Authors: Gerjan Diepstraten, Ing. Company: Cobar Europe B.V. Date Published: 10/16/2011
Abstract: Miniaturization results in an increased number of smaller SMD components on a printed circuit board (PCB). The distance between components is reduced (fine-pitch technology) and the number of through-hole components decreases. This includes more reflow applications and affects the assembly method for the remaining small number of pin connectors. Selective soldering methods become more popular and wave solder equipment is replaced by advanced selective soldering machines. Solder materials are dealing with other trends. First there is a cost issue that makes engineers look into cheaper materials and second there is an environmental/green technology trend. Translated into solder flux technology, this results in further interest for water-based VOC-free fluxes. Water is less expensive than alcohol and transportation costs are lower. No alcohol exhaust is another step to a more environmental friendly industry.