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48 SMT007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2019 The Mannifest Feature Column by Chris Ellis, MANNCORP INC. It seems that a lot of companies in today's market are buying specialized ovens for cur- ing. Did you know that most SMT reflow ovens can be modified by the manufacturer (and quite easily too) for curing applications? In most cases, these ovens will also still work for SMT reflow, eliminating the need to waste pre- cious floor space on a second oven. Typically, when converting a reflow oven for curing, manufacturers simply replace gear- ing. This allows the oven's belt to run slowly enough for the long profile required in most curing applications. Some oven manufacturers do not even charge, or have minimal charges, for these types of changes. Granted, you will still need a separate oven for curing if your SMT line is at maximum capacity. Depending on volumes, you can go with a smaller, more compact oven to save floor space. For example, some freestanding four-zone ovens are only about 80 inches in length. With custom gearing, they can have belt speeds that allow a product to be in the oven for anywhere from 7 to 30 minutes or even longer. Now, imagine if you have a very high vol- ume line for curing. Here, you could go with a two-in-one solution like a 10-zone reflow oven that is about 220 inches in length. This gives you the flexibility to run a longer profile in the close-to-90-minute range when required, and you would still have a 30-minute tunnel time available and get three times the volume of the four-zone oven. There are also conformal coating applica- tions that can be used in standard ovens. The only caveat is you need to use a heat-cured conformal coat rather than UV-cured. Chang- ing to a heat-cured conformal coat eliminates the need for expensive UV ovens, which do Custom Reflow Ovens and Curing

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