New Programmable Preheater lowers soldering and rework temperatures

Soldering & Surface Mount Technology

ISSN: 0954-0911

Article publication date: 27 June 2008



(2008), "New Programmable Preheater lowers soldering and rework temperatures", Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, Vol. 20 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

New Programmable Preheater lowers soldering and rework temperatures

Article Type: New products From: Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, Volume 20, Issue 3

The new PCT-1000 Programmable Preheater (Figure 1), from OK International, equips users with the ability to deliver more heat to difficult boards while maintaining very high levels of thermal control and lower operating temperatures. Ideal for high-thermal demand applications such as lead-free, multi-layer boards and large ground planes, the PCT-1000 improves process efficiency and control.

Figure 1 -The new PCT-1000 programmable preheater

Soldering, desoldering and SMD rework operations benefit with improved process speeds and greater control when incorporating the new PCT-1000 programmable preheater. This benchtop system delivers forced convection heat that can be controlled with four time and temperature zones and an additional cooling zone. The PCT-1000 also provides a thermal boost for boards that demand heat due to large ground planes, multiple layers or lead-free solders. This added heat capacity offers an additional benefit of allowing operators to use soldering, desoldering and SMT rework hand tools with lower operating temperatures, avoiding the undesirable and often damaging, high temperatures.

The PCT-1000 features an “external” thermocouple input. This mode of operation can be used for precise control of output temperature based on the board or component temperature. For example, an application may require output not to exceed a specific temperature in order to prevent bottom-side reflow of components. A Type K thermocouple can be attached to a component, or PCB site, to provide target temperature feedback control to the PCT-1000 and therefore prevent exceeding the maximum temperature at the board.

The thermocouple input feature can also be used as a process monitor where the temperature of up to two sites on the PCB can be displayed. This feature provides thermal data and facilitates fast, efficient process set-up parameters.

The PCT-1000 has a unique heater design that creates a convection vortex, effectively concentrating heat where it is most needed. This allows the system to heat more efficiently while operating at lower wattage. The system can be operated in either manual mode, where the output temperature is held constant and the user determines the time for heating or a programmable automatic mode where the temperature and time can by independently varied creating thermal profiles. Up to 50 thermal profiles can be stored in the PCT-1000.

To compliment the PCT-1000, OK International offers a new, optional board holder. The BH-1000 Board Holder is designed for fast and easy configuration. It consists of two independent post-rail assemblies. These assemblies can be positioned as close as 12 mm or as far apart as the user desires. Each post-rail assembly is 300 mm long and has a 30 mm height adjustment. Even more, the rails can be removed from the posts and the post can be used with tapered pins that are included in a kit to function as either a board support or as stand-alone board holders.

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