Electronics > Manufacturing & Assembly

Survey of Single Phase Reflow Ovens

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So, we're a couple weeks out from (finally) actually having enough power in the manufacturing facility to be able to upgrade our oven.   We're currently using a Neoden IN6, which is working fine, except we seem to be burning out the Zone 3 elements with more frequency than I would like.  Plus, the recovery time can be an issue for heavier boards.       I've used a few others before this, but that is irrelevant to the discussion at large.

As I don't have three phase power, I'm limited in the ovens I can consider to those that either run natively on 120 or 240V single phase power, or which can be easily re-wired to do so.   Amperage isn't a huge deal up to a certain point.

As I figure my power situation describes many of the users of this forum (that is, no three phase power), the thought occurred to me that while I'm surveying the landscape, I should build a spreadsheet of ALL of the commerical oven options that can be powered by single phase power and try to capture the common differences between them - and then post the results back here (and hopefully keep it somewhat up to date).   I'm obviously interested in something conveyored and probably something cable of a couple hundred boards per day, but I'm also planning on including the T962's of the world as well.

So the point of this topic is to gather a list of all of the smaller, single-phase, reflow ovens that everyone knows about.  I was going to start with a list I already knew about, but I think I'd rather just let everyone post the ones they know about.   And, if there's something non-obvious about the oven when I start digging through datasheets, then that would be useful too.  That is, something like "can be easily rewired to use single phase" or "doesn't have cold junction compensation" or something like that...   Not sure how this will all end up in the spreadsheet, but I figure I can get started and then post as I go.

Thanks to everyone who is willing to help out here...

OK, I will start with the three ovens I had (still have the T-937):

· desktop oven, well build.
· You can throw out the 2x1000 Watt elements and replace by 2x 1500 Watt which gives better results.
· Terrible interface/software, works much better after throwing away their board and software and installing a separate oven controller.

· desktop oven
· no good soldering results, also results not reliable.
· not worth the money

· large desktop oven suitable for whole panels
· larger brother of the T-962 but with better build quality and much better soldering results.
· Includes computer interface for direct drive or uploading individual profiles.
· The best choice of these three ovens

Edit: you should know that with all these desktop ovens, you will need some time to cool down the unit after soldering a board. Calculate with approx. 15 minutes in total for one run (heat-up, reflow, cool down). You may remove the PCBs earlier but the unit needs to cool down to almost ambient temperature.
And: make sure you have a fume outlet and a fresh air inlet in your wall nearby.

Good day,

 I have a Puhui T-961 and I am pretty happy with it.  I ordered direct from Puhui and they were great to deal with and support, although not much was needed over the 8 years I have had the unit.  When I first got the unit the conveyor speed control was not working properly, and Puhui promptly Fed Ex'd a replacement.  Recently, I had two SSR's fail along with and the 2 top exhaust fans.  The SSRs and fans are standard and so I purchased replacements from Digikey/mouser without issue.  The replacements are not inexpensive, but they are quality industrial and known brand parts unlike the originals.  That said after 8 years and lots of use, it is to be expected.  The unit was setup for 3-phase power, but could easily be re-wired for single phase and a larger current load circuit...which is what I did.  Startup time to reach temp is about 12-15 minutes.

Having used it for some time, I think the only drawback is time/effort profiling the oven to meet/match the various solder profiles needed.  The 3 up and  2 down heating zones are OK, but I think more heating zones would help in fine tuning the solder profiles along with a slightly longer length.    Even so, the oven has worked well for me for 2 Layer boards (top/bottom placements) along with heavy copper PCBs, and even 4L fine pitch BGA parts and with top/bottom placements. 



I'm personally still using the "converted toaster oven" approach, based on the Controleo3 controller and reference design.

I went with it because it runs off 120VAC, and because I really did not want a T-962 (the whole IR heating, plus needing a dozen mods to not suck, just rubbed me the wrong way).

I really wish I knew of more "batch" style options that would be viable for my use case, specifically in the <$4k price range, but I keep struggling to find any.  The best I've come across in my research attempts are the LPKF ProtoFlow series, though I don't really know how good those are.  Also, I'd probably need to get a 220V outlet wired up to use one.

If you've already got an IN6, then a toaster oven is not going to be an upgrade.


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