The Wave Soldering Process

The Wave Soldering Process – 5 Key Steps

Supporting our surface mount pick & place machines, we operate in-line hand assembly conveyors ahead of the wave soldering process.

Our hand assembly team can fit all PTH (Thru Hole) components at high speed. We have an automated masking process to protect the areas which don’t require solder. Any open thru-hole via’s will also be spot masked before processing the populated PCB’s through wave soldering.

 

How does this benefit our customers?

  • Very competitive pricing as a result of high production efficiencies
  • High quality and consistent solder joints
  • High volume production capability
  • Fast turnaround assembly

 

So, how does the wave soldering process work?

Wave soldering is an in-line process that follows surface mount, reflow and AOI.  The underside of the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) is treated with flux before being preheated and then immersed in liquid solder.

 

The 5 Steps of the Wave Soldering Process

 

Step 1 – Set Up

The wave soldering machine combines a tightly controlled flux application, pre-heating and heated solder bath process. The bath holds between 300-500kg of solder which is kept at the required level by our trained operators. Once the machine reaches the pre-set solder profile levels, then the automated process can commence.

 

Step 2 – Placement of the PCB

Once the machine is ready, the PCBA can be processed from the hand assembly station through the machine. There are metal clasps on the conveyor which hold the board firmly in place as it goes through the following stages.

 

Step 3 – Cleaning the Components (Fluxing)

During this crucial step, the machine thoroughly cleans components to remove any metal oxide layers which may have formed using the flux application process. Flux is a chemical cleaning agent and is sprayed on the PCBA before the solder is applied.

 

Step 4 – Application of Solder

The PCBA is passed over a bath in which a pump produces an upwelling of solder, which resembles a standing “wave”. Our team pre-set the timing/speed of the conveyor, ensuring that sufficient time is allowed for the solder to settle on the joints and ensure strong joints are formed.

 

Step 5 – Cleaning

This is the final step in the wave soldering process. We wash and clean our circuit boards through our chemical wash plant, as well as hand cleaning with the help of deionised water and IPA. Flux residues can form on the PCB during the machine process and will be removed during this step.

 

Wave Soldered PCB Assemblies

 

Please take a look at our PCB assembly and product assembly pages for more information on our capabilities.

Our team are always here to support any queries you may have. Please send any RFQ’s or questions through to enquiries@makartechnologies.com or get in touch on our contact page.

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$1 Million Toyota Mobility Prize for Phoenix i Intelligent Wheelchair

Congratulations to Phoenix Instinct on winning the $1 million prize through the Toyota Mobility Unlimited Challenge.

In 2017, the Toyota Mobility Foundation launched a $4 million challenge, which including many stages over 3 years. Designers and innovators were invited to come up with radical improvements in the mobility and independence of people with lower-limb paralysis through smarter assistive technology.

Makar Technologies partnered with Phoenix Instinct back in 2018 to work on the winning ultra-lightweight manual wheelchair made from carbon-fibre.

Toyota Mobility Phoenix I

Phoenix I Intelligent Wheelchair

The smart electronics, developed in conjunction with Phoenix Instinct and manufactured by our team, function both the centre of gravity and power assist features. The software intelligence provides enhanced ease of pushing, agility and stability functions never seen before in wheelchairs.

Out of a total of 80 entries and 5 finalists, Phoenix Instinct were the only UK entry.

On the 17th December, they were crowned the winners at a live-streamed online event, securing the $1 million Toyota Mobility prize.

We look forward to continuing the development in 2021, supporting Phoenix Instinct in taking the Intelligent Wheelchair to market.

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Conformal Coating

High Performance Conformal Coating

Conformal coating is a thin polymeric film applied to a printed circuit board (PCB) which protects the board and its components from the environment and corrosion.

Our latest showcase, as part of our growth and investment plan, is our new High Performance 4 Axis Selective Coating Machine with a UV Curing Oven.

This allows us to coat PCB Assemblies at high volume, while maintaining a repeatable accuracy of 0.05mm.

Features include:

  • Tilt able valves with ±180 degree rotation, allowing side coating for components
  • A mix of high precision valves for coating in tight/shadowed spaces
  • Rapid UV curing (less than 1 minute to cure a PCB)

So, how does this work?

We program the automated conformal coating robot for each product we are coating. This removes the time consuming, manual process of masking non-coated components. In turn, we are able to offer competitive pricing and fast turnarounds on coated PCB Assemblies.

