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76 SMT Magazine • January 2016 Conveyorized System This system uses titanium fingers or clips to retain and position the boards as they move through the wave machine. Boards are loaded onto the conveyor by hand and removed by the operator on the other side. • Pros: Considerably more affordable than a full in-line system. Less labor intensive than a palletized system (below) • Cons: Odd shaped or thin boards can be difficult to run if they're only supported by edge clips or fingers; this is where the benefits of a palletized system appear • Typical cost range: $30,000–40,000 Palletized System A palletized carrier is used to hold the circuit boards (which may include multiple boards) and the entire pallet is loaded onto the wave solder machine. This is a batch process rather than an in-line system. The pallets are usually a fixed size according to the wave capacity (width and length). • Pros: Good support for odd shaped boards or thin boards that could warp other- wise; can be customized to hold unusu- ally shaped boards, or multiple boards; very easy to maintain pallets and fingers because everything can be done outside the machine; pallets don't rely on a set of fingers internal to the machine that would require shutting it down for maintenance • Cons: Boards must be loaded manually into each pallet and then into the ma- chine • Typical cost range: $12,000–30,000, but most high-end machines can use a pallet system sMT quiCk Tips SELECTInG a WaVE SOLDErInG SySTEM, ParT 3 figure 2: universal pallet.

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