We had a great show at SMTAI in the Chicago area last week. Hopefully many of you got to come by and visit. We had a number of industry luminaries drop by the booth, and we had a lot of folks come by during the Tech Tours.
If you have a bunch of complicated boards that need rework, and you need to remove solder and adhesive, it's a time consuming and risky application. In fact, even the most experienced and technical operators can get into delicate situations when faced with repeating component and pad cleaning over and over.
Contactless solder cleaning is rapidly replacing manual cleaning methods in more and more rework applications. Metcal’s Scarab system provides an easy to use and cost effective solution for PCB cleaning challenges faced by most rework manufacturers today.
Paired on a bench top with the Metcal Scorpion Advanced Package Rework System, any rework operation can now effectively and economically clean a board and also ensure accurate component placement and custom tailored reflow profiles in a single bench top operation.
Recently, SMT Magazine caught up with Metcal Product Support Engineer, Robert Roush to discuss Metcal’s new patented Connection Validation Hand Soldering System. The discussion gets into how originally with the introduction of SmartHeat, Metcal allowed customers to achieve a new level of process control in their hand soldering operation and how with Connection Validation, Metcal is taking process control into greater heights.
Metcal will be presenting two white papers at IPC APEX 2017 in San Diego this February 14-16. Take a look at a summary of what our engineers will be presenting:
When: Wednesday, Feb. 15th, 1:30 -3:00 PM
What: Panel: S17: Rework I
Rework Challenges for Leading Edge Components BGA, QFN and LED in Today’s Fast Moving Industry
(see also below: Risk Mitigation in Hand Soldering)
Presented by Paul Wood, Metcal Advanced Product Applications Manager
The electronics assembly industry continues to face the challenges associated with BGA, QFN, and LED packages. The demand for more performance by consumers drives change, which results in greater component density. Component density on printed circuit boards continues to decrease with a corresponding increase in component complexity and reduction in pitches. Good examples of these industrial trends are smart phones, tablets and wearables.
In addition to PCBs becoming thicker over the years, pad and pitch size have also reduced significantly, with many smartphones and other devices now utilizing pad sizes as small as .25mm millimeters spaced at intervals of .5mm. It is known in the industry that new chips are scheduled for release in the next two to three years that utilize designs calling for pad sizes as small as .15 mm with a .3 mm pitch. With adjacent parts so close together, avoiding hitting them with the wick during manual cleaning—and creating another round of rework—will most likely become impossible for even the most skilled technician.
Further, traditional cleaning methods can be even less effective when it comes to cleaning PCBs incorporating advanced chip technologies. For example, one new technology is providing outstanding improvements in security, making it nearly impossible for criminals to access data stored on the processor. However, due to factors such as differing size pads and uneven solder volumes, manual cleaning can be a significant challenge.
Another technology, Ceramic Ball Grid Array (CBGA), a specialty process used in aerospace, military and other high reliability applications, is another high value case in point. These boards,
Contactless solder cleaning is rapidly replacing manual cleaning in more and more PCB rework applications
Today's manufacturers of printed circuit boards (PCBs) are strongly quality driven, but even among those operations that are able to drive yields near or even above 99%, the huge volumes associated with applications such as smartphones and tablets could still leave them with thousands of boards per week that come off the assembly line damaged and in need of rework.
Since the cost of these PCBs can be well over US$200 each, most manufacturers and OEMs consider it vital to develop an effective process for working to reclaim these boards and minimize scrap PCBs—and the resulting losses—in their operations.
(Off center solder ball in the corners)
In case you missed our booth at the SMTA International trade show in Chicago last week, we didn’t want you to miss our Sr. Application guru, Paul Wood’s interview with I-Connect007 regarding Metcal’s new PCB contactless desoldering and cleaning product.
Metcal’s award-winning Scarab Cleaning System is a cost effective solution to PCB cleaning challenges faced by today’s rework manufacturers. The standalone product can easily be added to a current rework system, enabling a single operator to manage a cleaning and rework assembly line, reducing labor costs and increasing throughput.
Click on the video for Paul's interview!