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Selective Soldering Equipment

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#52652

Selective Soldering Equipment | 26 November, 2007

A recent thread regarding the ACE KISS equipment has me wondering if anyone is happy with their choice in selective equipment. I don't see much mentioned about Pillarhouse, Juki, ERSA and some of the others.

We're currently debating whether to invest in selective equipment or add a 2nd pot to our dual pot capable wave. On paper, the throughput on a selective machine makes it look feasible.

Is anyone using a machine/process for high-mix med volume that doesn't require a full-time tech/engineer to support? If so, please share your success story.

Thanks.

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#52653

Selective Soldering Equipment | 26 November, 2007

Good luck. Being most machines use the edge of the board to locate pads, you'll always be adjusting. Now when someone comes out with fiducial recognition, you'll have something. Not impossible, but will cost a little.

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#52668

Selective Soldering Equipment | 27 November, 2007

Alot of that depends on your designs as well. Poor designs with lots of DFM violations WILL require a full-time tech./engineer, whereas with good designs, a conscientious operator (who regularly cleans the nozzles) should be good enough.

As Chunks states, there's no selective equipment out there yet with vision, so your positioning repeatability (or lack of) is all mechanical, making selective-soldering very babysitting intensive.

Selective wave pallets might be the way to go. That's where you'll have to do some type of justification, pro's and con's of each, etc.

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#52811

Selective Soldering Equipment | 5 December, 2007

To be successful, and to yield quality products off any selective solder systems out there on the market today, DFX rules need to be enforced and followed. Lay-out is a one-shot process where as manufacturing of the PCBA is continuous. Obviously, much of this activity (CAD design and lay-outs) these days are often contracted out to the lowest bidder and are often handed over to recent grads or those with little to no actual manufacturing experience. The typical OEM then puts the screws to the MFG operators and personnel to produce a cost-effective product.

Overtime - this system fails to recognize that had the PCBA been lay-out observing many of these DFX rules, most all processes, including many of the selective solder systems, would produce a more positive process yield. Then again, "quanlity" is yet another story in itself.

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#52814

Selective Soldering Equipment | 6 December, 2007

If you are looking for fiducial recognition the RPS automation sytems have a very useful vision sytem, however they are built by engineers for engineers.

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#52816

Selective Soldering Equipment | 6 December, 2007

AMEN TO THAT! The only problem is...what's left of U.S. Electronics Manufacturing is Contract, and as most of us in the CM world can attest to, our customers violate DFX guidelines left-and-right. I agree, also, that the PCB layout guy who also knows (or cares about) processes is a very rare breed.

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#52817

Selective Soldering Equipment | 6 December, 2007

We use a dual pot ERSA system. It is outstanding. Saved about 3000 hours of labor a month. Very expensive but worth it. We also looked at JUKI it was also a nice system. It was very flexible but the ERSA was better suited for high volume.

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#52818

Selective Soldering Equipment | 6 December, 2007

You say designing for the processes is good.

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#52823

Selective Soldering Equipment | 6 December, 2007

Not only is "designing for the processes is good", it should be required and enforced. Obviuously, one should not conider 'every' design rule - but on most observations. Otherwise those 'smart' OEM's often loose out in the long run.

Pssst - they'll never know or appreciate/consider HOW MUCH. Although they often are the customers and/or engineers - one learns and acknowledges that over time, it's often TOO LATE! .

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#52825

Selective Soldering Equipment | 7 December, 2007

What kind of engineers? Some engineers are so clueless they hide at their desk all day.

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#52827

Selective Soldering Equipment | 7 December, 2007

3000???? You sure you didn't put a digit too much there?

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#52828

Selective Soldering Equipment | 7 December, 2007

Well first of all, you can�t even go NEAR the machine unless you have no life - and you can PROVE it mathematically. The machine�s got an automatic �geek sensor�. Then, in order to turn the machine on, you have to solve a 1st order differential equation, which in turn releases the solenoid to enable actuation of the on/off switch. You then have to translate English into Binary. Once the machine�s on, it�ll randomly generate a bug, at which point you are required to dismantle it, re-assemble it, and then have a few nuts and bolts left over.

You finally turn the machine on, get the process rolling only to be blamed for a field failure totally unrelated to the select solder process, all while being a victimized by managers, lawyers, bureaucrats, and minions.

I think that�s what he meant, and I�ve heard this stuff about these machines too.

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#52829

Selective Soldering Equipment | 7 December, 2007

Even if it is 300 hours, using a conservative estimate of that time being worth $20/hr the machine saved $6,000 in one month. At $6,000/month the ROI is probably no more than 1 year which is good.

From what I have seen in this forum over the last couple of months, I have come to this conclusion: If you buy a high end system and train your pcb layout engineers on all the design for manufacturabilty issues, selective solder machines are worth the investment. If you do not do those things, forget about it.

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#52830

Selective Soldering Equipment | 7 December, 2007

The 3000 hours is correct. It was a VERY fast ROI!

Back to the discussions on the earlier threads, some of this information is correct. If you exceed the design limitations for keep out requirements and your board tolerances vary, you can have tweaking on your boards using selective using board edge for positioning. Still... Is there no tweaking on the wave soldering process? Fact is that most people have learned to live with the limitations and tweaking of the wave soldering process for year... Shorts and all... and no, there are no selective machines out there that have fiducial recognition ( THAT WORK)!!! yet... Yet, there are many advantages to selective soldering versus hand soldering and wave soldering, including Process repeatability and cycle time reduction versus hand soldering or individual solder joint programmability and running costs versus wave soldering, that area beneficial money saving advantages that are pushing companies to invest in selective soldering.

If you are considering selective soldering, you have to really look at what you are trying achieve. Are you trying to eliminate hand soldering on double sided through hole boards? Are you trying to add additional process capability to your factory? Are you looking for a lead free alternative to wave soldering? Are you looking to improve your first pass yeild and minimize rework on the through hole process?

The best advise that anyone can give is take your toughest boards that you have today and have them run by reputable selective soldering companies. Then you must chose which platform ( high end or low end ) is best suited for your current needs and your companies future requirements.

One thing is for certain... Selective soldering is not going to replace wave soldering anytime soon. However, more and more companies are utilizing both wave and selective for processing their thru-hole assemblies!

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