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Things To Consider In Buying A Reflow Soldering Oven

Everyone has different kind of jobs with others being lucky enough to be working on something they love doing. This includes being able to make electronic devices and gadgets as their work which is something enjoyable for some people. There are even those having this as their hobby and create items for personal use and satisfaction or as a small business.

All kinds of jobs require certain tools and equipment to help them in doing their work more effectively, efficiently and faster. Which means you might need a reflow soldering oven when making circuit boards for your electronic devices and gadgets. This machine solders the components into the PCB faster than doing so separately by hand.

Using this machine is very helpful when your PCB has a high density of components and soldering them manually is very challenging. That is because when you do the latter method, you may commit some mistakes and will waste your time trying to fix it. Or you would not notice the errors and your project is going to get damaged by getting short circuited.

Solder paste is used in attaching the components into the PCB temporarily and the oven heats them to make the connection permanent. This process is more accurate than the manual method and much faster but be careful with using it. You should set the temperature just right to prevent the parts from getting damaged while still being able to melt the paste.

This is what they call thermal profiles and has four different thermal zones namely preheat, soak, reflow and cooling. So you must know which profile to use for your project to make sure nothing gets damaged and your hard work and time is wasted. This is specially problematic for circuits with many parts since you need to replace all damaged ones or the entire board itself.

If you buy a higher end machine, they usually have the ability to let you program some custom thermal profiles then save them in its software. Having this feature is great specially when working on different PCB types since they differ in their speed of heating up. And this is also useful for various kinds of paste with different melting points.

Thermal sensing and precision are essential for the whole process so consider them when planning to buy this machine. They must have thermocouples inside them so it could sense the temperature accurately and if it is as you desired. This is because ovens have different areas which are hot or cold so having them ensures your PCB is cooked effectively.

After you have considered the necessary performance your machine should have then consider next the size you need. The small and medium sized ones are usually advisable for electronics hobbyists which have low volume of assembly. These are also more affordable and can fit almost anywhere at home.

Large ones are typically suitable for factory settings with large volumes of assembly. They could solder multiple PCBs at once saving you precious time. This is possible by using a conveyor belt that moves the board into several compartments.

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Henry A. Alvarado

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