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Reflow oven reliability?

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Don

#67214

Reflow oven reliability? | 7 September, 2012

We are planning to purchase two new reflow ovens. I would like to take an unofficial reliability survey. Could you list your reflow oven model / age (yrs) / number of unplanned maintenance events in the last year? Example: BTU VIP98/2001/8

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#67218

Reflow oven reliability? | 7 September, 2012

We have Heller, 1707EXL now. It has a removable support for the mesh conveyor that just pull out (clipped in). Had an Electrovert and they were bolted on and very tuff to change out. The oilers Im not sure I care for though,they have a metal rail they drip in that the chain goes through. The Electrovert had just the oiler with the metal brush (simple). Software for them all is pretty much the same but like the KIC profiler and I think alot have that built in. We now though just move a laptop with the KIC software on to each oven with the receiver on it (dont need multiple for each oven)

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#67225

Reflow oven reliability? | 8 September, 2012

You might also want to consider process repeatability cross profile performance over time and energy consumption. Also reliabilty is effected by shift usage etc,. Eg could have oven that might appear reliable in one context but not overall. Ie total cost of ownership

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Don

#67230

Reflow oven reliability? | 10 September, 2012

After selecting a few ovens based on the mfr's specifications, I plan to send them a thermal "slug" to run in their ovens (a 1/4" thick, high temp fiberglass slab with imbedded thermocouples). Since we are replacing ovens with fixed speed blowers with variable speed blowers due to components moving on some of our newer PCB's, I thought I would also have the evaluation slug contain some loose components (0201, SOT's and a large format micro-BGA) sitting on pads on the top of the slug. I can then evaluate the results from each oven mfr. and make some comparisons, hopefully. Regarding reliability, we normally run a thermal slug through our ovens once a week to evaluate their heating capacity and use SPC to evaluate the recorded data. This helps us determine when they need to be cleaned for example. Heller claims to have the lowest power consumption, but I don't know anything about their real world reliability. We have been using BTU ovens and they have been rock solid. Any other Heller users have any advise.

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Don

#67231

Reflow oven reliability? | 10 September, 2012

How often do you have to replace the blower motors? I will ask the oven manufacturers what the average MTBF is for their blowers. We have numerous BTU's and I don't think any of them have required replacement before 8 years (single shift). Once they get to about 10 years old, they require alot of maintenance (thermocouple wires/heater elements/controls/etc.)

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#67232

Reflow oven reliability? | 10 September, 2012

We have a Heller 1707EXL that we purchased in 2006. During the first year we had 2 blower motors go bad. After the second one went bad, Heller sent a technician who replaced every blower motor on the oven at their expense. Since then it has been 5+ years and the oven has run without problems 1 shift a day, 5 days a week.

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#67238

Reflow oven reliability? | 12 September, 2012

We run BTU, Vitronics and Electrovert. All of those are rock solid machines AS LONG AS YOU KEEP THEM PM'ed. For some reason companies seem to neglect their oven PM's. Make sure you are buying an air only oven if you aren’t running nitrogen. The flux management systems on nitrogen ovens are a pain in the ass to keep clean.(People sometimes purchase nitrogen ready ovens and plumb air into them)

Another thing you really need to look at and heed my words on this one.....look into their customer support. Some of the manufactuers are not so “friendly” once the honeymoon is over. That's all I have to say bout that.

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#67264

Reflow oven reliability? | 14 September, 2012

Another oven maker not so famous in USA probably but very strong in EU and high end Asia companies is Rehm Thermal Systems (germany), you should take a look.....

They have many years in Reflow same time as Heller been in business, but they use higher end materials in construction, like SS tunnel lining, threephase blowers, have lower power operation vs all the main names like heller, speedline etc as . Most other makers are using galvanised steel or painted steel inners and single phase cap start-run blowers. Cleaning SS is so much easier and less particle generation over life of oven. Other materials will not last as long in long term.

Rehm is strong of course with the large German OEMs and has strong presence in EU, Asia, with most high end laptop-server makers using their systems after bench marking others

I know a customer in my area that ran 8x V8 Rehm systems after changing from Heller (24/7) operation that used to replace blowers on regular basis on Heller - 2 per month sometimes, they where free - but cost them lots in down time. These where older Heller models so can not speak for current ones, but looking inside the construction of most of the ovens now days, Heller, Speedline, BTU (not so bad - probably best USA brand in terms of construction-materials), they cutting corners to reduce cost of ovens.

The Rehm systems in 5Y across 8x systems - 24/7, 2 blower failures.

You do pay a bit more for this reliability and materials.

AT end of day is tough in oven business with all ovens able to reflow PCB, it is the last 5% that makes the difference, but as competition is high costing down of reflow ovens seems to be the norm...... you get what you pay for :)

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#67310

Reflow oven reliability? | 19 September, 2012

We Have 3 Vitronics XPM2's. I know nothing about any other manufacturer, but Vitronics has been extremely reliable. 2 Shifts 5 days a week for 6 years, and have never replaced a blower. Have had to change a few overtemp switches, and have had a few issues with chain/rails over the years, nothing too Earth Shattering.

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