SMTA International Conference Proceedings


CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT APPROACHES FOR WAVE SOLDERING PROCESS

Author: Tony Huang
Company: Adaptec
Date Published: 9/12/1999   Conference: SMTA International


Abstract: Although SMT has been rapidly adopted by the electronics industry over the past decade, wave soldering still remains the most efficient soldering process especially for through-hole and through-hole/SMT mixed assemblies. Wave machine suppliers have improved the design of wave machines on fluxing, heating, and solder pot over the past few years to help assemblers better control the wave soldering process. However, several common wave defects may still be encountered if the variables such as PCB design, PCB fabrication, or machine setup are not well controlled, even when an innovative computer-controlled wave solder machine is used. Furthermore, more or new defects may occur in the wave soldering process when low activity no-clean flux is used. In fact, if an effective process control system can be implemented with the appropriate preparation and support, most of the problems that arise in the wave soldering process can be eliminated or at least minimized to an acceptable level.

This paper will describe the approaches taken and activities conducted by a wave soldering process improvement project team at Adaptec to overcome the various wave soldering issues when using no-clean flux. After achieving remarkable improvements in the wave soldering process, the team is now focusing on the implementation of a continuously improved wave soldering process. This paper will elaborate on the continuous improvement approaches used by the team. This paper will also show the details of the following activities:

 Implementation of an SPC quality monitoring and defect feedback system.  Use of Design of Experiment (DOE) to conduct the flux deposition analysis.  Evaluation and selection of no clean flux.  Application of DOE to achieve accurate wave profiling for different product families.  Evaluation and refinement of PCB footprint designs for wave soldering process.  Improvement of tooling design and use of universal selective wave fixtures for different product families.



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