KIC Explorer's industry-leading performance provides users better data acquisition performance to identify exactly what is going on with each thermal profile and process in the factory. Thermal profile data is conveniently transferred to a computer via a USB connection or wirelessly with optional RF capable system.
Available in 7, 9 and 12 channel models wired or RF capable.
Data Intelligence Software
The KIC Explorer software uses a modern, graphical interface that intuitively guides user through the profiling function. All critical profile and process data are measured, including slope, peak temperature, time above liquidus, etc. In addition, the software measures the Process Window IndexTM (PWI) statistic. The PWI mathematically and objectively identifies profiles "fit" to the available process window. A PWI less than 100 indicates an in-spec profile. The PWI is lower as your process is centered within the process window. Therefore, the lower your PWI, the more stable and efficient your process.
The PWI also instantly reveals where process adjustments are required. Manual prediction capability comes standard with the KIC Explorer that allows user to manually adjust and improve upon the process or oven set up.
The KIC Explorer hardware and software establish a new generation of profiler to improve your production quality, productivity, and documentation. It offers unmatched performance, flexibility and miniaturization in this new generation of thermal profilers. PWI reduces profiling to a single number.
KIC 'EXPLORER' Key Features
KIC Navigator Software Included
Uses a Modern Graphical Interface to Intuitively Guide User Through the Profiling Task
Process Window Index (PWI) Identifies Profile’s "Fit" to the Available Process Window. The Lower the PWI, the More Efficient is the Profile.
Allows User to Manually Adjust and Improve Process or Oven Setup, or Additional Software Provides Optimum Process
Data Acquisition Process Identifies What Occurs with Each Thermal Profile and Transfers it as Downloadable Data
Data Intelligence Software Is Downloadable to Provide a Wealth of Profiling Data and Process Data.
MVP Fixture (Optional) Provides Ongoing Profiling Without Requiring Production Board
KIC Explorer 7, 9 or 12 Channel (Antenna on RF Model)
KIC Explorer USB Base Station (Antenna on RF Model)
USB Communication Cable
USB Extension Cable 6ft
Thermal Shield (Stainless Steel or Cool Touch)
Thermocouples (7, 9 or 12)
Aluminum Tape and Hi-temp Solder
Software Key (only if software options were purchased)
Install Software This must be completed before connecting the Profiler Equipment or Software Key to your PC
Install Batteries Standard AAA batteries included. Rechargeable batteries also usable.
Connect KIC Profiler Equipment Read the KIC Explorer Hardware Configsection in the manual for details
Start KIC Software
Set Global Preferences Read the Global Preferences section in the manual for details
Define Process Window Read the Process Window Setup section in the manual for details
Run A Profile Read the Run A Profile section in the manual for details
The Process Window Index™ (PWI™) Profiling Reduced to a Single Number The PWI measures the profile's fit to the process window in a mathematical and objective manner by using a single number. This aids in optimizing the process by comparing and ranking alternative profiles in terms of their fit to the available process window. The lower the PWI, the more efficient and stable the process!
About the Process Window Index (PWI)
There are statistically valid methods for quantifying most EMS processes, such as pick and place and screen printer performance. However, until now there has been no widely accepted method for measuring, analyzing and comparing the performance of thermal profiles, and no means of ranking their suitability for reflow of newly introduced boards. The Process Window Index (PWI™), developed exclusively by KIC, is a simple way of statistically measuring and ranking how good any given profile is relative to critical process limits.
PWI ranks every thermal profile by where it "fits" within the user defined process window. Optimum performance is achieved at the center of this window, and is designated as 0%. The opposite or extreme edge is defined as 99%, A PWI of 99% indicates that the profile will process product within spec, but is running at the very edge of suitability, and of course, any boards processed with a PWI above 99% risk certain rejection. So for example, if the highest recommended temperature is 250° C and the lowest is 235° C, the zero point or optimal PWI would be midway between these extremes, or 242° C. The PWI reveals exactly where a given profile numerically ranks within the process window, which is a clear designation of how viable that profile is. Although slight fluctuations or deviations are normal in the reflow process, it's a certainty that the lower the PWI, the better the profile. It's as simple as that!
The Benefits and Advantages of PWI Ranking
Greatly Simplify & Speed The Profiling Process. All profile statistics are reduced to a single number – the PWI – that anyone can understand. When using advanced KIC profiling tool, such as Navigator, the PWI aids in speeding up the whole profiling process by making it easier to understand.
Instill Confidence in Thermal Process Capability. The PWI is not just a single statistic. It reflects the performance of the entire profile and thus aids in generating the best profile a process can achieve, opening the door to precise profile control.
