SMTA International Conference Proceedings


Author: Marc Dalderup
Company: Vitronics Soltec Inc.
Date Published: 9/22/2002   Conference: SMTA International

Abstract: Implementing selective soldering is not a matter of choosing the right machine, with the most "bells and whistles". It is the process more than the machine that makes the difference.

Selective soldering offers the opportunity to solder the most odd and difficult assemblies. All selective soldering processes are unique and require their own specific handling and soldering tools. In order to meet these requirements, more than just the machine is needed; the user needs to acquire a comprehensive understanding of the process, a good relationship with the supplier built on easy and prompt communication, and a logistical system with worldwide support that is able to respond very quickly to the user’s needs and problems.

The second misperception is that selective soldering is merely wave soldering with a few different wrinkles. Selective soldering is very different from wave soldering and the two should not be compared. How is selective soldering different from wave soldering? Perhaps the most significant difference is that in wave soldering, every component and every part of the underside of a PCB is contacted by and bathed in molten flowing solder by the wave. In selective soldering, it is only specific areas.

Since the board material itself is not the most efficient heat transfer medium, this benefits adjacent components and areas that one may not wish to heat to liquidus. A thorough understanding of the process and how the equipment fulfills the need is a key part of the synergy that must develop between the user and the equipment supplier.

Key words: selective soldering, wave soldering, design rules, lead-free.

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