Selective Soldering – Everything You Need To Know

Posted on 3rd July 2023

Technology has transformed the electronics manufacturing industry in the last few decades. The ever-increasing demand for high-quality electronic devices that last longer and are more resistant to damage has forced companies to rethink the processes and equipment they use to produce critical parts like PCBs. For instance, a majority of electronics manufacturing companies have switched to selective soldering in recent years to save time, money, and manpower, and produce PCBs that are much better in quality and function. Selective soldering offers plenty of benefits compared to the more traditional soldering methods and may gradually replace them in the future.

What Is Selective Soldering?

Selective soldering is the process of soldering individual wired components on PCBs. It is automated and performed using advanced machines that solder components to a PCB all at once or in quick succession. 

Although initially created to be used with through-hole technology (THT), modern machines can solder some surface-mount technology (SMT) parts as well. Selective soldering is generally conducted after the surface mount reflow operation. Soldering points are individually programmed and monitored to control flux volumes and soldering time. 

Soldering machines are precisely programmed so that a given temperature is used only locally and the durability of other components is not compromised. There are three main stages of selective soldering:

  • The application of liquid flux by a process called fluxing.
  • Pre-heating of the PCB assembly.
  • Soldering with a site-specific solder nozzle.

Advantages of Selective Soldering

There are many benefits of selective soldering. It is a relatively lower-cost approach compared to conventional wave soldering, especially when soldering through-hole components on mixed technology PCBs. The machines are less expensive to operate, further reducing the cost of production while improving product efficiency. Moreover, since the process is automated, it requires minimum human intervention, thus reducing the risk of human errors and improving the quality of the final product. Some other advantages of selective soldering include -

  • Independent control over each solder joint when using single tube nozzle
  • Easily programmable automated soldering machine
  • Minimal thermal shock
  • Effective soldering under an inert atmosphere
  • No requirement for expensive pallets
  • Suitable for low to high-volume production
  • Consistency and repeatability 
  • Non-contact application

Selective Soldering At Alan Anderson Manufacturing

At Alan Anderson Manufacturing, we believe in keeping up with the times yet staying ahead of the game. We only use the latest machines and processes to produce high-quality PCBs for all electronic devices. When it comes to selective soldering, we use the Jade S-200 MKII, which is an entry-level hand load system that guarantees the best soldering quality at a considerably low cost. It uses a hot Nitrogen curtain which provides an inert atmosphere, prevents oxidisation, puts a local pre-heat to the joint, and reduces thermal shock to localised components. The result – high-quality PCBs produced quickly, efficiently and at a significantly low cost.

Alan Anderson Manufacturing was built on the foundations of quality, service, and manufacturing excellence. We are an innovative Contract Electronics Manufacturing (CEM) company dedicated to providing our clients with the best quality service and PCBs, designed and delivered exactly as per your requirements.

Call us on 0333 322 7222 and find out why we are different!

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