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Wave Rider

C.K.

#13146

Wave Rider | 30 December, 1998

Anyone have any experience with ECD's Waverider/MOLE profiling equipment? If so, were they positive experiences?

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Chrys

#13147

Re: Wave Rider | 4 January, 1999

| Anyone have any experience with ECD's Waverider/MOLE profiling equipment? If so, were they positive experiences? | I use ECD's mole for profiling in the wave and a KIC for profiling in reflow. I like the KIC a whole lot better for a couple of reasons: 1) KIC uses a 9V alkaline battery. It also shows the voltage in the battery on the computer screen. When it gets low, you pop in a new battery. The Supermole, on the other hand, has a Ni-Cd battery pack that must be recharged. The mole calculates how many profiles are left on the battery and tells you when you read the data, but the estimate is always wrong. You never have the battery power it says you have. And when it dies, if your extra backup battery pack isn't recharged, you're just not gonna get that profile right away. And then there's the memory thing with nicads so eventually your battery pack is worthless. And the way the battery pack connects to the mole creates another problem. My contacts are getting compressed, so the battery wiggles, the circuit opens, and the data is lost. I end up wrapping the thing in Kapton tape whenever I install a freshly charged pack.

2) Supermole gold doesn't use the mini-thermocouple connectors that the KIC and Datapak use. It uses smaller ones, so no other thermocouples in our plant are interchangeable with them.

3) Supermole's thermally protective carrier is not as easy to use as KIC's or DataPak's, either. It's metal and when it comes out of the oven, its HOT. It takes longer for the case to cool than it does for the board. Not real good if you're trying to sneak in a profile during a line changeover.

The WaveRider. Yeah, I checked it out. It has some good features and some that could use improvement. The SPC software it comes with is very good. If your operators can handle the software (in my current situation they cannot - we put our best guys on SMT) it's very useful for looking at trends in wave contact. Only the smooth wave, though. It's readings are way off on the chip wave.

The carrier itself has a tendency to warp. Once it warps, your readings have been compromised.

The WaveRider is a good indicator of your machine's repeatability. By checking the laminate temperature, you can be sure that your preheaters are working the same way they did yesterday, or last week. Same with wave contact. Ignore the immersion depth reading - it's not a reading, but a number that gets looked up in a table that corresponds to your wave contact number. Regardless of the actual shape of your wave. I think it was a after-thought feature to compete with the Wave Optimizer, which does a real immersion depth reading. In any case, DOE's have shown that immersion depth (1/3 to 2/3 of the board) has the least impact of any variable in wave soldering - contact length is the key.

Several years ago I evaluated process control toys for wave soldering. The best I found was the Malcolm Dip Tester. I looked at the WaveRider last year, and I still use the Dip Tester. The Dip Tester is s little unit, about 9 x 6 inches, that checks contact time in both waves using fairly robust probes - not 10 mil thermocouples potted in epoxy. It also offers wave temperature, (foam)flux dryness, and has a thermocouple embedded in laminate for preheater repeatability. The thing only costs around $3K - much less expensive than either of its compettitors. I put it in a specially designed pallet (that I boutght from MB Manufacturing) and run it through the wave twice - once up the pump side, once up the operator side. The operators post the numbers on a white board and in a spreadsheet. Readings on the smooth wave are expected to be 1.3 to 1.6 seconds. Anything over/under flags a problem. If the difference between the pump and operator side are more than 0.2 seconds, it flags a problem. Cpk,s are calculated off the spreadsheet input.

For me, the Dip Tester is easy to use, inexpensive, very robust, and simple enough for operators to handle. That's my recommendation. It comes from Malcolm, the people who make viscosity testers.

Sorry for the rambling,

Chrys

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Kris Ewen

#13148

MOLE's Oven rider | 4 January, 1999

I'd like to add something about the ECD product. During a past work term (I'm a a co-op student) in an SMA plant, I worked extensively with the Super MOLE Gold in developing the reflow profiles for high-mix, low-volume production. I was 'married' to the MOLE for 4 months and discovered several drawbacks (though I was generally happy with the unit and its software).

First, I'd like to address the issue of thermocouple compatability: Omega manufactures an adapter that allows the user to install standard shaped thermocouples on boards. I don't recall the cost, but it wasn't too steep. It was simply a group of six female ECD TCs wired to female Omega TCs and banded together.

