Immense potential for soldering/desoldering

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Surface mount technology (SMT) soldering/desoldering equipments are very important in the manufacturing process. With the growth of electronics hardware manufacturing in India, be it telecommunications, automobile, or power supplies, every manufacturer needs SMT machines for manufacturing products and here SMT soldering/desoldering plays a vital role.

By: Atanu Kumar Das

Thursday, February 19, 2009: Moreover, as this growth in manufacturing is expected to increase further, manufacturers and distributors are equally eyeing India as a potential destination for high growth in the next few years. Players like DEK and OK International have been quite bullish in the Indian scenario and have seen tremendous growth in the market. The potential in India is huge if we look at the fact that there are very few manufacturers who are using SMT in the manufacturing process—migration is taking place from older technology (read through-hole) to SMT and in the next couple of years more and more players will be shifting towards SMT. According to Mukesh Rajput,managing director, Max Technology & Co, “The SMT soldering/desoldering is an indispensable process in electronic circuits using surface mount devices. The SMT process offers greater automated assembly than through-hole technology. Only 10 per cent of manufacturing activities in India use SMT, while in Malaysia, China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan 90 per cent of the manufacturing is done by SMT.” According to Rajput, only 10 per cent of manufacturers are using SMT, the potential for converting manufacturers is huge and that is why India has become such a hot market for SMT players, including soldering/ desoldering manufacturers and distributors.

S.K. Jain, managing director, Sumitron Exports Pvt Ltd, says, “Many electronic giants like Nokia, Motorola and Foxconn have set up their manufacturing shops in India. The way things are progressing, India is going to be the next big electronic manufacturing hub after China in the Asian subcontinent.” According to Suresh Nair, Leaptech Corporation, “Soldering/desoldering (reworking) of SMT components are equally important in the manufacturing process as any other activity. Reworking activity is definitely one of the main activities in any manufacturing environment. As the manufacturing activities grow, the demand for the soldering/ desoldering activity also keeps growing. This is common across any market including India.” Pankaj Saxena, product manager,

Mectronics Marketing, says, “The recent acceleration in electronic manufacturing services (EMS) activities in India is due to a rapid growth in all the segments of the market for electronic hardware products. The Indian market is expected to expand quickly from as estimated $25 billion at present to $150 billion by year 2015 with the growth of 22-23 per cent per annum.” Saxena adds, “We are expanding and growing very rapidly. Presently, we have product range from entry-level to high-end soldering. Earlier, we were relying on high-end models, which were difficult to sell to everybody. With the launch of new models we have access to every kind of customer.”

Technological advancements:

There have been significant technological changes in the soldering/desoldering processes. This has ensured that the customer gets a better return on investment and their total cost of ownership has also come down. “Automated and programmable SMT soldering/de-soldering machines fitted with camera and laser wielding for COB are among the new technological advancements that are happening in SMT soldering/desoldering machines business. Besides this, Max Technology has launched silicon liquid flux for SMT soldering/desoldering.

This is a breakthrough technology in India for SMT soldering/de-soldering. It reduces surface tension of molten solder. It also helps in the removal of light oxide layers base metal surface and prevents re-oxidation of base metal and excessive oxidation of the molten solder surface. It minimises current leakage between the components pins or PCB tracks, therefore, minimising circuit failures. This is a great boon for those using BGSs, QFPs or PGA,” adds Rajput. Sumitron believes that soldering/ desoldering business is witnessing much technological advancement—the major one being the shift to lead-free technology. New products have been developed or are being developed to take care of lead-free demands. Selective laser soldering is another new technology that is catching the attention of the industry. With lead-free alloys, the acceptable process window (for reliable connections) has significantly narrowed down. Falling outside the window on the high side will result in board or component damage while falling outside the process window on the low side will result in defective joints. The only means to consistently remain within the process window is to manage the transfer of thermal energy into the pad over the defined time period. “Smartheat technology uniquely provides control of the transfer of thermal energy into the pad, thereby providing full process control to the soldering operation. By contrast, all competitive systems focus on the control of tip idle temperature—an indirect control parameter. Our products in the key areas of hand soldering, rework, fume extraction and fluid dispensing are all designed for optimum performance. With OK International, you can rest assured that your processes are second to none in terms of quality, reliability, repeatability and profitability. For today’s market, we are ideally positioned to be lead-free process partner. We are helping our customers with the equipment, process knowledge, training and the support needed to succeed in a lead-free world,” adds Saxena. Now let us look at some of the players in the soldering/desoldering business in India.

