With production volumes of mobile phones and tablet PCs growing, and indeed the predicted growth of ‘wearables’, the need to decrease development cycles and improve capacity is ever more important. SolderStar Ltd, a leading specialist manufacturer in the design and development of thermal profiling equipment for the lead-free electronics industry, has developed new technology to help in the production of this growing trend.
According to a report by IHS (providers of diverse global market and economic information), the global market for wearable technology will rise to 210 million unit shipments and $30 billion in revenue by 2018; this increase will put a strain on manufacture with a range of problems, including monitoring process control.
Mark Stansfield, managing director of SolderStar says: “SMART devices, including mobile phones and SMART ‘wearables’, are growing at such a pace, that it has never been more important to find a process control that can accommodate this increase and help to produce quality products.
“We are seeing an increased interest in our profiling equipment to help in the production of SMART devices, with companies realising the importance of having a system that monitors the solder process. If something is not measured accurately it cannot be managed efficiently and this is necessary in the production of this equipment. To produce electronic assemblies without a known profile can cause problems further down the line, involving either rework costs or early failures.
“SMART devices are also getting smaller and smaller which again can cause problems in production, this is one of the reasons we developed the Automatic Profiling System (APS). It has temperature probes that are smaller and can be positioned closer to the PCB providing a much more accurate temperature measurement in the vicinity of the electronic assembly during soldering. The smaller size also reduces the danger of the probe shadowing the product, and therefore giving a precise and accurate reading.”
The APS system allows 100% checking of temperature profiles, an automatic analysis of the profile, and checking of production parameters against production limits. The computer software tracks the progress of the PCB through the oven allowing for the most accurate calculation of the profile seen at product level. This level of control is an important procedure in the production of mass SMART device production.