A few months ago, a customer came into our Monrovia lab intent on processing application samples using hot bar reflow soldering - the part was specifically developed with that technology in mind. Sr. Lab Technician Vickie Buckley, however, took one look at the part and decided that reflow soldering wasn't the optimum process: the wires were too small and would flatten out before the solder melted and reflowed creating a proper bond on the terminals below. All was not lost, however, her 20+ years of experience told her that the application could be done using thermocompression bonding; they moved over to that equipment and had immediate success! The customer went home content that he had a process that would work!
Scenarios like this play out in our labs every day. Thankfully, we have both the expertise and the broad range of equipment to address applications with multiple technologies depending on the material, part accessibility, mechanical and aesthetic requirements, and budget. Avoid costly redesign by getting it right the first time. Here are some tips for doing just that:
- Choose materials carefully. Our FREE Weldability App can help you make selections based on whether or not they can be successfully joined.
- There really is a 'right' process - be open to finding it. Our customer may indeed have been able to find a reflow soldering solution that worked, but it wouldn't have been as fast or as robust as thermocompression bonding and while less expensive to implement, would have cost more money over time.
- Review our Fundamentals and Part Design Guidelines early in development. Better yet, contact our lab engineers - folks familiar with the different joining processes - and get their opinion regarding designing parts for manufacturability. FREE!
Are you working on a new design? Want some help? Contact us for a FREE sample evaluation today!