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ACE Unveils "Side Wave" Tinning Method
Monday, March 19, 2012 | ACE Production Technologies

ACE Production Technologies has introduced its new ground-breaking manual lead tinning system, or MLTS, an ergonomic, affordable system for re-tinning the delicate leads of fine-pitch quad flat pack SMDs (QFPs) reliably in-house, without bridging. It’s especially applicable to hi-rel, military, and avionics component refurbishing requirements.

In making the announcement, Alan Cable, President, said, “The MLTS is unique--it’s an affordable way to tin the leads of fine-pitch QFPs without bridging. No more sending them out to be done somewhere else at high cost, with attendant shipping delays and lead times.” He added, “Now they can be done ‘right at home’ under house control quickly and reliably and for a fraction of the cost of outsourcing to someone else’s expensive machine.”

The MLTS is perfect for both smaller assembly houses as well as larger contract houses with dedicated assembly work cells, Cable emphasizes.

“Removing gold plating, replacing RoHS finish with lead, refurbishing legacy components and tin whisker mitigation are the major reasons to hot solder dip component leads. This applies to both all through hole and Surface mount components,” Cable says. “Through-hole components are relatively easy to process with appropriate fixturing and a robust solder pot. Tinning fine pitch QFPs (FPQFPs) is especially difficult to do in house usually requiring complicated robotics and often resulting in bridging and rework. Sending these very delicate components to a tinning house (sometimes across the country) is very expensive and time consuming.”

The MLTS employs a unique tinning method using a specially designed “side wave” solder nozzle that is heavily purged with nitrogen. The side wave process uses the natural cascade of the solder to scrub the old plating off while wicking away excess solder during the extraction of the forms leads leaving the leaded array bridge free. This process is so robust that even tinning FPQFPs by hand holding the components with a vacuum wand works very well. This latter discovery led to the creation of the MLTS.

The MLTS is an ergonomically designed work station for one person to easily handle all forms of component lead tinning. The MLTS can be configured with one or two solder pots with either the “side wave” or straight “immersion” nozzles, and flowing flux station. The solder pots and fluxers are operated through foot switches minimizing the solder pumping and keeping N2 consumption to a minimum.

About ACE Production Technologies Inc.

ACE Production Technologies is a designer and builder of simple, affordable selective soldering, lead tinning, and related systems suitable for lead-free electronics assembly. ACE’s line of rugged, reliable selective soldering systems includes the KISS 101, KISS-102, KISS-103, and the KISS-104 models; all feature lead-free compatible solder pots and are ideal for low to medium volume assembly. For more information, visit www.ace-protech.com, or contact the company at 3010 N. Industrial Park, 1st Street, Spokane Valley, WA 99216; Tel. 509-924-4898, e-mail sales@ace-protech.com.


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