Most wave soldering systems installed in electronic productions are equipped with one or two solder nozzles that generate a turbulent wave. This configuration is ideal for most products; however, this concept reaches its limitations if, for example, PCBs in masks are to be processed. The reliable wetting of all solder joints is not guaranteed, depending on the thickness of the mask and the size of the cutouts. Additionally, it might be challenging to achieve a reproducible process if the distances between covered SMD components and the THT pins to be soldered are too small. Sophisticated assemblies that are processed in soldering masks often show soldering defects such as incomplete solder joints or solder bridges.
Automatic nozzle height adjustment that does not influence the wave soldering system’s cycle time provides an innovative approach for these applications. The height of each solder nozzle can be adjusted via the software within a total distance of 20 mm, creating the optimal product-specific distance between the circuit board and solder nozzle. The automatic nozzle height adjustment provides additional process reliability and better product quality because all solder joints will be reliably wetted and a component-specific defined solder peel-off will be enabled.
The system is linked to the sector soldering feature. This function allows program parameters for pump revolution speed (wave height) and conveyor speed individually for up to 16 circuit board sectors. By adding the individual nozzle height, i.e. the optimum distance between PCB and solder nozzle, at up to 16 different circuit board sectors, this system provides a large process window and maximum flexibility. It also ensures sustainability of the wave soldering machine with regard to future applications.