Automation Unlimited 'closes the loop' in automated robotic soldering process control

Soldering & Surface Mount Technology

ISSN: 0954-0911

Publication date: 1 August 2000



(2000), "Automation Unlimited 'closes the loop' in automated robotic soldering process control", Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, Vol. 12 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Automation Unlimited 'closes the loop' in automated robotic soldering process control

Keywords Automation Unlimited, Process control, Soldering

Automation Unlimited, Inc. has "closed the loop" in its automated robotic soldering systems' process control with new technology that monitors the performance of the soldering iron tip (Plate 7). The new technology continually monitors both soldering iron temperature and power output, making adjustments accordingly to keep the iron operating at peak accuracy and efficiency to ensure the highest level of repeatability and absolutely strict process control.

Plate 7 Automation Unlimited process control

True closed loop process control for robotic soldering, when soldering iron technology is used, requires constant monitoring of the iron's conditions. AU achieves this with constant dual level monitoring of both power output and temperature setpoint during soldering, because iron temperature will vary when encountering the varied heat sinking properties of different solder joints. Response time to recover the iron temperature to setpoint at idle power is monitored to ensure iron integrity over the wear life of the tip. Heavy heat sinking joints are handled by combining power monitoring and tip temperature with the time programmed for pre-heat and post-heat dwell times. Automatic iron calibration can be programmed into the process at the discretion of the customer, ensuring accurate process control by bringing the iron back into specification as as the iron tip degrades over its lifetime. A joint counter allows the user to specify usable life based on the individual manufacturing environment, and alerts the operator to change iron tip and run calibration.

For more information, contact Automation Unlimited Inc., an MRSI Group Company. Tel: +(31) 71 5791899; Fax: +(31) 71 5791897; WWW: