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Let’s get ready to solderrrrrrrrrr!

June, 2020

Let’s get ready to solderrrrrrrrrr!

In this corner wearing the red gloves weighing in at 175 lbs. a 6’2” hand solderer with the punching speed of 6 solder connections per minute on average and a win/loss record that depends on the ground plane thickness and may vary throughout the day.  I Introduce to you Billy “too much flux” Stephenssssss!

Now introducing the challenger

Wearing the green gloves, weighing in at 3,000 lbs., 9 ft in length, dual solder pots, top & bottom board preheaters, AND the ability to knock out 30 perfect solder connections per minute on average.  Let’s hear it for Selective “Predictably Precise” Solderrrrrrrrr!


Cost and Quality

Before we ramble on with industry jargon let’s get down to the most important things that matter in Electronics Manufacturing.  Yes, you will save money with our Selective Solder process compared to Hand Soldering.  Yes, you will see higher quality PCB assemblies due to our ability to dial in a process that is specific to your product and the repeatability of the machine.

What is Selective Soldering?

Selective soldering uses automated equipment to solder thru-hole component leads to a printed circuit board (PCB).  Our equipment can control the heat, flux, and the solder flow resulting in precision point to point solder connections.  Since there are differences between board assemblies the selective solder machine is programmed for each specific board to optimize quality and throughput.  Each assembly has a unique thermal profile and program that is created using CAD data. This assures you will receive same quality result each time you reorder from us.

Check out our Selective solder machine in action:

How do we determine what solder process to use?

During the process of manufacturing a quality printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) it is crucial to know the best method to ensure a proper intermetallic bond of your solder connections.  To know the most effective method you must ask the following questions and understand the “why” behind each question.


QuestionWhy is this important?
How many thru-hole leads need to be soldered?This can drastically reduce the cost to manufacture, and that can be passed on to the customer.
How thick is the ground plain and copper layers?The board should be precisely preheated to ensure the appropriate temperature is reached to properly bond the board, the lead, and the solder.
Are there any components or pins that have tight spacing?Wave soldering connectors with a lot of pins that are close together can result in bridging. Hand soldering these may not be an option as you may not have the ability to get a soldering iron into position to effectively solder.
What is the size of the lead(s) to be soldered?This helps us select the proper nozzle or tip sizes to minimize the amount of heat that is applied and gives the ability to navigate tight spaces
Does this assembly need to be “no-clean”?It is crucial to control the amount of flux that is used. Controlled amounts vs. eyeballed amounts.
Is IPC Class 2 or 3 needed?There is always an advantage to having a predictable, repeatable, and controlled process to meet the requirements of each class.

This is one of the selective solder machines you will see at Spectra-Tech


What are Key Features and Benefits of Selective Soldering equipment?

Programming

For each unique assembly we can create custom profiles and programs for each stage that are predictable and repeatable for current and future builds.

Board Preheaters

Top and bottom side preheaters accommodate multi-layer boards, thick ground planes, and heavy copper layers. This is ideal for lead free (RoHS) soldering.

Spray Fluxer

Programmable precision spray heads evenly apply the flux to only the soldered areas without waste and maintaining cleanliness.

Dual Pot System

This can double our throughput as multiple nozzle sizes can be utilized to solder different component lead sizes on the same board.

Various Nozzle Sizes

We have the multiple nozzle size options to choose from to account for tight clearances and component lead sizes. These size options result in better quality and throughput.

Visual Process Control

We have internal cameras that magnify this process and display to an external screen so our operators can view production soldering in real-time.


Dual-Pot System with Two Different-Sized Nozzles


At Spectra-Tech we utilize hand soldering, wave soldering, and selective soldering processes when appropriate.  You can trust that we are focused on being cost effective and quality minded beginning with our initial quote and continuing throughout our manufacturing process and delivery to you.

Based on cost savings and repeatability the judges have unanimously scored the winner to be……

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