SMTA International Conference Proceedings


DEVELOPING THE OPTIMUM REFLOW PROCESS: A MATTER OF COST AND QUALITY

Authors: Ursula Marquez de Tino, Jon Silin, and Denis Barbini
Company: Vitronics Soltec Inc.
Date Published: 10/4/2009   Conference: SMTA International


Abstract: Learning the art of reflow profiling is a long, complicated road. Once mastered, it still requires significant time and effort. A new reflow profile should be developed for each new PCB, change in paste type, and/or the purchase or transfer of an oven. The profile development process requires dedicated knowledgeable personnel, allocation of materials, and inconvenient interruptions of the production schedule. The profile development costs are directly proportional to these factors. Profiling expertise is slowly learned via trial and error over a number of months. With time comes experience and with experience comes proficiency. Yet process optimization combined with cost minimization is never realized without the use of advanced profiling technology.

The solution to this costly learning curve is to utilize an Expert System which assists users in developing reflow profiles. The expert system, also known as AUTOset, captures the process engineer’s experience and profiling expertise in a database. The profile database and commercial profiling software work synergistically creating in-specification or near specification reflow profiles. Creating profiles can be done with no prior process experience, and because the initial prediction is close, there will be relatively few, if any, additional profile runs to obtain a process that satisfies the product’s manufacturing requirements.

This papers summarizes the development of the database as well as feedback from current customers in the areas of accuracy, time, and level of expertise.



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