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Sophisticated LED applications based on precise SMD production

Rising electricity tariffs increasingly put a strain on Germany. At around 30 cents per kWh the price paid reaches a new high in spring of 2019. Providers justify this with higher procurement costs and a trend reversal is not in sight. As energy costs increase, so does the demand for energy-saving and sustainable light sources such as LEDs.

By now light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are to be presumed the light source of the future. They allow a saving of energy costs of up to 80 percent. At the same time, they score with a particularly long illumination time span and a life of up to 50,000 hours. By changing to these electric light sources, one relies on trend-setting technology and ecological construction for environmental protection and resource conservation. Due to the high efficiency and flexible control options at comparatively low costs, the importance of LED applications is growing not only in the automotive sector.

Special demand on technical know-how in SMD manufacturing

At the beginning of a lighting concept there is the printed circuit board to be assembled with LEDs and electronic components in SMD technology. A professional and precise SMD assembly is necessary for LED to be able to convince with economic and ecological efficiency. Individual shapes and sizes of components, chip surfaces and geometries must be taken into account. In order to ensure perfect functioning of the LED module, the solder paste has to be applied faultlessly and with the highest precision in the calculable optimum volume. The different connection types of the LEDs such as sidelong, entire surface, gull wing or mixed forms must be taken into account. This requires a handling that produces safe and error-free solder connections. Precise solder paste application is the first step in a critical process of careful and gentle processing in the joining techniques. The use of high-quality materials and the selection of the correct parameters in every single process step are decisive factors to prevent later malfunctions.

Large-size SMT stencils for LED module production

Large LED panels, such as those used in entertainment and event electronics, are making oversized printed circuit boards more and more a necessity in LED production. The solder paste printing is a usually demanding process if SMD stencils are only partially used. A production step that increases the error potential, especially with regard to the mandatory precision in LED assembly. To simplify this process, BECKTRONIC GmbH offers oversized SMT stencils. This allows users to bypass segmented printing processes. Large printed circuit boards are pasted in one step and the assembly of individual PCBs can thus be dispensed with. "The enlarged, integrated print area of our XXL SMT stencil BECmax is ideally suited for the precise application of soldering paste of continuous PCBs in one step. These special stencils, which we manufacture with a squeegee area of up to 200 cm length and 80 cm width, represent an optimal alternative to SMT stencils in standard dimensions", explains Managing Director Thomas Schulte-Brinker.

Plausibility check and design rule check for optimized printing results

As part of the BECKTRONIC ProConsult services, the company offers final stencil optimisation. The individual consulting concept is based on a holistic check of the stencil layout with the aid of a software-based plausibility check, taking into account the distinctive production processes of the different electronics manufacturers. The IPC-7525A guidelines are taken into account as well as special designs including anti-tombstone optimization. The aim is to provide the customer with an optimum soldering result with an error rate approaching 0 ppm.

"In order to enable our customers to work as error-free as possible and to achieve void-free soldering results in the production and processing of LEDs, we support them throughout the entire process. Our experience and the continuous further development of our products and services around SMT stencils and not least the high technical standard of our systems ensure a constantly high level of quality," concludes Schulte-Brinker.

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