When selecting SMT equipment for PCB manufacturing, it's important to choose machines that work with the numbers and types of boards you are assembling. Knowing which specifications to pay attention to can make manufacturing equipment easier to shop for. At Capital Equipment Exchange, we put together 4 tips to help you choose the correct reflow oven.
Yes, there is more than one type of reflow oven. You will most likely find listings for infrared, convection, and vapor phase machines.
IR models are commonly used for specific direct heating applications. Convection uses a combination of heating elements and circulation fans to control temperature.
Vapor phase models rely on the thermal energy in a layer of vapor. While vapor phase machines reportedly have better heat transfer efficiency, these units are often more expensive and useful in lower volume production.
Because of their even heat distribution, higher throughput, and lower operational costs, convection ovens are more common and popular on today's SMT lines.
For safety reasons, many SMT manufacturers are transitioning to lead-free solder. Lead-free solder can prevent solder bridges and create stronger joints. If you will be using a lead-free soldering process, you will want to make sure your SMT reflow oven has lead-free capabilities. The Electrovert Omni Excel 10 and Heller 1707 EXL, for example, both make the conversion to lead-free simple.
To choose a reflow oven for your PCB assembly line, you have to determine how many boards you'll produce in a day. If you're producing low volumes of only 15 or so boards a day, you may be ok with a single zone batch oven. Closer to 100 and over 100 boards a day, and you'll want to look at conveyorized, multi-zone ovens.
A Windows Operating System, SMEMA standard, left to right operation, the number of heating zones to cooling zones — there are many more reflow oven specifications to explore. It can be easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest. The bottom line should be which specifications will benefit you most within the budget you have.
If you are confused about how a specific feature affects the overall capabilities of a reflow oven, it's good to shop with a used SMT equipment supplier who knows their machines and can answer your questions.
Now that you have more information about what to shop for, we invite you to explore the used reflow oven offered by Capital Equipment Exchange. Don't see what you need or looking for a specific feature, contact us today. We can give you the latest inventory updates and help you choose from our most popular and reliable models. We look forward to helping you save money on all types of SMT equipment.