Ask the Experts
November 29, 2022 - Updated
July 9, 2013 - Originally Posted

Profiling for Double Sided BGA

We are about to produce double sided BGA boards - BGA components on both sides. What advice would you give for profiling? What advice would you give for reworking?


Expert Panel Responses

When you are reworking double sided PCBs with BGAs, it is important to select a convection rework system that features dual zone bottom side heaters.

This type of heater setup will allow you to create rework profiles that are optimized for your assembly while allowing you to protect the delicate areas on the bottom side of your board from unintended reflow.

In addition, it should be easy to use and a nice feature would be automatic profile creation, this will make initial profiling much easier for your engineers and will get your process running sooner.

Edward Zamborsky
Regional Sales Manager
OK International Inc.
Ed Zamborsky is a Regional Sales & Technical Support Manager for Thermaltronics, located in New York. His position requires frequent customer visits throughout North America and the Caribbean and his position encompasses not only sales but the role of trainer and master applications engineer for all of Thermaltronics products. His expertise includes such specialties as hand soldering, convection and conduction reflow techniques, array rework, fluid dispensing equipment, and fume extraction. Ed has authored many articles and has presented many papers on topics such as; Low Volume SMT Assembly, Solder Fume Extraction, SMT Rework, BGA Rework, Lead-Free Hand Soldering, High Thermal Demand Hand Soldering, Lead Free Visual Inspection and Lead Free Array Rework.

In my opinion, you have to accept that the lower BGAs will get quite close to reflow, due to position relative to the device above and also due via conduction of heat.

We use IR top and bottom so there is no vibration from moving air. Make sure board supports are touching PCB only. Also, be careful with pick-ups when they touch down... you need to make sure to not bend the PCB at any point.

Preheat slowly and with lower power to gently bring PCB to about 180 C for lead free, probably aiming for a ramp rate of about 0.5 C/sec. Then gently heat component to reflow temp, again at a low ramp rate of about 1.2-1.4 C/sec.

Roger Gibbs
Managing Director
Twenty years ago Mr. Gibbs, Managing Director of PDR, produced the first rework system based on Focused Infra-Red light energy. PDR now has a 3,500-strong global installation list with top OEMs and EMS providers.

The fact that you are asking this question means you care about your soldering processing and the impact they will have on your customer's assemblies. You are to be commended! For you to provide the best assembly process, your customer must be willing to help you with the needed components to perform this vital thermal profile.

There is no shortcut or "virtual" method to measuring the thermal profile that your reflow oven imparts to the solder connections of an assembly.The only way to know and document the thermal profile of the solder connection for any component is to place a T/C on or very near the points of interest.

In your case, BGAs on both sides of the board, this is not simple, but still very necessary. You should request an assembly from your customer to use for this purpose: to perform the thermal profile. T/Cs must be installed under the BGAs (near the center and 2 corners if possible) in question.

The T/Cs can be placed on the board before the BGAs are placed and then soldered through your process. The BGAs on this test assembly do not have to solder well to measure the thermal profile under the BGA, where the solder temperature profile must be achieved. Thermally equivalent, yet electrically defective, components can be used if the cost of the components is a deterrent.

Paul Austen
Senior Project Engineer
Electronic Controls Design Inc
Paul been with Electronic Controls Design Inc. (ECD) in Milwaukie, Oregon for over 39 years as a Senior Project Engineer. He has seen and worked with the electronic manufacturing industry from many points of view, including: technician, engineer, manufacture, and customer. His focus has been the design and application of measurement tools used to improve manufacturing thermal processes and well as moisture sensitive component storage solutions.

If the component layout of the boards is not yet solidified, consider locating passives on the opposing sides of BGAs to help distribute thermal mass and avoid back-to-back BGA configurations.

Profiling goes back to basics, instrument key components with properly sized thermocouples and reliable TC attachment methods. Data quality achieved is proportional to the time invested in instrumentation.

If there exists a primary component of interest, as in the case of Rework, utilize a profile test board or thermal representation. Instrument multiple solder interconnects,the die and the surface of the component closest to the heat source, along with both sides of the board tangent to the rework site to reveal thermal behavior for process optimization.

Double sided BGA applications demand precise thermal control. Whether component Rework or mass solder Reflow, ensure in advance that equipment on-hand is capable.

Al Cabral
Regional Sales Manager
Al Cabral is Regional Sales Manager for Finetech and Martin rework products. His expertise includes through-hole, surface mount and semiconductor packaging with an emphasis on soldering and heat transfer. Al has been a significant contributor to the development and optimization of reflow and rework processes and systems, particularly lead-free transitions and microelectronic applications.

I'll assume that the BGAs are not back-to-back; if they are, that's another question entirely. If they are not back-to-back, then profiling best practice doesn't really change. You should base your profile shape on your paste manufacturer's recommendations.

Minimize the peak temperature and liquidus time while maintaining the recommended minimum peak temperature and time for the most mass-dense area of the assembly. Remember that the longer and hotter your profile, the more work the flux has to do(twice for the first-side BGAs). If you run out of flux activity, you'll windup with oxidized, misshapen BGA joints.

Fritz Byle
Process Engineer
Fritz's career in electronics manufacturing has included diverse engineering roles including PWB fabrication, thick film print & fire, SMT and wave/selective solder process engineering, and electronics materials development and marketing. Fritz's educational background is in mechanical engineering with an emphasis on materials science. Design of Experiments (DoE) techniques have been an area of independent study. Fritz has published over a dozen papers at various industry conferences.
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