A look at the latest reflow ovens available in the market

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A reflow oven is used to solder SMT assembly components on PCBs accurately. Sometimes these SMT components appear on both sides of the PCB and sometimes only on one side of it. And nowadays, there are so many miniature components that even a small touch can disturb their alignment completely.

This article covers the key factors to be considered prior to investing in a reflow oven for the shop floor.

  • One important factor to consider is power consumption. This does not refer to just the starting power, but the running power consumption as well, which is a recurring cost as a reflow oven is mainly into heating, a process that uses a lot of power.
  • The second important factor is the remote support facility. If the customer wants a quick solution, then the machines should have the facility to be connected via the Internet so that basic troubleshooting and early support can be provided remotely, online. This facility is being offered by many suppliers to reduce the customer’s downtime.
  • The third factor to be considered is productivity. Machines with dual conveyors can accommodate two PCBs of different sizes which can be simultaneously perfected at the same time.
  • Fourth, the speed of operations and the type of conveyor should be considered. Whether a mesh conveyor or a chain conveyor is used depends heavily on the type of components used. There are machines that come with a combination of both (mesh and pin chain), which gives flexibility to the customer. However, the type of component used determines the type of belt that is required.

So depending on the manufacturing process, as well as the type and size of components used, the appropriate model of reflow oven should be acquired. Ideally, customers should opt for distributors who try and understand the intricacies of the application and then suggest the right model to the customer.

In this article, we have covered some of the latest reflow ovens that are available in the market, both in the desktop and the in-line categories.

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A few new products available in the market

Desktop manufacturing
Model: NeoDen IN6; Manufacturer: NeoDen
NeoDen IN6, a desktop reflow oven, uses a new technology for the dynamic warming-up control system to ensure stable temperature. With a tubular heater, the whole heating chamber is uniformly heated. This chamber is built with pure aluminium. The IN6 has a built-in soldering smoke filtering system, which does not need a traditional smoke tube. It solders PCBs in the fully convection method, which ensures the components are heated evenly. It supports most commonly used components, LEDs and various kinds of ICs.
Key features:

  • Built-in solder smoke filtering system
  • 115V/15A power
  • Variable speed conveyor
  • 16 programmable profiles
  • No venting required
  • Graphic display mode for time-based temperature viewing
  • Dynamic warm-up controls, ensuring stable temperature and virtually no overshoot
  • Uniformly-heated aluminium alloy chamber
  • Six zones (three at the top and three at the bottom)
  • Stainless-steel spring wire conveyor belt
  • Conveyor speeds from 15cm/min to 60cm/min
  • 300ºC/572ºF capability for lead-free soldering
  • 30mm (1.2 inch) maximum assembly clearance
  • 260mm (10 inch) soldering width
  • 680mm (26.8 inch) process chamber length
  • Offload zone cooling fans
  • Full hot-air convection

Contact details: www.chipmax.in,+919243777818, [email protected]
Indian distributor: ChipMax Design Labs

In-line manufacturing
Model: Konark 1020 (K1020); Manufacturer: EMS Technologies Pvt Ltd
EMS Technologies has launched a 10-zone reflow oven, the Konark 1020. The new model with a dual conveyor caters to high production throughput for the dual conveyor lines used in various applications in the defence, aerospace, television and set-top box domains, as well as for complex applications that require multilayer boards.
Key features:

  • Konark 1020 comes with the Linux operating system that provides pull-down menus
  • The data logging traceability feature enables the user to select the important process parameters for which data collection is desired, either board based or time based
  • Security password protection allows only authorised personnel to make changes to recipes
  • Adjustable blower speed
  • Rails width adjustment for dual conveyors
  • Dual conveyor increases throughput as PCBs of two different widths can be run in a single profile resulting in increased productivity
  • PCB drop alarm
  • Automatic chain lubrication
  • PID closed loop temperature control + SSR

Indian distributor: EMST Marketing Pvt Ltd

Model: Vitronics Soltec Centurion; Manufacturer: ITW Electronics Assembly Equipment
Vitronics Soltec Centurion is a forced-convection SMT reflow system with tight, closed-loop process control, built for high-throughput PCB assembly environments. The Centurion is able to run any profile at a low set point, which minimises the thermal differences over the product and uses less energy.
The patented CATHOX (catalytic thermal oxidiser) reduces maintenance requirements while ensuring a clean process environment. It is effective in removing volatile compounds from the process tunnel during reflow. During thermal oxidation, organic vapours are converted to hydrocarbons, which are captured by a filter.
Key features:

  • Patented technology
  • There’s no requirement of external devices like chillers
  • Provides maximum maintenance intervals for cleaning activities
  • Heating zones remain clean; so no cleaning is required
  • No buildup of flux on width adjust units and other mechanical drive mechanisms
  • Low cost of ownership
  • Dual lane configurations up to 2mm x 300mm
  • Optional combo belt/rail conveyors
  • Single or dual board support systems

Indian distributor: Leaptech Corporation

Model: HOTFLOW 4/20; Manufacturer: Kurtz Ersa
The Ersa HOTFLOW 4/20 reflow soldering system is manufactured entirely from steel, welded air-tight, is powder coated, and comes with an interior electric cabinet and a PC operating terminal. Features include the motorised hood opening, quick-change convection heater cassettes, multi-level process gas cleaning and a powerful cooling zone.
Key features:

  • Reflow soldering system with good thermal performance and power balance
  • Individually controllable process zones via energy-optimised motors
  • Multi-level controlled cooling
  • Multi-level process gas cleaning with pyrolysis
  • Rest-oxygen monitoring and control; low N2 consumption
  • Ersa Process Control (EPC) software
  • Software to generate temperature profiles
  • Multi-track conveyor systems (1-4), 1x fixed, 3x variable
  • Thermally invisible centre supports
  • Low energy consumption in continuous operation
  • Patented grip conveyor system for flex boards

Indian distributor: Bergen Associates

Model: VD-635 LS; Manufacturer: VD Intellisys Technologies (P) Ltd
VD Intellisys has launched its new reflow oven that weighs around 400kg and has a machine dimension of 3500mm x 700mm x 1300mm (L x W x H). It comes with an operating power of 5kW with a starting power of 16kW.
Key features:

  • Heating zones: 6/6
  • Heating zone length: 2400mm
  • Heating mode: Hot air circulation
  • Cooling zones: 1
  • Max PCB size: 350mm
  • Transport direction: L-R or R-L
  • Transport belt height: 880mm, ±20mm
  • Belt: Transport
  • PCB conveyor speed: 0mm/min – 1500mm/min
  • Power supply: 3Φ 380V, 50/60Hz

Indian distributor: VD Intellisys India (P) Ltd

 

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