One of the customer requirements which we come across quite often in our company is the question about the right choice of a suitable soldering tool depending on the soldered components. Reading time: 4 minutes
In the following short interview, we will show a concrete example from the practice of why a well-thought-out selection of a soldering iron makes working on projects more efficient. Then, Martin Brestovič, a product specialist at SOS electronic, answers the questions.
When should the customer focus on the choice of soldering equipment in more detail?
Always. The choice of quality technology needs to be really well thought out. Especially when there are very high demands on the operator to achieve a minimum error rate when soldering individual components in products. For example, when working with small solder pads, dense terminals, multilayer boards or ground (so-called GND) joints.
Could you elaborate on that?
Absolutely. A good example was our customer's request a few weeks ago. It was about a ZIF socket for large processors with hundreds of relatively dense outlets. Avoiding short circuits when soldering such pin density is difficult even for a very experienced operator.
Although soldering terminals usually goes well, a certain percentage of them dissipate valuable heat too much. These are mainly ground pins, which are connected to large copper surfaces on a multilayer PCB. In other circumstances, bottom heating would be helpful in similar cases, but its use would be literally problematic when soldering a large plastic ZIF socket.
The solution will probably be a little more complicated.
It is necessary to realize that to work with GND pins, the customer would need a soldering device with the largest possible tip and a handle with the technology of the best possible heat transfer. However, in this case, the density of the pins does not allow the use of a larger tip. While this may seem like a dilemma, the solution is very simple.
Is there a suitable solution in the product portfolio?
Certainly, in this particular case, we suggested to the customer to try the so-called active Weller tips. It is a technology in which the soldering tip is firmly connected to a small heating element and a temperature sensor directly from the factory. In addition, it is characterized by an almost perfect heat transfer from the heating element to the tip and very accurate temperature measurement and fast response to its changes. Thanks to this, for example, a 40-50W active tip can compete with classic soldering irons with a power of more than 80W.
It was probably something new for the customer. How did they approach this?
Carefully, but with trust in us. First, to show them the possibilities, we lent them a Weller WX 1012 series station with a WXMP handle. Based on our recommendation, the customer then chose the largest possible tip that could be used for the given joints and started soldering.
The result was that with this technology they were able to solder well even those ground pins that were previously problematic. In addition to this comfort for the operator, of course, the quality of the products immediately increased, the financial costs associated with the error rate decreased, as did the performance of the overall production.
The tips appear to play an important role in soldering.
Absolutely. A few months ago, we informed through regular product articles on our website that Weller has significantly expanded its series of active tips. To the already rich series of tips with the size "Micro", the manufacturer also added smaller tips "Pico" and high-performance (up to 150W) tips "Ultra".
They are also suitable for soldering joints with enormous heat demands. Because in addition to very fast response and high performance at small dimensions, active tips also offer top solder quality and less thermal shock to components. It is not necessary to set an excessively high temperature to "compensate" for insufficient heat transfer to the joint.
We keep the most popular Weller soldering tips as stock items at competitive prices, as we are an authorized distributor. We thus have a direct relationship with the manufacturer and their full support. We can also provide other products upon request, while deliveries are very flexible and the assortment is of high quality with high reliability, and there are negligible to zero complaints.
Do you often deal with similar customer requests?
Yes, practically daily. We receive many specific questions and requests, which we solve with customers individually, but I think many solutions are interesting for other customers.
Apart from the soldering, we often help, e.g., selecting a suitable display or an enclosure for the device, choosing a suitable embedded device for the application, or we advise you how not to cut the range unnecessarily with different types of RFID readers. However, I would like to discuss these topics next time.
If you are interested in the topic of soldering or are looking for a solution to similar situations, we will be happy to advise you. Do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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