When looking at performance for hand soldering in electronics manufacturing, Operations Engineers need to be very focused on three key metrics: time to temperature, dwell time and thermal recovery. These three metrics together will identify the best soldering product for the production line and will help maximize throughput and lower scrap in the process.
Let’s face it soldering tips and cartridges cost money. And when you combine that with operators forced to solder at 850°F or higher to keep up to speed, those tips are breaking down and costing you a bunch of dollars.
If you take good care of your soldering tips, they'll take care of you and improve your return on investment. Download this handy solder tip care infographic.
One of the questions we're frequently asked is "why don't Metcal soldering irons require calibration." In fact, there are a number of soldering stations that no longer require calibration, partly because the IPC standards have changed.
Traditionally, a conventional soldering station uses a temperature measuring sensor that feeds back the heating element temperature (not the tip temperature.) In many systems, the temperature that is displayed is somewhere between the tip (working surface) and the heater, and then is fed back to the temperature control PCB. These temperature sensors can and do vary over time. This variance can cause the displayed temperature to be different from the measured tip temperature.
Metcal’s Solder Wire Feeder adds control and convenience to the soldering process. With digital controls, high performance, and its ability to handle multiple solder wire diameters, it provides repeatability and functionality to any hand soldering process. The Solder Wire Feeder pairs with Metcal’s MX-5200 series or MX-500 Soldering and Rework Stations.
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.
Christopher Larocca describes Connection Validation (CV), the latest Metcal innovation in hand soldering. CV provides close loop feedback to the operator via a LED ring integral to the hand-piece that detects successful intermetallic compound (IMC) formation - resulting in more reliable solder joints.