Electronics Solderless Assembly is an Electronics Manufacturing technology to make electronic products without solder. Electronics assembly technology has been tied up to the soldering process for virtually then entire history of electronics manufacturing. The relationship has been a largely successful eutectic tin-lead solders which offer a remarkable balance of electrical and mechanical qualities and which can be had using a joining process that, though elevated, can be performed at temperatures which are manageable.

Now the Time for Solderless Assembly?

Researchers feeling that Solderless assembly’s time is now, because of the main reason being the challenges of lead-free solder-based assembly and its perceived lack of reliability. Some believe that solderless technology is a next logical step in assembly on the order of importance of the advent of SMT assembly. The bottleneck of this method is that any solderless assembly technique must be disassemble-able to meet the requirements of WEEE.

On the otherside, many industrialists and business analysts expect the solderless assembly method will not replace current Surface-mount technology (SMT), and they also believe solderless assembly is not practical alternative to SMT in terms of miniaturization, reliability, and cost.

SMT arrived because through-hole technology could not meet the miniaturization requirements of modern electronics. We could not have modern electronics without SMT. What are the compelling reasons solderless technology should be used in an application?

Why Solderless Assembly Became a Hot Topic Now?

In 2006 the European Union enacted RoHS legislation, which banned the use of lead in electronic solder due to suspected environmental concerns over lead, thus ushering a new era of lead free soldering. Lead-free soldering, the electronics manufacturing and assembly industry have since learned is much more demanding and is giving rise to a host of new problems and concerns.

Lead-free soldering reliability issues forcing to look for alternative methods for electronic assembly that completely bypass the traditional high temperature soldering process. The Solderless Assembly process reverses the traditional approach to electronic assembly by placing components first and then making the electrical and interconnections using traditional printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing processes, The result is a process with compelling benefits and one which it is believed will not only be more environmentally friendly than lead-free but one which will result in more reliable electronic products and a higher yielding and at lower overall cost.

Solderless Assembly Methods

  • Occum Process of Solderless Assembly – The Occam Process is a solder-free, RoHS compliant method for use in the manufacturing of electronic circuit boards and was developed by Verdant Electronics. It combines the usual two steps of the construction of printed circuit boards (PCBs) followed by the population process of placing various leaded and non-leaded electronic components into one process.
  • Press-Fit using Connectors and Sockets – Following the “press fit line of thought”, one will note that
    connectors and sockets are other forms of solderless interconnection. Interference fit interconnection technologies (i.e. connectors) can be used to make interconnections between boards but can also be used to interconnect a component to printed boards when the temperature of solder assembly is too high for the component to endure.
  • Press-Fit pin technology – Another solderless assembly method which has been in use for several decades is that of press fit pin technology for backplanes and back panels. This technology was developed to make reliable interconnections between connector pins and plated through holes on large backplanes used by the telecommunications and internet server industry.
  • Bread Boards – The breadboards are also used for small circuits, but they are limited to hobby circuits, student educational circuits.

Benefits of Solderless Assembly Electronics Manufacturing

Simple modifications to design and manufacturing processes used for electronics and employment of new and alternative co-designed and integrated manufacturing methods without solder could potentially deliver significant untapped potential from future electronics assemblies with little impact on the manufacturing infrastructure.