Soldering has been a part of electronics manufacturing, dating back to the early 19th century. The development of electrical devices and electronic circuitry in the 1800s led to a need for a reliable method of linking electrical components together. Prior to the introduction of soldering, electrical connections were normally made by mechanical means such as screw terminals, however they were less reliable and more prone to failure.
In the beginning, the practice of soldering involved the use of a soldering iron and a blend of tin solder and lead. This process was used to connect electrical components by melting the solder and letting it flow over the connection. This process was deemed time consuming and required a skilled technician to ensure that the solder was properly applied.
Wave soldering was introduced in the late 1800s and dramatically changed the soldering process. Wave soldering uses a wave of molten solder that streamed over the surface of a printed circuit board (PCB), allowing for the fast and efficient soldering of multiple connections at the same time. Wave soldering revolutionized the electronics manufacturing, allowing for mass production and setting the standard for soldering in the industry.
In the 1960s, surface mount technology (SMT) was newly developed and introduced to electronics manufacturing. SMT involved the use of smaller and more tightly designed electronic components that could be soldered directly to the surface of a PCB without the need for through-hole connections. This enabled even greater miniaturization and higher component densities in electronic devices.
Today, soldering remains a critical practice in electronics manufacturing. Advances in technology have led to the creation of new soldering methods, such as reflow soldering and selective soldering, which allow for greater precision and control over the soldering process. Soldering continues to play a vital role in the production of a wide range of electronic devices, from drones and GPS devices to aerospace and automotive electronics.
One fact remains, we will always need skilled solderers in the electronics manufacturing industry. While advances in wave soldering and even alternative adjoining technologies, like laser bonding and ultrasonic bonding, they can not replace an individual with advanced soldering skills.
At ACDi, our solderers are an integral part of the electronics manufacturing process and team. Interested in a soldering career? Check out our open soldering positions at https://www.acdi.com/careers/a-great-place-to-work/.