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Sustainable Manufacturing of Innovative Product Concepts: Soldering on Light-weight Plastic

Speaker: Stan Farnsworth | Company: PulseForge | Date: 12-13 October 2022 | Full Presentation

Electronics manufacturing is not exempt from the societal drive to improve overall sustainability, including materials and energy utilization. Multi-zone solder reflow ovens are a major energy uses due to prolonged operation at elevated temperatures necessary for reflowing traditionally-used SAC305 solder, both functionally for effecting the solder melt, as well as operationally to avoid their extended warm-up and equilibration times. At the same time, this same thermal process used for reflowing solder is a barrier to broader utilization of flexible hybrid electronics. Market demand for lightweight, conformal electronics has surpassed current traditional equilibrium-based thermal processes such as reflow soldering. Low-temperature, lightweight substrate materials such as PET, and electronic components such as cameras, sensors, and bioprocessors can typically not withstand sustained exposure to soldering temperatures.

The presenter will offer next-generation thermal processing, which decarbonizes the supply chain by utilizing as little as 15% of the energy of standard processing. Sustainable manufacturing practices often come at the sacrifice of performance and/or cost, with what can be referred to as a Green Premium. Through also providing improved performance and throughput, this new soldering technology dispels a notion of a Green Premium. The new soldering capability enables next-generation applications in applications such as medical and lifestyle wearables, consumer electronics such as AR/VR goggles, and opens the door to broader innovation while still meeting ideals and practice of sustainable manufacturing.

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