It’s no secret that the price of electronics has gone down dramatically over the past few years. Televisions that used to cost over $1,000 can now be purchased for a few hundred. So what exactly is causing the price of electronics to drop? It all comes down to the streamlined manufacturing process. And while there are several components involved in the price reduction, a lot of the credit can go to the introduction of nitrogen gas to the surface mount technology process.
Nitrogen’s Role in Reduced Manufacturing Expenses
As you may know, surface mount technology is a meticulous process that requires extreme precision. During the process, solder paste is used to apply each and every tiny component onto the board. However, in order for the paste to get hot enough to melt, it must be placed in a reflow oven. The problem is that solder is metal based, so when it is exposed to the heat and oxygen in the oven, there is a high chance of corrosion.
This corroded solder paste, also called dross, is the most common cause of waste during the surface mount technology process. The damaged paste has to be cleaned from the board, connections have to be reworked, and the process has to start again. This costs the company both material and labor costs that quickly add up.
If the oxygen can be removed from the atmosphere, the amount of wasted solder and bad connections goes down dramatically, which is exactly what nitrogen gas is used for. By blanketing the entire board in nitrogen, there is no room left for oxygen, so boards can be made with significantly less damage along the way. Additionally, the nitrogen cuts back on the surface tension, so when the board is complete, the solder can break away cleanly.
On Site Nitrogen Generators Save Even More
Adding nitrogen to the manufacturing process has saved electronics manufacturers millions of dollars in saved labor and materials, but there is a way they can save even more. With on site nitrogen generators, companies can create their own nitrogen gas on demand instead of dealing with nitrogen cylinder deliveries. There is no risk of the nitrogen running out, and there is no additional overhead every month to pay for the gas. In fact, most companies can recoup the costs of a nitrogen generator within a year or two.
By integrating nitrogen gas into the surface mount technology process, manufacturers can reap the benefits of less waste and fewer re-dos, and by using an on site nitrogen generator to get the gas, they can save even more. If you want to learn more about how nitrogen gas generation can benefit your processes, contact On Site Gas today.