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SMT Reflow Profiling: Using ReflowCoach®

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  • Solder Reliability
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  • Phil Zarrow: This video is for electronics assembly engineers, technicians, and managers who are looking to match a reflow profile to solder paste specifications. It will tell you how to utilize tools that can assure that reflow profile is correct.
     
    Dr. Lasky, engineers and managers that are involved in reflow profiling face a dilemma, and often we see disconnect between the profile they're retaining and using and the solder paste specification that should be guiding it. Are there any tools available to, kind of, help with this situation?
     
    Dr. Ronald C. Lasky: You know, Phil, your experience is probably similar to mine. I've been trying to help people with their assembly, and, one of the issues is apparent is, they're not having good results from the reflow. First thing I'll ask, “Well, let's see if the solder paste spec matches the reflow profile.” I'll say, “Let's look at the solder paste spec,” and they'll say, “Well, gee, we don't know where it is.”
     
    I actually had one time where they didn't even know what solder paste they were using. So we found the solder paste, and we went on the internet, and we got the solder paste spec. I then asked the people, “Here's the solider paste spec. You have the reflow profile. Can you now see if they match?” Sheepishly, they came back in a few minutes later and said, “I don't know how to do this.” So I decided to develop a software tool to solve this problem.
     
    Essentially you just take the data from the reflow profile, time and temperatures in the reflow oven, and you match that to the solder paste spec in this software tool, and it helps you to see if your reflow profile matches the solder paste spec.
     
    Phil Zarrow: Very good. You're defining the envelope, and we're seeing graphically that it is actually using the envelope. What is the actual output that we're looking at? 
     
    Dr. Ronald C. Lasky: ​The output is a graph, and there's a red line and a blue line, and those are the limits of the envelope, as you called it. That's a good way to refer to it. Too warm and fast. Too hot and cool. And, as long as you're within the envelope, you're okay. The data points from your reflow profile are a green line; if you see that green line between the red and the blue, you'll know you’re within the solder paste spec.
     
    Phil Zarrow: Very good. Sounds very straight forward, very easy to use. Where can we find this tool?
     
    Dr. Ronald C. Lasky: You can find the tool at www.indium.com.
     
    Phil Zarrow: Very good. Dr. Lasky, thank you.

     

    Keywords: indium, Indium Corporation, Dr. Ron Lasky, ronlasky@aol.com, Phil Zarrow, itm@itmconsulting.org,  reflow profile, solder paste, paste specifications, assembly, solder paste spec, reflowCoach, software

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