The new generation eC-reflow-mate reflow oven delivers better soldering control and more comfortable operation.
Since we shipped the first units in April 2011 we have delivered more than 300 eC-reflow-mate reflow ovens to designers, SMEs and research establishments across the whole of Europe. At Eurocircuits we strive to make continuous improvements on all our products, hardware and software. Our goal is to make each product more effective in meeting customer needs as well as easier and more secure to use. So, when we needed to manufacture a new batch of reflow ovens, we first sat down to review the full range of customer feedback. We looked to see what improvements we could make to the design and operation of the next generation of the eC-reflow-mate.
We looked at three areas in particular:
- Better control of the oven temperature, especially to ensure the most even soldering across the board
- Smoother and more reliable drawer opening
- Safer and more comfortable operation
1. Better control of the oven temperature especially to ensure the most even soldering across the board.
We have introduced three new features:
- The socket for the external temperature sensor (thermocouple) is now mounted on the drawer, not on the wall of the oven. This makes it easier and more secure to mount on the PCB. The sensor ensures that the heat of the oven is calibrated to the actual heat on the PCB.
- The drawer now has a floating aluminium plate with space to expand as it heats up. This ensures that the board stays perfectly flat during soldering.
- The resistance and coiling of each IR lamp has always been specially calibrated according to its position in the oven to ensure an even heat across the soldering area, Based on our experience of ovens in the field we have recalculated the resistance and coiling of each lamp to get an even more uniform spread of heat.
2. Smoother and more reliable drawer opening.
After the soldering cycle is completed the drawer opens automatically to minimise the thermal stress on the PCB. We have modified the drawer’s telescopic slides so that they open more smoothly even after thermal expansion during the soldering cycle. In addition the user can now adjust the speed at which the drawer opens by changing the tension of the opening spring.
3. Safer and more comfortable operation.
We have made some changes to the front glass, to the handle and to the case insulation to make sure that no parts which need to be touched can get uncomfortably hot.
Sadly, these new features have some cost implications. At the same time raw material costs have risen significantly since we set the oven price in 2010. The next generation eC-reflow-mate is priced at €2,995. Many of our current users tell us that their machines have paid for themselves within 6 months, and have helped cut manual assembly times by 70%. Based on this experience we are confident that the eC-reflow-mate remains first-in-class and offers excellent value for money.
The new eC-reflow mate will start shipping by the end of April 2013