The reflow oven is an electronic heating device that is used to mounting various components unto printed circuit boards. These ovens vary in size as well as type. The costs also vary depending on their commercial size and type as well. If you try to construct your own reflow oven at home, it can really cut on those costs. However, there will be limitations in terms of durability as well as functionality. Since the invention of the reflow oven, a lot of time has been saved in soldering various electronic components unto the circuit boards. The oven has four heating zones which include the soak zone, preheating zone, reflow zone, and the cooling zone. All of those zones are responsible for the proper functioning of the oven. Here are the tips for choosing the right reflow oven.
First, you need to look at the oven’s thermal performance. This will depend on various components such as its throughput as well as the heating technology employed in that oven. For instance, you should choose a reflow oven that can melt a flux and solder paste so that a permanent bond between the circuit board and the electronic component can be formed. The modern ovens have high efficiency in terms of thermal transfer. This is very important because it ensures that there are shorter profiles. Also, this will facilitate even and consistent heating, which wasn’t the case in the early designs of the reflow ovens. The highest temperature rating of the reflow oven has to be taken into consideration as well.
You should also consider the type of reflow oven you are about to buy. These ovens exist in different types depending on their manufacturers, size, and properties. There is an infrared oven that uses radiations to facilitate the soldering of the electronic parts to the printed circuit boards. It has fans that ensure that there is an efficient transfer of heat. There are ovens that use vapor and thermal energy so that soldering can be achieved. A liquid compound is heated to a certain temperature and it produces very hot vapor where the circuit board will be immersed into. Soldering can then be achieved in the process. The vapor ovens are more efficient when it comes to heat transfer compared to the convection ovens. However, they are suitable for use in low productions because of the nature of their batch processes.
Finally, you should look at the cost of that particular oven. Whereas vapor ovens are efficient in transferring heat, they can be very expensive. This is because the various vapor materials are very expensive which makes the whole oven expensive as well. Also, if you wish to venture into high production, then it will be good to consider choosing the convection ovens because they can be efficient in this. The serviceability of the reflow oven has to be considered as well. You should look at the availability of experts to service it, as well as spare parts of the oven. You should choose a reflow oven which is more reliable to reduce the amount of downtime