Mectronics Marketing Services:
Mectronics, founded in 1994, is a company run by a group of highly trained, experienced and like-minded professionally competent engineers, who are working together to provide their customers the right products and the best support. Mectronics Marketing Services focus their operations as solution provider for PCB assembly floor consumables and PCB assembly support equipment for the Indian electronics industry. Mectronics has worked with major PCB assembly customers in India for their various requirements of SMT consumables and equipment. “We are proud to say that we have never lost a customer to our competitors due to product quality, pricing or customer support. Winning the trust of all these customers and keeping on serving them for all these years is in itself a major achievement,” claims the company. Mectronics works with the framework to offer comprehensive solution rom a single company. It represents and stocks products of a few world leading companies in their respective segments like Heraeus, Zestron, KIC and Metcal. The product range includes Heraeus- Germany’s SMT adhesives, Heraeus solder paste, Zestron Germany’s cleaning chemicals, ESE-Korea’s replacements nozzles and spares, splicing tapes, KIC, USA’s temperature profilers and their consumables, OK International/Metcal BGA rework station, PCB cleaner, Stencil cleaners and wave soldering machine. Apart from PCB assembly floors, we also serve hybrid manufacturers and government R&D labs for their various requirements. Mectronics Marketing Services is the prime supplier and service provider in the country through its offices located in New Delhi and Bangalore. They also support the western region through resident engineer. For more details please visit its website: www.mectronics.in

OK International: OK International has been a leading manufacturer of production assembly equipment for over 60 years. It acquired Metcal and Techcon Systems in 1996 and Impell in 2002. These acquisitions, along with becoming part of Dover Corporation in November 2000, served to strengthen the company’s core competencies in the manufacturing and development of soldering systems as well as dispensing and fume filtration products.OK International products are compatible for lead-free processes. Changing to lead-free doesn’t have to be stressful or confusing. Whatever you need for your lead-free process, hand soldering, rework and repair and fume extraction, OK International is the one-stop destination for all production assembly equipments. The company offers in-house expertise to help customers choose the right equipment for their applications. OK International’s core product lines include soldering and desoldering stations, advanced package rework systems, benchtop fume extraction systems and fluid dispensing solutions. The company’s customers include names like Motorola, Boeing, Intel, Sony, Philips, Samsung and Flextronics.

Sumitron India:
The company represents Koki Tec Corporation, Japan for wave soldering and reflow-soldering systems; Hakko Corporation, Japan for soldering/desoldering stations and irons/guns; BeamWorks, USA for selective laser soldering systems; Kester, Singapore for soldering materials; ITW Chemtronics, USA for soldering/desoldering aids; and Ambitec for assembly machines. Prices of all the principals products are quite competitive and are comparable to any of the best brands available on international circuit. Further, all these world-class products arewell-supported by Sumitron in India.

Leaptech Corporation: Leaptech Corporation is a leading supplier of assembly automation equipment and solutions to the Indian electronics andautomotive industries, with its head office in Mumbai and branch offices in Noida, Bangalore and Chennai. Its total staff strength is 30. “The latest technology that is being used in the soldering/desoldering stations (or simply rework-stations) is the hot air convection technology, with more innovative nozzles for reworking different component types,” says Nair.

Inde Enterprises:
Inde Enterprises has been in business since the last 27 years. It is a 100 per cent export based manufacturing plant, focussed on manufacturing of innovative, cost-effective and custom type ferrite-based inductive components and backward integrated sub-assemblies. It also imports high quality SMD soldering/and rework-stations, electronics assembly and repair instruments. Inde’s product portfolio includes SMPS custom transformers, ignition transformers, current sense transformers, EMI suppression, power chokes, EMI suppression data chokes, power factor correction chokes, automotive custom inductors, lighting inductive components, ADSL pots, splitter modules, ISDN pots and splitter modules. All these products play a major role in soldering/desoldering business.

Electronics Bazaar, South Asia’s No. 1 electronics B2B sourcing magazine

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