While many innovations have been made in surface mount technology (SMT), selective soldering remains a useful method because of its precision and cost-effectiveness. Printed circuit boards, or PCBs, have become much more sophisticated in the last few decades, and Craig Curk advises that using high-quality machinery is important for accurate assembly.
As all types of machinery become more intricate, new types of processes have been introduced to meet these new technological needs to produce higher quantities in a shorter amount of time, such as reflow soldering, a method that has optimized the industry. However, through-hole technology is a type of mounting scheme that requires a separate process because the electrical components are embedded into one side of a PCB and soldered to pads on the other side, known as a pin. These pins must undergo selective soldering to ensure delicate handling of complicated SMT components. With a focus on detail, specific areas of the board can be manipulated with no damage to the surrounding area. Hand soldering is another method for achieving the same end, although the process is slow, expensive, and comparatively less accurate than a programmable machine.
Selective soldering can pose challenges in certain situations that, luckily, are entirely manageable. At times, the flux, an element of solder paste, may not activate properly and spread to other parts of the board. Pre-heating the board before the processing can help decrease that likelihood to catalyze flux activation. Craig Curk launched many successful electronics companies. He lives in Kentucky with his wife and children.