Our team can offer conformal coating as part of our PCB assembly service, or as a service in it’s own right.

Please take a look at our PCB assembly and product assembly pages for more information on our capabilities.

Our team are always here to support any queries you may have. Please send any RFQ’s or questions through to enquiries@makartechnologies.com or get in touch on our contact page.

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New SMT Line

New SMT Line – Increased Capacity

As we continue to grow and expand as a UK manufacturer, we are consistently investing in new and improved machinery and equipment. Our latest investment is an additional, high-speed SMT placement line in order to increase our PCB assembly capacity.

The new line will allow us to support the growing requirements of both new and existing customers across a range of market sectors. Our new line comprises of 2x Mirae pick and place machines and a Falcon inline AOI (Automated Optical Inspection) machine. This provides a number of key features including:

  • Placement capacity of 92,000 components per hour (cph)
  • Ability to place fine-pitch surface mount components
  • 160 component feeder lanes based on 8mm wide feeders (minimising set-up downtime for heavily populated PCB’s

Our customers can now take advantage of our increased efficiency, flexibility and higher overall production capabilities.

David King, Makar Technologies Managing Director, comments:

“We are all pleased to see our Forres manufacturing site continue to grow after lots of hard work and effort. The increased volumes from our existing, loyal customer base coupled with new customer orders gives us the confidence to progress with further investment and boost our offering, including our new SMT line. Over the coming months, we have further exciting investment and expansion planned which we hope to soon announce”

Please take a look at our PCB assembly and product assembly pages for more information on our capabilities.

Our team are always here to support any queries you may have. Please send any RFQ’s through to enquiries@makartechnologies.com or get in touch on our contact page.

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UHI-Soldering

University of the Highlands & Islands

We recently welcomed 16 engineering students plus lecturers from the University of the Highlands & Islands (Moray) to our Forres facility.

As we continue to grow, we are always on the lookout for young and enthusiastic graduates to join our experienced team. This visit allowed local students to gain an understanding of the potential jobs available to them in the area (Highlands/Moray of Scotland).

Throughout the visit, our team presented the top of the range machinery and processes that are carried out on a daily basis at Makar. From Surface Mount Technology through to Final Product Testing, our manufacturing facility provides exciting opportunities for newly qualified engineers and technicians.

The ability to meet individuals in different engineering roles proved very beneficial. The students asked questions about their experiences in the industry and their pathway to the positions they are now in. Our design engineers cover a number of disciplines including electronic, software/firmware and mechanical design.

Having a number of UHI graduates already working for the company, David King (Managing Director) is extremely happy with their contribution and progression so far.

“Makar are developing exciting new products and technologies. Creative minds in the local area will only help us push the boundaries of innovation.”

We welcome further collaboration with educational institutes and will continue to grow our relationship with UHI (University of the Highlands & Islands)

https://www.uhi.ac.uk

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Printed Circuit Board

The Printed Circuit Board

Makar Technologies featured in this months edition (February) of the Knock News magazine, with a captivating article based around the printed circuit board.

Knock News is an independent local magazine that is ‘quirky and original’, founded by David Gordon in 2007.

We welcomed David and Richard Oakley, the author of the Makar Technologies article, into our factory for an insightful view on our innovative developments.

The article goes into fine detail of some of the internal processes used to build a printed circuit board, as well as providing an overview of electronics design and manufacture in general. 

Makar Technologies Ltd currently has a full order book and was working on projects to remotely control caravans and a stair-lift during our visit, Dave King says that if you require a system to be controlled, they can also provide the control electronics, actuators and computer systems to bring the project to life. They are what industry describes as a ‘turn-key supplier’, they do everything simply leaving the customer the starting key. Customers can have systems designed with or without any specification in mind. The Makar design team would then look to generate PCB designs, giving costing, functionality and future proofing suggestions before negotiating with the client the final design. This may or may not involve building prototypes for the customer’s approval. Makar’s engineers are capable of writing software for controlling system operation, for example, the firmware to control the speed and torque delivery of an electric motor. Makar are also currently looking to increase the functionality of their equipment by building smart intelligence into the equipment.

For a better understanding of our industry, we would highly recommend taking the time to read the knowledgeable article which can be found below:

http://www.knocknews.net/featured/makar-technologies-extended

You can also download a copy of the magazine here.

 

Our Capabilities

For further information on our printed circuit board capabilities, please take a look at our PCB Assembly page.

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