Alpha’s New Low Temperature Processing Creates Value
Posted 8/30/2012 by
The farther into the future we go, the better we are able to make technology to work for us. As we improve our electronics connections get smaller, chips need more input and output, signals need to be sent quicker. With these electrical demands arises a need for improved techniques. Demand is created when companies can make use of simpler processing techniques that get the job done while providing financial, spatial, and environmental benefits.
Alpha has created a SMT (surface mount technology) Low Temperature Processing in the creation of circuit boards. It is a way of creating value by eliminating the wave soldering step in the procedure by the use of a dual alloy system.
The electrical array on a circuit board obviously poses problems when it comes time to attach the components. The solder paste SAB (with a melting point of 150°C) is used in Low Temperature soldering, as opposed to the previously used SAC305 (with a melting point of 220°C). This switch in alloys allows the entire circuit board to be raised to a lower temperature. Although more paste must be used, it is a way that utilizes space on circuit boards optimally. Two techniques are implemented in this method in order to increase the volume of paste when attaching components: over printing and the use of preforms.
Having been given a tour of how circuit boards are made, it became clear to me that Alpha’s SMT process can create a more efficient system. Their techniques create a more lean process, allowing the loss of the huge machinery necessary for wave soldering. This leads to energy reduction as well as less maintenance and cost that would be necessary. Their whole concept of soldering at lower temperatures allows one to take into consideration how much can be saved when damages to components can be avoided by eliminating the need to reheat a circuit board to extremely high temperatures when reworking areas.
The benefits of Low Temperature Processing compound with use overtime, offering a new, better, simpler way to create your product. It saves costs by eliminating the wave soldering operation and using lower cost materials (such as solder paste with less silver and thinner laminates that do not need to be able to withstand high temperatures). Further information on this topic can be found on the Alpha education page for Low Temperature Processing.