A must have

23 May 2007

Launched at Nepcon 2007, Gen3 Systems has announced the launch of MUST 3 solderability tester

The MUST System 3 from Gen3 Systems Limited is the latest evolution of the original Multicore Universal Solderability Tester (MUST). The MUST 3 performs solderability testing – namely Wetting Balance and Microwetting Globule Testing – in accordance with all major international standards and is capable of performing all forms of solderability tests.

Key enhancements of the MUST 3 include greater measurement accuracy (> 0.01 mN force resolution) and sampling rates, Windows Vista compatibility, plus accelerated and quieter operation.

“As PCBs and components continue to become smaller and finer in lead pitch, coupled with the widespread use of less active fluxes and in particular the move to higher lead-free soldering temperatures, soldering process windows have narrowed and the impact of poor solderability is more dramatic,” explains Graham Naisbitt, Gen3 Systems’ Managing Director.

“Although components and PCBs are generally assembled from parts of known, there is no way of guaranteeing this without testing: especially given that the prime cause of poor solderability is poor storage conditions and extended time on the shelf. Gen3 Systems co-operates with IEC, ISO, IPC, BSI and other official standards authorities to help maintain and develop measurement standards including solderability metrology. Must 3 represents decades of our collective experience and expertise channeled into the latest enhancement of what was already the industry-leading benchmark for solderability testing,” concludes Naisbitt.

The MUST 3 can improve product quality and yield large potential cost savings by lowering defect rates during the soldering process. It can also help facilitate the use of less aggressive no-clean and environmentally friendly soldering materials, including lead-free alloy testing – and is capable of testing at temperatures in excess of 260 °C.

In operation, the MUST 3 automatically detects a small solder bath (for TH devices) or globule (for SM components) that is mounted on a computer-controlled worktable capable of being motor-driven in all three X-Y-Z axes. This allows the instrument to align contact between the component termination and solder precisely, guaranteeing test reproducibility and accuracy. Furthermore, for multi-leaded components, this allows the globule to be advanced automatically to each subsequent termination

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