Outfitting your rework stations with preheating equipment helps you correct issues while keeping PCBs at safe, consistent temperatures. Of the four main benchtop preheating methods, what are the pros and cons? Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your rework tools and techniques can save you time and money during PCB assembly.
Technicians can use hot air guns for localized work or replace a single chip. You may be using these simple tools for quick fixes and spot work on BGAs.
Unfortunately, instead of an even application, hot air guns apply heat from the top-down, heating the package first before the board or contacts. They are also heavily reliant on the skill of your technicians to apply high enough temperatures for reflow without cracking or damaging your boards.
Preheating ovens are a great alternative to heating guns. They evenly heat the tops and bottoms of each board.
The benefits of uniform heating are short-lived, however. As soon as your technician removes a PCB from the oven, the temperature begins to drop. These rework ovens are also less affordable when it comes to your overall benefit or ROI.
Hot plate heaters are efficient and conduct uniform heat. These rework devices heat the bottom of the board first, where the pins are located.
Unfortunately, this makes hot plate heaters effective with only single-sided PCBs. Hot plates can also cause lower solder joint quality.
IR preheaters use heated coils to radiate heat from the bottom up. They also often include temperature controls for stable increases that minimize thermal shock.
The main downside of benchtop IR rework heaters is a reliance on technical expertise.
At Capital Equipment Exchange, we stock a variety of stand-alone circuit board preheaters that are perfect for most BGA rework stations. These units allow your technicians to safely and gradually increase temperatures while working with today's delicate PCBs. You also save money by investing in used SMT equipment.
If you are ready for something more than a simple benchtop station, check out our full range of rework equipment.
Find out more about our used IR preheaters and convection automatic rework systems by contacting us at Capital Equipment Exchange. We will work with you to find equipment that saves you time and money upfront and in the long run. Don't hesitate to give us a call for our latest inventory of used SMT equipment for PCB assembly lines throughout the nation.