Zero setup datalogger with new vacuum level measurement

29-11-2022 | Solderstar | Test & Measurement

Solderstar will show an expanded product range at IPC APEX Expo 2023. On display will be the zero setup SLX thermal datalogger which has been updated with a new extension to measure vacuum level in a reflow oven.

As electronic products become ever smaller and more complex in construction, it is critical to have soldering processes that can be altered to deliver solder joints with fewer voids to improve reliability and enhance product performance. To make sure the new device could improve profile information at all stages of the soldering process, the company has added an interface with advanced measurement adapters to verify parameters in the vacuum stage.

Mark Stansfield, CEO at Solderstar, said: “Since launching the SLX thermal profiler, we have seen significant interest from companies looking for reliable temperature data capture to achieve solder joints with fewer voids. What differentiates SLX from other dataloggers is its zero-setup feature. As a result, it can be used quickly and easily to measure and record process parameters from any soldering process.

“Reflow oven manufacturers are starting to include a vacuum chamber stage in the oven to help to reduce voids. To ensure SLX is a long-term investment and effectively captures all parameters, we recently enhanced the system with additional sensors. These measure the temperature profile in the reflow oven and the pressure level when the SLX passes through the vacuum chamber stage.

“There is a fundamental reason why we updated the SLX with additional sensors. Vacuum reflow has proven to reduce void levels and improve long-term stability and reliability of the solder joint. However, the vacuum level and rate at which the vacuum is applied are critical parameters that could not be measured independently of the temperature profile. The added feature allows the temperature profile in the reflow oven and the pressure level in the vacuum chamber stage to be captured simultaneously.

“This is particularly important when manufacturing high-reliability electronics. For example, if vacuum levels are not measured carefully it can result in insufficient void removals or unnecessarily extended hold times in the vacuum. This means throughput is negatively affected with increased cycle times, and in-the-field reliability problems increase, leading to rework or component failure.

“IPC Apex brings together industry professionals looking for solutions to manufacture quality electronics. Therefore, it is an ideal platform to introduce visitors to the Solderstar SLX with its advanced smart adapters to allow profiling of soldering machines with zero setup and configuration and independent vacuum level measurement.”

The zero-user setup SLX allows faster and more accurate noise-free measurements from up to 12 temperature channels while simultaneously measuring from other secondary process parameter sensors. Furthermore, it works seamlessly with the latest version of the Solderstar profile analysis software, which is available for all the SLX units.

IPC APEX Expo 2023, Booth 2010, San Diego, 24–26 January 2023.

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By Seb Springall