Soldering: Surface Mount Technology and
More Soldering Articles

A Shift in the Perception of Reflow Profiling (Oct 13, 2009)

Paul Austen, ECD, explains why information gathering and reflow profile characterization can be wasted practices without the verification step to maintain proper oven operation. Reflow oven profiles can be out of spec due to flux residue build up, belt speed changes, and other small changes that deliver significant alterations to the assembly being processed.

Applied Research within Universities for SMT Industry Competitiveness (Sep 14, 2009)

S. Manian Ramkumar, Ph.D., Center for Electronics Manufacturing and Assembly, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), discusses recent industry-university collaborative research on PoP, QFN, and mixed lead-free alloy SMT processing.

Parallel Processes: Simultaneous Lead and Lead-free Soldering with a Single Reflow System (Sep 8, 2009)

With many electronics manufacturers still running leaded and lead-free assembly jobs, reflow ovens are tasked to run both solder-type profiles. Hans Bell, Ph.D., of Rehm Thermal Systems, shows how implementing both processes simultaneously with a single reflow soldering system can be approached with leaded and lead-free reflow profiles set up next to each other within a thermal system with two conveyor lanes.

Combining Tin/Lead and Lead-free: A 5 Step Hybrid Manufacturing Process (Aug 27, 2009)
Scott Mazur, Benchmark Electronics
The RoHS transition has impacted the entire electronics industry. Supply chain management is challenging, with only RoHS-compliant parts being offered and new classification for PCBAs. Hybrid printed circuit assemblies (PCAs) use tin/lead solder and contain lead-free plastic BGAs or other lead-free components. Maximum reflow temperatures for the leaded and lead-free components often require reflow profile controls.
Tailoring Flux Formulations to Enhance Solder Paste Performance (Aug 25, 2009)

Kevin Gaugler, solder group research and development manager, EFD Inc., a Nordson Company, discusses how component miniaturization, the emergence of complex assembly methods, finer-pitch connections, changes in plating methods, nanometer-scale materials, and the requirements of new electrical generation and distribution technologies, along with environmental directives, have shaped solders and flux formulations. Slight changes to alloy compositions can tailor a soldering process to specific needs.

Solderability Testing Aids Selective Soldering Process Development (Aug 25, 2009)

Greg Goodell, process development technician, A.C.E. Production Technologies, recounts tests done in the company's Selective Soldering Applications Lab. A component had oxidized leads. During process development, the operator found that no matter which flux was selected, or which profile was used, the solder would not wet to the part. Process development for the application was stalled by the solder dewetting. Solderability tests were performed to analyze the wetting curve and determine the cause of wetting failure.

Nihon Superior Debuts Solutions for Lead-free Soldering Challenges (Jul 28, 2009)
(July 28, 2009) OSAKA, Japan — Nihon Superior Co. Ltd., a supplier of advanced soldering and brazing materials to the global market, posted a new presentation about the challenges and issues in lead-free soldering on the Nihon Superior Website.
Vapor Phase vs. Convection Reflow in Package-on-Package Technology (Jul 16, 2009)
By Ryan Wooten, EPIC Technologies
The trend toward smaller, more densely populated electronic assemblies is driving increased use of package-on-package (PoP) technology and electronics manufacturing services (EMS) providers are developing viable manufacturing solutions. Here, I review reliability laboratory analysis on the effectiveness of vapor phase (VP) and convection reflow processing of PoP technology.
Selective Soldering Fills a Gap in Design for Manufacturing (Jul 11, 2009)
By Todd King, E.I. Microcircuits
Design for manufacturability (DfM) is extremely important to today's electronics production. DfM can help EMS providers deliver the best product possible at the lowest production cost. One way to avoid costly hand soldering on intricate mixed-assembly boards is selective soldering.
New Products: Solders and Soldering Systems (Jun 23, 2009)
(June 23, 2009) — These are the new hand soldering stations, solder pastes, wave solder pots and pumps, fluxes, and other products for the soldering process from companies such as Cooper Tools, Qualitek International, Henkel, ACE Production Technologies, FCT Assembly, Balver Zinn, and more.
Troubleshooting Solder Bridging: Causes and Recommendations (Jun 19, 2009)
Compiled by Cookson Electronics
Bridges, defects where excess or misprinted solder creates an undesired connection, can be caused by problems at various points in the assembly process. This article examines root causes and solutions at stencil manufacture, screen print, component placement, reflow, PCB manufacture, and solder paste.
A Guide to Infrared (IR) Rework on BGAs (May 28, 2009)
By Roger Gibbs, PDR
BGAs, now mainstream for manufacturers seeking better device functionality and quality, present some problems for rework-and-repair processes. Infrared soldering/desoldering technology is safer, more repeatable, and easier to operate than prior technologies for reworking BGAs.
Thermal Profiling: Sensitive Component Degradation (May 28, 2009)
By Paul Austen, ECD
Solder joints that pass inspection can hide functional degradation of temperature-sensitive devices during the soldering process. From circuit design on, users must account for the thermal sensitivity of passive devices as well as active ones. When factored into the design, and thermal behavior characterized in the NPI phases of the project, the effort is simplified in manufacturing to verification that the thermal profile is met.
New Products for Reflow Profile Verification (May 26, 2009)
(May 26, 2009) MILWAUKIE, OR — Participants in an ECD survey begun at APEX and continued through April were asked to answer specific questions about their practices regarding thermal processing. While over 90% of respondents were diligent in creating a correct reflow profile, nearly 60% did not display that same diligence when it came to verifying that profile on a regular basis. ECD conducted the study and shares the results.
Photovoltaic Module Assembly Using SMT Materials and Processes (May 21, 2009)
By Karl Pfluke, Indium
EMS providers specializing in SMT are seeking to diversify and fill capacity. Photovoltaic module assembly is a popular choice. PV cell stringing in solar module assembly is achieved using many common SMT materials and processes. Solders, fluxes, and reflow technologies produce electrical interconnects in a-Si and c-Si photovoltaic assembly technology.
Photovoltaic Module Assembly Using SMT Materials and Processes (May 21, 2009)
By Karl Pfluke, Indium
EMS providers specializing in SMT are seeking to diversify and fill capacity. Photovoltaic module assembly is a popular choice. PV cell stringing in solar module assembly is achieved using many common SMT materials and processes. Solders, fluxes, and reflow technologies produce electrical interconnects in a-Si and c-Si photovoltaic assembly technology.
New Products in Soldering (May 12, 2009)
These are the new solder ovens, reflow profilers, hand rework tools, dross management chemistries, solder alloys, and other products, including a white paper with solder paste deposition information, developed to improve the soldering process in electronics manufacturing.
Lead-free Solder Update (Apr 24, 2009)
By Mitch Holtzer, Cookson Electronics
SAC alloys became the industry-standard lead-free solders after RoHS went into effect. Technical and economic factors are reducing the silver content in SAC compositions, with disadvantages like slower wetting speeds, and advantages like minimized BGA voids. Solder choices are influenced by the desired results, cost, BOM, and other factors.
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Volume 23, Issue 5
September 2009
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