Reading time ( words)
Posted by Adam Murling on Monday, November 24, 2014
This is an account of my trip to Indium's Chicago facility. If you didn't get a chance to read my previous post, the link is right here. Both flights were flawless which made me happy as this was my first time flying by myself. I was a little nervous but was relieved when the weather was nice both days. Other than having to de-ice the plane leaving Syracuse, everything was great. I learned a lot working out of Indium Corporation's Chicago facility. I learned about the day-to-day activities - along with the activities of the extraordinary people. I worked on the manufacturing floor and met some very interesting individuals. They showed me how to make flux, extrude both flux-cored and solid wire, cast ingots, and refine the wire down to specific lengths for final sale. The most interesting aspect, to me, was making the flux. I experienced both large and small batch operations. I have always enjoyed chemistry and it was nice to look at something from that perspective. Also, I worked with a wave soldering machine for the first time. It was pretty interesting; a lot different than stencil printing, and reflowing. There are so many different variables, such as: flux deposition, wave height, conveyor speed, preheat temperature, and wave temperature. I would consider it an art to run one of these machines. Each one has its own personality and quirks that makes it unique. The way the metal flowed was amazing in its own right. Profiling a wave solder machine can be more difficult than a traditional reflow oven. If you want to read more on wave solder flux, please read Eric Bastow's, blog. This particular post is about an inappropriate method that is sometimes used in wave solder flux evaluation. A diagram of the basic mechanisms of a wave solder machine is pictured below (source).
I am very grateful for this opportunity to travel to Chicago and learn so much about our products, processes, and people. I can not wait to do it again. Also, I was able to try my first slice of the famous Chicago deep dish pizza. I understand why they call it a pizza "pie". I'm going to say that I still think New York pizza is better. Now that I m back home, I feel safer saying that. ‘Til Next Time, - Adam
I-Connect007 Editorial Team
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Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
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Ed Zamborsky, Thermaltronics
During factory visits, I've witnessed what’s happened to our workforce after the pandemic. Sometimes it looks like operator separation for social distancing, working extra shifts to cover for lost or missing employees due to illness, workers who now work from home, or they have simply found working no longer suits them. One possible solution when you can’t hire skilled technicians is to look at automation, particularly automation for soldering. For many it was a “feature piece” for the obligatory factory tour just to demonstrate to potential customers they are forward thinking. Now it’s a reality to solve a true workforce shortage issue. But why use a robotic soldering system?