© ersa Electronics Production | March 23, 2015
Speedboard updates with a selective soldering system
Speedboard Assembly Services invests in a Selective Soldering line in readiness for manufacturing increasingly complex double-sided, mixed-technology PCBs.
Speedboard has invested in an ERSA Versaflow 345 in-line selective soldering system, enabling the CEM to tackle increasingly complex double-sided, mixed-technology PCB assembly projects; and in particular boards which must be manufactured to the IPC-A-610 Class 3 standard. Whilst some double-sided, mixed-technology PCBs can be manufactured using wave soldering (using either a glue and wave process or pallets to mask underside SMDs) this is becoming increasingly impractical for densely populated boards. Neil Owen, Speedboard's Managing Director, comments: "An alternative is to hand-solder the plated through-hole components, but even the most-skilled operators cannot produce the same level of consistency as an automated process – especially for IPC-A-610 Class 3 which requires barrel fill to be at least 75%." Selective soldering has much in common with wave soldering – in terms of fluxing, pre-heating and soldering stages — but components are soldered on a pin-by-pin basis and without disturbing pre-placed neighbouring components. Owen add: “Complex circuit boards tend to be high value, so their manufacture demands the use of the most appropriate equipment and techniques in order to deliver consistently high quality and to ensure the customer receives a cost-competitive and efficient service.” The ERSA Versaflow 345 is a modular system, and Speedboard's machine is being configured as a single track system with fluxer, pre-heat zone and two solder pots (to support the use of two different nozzle sizes). Speedboard has also purchased a Nitrogen generator to feed the solder pots, enabling the soldering to be performed in an inert atmosphere and thus produce better quality joints, as well as improved aesthetics.