KIC Auto-Focus Power software provides users with recommended initial zone temperature and belt speed settings for specific reflow applications using their specific CR Series oven model. The temperature settings are based on the solder paste manufacturer's specifications for the paste formula selected, and the physical length, width, and weight of the user's product. The ability of the Auto-Focus software to simplify initial oven set-up is due, in part, to collaborative effort on the part of both companies that involves characterization of the unique thermal properties of CR Series ovens as they relate to varying product sizes and processes. A built-in library of hundreds of different solder paste formulas, along with the paste manufacturer's recommended solder profile for each, is fully integrated with the Auto-Focus software. KIC's patented PWI™ (Process Window Index) method for quantifying thermal profile performance ensures that any recommended settings for zone temperatures or conveyor speed, provide results that keep all critical process criteria within limits acceptable to both the user and the manufacturers of the solder paste and components.
The full potential of KIC Auto-Focus Power is realized, however, when it is used in conjunction with an optional KIC X5 Thermal Profiler. Available in 7, 9, or 12 channels, with either USB or real-time RF data transmission, the X5 and Auto-Focus Power combination provide a full data acquisition hardware/software solution with profile analysis and optimization tools for a fraction of the cost of comparable systems. As the X5 records the precise temperatures on the PCB, each different product that is run better characterizes the CR oven properties for a wider variety of unique applications. As the accumulated database of oven settings and resultant board-level temperature profiles expands, the Auto-Focus Power software gets smarter, providing the potential for tighter profile control, greater throughput, additional energy savings, and reduced changeover time.
Perhaps the most valuable feature of the KIC Auto-Focus Power software is its ability to allow users to accurately predict the effect that changes to zone temperatures and belt speed will have on their processes. The Navigator™ component of the KIC software evaluates billions of combinations of conveyor speeds and setpoints and provides the PWI number for each option. The lower the PWI number, the greater the ability of the oven settings to produce a profile as close to the center of the process window as possible. As a result, Navigator is able to produce the single best oven setup for any given application.
While most multi-channel thermal datalogging hardware/software solutions can often cost in the $8-10K range, pre-installation of KIC Auto-Focus Power allows Manncorp's CR Series Reflow Oven customers to obtain one for approximately half the cost.
HOW 'AUTO FOCUS POWER' WORKS
1. Choose Your Solder Paste Formula and Process Window
The KIC Auto-Focus Power software includes a database of over 1000 different solder paste formulas out of dozens of different solder paste manufacturers. Each database entry includes the manufacturer's recommended solder profile for that specific solder paste formula and identifies critical specifications (i.e. maximum ramp rate, maximum cooling rate, temperatures for preheat, soak, reflow, and peak, allowable times above those temperatures, etc., with upper and lower limits for each) that define the process window. After selecting the solder paste, users can either use the profile as is or can modify the specifications to create a process window that meets their own unique criteria.
2. Link Your Product to the Process Window
Once the Process Window is selected (defined), the next step in using Auto-Focus is selecting the product to be soldered (or assigning a name if the product has not yet been defined). This step, in effect, links the product to the selected process window. It also links the process window and the product to the CR Series Oven data in the database. The oven data has been produced by KIC's characterization of the unique thermal properties of specific CR Series oven models as they relate to varying product sizes and processes.
3. Define the Product's Physical Characteristics
The user now enters the average length, average width, and total weight of the product.
4. Obtain and Confirm the Oven Settings
Auto-Focus now scans the built-in database for zone temperature/belt speed settings that produce a thermal profile that best fits within the process window when soldering a similarly sized product. By comparing that profile to the desired process window, Auto-Focus is able to estimate the PWI™ (Process Window Index); a single value that will give the user an indication of how far "within spec" the actual profile will be when using the recommended oven settings. If the PWI value is acceptable, the user can then obtain the exact temperature settings for each zone along with the belt speed.