Vapor Phase Reflow
In modern times, the decade old technology of vapor phase reflow soldering
carries many advantages. Often referred to as soldering by condensation, the procedure and machines themselves have improved significantly in recent years, resulting in an extremely reliable and consistent manufacturing process, as well as a highly efficient heat transfer capability. Previous concerns about the environmental impact of early vapor phase reflow machines have been addressed, with the eradication of the use of CFCs to ensure safe operation and adherence to local legislation. Older generation machines were prone to overheating, and recent changes in vapour phase reflow technology ensure that temperatures are limited to just 230 degrees, reducing the risk significantly. The temperature of the material used will never exceed this, no matter how long it is exposed to the solaring process. This also reduces stress on the printed circuit boards (PCB) used, and eliminates wastage.
Designed and manufactured for maximum efficiency at the lowest operating costs possible, the machines have a streamlined design and maximum flexibility – it is for example possible to manually load an item that does not fit the standard mould without large disruption to the automated processes involved. The varied models available ensure each client can procure a suitable machine with models catering for full scale automated production or a smaller single unit, and allow for the treatment of both lead free and leaded products without the need for a complicated changeover procedure. Modern PCBs are highly complex with many small components, and there exist a wide variety. These developments in automation ensure that the soldering of the varied printed circuit boards is completed in the most time efficient and cost effective ways. The units themselves have low electricity and operation costs, and require only a yearly service. When compared therefore to convection and wave soldering machinery, the advantages of vapor phase reflow soldering are numerous.