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March 31, 2008

Selective Solder Considerations

We are currently evaluating the use of selective solder in our process. We are a contract manufacturer and run a variety of boards. It seems that there is no machine that can run PCB's in one pass without changing nozzles for tight areas and large connectors. This concerns us because we want our operators to be able to load a program and run a program without worrying about nozzle change over and set up. Is there a solution to this?

J. A. S.

Expert Panel Responses

Although you do not offer much detail, from an over view point of view you need to use solder fixtures made by several companies that mask areas that you do not want soldered or reduce the area that solder will come in contact with, typically called solder pallets. If this method solves your problem you will also need a method of proper storage for the pallets, carts from a variety of company work well toaccomplishthat. I hope that solves your problem.

Ken Bliss
President & CEO - Retired
Bliss Industries, Inc.
Retired - Mr. Bliss has 20+ years experience creating process methods that improve profitability by maximizing hidden unused capacity and throughput. Ken has expertise in all areas of manufacturing specializing in electronics assembly.

We have several machines with multiple nozzles on board, where several different size miniwaves can be used to allow complete soldering in one pass. Feel free to contact us if you have further interest.

Bob Black
President and CEO
Juki Corporation
Mr. Black was the President and Co-Founder of Zevatech in 1977 and introduced first Pick and Place System at Nepcon West 1980. Bob is now the President, CEO and Co-Founder of Juki Automation Systems. He is also a Co-Founder of the SMEMA Council of IPC. He serves as a member of SMTA and SEMI..

If you have a variety of PCBs all requiring different nozzle sizes, then obviously you want to save time and frustration of changing over the nozzles and program in the middle of the run. Most machines out there can solder very close to SMD. The issue with that is when you have such a nozzle that allows you to get very close, that very same nozzle often is not the best solution for large connectors or other large devices. The ultimate setup would be to have a machine with multiple nozzles that can be used at the same time with no change over allowing the small nozzle to do the tight areas, and the larger nozzle to do the larger components. Often the only machines available that can do this are very large and very costly but it is not always the case. Look for a dual nozzle machine for your situation.

Todd O'Neil
National Sales and Marketing Manager, North America
Optical Control
Mr. O'Neil has been in the electronics manufacturing industry for over 20 years.