new dippable solder paste series is optimized for rework of BGAs and other area-array devices. Dippable solder pastes combine low viscosity fluxes with very fine solder powders to form thin, uniform films on objects like BGA balls. Fine powders with particle sizes of 25 µm and smaller were once considered very difficult to reflow, but advances in powder manufacturing technology have enabled a new generation of process-friendly solder pastes. Originally developed for BGA ball attachment and then package-on-package (PoP) applications, dippable pastes are now being used in rework operations, replacing manual stencil printing on the components and PCB. Dipping BGAs in the paste provides more consistent solder volumes, removes the concerns of restricted access, and eliminates the cost of custom stencils for each device. Development is currently underway at Heraeus’ R&D center using Air-Vac Engineering’s ONYX-29 rework system to optimize current dippable paste formulations specifically for the rework process. The new product is scheduled for beta testing later this year. Heraeus Materials Technology LLC is part of Heraeus, www.heraeus.com. Air-Vac Engineering Company Inc., www.air-vac-eng.com.
No-clean Halide-free Flux Pen
Kester’s 959T no-clean, non-corrosive, halide-free Flux Pen is designed for lead-free rework of conventional and surface mount circuit board assemblies. With the use of the flux pen, virtually no residue remains after soldering. Kester 959T was developed with a modified surface tension for surface mount assemblies with high component densities. Kester 959T reportedly improves soldering performance and eliminates cleaning. The pen is classified as ORL0 per J-STD-004 and is compliant to Bellcore GR-78. It contains less than 0.5% rosin and features reduced odors associated with soldering use. EasySpheres LLC, www.easyspheres.com.
Vacuum for High-quality Solder Joints
“Vacuum plus” is a system for optimizing soldering joints that eliminates any inclusions (bubbles) in a vacuum chamber. It targets high-performance electronics, automotive, medical, and aerospace and defense applications. “Vacuum plus” is an autonomous module that can be integrated in an SMT reflow soldering system. Due to the modular design of the SMT reflow soldering systems, it can be retrofitted in existing machines without problems. “Vacuum plus” is inserted immediately after the peak zone, and can be enabled when required. The continuous reflow pass is then automatically changed to vacuum operation. The product is subjected to a vacuum for a short period during the soldering process. Inclusions in the soldering joint are reduced to a minimum, which improves the quality of the product significantly. Direct integration in the system gives the user a high degree of flexibility, and is significantly cheaper than a separate system. SMT Maschinen- und Vertriebs GmbH & Co. KG, www.smt-wertheim.de.
Oven Verification without Thermocouples
OvenCHECKER is used to verify that ovens remain in spec after a board’s initial characterization reflow profile. It is designed to be self-contained, and requires no thermocouples or repeated use of golden boards. An operator can be trained to use OvenCHECKER in less than two minutes. OvenCHECKER comes as a complete kit that includes a three-sensor pallet, V-M.O.L.E. thermal profiler with M.A.P. software, and a thermal barrier. All thermal profiling starts with the initial characterization of the board, a customized target profile developed using anywhere from 6 to 20 thermocouples. It is after that initial profile has been established that surveys show the thermal management process often breaks down. Verification of the initial profile is necessary during successive production runs. Using ECD’s M.A.P (V2.18) software as it travels through the oven, OvenCHECKER compares the oven’s profile to the engineer’s target-profile input and with a push of its proprietary OK Button indicates if the oven is in or out of specification. This gives the operator instant Go/No-Go decisions, eliminating the need to either review with an engineer or download to a computer. The OvenCHECKER is able to store over 90 runs. Readiness indicators eliminate any wasted runs that may occur if the profiler is too warm or there’s an open-thermocouple condition. Once the verification run begins, the Target-10 function of the M.A.P. software facilitates honing in on the location of a failed profile. Over 185 customizable data extractions provide for analysis and custom reports. Using a long-life reusable pallet, as well as a long-life lithium rechargeable battery, the OvenCHECKER can perform over 1,000 runs without degradation. ECD, www.ecd.com/products/ovenchecker.
