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VOLUME -25 NUMBER 12
Publication Date: 12/1/2010
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December 2010 Issue
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ERSA: Boosting Reflow Oven Efficiency
System continues to operate while condensation management system is cleaned.
Wertheim, Germany — ERSA has inserted an additional air cleaning stage in its HOTFLOW 3 reflow ovens to provide what the company terms "substantially improved process gas cleaning."
Keeping the oven clean, getting rid of residues, remains a major concern during reflow processing. The company's proven multistage management system has been completely re-designed to offer new dual capability.
The HOTFLOW 3 can now be fitted with a substantially improved process gas cleaning unit. Until now, the process gas was extracted from the tunnel between the reflow and the cooling zone, then cooled down, cleaned and fed back to the system in the cooling zone. The condensate, accrued during the cooling process, was collected in the condensate trap, which had to be cleaned regularly.
This system has now been expanded by adding another cleaning stage in the heated section. This way, the process gas is removed through a conduit at the end of the preheat area and then fed to the cleaning unit. After having been cleaned, it is fed back into the tunnel at the beginning of the preheat zone.
The cleaning unit has two tiers; the first tier consists of an easy-to-replace cartridge, which is filled with a fine-grained granulate cleaning material. When the process gas passes through the granulate material, the impurities — solvents released from the components, the boards, the solder pastes — are partially broken down, altering chemical properties, preventing condensation inside the tunnel. In the second tier the gas is routed through a specially developed heat exchanger, where the remaining impurities condense and are removed. The clean gas is then returned to the process. The cartridge and the heat exchanger are both easily removed for cleaning. The new cleaning stage significantly extends the time between cleaning cycles, and can be retrofitted to all models of the HOTFLOW 3/14, 3/20, 2/14 and 2/20.
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