With over 1,500 soldering systems installed and many years’ experience in selective soldering, INERTEC LOTTECHNIK is one of the leading companies in the sector. The German company is the most recent to be acquired by Tecnolab, which has thereby enhanced its fleet of representatives in PCB production systems.
Since its early years of operation, INERTEC’s main objective has been the development and production of innovative selective soldering technologies. The guiding principle of the company was and still is the ability to react flexibly to the needs and desires of PCB manufacturers.
Its commitment to the continuous development of these systems guarantees the highest quality, the required level of productivity and a safe return on investment. During the design stage, particular attention was paid to simplicity of installation and maintenance, through good accessibility. Both supply of spare parts and assistance are carried out extremely promptly, thanks also to the standardization of many parts, identical for different types of systems, thus facilitating storage.
The new entry-level CUBE 460 soldering system is designed as a production cell for small and medium-sized batches. With the aid of loading shuttle, it is possible to perform THT assembly directly on the machine, significantly improving quality compared to manual soldering.
Graphical programming simplifies quick access to program preparation, and the system uses the professional features and tried-and-tested technology available in larger systems, such as continuous process monitoring or DC servo motors.
PCBAs of up to 460x460mm are processed with quick-change soldering nozzles, using either leaded or lead-free alloys.
The possibility to set the soldering angle at 0° and 7°, through control of the program, allows the use of various soldering nozzles in optimal conditions for each joint to be formed.
This means difficult layouts can be operated on with excellent results, even with minimum distances between components. The observation camera also helps to optimize the process.
CUBE 460 is particularly suitable for use with different soldering alloys, due to the special set-up trolley, an option that increases the productivity and flexibility of the system.
As an alternative to the standard pump, an electrodynamic pump is available for delivering the alloy to the nozzle.
The standard micro-drop fluxer provides accurate application of the flux, thus avoiding the spread of flux residues, which would contaminate both the printed circuit board and the soldering joint once made. The high-performance, quartz preheating device ensures efficient preheating and low energy consumption.
Quality, flexibility and efficiency are the prerogatives of the new CUBE Inline selective soldering system.
The basic structure of the system allows work to be carried out simultaneously in the fluxing, preheating and soldering areas.
Preheating is always a difficult challenge, especially with lead-free alloys and printed circuit boards, which cause problems with their particular thermal masses. For this reason, all CUBE Inline systems are equipped with a fast-reacting quartz heater.
Great care has been taken to provide user-friendly programming software. For example, in offline programming it can use both Gerber files and jpg files.
The software also has features such as automatic routing and scheduled maintenance planning, which simplify production management.
The preheater covers the entire process area of 510x460mm, while the use of the pyrometer ensures constant, controlled heating of the PCB.
It can be equipped with various combinations of heating units, for example with an upper and lower heating element, or with a convection element.
Having a heater on the upper side will allow radiation to be dispensed efficiently, to assist in soldering PCBs with a significant thermal mass.
The height of the wave is measured and adjusted using a titanium needle. The flexibility of the system allows the user to operate simultaneously with different nozzle sizes (as an alternative to using different alloys). If different products need to be soldered with different sized nozzles, only the nozzle tip needs to be changed before starting the process.
The hot nitrogen, together with the new soldering nozzle, supports the soldering process with constant, local preheating.
The process camera offers a perfect view of each soldering being performed and is a perfect tool for process optimization; simplified programming saves time and consequently reduces the cost of the process.
To guarantee accuracy, the option for correction based on the fiducial marker can be used. An additional sensor (optional) measures deformation of the PCB after preheating and automatically corrects the Z height of the nozzle.
The software: advanced, easy to use, powerful
INERTEC has worked on the GUI (Graphical User Interface) software specifically to allow simplification of each operation. The control system for CUBE is based on the systems of the other INERTEC soldering lines - ELS 3.3 and EMLS - which have proved their reliability over the years.
Obviously, programming can be performed without having to do without the convenience of offline software.
The software has been enhanced to include the function allowing correction of any deformation of the printed circuit in real time, by correcting the nozzle stroke along the Z axis.
Even during programming, the distortion of the board is visualized at every point and transferred to the program.
The fiducial marker corrects the positioning during the soldering process.
The later recalling
The statistical supervision module records the printed circuits that are produced. The production data can be recalled later using the data matrix code or by typing the name of the program.
A line plotter function allows recording of analogue measurement values, such as alloy temperature and nitrogen temperature, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The integration of the bar code, automatic timing functions, maintenance planning with automatic alerts to the operator and online access are all standard functions and are included in the software.
One of the winning features of selective soldering systems is their ability to combine flexibility and productivity. The goal is to be able to offer solutions that can always provide return on investment as quickly as possible