Qualified Rework of Challenging SMD Assemblies
Mair Elektronik GmbH from Schwaig near Munich is an EMS service provider for the entire SMD assembly process chain. For many years they have relied on FINEPLACER® rework systems for the repair of high-quality SMD assemblies.
For example, Mair Elektronik works closely with a customer who manufactures modern high-speed cameras. These cameras capture thousands of high-resolution images for playback and analysis and are used in numerous industrial and research applications, such as medical technology, the food industry and automotive electronics. Examples of industrial applications include recording of production lines for better machine tuning or crash tests in the automotive industry to investigate the impact on dummies and vehicles.
Such high-speed cameras consist of many complex assemblies that are repaired individually, if required. In the manufacturing process, which involves large quantities, potential manufacturing defects are reworked on the spot. This is there Mair Elektronik comes into play. Usually, defective ceramic sensors have to be replaced, which poses numerous challenges for the assigned rework system:
- Material mix of rigid and flexible components
- Difficult handling, since printed circuit boards are only 3x5 cm² in size
- Ceramic sensors with external connections require special soldering head design
- Sensors must not be heated through to avoid reduced service life
In close cooperation, Mair Elektronik and Finetech have set up and optimized the rework process. For this purpose, Finetech has developed a suitable PCB holder as well as suitable soldering tools for the ceramic sensors. This ensures safe handling and heating of the sensitive components.
The cooperation between Mair Elektronik and Finetech began in 2004 with the purchase of the first SMD rework station. Since then, the requirements for SMD rework have increased considerably. It is therefore all the more remarkable that, after all those years, this FINEPLACER® is still used for modern rework applications. Recently it was even relocated to a second Mair Elektronik branch in Saxony-Anhalt in order to meet the increased demand for BGA rework services there.
At the same time, Mair Elektronik decided to invest in an additional plant for its Bavarian headquarters. It was anything but certain that the order would go back to Finetech. Rather, the investment decision was to be based on an open-ended analysis of suitable rework systems on the market, which were compared with a current FINEPLACER® system on the basis of multi-stage selection criteria.
There were a number of technical advantages that finally convinced Mair Elektronik to award Finetech the contract again. For example, BGA, the most common application, can be reworked by adding nitrogen in a targeted manner. Options such as automatic residual solder removal, precise dispensing of fresh solder and a wide range of available soldering tools also enable FINEPLACER® rework systems for the entire spectrum of SMD rework applications.
This bandwidth is essential for EMS service providers such as Mair Elektronik, which need to be able to process very different, sometimes highly complex SMD assemblies in a reproducible way. Parallel to the trend towards miniaturization, they are increasingly encountering massive components with very high heat capacities. At the same time, printed circuit boards are becoming even more sensitive and often have a semi-flexible design. With the flexibility and process reliability of a FINEPLACER® rework system, they are well positioned for this task in the future.
"In addition to the technical possibilities, it is a real advantage for us that we can exchange soldering tools, already qualified soldering programs and processes between our FINEPLACER® systems. In addition, Finetech offers a fast, reliable and fair service and the experience with our previous FINEPLACER® system was nothing but positive.”Moritz Lanio
Head of Technology Department, Mair Elektronik