Onsite Nitrogen Generators for Electronics Manufacturing
In the electronics manufacturing industry, surface mount technology has become a common practice. Not only does surface mount technology help the process of mounting electronic components directly onto the surface of a printed circuit board and increase manufacturing automation, but it increases safety and enables electronic devices to perform better under the right conditions.
In order to undertake this process, however, manufactures require a steady supply of nitrogen gas. Although manufacturers can order nitrogen gas cylinders or bulk liquid nitrogen on an as-needed basis, onsite nitrogen generators for electronics manufacturing are a significantly more cost-effective, productive, safe, and efficient option. Here is some valuable information about how onsite nitrogen gas generation can benefit the electronics manufacturing industry.
Uses of Onsite Generators for Electronics Manufacturing
With the introduction of Lead-Free solder 20 years ago, the use of nitrogen for soldering has grown significantly for all the right reasons: quality of solder joint, reduced machine maintenance and less rework. The melting point of lead-free solder is 20-30 degrees Celsius (fig.1) higher than leaded solder which exposes electronic components to excess heat. The air we breathe is 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon. Nitrogen delivers a dry uniform inert atmosphere which provides better via barrel fill, less oxidation and shinier/stronger solder joints.
All selective soldering machine manufacturers mandate the use of nitrogen, purity level 5.0 (99.999%), for selective soldering. This soldering method performs a unique function in that it selectively solders through-hole components after all the SMD (Surface Mount Devices) have been placed on the printed circuit board. The use of a nitrogen atmosphere for this process provides a necessary element to ensure solder joint quality. Soldering close to SMD’s, which have temperature limitations, requires critical control of the soldering process and nitrogen is key. (fig. 2)
Benefits of Nitrogen Gas in Electronics Manufacturing
Ideal Soldering Atmosphere
A nitrogen atmosphere for selective and wave soldering provides purity levels up to purity level 5.0 (99.999%). Nitrogen delivers a dry uniform inert atmosphere ideal for better via’s penetration, less oxidation and shinier/stronger solder joints. Nitrogen reduces the surface tension of the lead-free solder allowing it to penetrate via’s more readily and form a less crystalline solder structure.
(air = 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon)
Less Maintenance Through Dross Reduction
The introduction of a nitrogen atmosphere means significantly less oxidation which translates to tenfold less dross production in the solder pot. By producing less dross, the soldering machine maintenance schedule is reduced. This extends the life of the solder pumps, impeller, solder nozzle and solder pot. This also dramatically increases product quality between preventative maintenance cycles. Nitrogen saves money!
Lowers Risk of Dendritic Growth
A dendrite in metallurgy is a characteristic tree-like structure of crystals growing as molten metal solidifies. This is caused by moisture (H2O) and other impurities during the soldering process. Without the use of a nitrogen atmosphere, potential for dendritic growth causes electronic circuit failure over time, weakening the solder joint causing intermittent problems. Nitrogen improves quality!
Advantages of Using Onsite Nitrogen Gas over Outsourcing
Improved Reliability and Lower Dependency
Onsite nitrogen generation for soldering is far more efficient than getting cylinders or liquid nitrogen delivered to your facility. When manufacturers are dependent on a provider for their nitrogen supply, it often requires a contract and can mean delays and issues with getting the right supply on time. However, onsite nitrogen generators offer a constant supply of nitrogen at various purity levels. There is a complete elimination of logistical concerns with an onsite nitrogen generating system.
Although there is an upfront cost of installing an onsite nitrogen generator, the long-term savings provide a quick return on investment that is well worth it. In fact, you can see a return on investment in a little as nine to 24 months. Onsite generated nitrogen improves the quality of electronics manufacturing, resulting in better quality products with fewer deficiencies.
Onsite Nitrogen Generators Suitable for Electronics Manufacturing
Preference for PSA Generators
Electronics manufacturers require pressure swing absorption (PSA) nitrogen generators for their processes because only PSA technology can cost effectively supply nitrogen at the high nitrogen purities required for their applications.
Why Choose Advanced Gas Technologies Inc.?
If you want to benefit from the convenience and cost effectiveness of an onsite nitrogen generator, our team can help you. Advanced Gas Technologies Inc. has been marketing, installing, and maintaining industrial gas generating systems, standard industrial compressor systems, and engineered compressor systems throughout North America since 1994. Over the years we have helped our clients reduce their industrial nitrogen and oxygen costs by utilizing leading edge technologies such as onsite nitrogen and oxygen generating systems. Most importantly, we have extensive expertise specifically relating to nitrogen generating systems for electronics manufacturing.
Our systems can lower ongoing nitrogen or oxygen costs by as much as 90% and deliver significant operating savings to our clients’ bottom line. We eliminate the requirement of having to purchase conventional nitrogen supply. Instead, we sell our business clients the technology and equipment they need to make their own nitrogen gas onsite.
Contact us toll-free at 1-(866) 725-7551 in North America or (905) 305-0094 local and overseas to learn more about our onsite oxygen and nitrogen generators.