Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services


Lead-free reflow soldering oven is surprisingly compact

27 July 2005 Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services

The Solano is the latest lead (Pb)-free full convection reflow oven from Dima SMT Systems. Making a large oven capable of lead-free soldering is not difficult: but keeping the oven within a limited size and still being able to produce a wide variety of lead-free boards is a big challenge, says the company.

Dima has succeeded in building a full convection circulating hot air oven capable of lead-free soldering with only four top heating and one bottom heating zone. Additional bottom heating zones can be added as an option. The total tunnel length has been kept to only 2,25 m including one cooling zone.

In such a compact oven it is extremely important to avoid IR emission sources that can cause uneven heating. This can lead to components with less density to heat up faster than larger ones. It can be caused by heating chambers made of heavy aluminium castings with the heating elements inside. In the Solano this has been eliminated by sheeting the entire interior with thin, lightweight, mirror-like polished stainless steel with the heating elements placed outside the chamber.

The circulating air speed within the Solano is 1 to 1,3 m/s. Slower air speeds can lead to an imbalance between components and the air surrounding them. Faster air speeds can endanger chips from being misaligned or shifted during the reflow process.

The microprocessor-controlled Solano can be used in-line, or standalone by using a vibration-free mesh belt or pin conveyor. The pin conveyor is width-adjustable, allowing PCB sizes ranging from 30 mm up to a maximum of 450 mm. The mesh belt allows PCBs to a maximum width of 500 mm. The conveyor and belt speed of the Solano is adjustable from 50 mm/minute up to 800 mm/minute.

The Solano has five controlled heating zones and one cooling zone. The temperature measurement accuracy in the heating and cooling zones is 0,1°C. Consistent edge-to-edge temperatures are maintained regardless of component size or density. An ioniser is fitted as standard in the cool down zone to eliminate the possibility of damage caused by static charges. The Solano is equipped with a DIMASoft reflow profiler that is capable to store up to six different reflow profiles while with a PC with oven manager software there is unlimited storage capacity for profiles and programs.

The heating cells of the Solano can also be removed from the top side without dismantling the process chamber, making the Solano very service-friendly. Exchangeable flux traps minimise oven contamination.

For more information contact MyKay Tronics, +27 (0)11 902 6820.



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