Miniaturization and Manufacturing: The Benefits of Laser Soldering
October 21, 2020
Miniaturization presents new challenges in producing power-dense electronics, especially on Surface Mounted Technologies (SMTs), where components of different sizes and materials are densely packed together on a PCB board. The Manufacturing of high volumes of small, smart, stable products requires precision techniques like laser soldering to protect heat-sensitive, high-power components. Many advanced manufacturers are already reaping the benefits of new laser soldering systems. Here are a few of the primary benefits of this technology.
Customizable Laser Geometries
Precision is a crucial advantage to the use of lasers over traditional soldering techniques. Laser beams can reach into smaller geometries, enabling the use of solder in ever-shrinking component sizes. Since manufacturers can program the beam’s shape, consistent results are realized.
Non-contact processes help minimize or eliminate damage, leading to higher quality from the inside out. Laser soldering is a non-destructive welding method that protects heat-sensitive components by localizing the heating area while shielding the surrounding components from thermal stress. The heat stress is specific to the solder joint area instead of the entire component.
Speed of Manufacture
Laser soldering is ideal for repeatable, automated fabrication. An automated precision X-Y positioning table accurately moves the piece under a fixed laser beam, where a high-quality joint is quickly formed.
It’s clear why micro laser soldering is taking the lead over traditional soldering methods across industries such as telecommunications, photovoltaics, automotive, biomedical, and high-density electronics.
Lasers for Micro Soldering
Lasers can provide precise control of both peak power and pulse width. With the addition of features to ramp the power (temperature) and provide real-time temperature feedback, precise, repeatably solder joints can be produced.
Quantum Composers’ VLT series of laser heads were specifically designed for micro soldering. They are compact, integrated systems including a high power laser, video monitor, and thermal temperature sensor. 5, 10, and 15 watt systems are available for processing material from 25 microns to 400 microns. These compact and rugged lasers are designed specifically for 24/7 cleanroom fabs and portable, tabletop lab applications.
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