Reliable solder joints for drones

2nd international CURPAS Conference

Ersa Product Manager Jörg Nolte at his presentation at the CURPAS conference
Ersa Product Manager Jörg Nolte at his presentation at the CURPAS conference
Drone as helper in action at the fire brigade

Wertheim/Berlin-Wildau (D), 02.07.2018
During the second international annual conference of the CURPAS e.V. in Berlin-Wildau numerous experts have been discussing multiple aspects related to the usage of drones, multicopters & Co. The “UAS” – unmanned aircraft systems – are forecasted to have a promising future. The topic drones has also to be considered under one important headline: What is it about the overall drones reliability from a manufacturing standpoint? In his opening presentation the self-proclaimed drone scenes dinosaur, Peter van Blyenburg, pointed out the latest trends in the market of unmanned flying objects. Such as many legal and safety-related aspects for drone operations in the European Community still have to be clarified and harmonized. Especially in Germany even on the level of the “Bundesländer”, there are different interpretations how to interpret safety in the airspace. Raimund Kamp, representing the Federal Ministry of Transport and digital Infrastructure, also highlighted legal and legislative questions. Technical standards of the auto piloted systems and safe data transmission as well as data storage, norms (TÜV Rheinland and DIN) and product safety have been addressed. The technical oriented input of Ersa fitted well to the CURPAS event concept.  “From my point of view,” Jörg Nolte, Product Manager soldering tools, rework and inspection systems opened his presentation with a twinkle in his eye “drones are multiple thousands of flying soldering joints.” In fact modern drones have modern sensor technology on board and carry highly integrated electronics.

The flight control with GPS navigation, cameras, collision and radar sensors as well as wireless transmission modules for data transfer are complex circuits significantly related to reliability. In a worst case scenario one failing electrical connection can cause the total loss of the flying object along with significant damage. The audience was interested to hear, which parameters in inline electronic production are influencing the reliability of solder joints. As an example Jörg Nolte introduced process parameters of the solder paste printing process, reflow soldering and selective soldering. In this segments Ersa is offering leading technologies and production systems. And what are the strategies if a solder joint fails despite ideal serial production processes? Often an assembly has been approved “o.k.” during final testing and fails after a short period of usage because of an incompletely soldered device. In such cases Ersa rework systems and soldering tools play an important role. Expertise soldering knowledge and well performing tools are used to operate repairs and touch up on new but faulty assemblies. Of course also drones can be repaired and maintained when facing damages during rough environment operation or the necessity of updating the hardware. Ersa offers the entire range of products from a high end rework systems to solder high integrated bottom terminated (BTC) packages down to common gas operated soldering irons to fix a loosened cable on site. During a small air show at the end of the first conference day drone pilots and manufacturers presented their capabilities. Assisting the fire fighters or rescue organisations, executing agricultural operations, inspecting industrial plants and power lines or offering stable high resolution images even during high winds – with any drone flies a high future potential!