SMTA International Conference Proceedings


SELECTIVE SOLDERING - AN OVERVIEW OF THE PROCESS, THE EQUIPMENT AND THE ASSOCIATED BOARD DESIGN REQUIREMENTS

Author: Gary Dick
Company: Celestica, Inc.
Date Published: 9/26/2004   Conference: SMTA International


Abstract: Let us bypass the typical opening statements indicating why selective soldering (in its various forms) is an essential assembly process. It is assumed, by choosing to review this report, that the reader has sufficient interest in and knowledge of the subject. So, we move directly to the topic at hand.

This report concerns the process of selective soldering and the evaluation of equipment designed to carry out said process. The Toronto site undertook an evaluation in an effort to select (and subsequently implement) a piece of equipment that would best satisfy the selective soldering needs of the company’s manufacturing facilities the world over. The evaluation was driven by (a) the need to replace current (poorly performing) selective soldering processes and (b) board assembly designs that necessitated a truly unique method of processing.

The evaluation included traveling to 5 manufacturers for the purposes of reviewing equipment and processing test cards. Actual soldering results, of course, were key in the evaluation. That said, cycle time, tooling requirements and operator intervention were items that received much in the way of consideration. It should be noted that the search was limited to machines that utilize solder in its molten (as opposed to wire or paste) form. Equipment of this nature, in the author’s view, is better suited to broad application. In the end, one machine exhibited the preferred combination of features and performance. That is, the system that best suited the needs of the author’s company.

Limitations and requirements of the "chosen" piece of equipment are reviewed and discussed in conjunction with card assembly design recommendations.

Keywords: selective soldering, evaluation, card design



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