Thermal Profiling Software
The MAP (Machine, Assembly, Process) software upgrade incorporates suggestions from Celestica, Intel, Accu-Rite, and Silicon Forest Electronics, reflecting real-world improvements. MAP V2.17c thermal profiling software provides features designed to maximize production throughput speed as well as data retrieval and interpretation. Features include a cropping tool to easily remove extraneous data, profile data extraction for Cooling Slopes After Peak, batch download of multiple runs stored on ECD’s MEGAM.O.L.E. 20 and V-M.O.L.E., date-time auto file naming option, mouse-over channel descriptions to highlight specific channels, and One-Click direct to Excel data exporting in user-specified units. Customers can download MAP V2.17c by visiting www.ecd.com/downloads and selecting the profiler they use. Online training for the new version software is available online at ECD-U. ECD, www.ecd.com.
Selective & Wave Soldering
Warpage-minimizing Soldering Conveyor
The SMART Conveyor controls PCB warpage during the selective soldering process and was developed in response to the continuous challenges of selective soldering process development. PCB assemblies, due to size, thickness, multi-part routing and component weight, tend to sag or warp. Board holding strategies such as custom fixturing ensured a reliable and repeatable selective soldering process but are expensive and time-consuming. The SMART Conveyor automatically senses and adjusts to board size, then "crowds" the PCB for a snug fit to ensure accurate board location. Then, the SMART Conveyor automatically clamps the two parallel edges and re-sizes the holding area while exerting gentle pressure that eliminates any board shape issues. Lead-free assembly is less forgiving than lead-based, and today's assemblies are more complex and demanding. Warpage of PCBs directly impacts the precision of the selective soldering process, and to ensure good solder connections, repeatability, and product reliability, warpage must be controlled to keep the board as planar as possible. The SMART Conveyor, in conjunction with automated optical alignment and skew correction, addresses the critical requirements of true automation for lights-out operation. ACE Production Technologies Inc., www.ace-protech.com.
Dual-pot Wave Solder Machine
For assemblers requiring lead-free as well as a conventional tin/lead soldering capability, the 28.400-2 wave soldering machine is a compact dual-pot system mounted on transport and storage carts that allow conversion from one alloy to another. The 28.400-2 is based on single-pot model 28.400. It has a 9.5 ft. long footprint. The machine features dual-wave, three independently controlled zones with forced-air convection heating, and bottom-side IR preheating. Also included are internal automatic spray fluxing, titanium finger conveyor with motorized width adjustment for PCBs from 50 to 400mm and closed-loop control of conveyor speed. The two solder pots are factory installed. Additional pots and cart assemblies can be added. Manncorp, www.manncorp.com/wave-solder/28.400-2.
Process Control for Selective Soldering Systems
Drop jet fluxers guarantee exact flux application with a precisely defined quantity, ensuring that surrounding areas will not be wetted. Enough flux must get to the solder joint so that a sufficient hole fill is achieved to form high-quality solder joints during the soldering process. Existing flux control units only control the function of the drop jet nozzle during a pre-production test. Flux quantity being applied to the board cannot be clearly defined. A real-time and real-quantity drop jet fluxer control monitors the function of the drop jet nozzle. It measures the actual flux quantity jetted by the drop jet nozzle during the fluxing process. The measured quantity is compared with a reference value. If the system detects a deviation, an error message will be initiated. In addition, the software indicates which part of the PCB has not been fluxed correctly. SEHO Systems GmbH, www.seho.de.
Wave Surfer Measurement System
The second generation Wave Surfer is an easy-to-use, self-contained measurement system for wave solder machines that provides critical data on wave solder machine setup and its process. As a wave solder machine profile fixture, Wave Surfer has five embedded thermocouples, and works in conjunction with a KIC profiler for quick and easy profiling and wave solder machine set up. Made of a material similar to typical wave solder pallets, the Wave Surfer can withstand thousands of passes. The fixture holds the profiler in place during each run to measure the pertinent process data in the wave solder machine including peak temperature, dwell time, parallelism, and conveyor speed. KIC, www.kicthermal.com.
Recovery Services for Lead-free and Tin/lead Dross and Scrap
FCT Recovery is offering recovery services based on published metals market values. Upon receipt of materials, the company sends a check within 30 days, along with a certificate of recycling for the material. Customers receive updates throughout each step of the process. FCT Recovery also provides recovery services for solder paste and wipes in quantities as small as 25 lb. On every shipment over 500 pounds, FCT will arrange and pay for freight. FCT Recovery, a division of FCT Assembly, www.fctrecovery.com.