Profiles Can Be Easily Compared. Comparisons can now be made quickly -- between individual lines on the shop floor, between processes at multiple plants and between processes using dissimilar equipment. With PWI, profile comparison is no longer subjective, since it ascertains that the best profile is being used.
Attain Improved Quality Control. PWI is ideal for use with SPC and other QC monitoring platforms. It is a significant step towards zero-defect production.
Lower Production & Equipment Costs. Immediate savings can be realized in each of these areas: staff training; operator errors; production monitoring and data collection; process troubleshooting, and pre-purchase equipment evaluation.
Calculating the PWI
The Process Window Index for a complete set of profile statistics is calculated as the worst case (highest number) in the set of statistics. For example: if you run a profile with three thermocouples, and four profile statistics are logged for each thermocouple, then there will be a set of twelve statistics for that profile. The PWI will be the worst case (highest number expressed as a percentage) in that set of profile statistics.
The Process Window Index is calculated using a formula that includes all statistics for all thermocouples. The formula for the PWI is calculated as follows:
i=1 to N (number of thermocouples) j=1 to M (number of statistics per thermocouple) measured_value[i,j]=the [i,j]th statistic's value average_limits[i,j]=the average of the [i,j]th statistic's high and low limits range[i,j]=the [i,j]th statistic's high limit minus the low limit
Thus, the PWI is the worst case profile statistic (Maximum, or highest percentage of the process window used), and all other values are less.
Automatically set up the best recipe for any product in any reflow oven
The KIC Navigator software option for KIC MVP makes it possible to optimize oven setup even for strict process requirements, ensuring maximum product throughput, better equipment utlization and more effficient staff allocation.
Finds the Best Possible Profile in Less Than 60 Seconds
Enable Deep-In-Spec Profile
Determines Single Best Oven Recipe for Every Product
Maximize Product Throughput
How It Works
KIC’s powerful Navigator™ software is a system that automatically determines the single best oven recipe for every product. Once the initial profile is run, the Navigator evaluates billions of combinations of conveyor speeds and setpoint temperatures in less than a minute, so operators no longer need to set search parameters.
You give the Navigator your profile specs and the Navigator presents the process set up that will produce a profile centered in the process window, with the lowest Process Window Index™ (PWI). With the Navigator, an operator with limited process knowledge can find the optimal profile every time.
Whether it takes you two runs to set up a simple profile, or 5 runs for a difficult one, why spend the time? The Navigator finds the best possible profile in less than 60 seconds. This means more efficient use of the engineering resources, increased line uptime, and improved line uptime - which all mean an improved bottom line.
Without the power of the Navigator, solder reflow oven setpoint changes are typically made in 5°C increments. Research made possible by the Process Window Index shows that setting up the oven in smaller increments offers significantly improved process performance. Extensive testing revealed substantial benefits in setting up profiles in 1°C increments. Slight setpoint changes in the soak and reflow zones produced more robust profiles that reduced temperatures at hot spots on the board and provided more even heating across the assembly. Precision profiling also makes developing tight-spec lead-free profiles as quick and easy as any other profile with the Navigator.
Minimum System Requirements
400 MHz Processor, Celeron / 128 Mb RAM*
1 Gb available storage (for product history)
Video 1024 x 768 resolution / 16-bit
1 available serial or USB port
1 available parallel port or USB port for software key options
Microsoft® Windows® 2000 or XP
*When KIC 2000 Software is running on the same computer as the Oven software, and/or when additional KIC Vision options are installed, a faster CPU and more RAM may be required.
MVP - Manual Virtual Profiling Fixture Spot-check profile without sacrificing a finished PCB.
Wave Surfer - Profiling Fixture for Wave Solder Machines Verify wave solder process and fine-tune the machine for optimum performance.
Profiling Tool Kit Important accessories for quick & convenient profiling.
Profiler Carrier for Edge Conveyor Reflow Ovens (no mesh belt) Facilitates reflow profiling in ovens with edge conveyors -- with and without center board support. Also ideal for low-clearance ovens and those with extra-wide conveyor rails up to 379mm (14.92"). Minimum Dimensions (L x W X H): 400mm x 111mm x 17.5mm (15.75" x 4.37" x 0.69"). Maximum Dimensions: 400mm x 379mm x 17.5mm (13.75" x 14.92" x 0.69").
KIC 'EXPLORER' - Specifications
Internal Operating Temp
0C to 85C
0.1 to 10 per second
(3) AAA batteries
Type K, Standard
Dimensions (L x W x H mm)
201.0 x 60.0 x 17.0
201.0 x 75.0 x 17.0
210.0 x 98.0 x 17.0
1 System accuracy based on accuracy of thermocouple wire used. KIC uses special limits of error type K thermocouple wire for most accurate results.
Datalogger Model: are downloaded to the computer through a USB cable after the run.
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