About the software: Mole 3.0 is extremely easy to use & the SPC software for the OvenRider (tm?) allows you to do anything and everything to track oven performance and is very 'friendly'. The drawback of the OvenRider: it uses magnets installed inside the oven to trigger the 'zone sensors'. Everything went o.k. until some tall, metal-cased crystals on the perimeter of the board went by. They got pulled off and dragged any components behind them off. Major problem!!

2nd problem: the MOLE overheats WAY too easily. It's impossible to run consecutive profiles (necessary if you are trying to correct a profile problem) with out burning the thing out. I wasted a lot of time waiting for it to cool. The best thermal barrier ECD made can be run twice in 30 minutes, then requires an hour's rest to cool down.

I, personally, never used the WaveRider, but the process engineer who did treated it as his baby.

Hope that helps, K.

| | Anyone have any experience with ECD's Waverider/MOLE profiling equipment? If so, were they positive experiences? | | | I use ECD's mole for profiling in the wave and a KIC for profiling in reflow. I like the KIC a whole lot better for a couple of reasons: | 1) KIC uses a 9V alkaline battery. It also shows the voltage in the battery on the computer screen. When it gets low, you pop in a new battery. | The Supermole, on the other hand, has a Ni-Cd battery pack that must be recharged. The mole calculates how many profiles are left on the battery and tells you when you read the data, but the estimate is always wrong. You never have the battery power it says you have. And when it dies, if your extra backup battery pack isn't recharged, you're just not gonna get that profile right away. And then there's the memory thing with nicads so eventually your battery pack is worthless. And the way the battery pack connects to the mole creates another problem. My contacts are getting compressed, so the battery wiggles, the circuit opens, and the data is lost. I end up wrapping the thing in Kapton tape whenever I install a freshly charged pack. | | 2) Supermole gold doesn't use the mini-thermocouple connectors that the KIC and Datapak use. It uses smaller ones, so no other thermocouples in our plant are interchangeable with them. | | 3) Supermole's thermally protective carrier is not as easy to use as KIC's or DataPak's, either. It's metal and when it comes out of the oven, its HOT. It takes longer for the case to cool than it does for the board. Not real good if you're trying to sneak in a profile during a line changeover. | | The WaveRider. Yeah, I checked it out. It has some good features and some that could use improvement. The SPC software it comes with is very good. If your operators can handle the software (in my current situation they cannot - we put our best guys on SMT) it's very useful for looking at trends in wave contact. Only the smooth wave, though. It's readings are way off on the chip wave. | | The carrier itself has a tendency to warp. Once it warps, your readings have been compromised. | | The WaveRider is a good indicator of your machine's repeatability. By checking the laminate temperature, you can be sure that your preheaters are working the same way they did yesterday, or last week. Same with wave contact. Ignore the immersion depth reading - it's not a reading, but a number that gets looked up in a table that corresponds to your wave contact number. Regardless of the actual shape of your wave. I think it was a after-thought feature to compete with the Wave Optimizer, which does a real immersion depth reading. In any case, DOE's have shown that immersion depth (1/3 to 2/3 of the board) has the least impact of any variable in wave soldering - contact length is the key. | | Several years ago I evaluated process control toys for wave soldering. The best I found was the Malcolm Dip Tester. I looked at the WaveRider last year, and I still use the Dip Tester. The Dip Tester is s little unit, about 9 x 6 inches, that checks contact time in both waves using fairly robust probes - not 10 mil thermocouples potted in epoxy. It also offers wave temperature, (foam)flux dryness, and has a thermocouple embedded in laminate for preheater repeatability. The thing only costs around $3K - much less expensive than either of its compettitors. I put it in a specially designed pallet (that I boutght from MB Manufacturing) and run it through the wave twice - once up the pump side, once up the operator side. The operators post the numbers on a white board and in a spreadsheet. Readings on the smooth wave are expected to be 1.3 to 1.6 seconds. Anything over/under flags a problem. If the difference between the pump and operator side are more than 0.2 seconds, it flags a problem. Cpk,s are calculated off the spreadsheet input. | | For me, the Dip Tester is easy to use, inexpensive, very robust, and simple enough for operators to handle. That's my recommendation. It comes from Malcolm, the people who make viscosity testers. | | Sorry for the rambling, | | Chrys |

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