Dual lane or multiple lane ovens are not new, what is new a is trend to vary the speed of each individual lane. On face this is a brilliant idea, you can run more than one production board down the same oven at the same time. Problem though with most manufacturers already challenged as it is with developing a robust profile on a single lane oven you are just adding an incredible about of complexity, right?
Fred Dimock of BTU authors an excellent paper in the March Issue of Circuits Assembly, titled “Practical Thermal Profile Expectations in a Dual-Lane, Dual-Speed Reflow Oven – Developing a recipe that with satisfy both boards.”
The key to developing a recipe is by using profiling intelligent prediction tools such as the KIC Navigator and a methodology outlined by the same company KIC in an application note titled, “Developing Common Reflow Oven Recipes for Mixed Production Lines Using the KIC Navigator.”
Dimock in his study concludes:
With a little understanding and work, a process engineer can develop the data to help find a recipe that will allow them to establish the set points and belt speeds for dual-lane dual-speed reflow ovens. It can be done in multiple runs with actual belt speed changes or as few as two runs by using predictive software. It will also help determine the extreme cases where the boards are too different to be run on a dual-lane dual-speed oven. In all cases, the engineer needs to confirm the results by profiling the actual boards at the belt speeds they determined would be best. The great lesson is that after the first profiles are optimized on the reflow oven, much of the remainder of the work can be done at the engineer’s desk without tying up the production equipment.
To read the full article click here.