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Guidelines on Choosing a Reflow Soldering Oven

The right reflow soldering oven warrants effortless PCB (printed board) assembly. Whether you are a professional electrical engineer or you simply love assembling electronics, it is important to invest in the right oven. There are plenty of options to choose from as far as those gadgets are concerned. To be on the safe side, do not choose just any device and hope for the best. Below are guidelines to help you select a quality device for you.

Size is a significant factor to consider. The size to choose should be dictated by your current and future throughput needs. If you need a device that can produce a large number of boards per minute, you need a bigger oven. A bigger one would offer multi-lane systems and higher belt speed, meaning that throughput would be higher. If you are looking for a factory-size reflow oven, you should make a decision with respect to the space you have available. If you are buying online, it pays to confirm size descriptions before placing your order.

Consider heating technologies before buying. The primary types of the same include infrared, vapor phase, and convection. Since both types of technologies have their pros and cons, it is important to compare them to choose the right one for you. Vapor phase, for instance, offers high precision regarding temperature control, meaning that it requires less programming. However, it is costly. Infrared works perfectly for applications that need direct heating. However, it is notorious for overheating, which can damage boards. Convection is the commonly used heating technology and it guarantees even distribution of heat.

You should factor in the board transportation method before contacting any dealer. Edge/pin and belt conveyor remain the basic transportation methods for reflow soldering ovens. Belt transportation employs a conveyor mesh belt, usually made of non-corrosive alloys or stainless steel. Pin-type conveyors carry boards by their edges in a line, which allows unobstructed flow of air around the boards. It pays to communicate your needs to your dealer if you are unsure regarding what transportation method would work well for your specific needs.

It would be a mistake overlooking control method when comparing different types and brands of reflow soldering ovens. You should decide what would work best for you between on-board and PC-based control. Ovens using onboard control employ an independent controller that is usually inbuilt. Such a control system does not require any external source as far as manipulation is concerned. If you prefer such a control mechanism, ensure that the user interface would be friendly. A PC-based system uses software from a PC. Connections can be wireless or hard-wired. Such systems allow users to include as many profiles and recipes as they need.

It is important to consider the quality of the machine before making a decision. It could be that a device performs well in all other aspects. If it would not withstand the test of time, especially if it would be undergoing plenty of abuse, choosing it would be a bad decision. It pays to focus on reputable brands of soldering ovens.

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