Solderstar, a specialist manufacturer in the design and development of thermal profiling equipment, is celebrating its 20th year in business. “This month marks two successful decades of investment, growth, and commitment to offering the electronics manufacturing industry the most innovative equipment on the market,” it said in a statement.
The company was formed in 2002 when electronic engineers and lifelong friends Mark Stansfield and Pat McWiggin saw the worldwide move towards lead-free soldering in response to the EU WEEE (Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment) legislation.
Combining their expertise in engineering software development and many years in hardware and firmware design, Mark and Pat used their electronic manufacturing knowledge and skillsets to design and manufacture their first profiling solution.
“Initially, we targeted smaller manufacturers, who generally lacked engineering resources, but faced significant challenges in moving over production to the new alloys,” said Pat, Technical Director at the company.
“Higher process temperatures with lead-free production necessitated better control of the reflow process and mandated ongoing process control to avoid damage to components during reflow and subsequent costly reliability issues in the field.
“Manufacturers who needed to assess the capabilities of their existing ovens and potentially evaluate new ones clearly had an increased need for tools for both process setup and ongoing monitoring. Temperature profiling was about to become much more important, and this is where Solderstar came in.”
The company’s first system, the 4 and 6 channel Neptune dataloggers, were welcomed by the industry looking for a reliable solution to temperature profiling. Since the launch of the Neptune 20 years ago, the company has developed many innovative products used in Wave, Selective and Vapour soldering processes worldwide.
Mark Stansfield, Managing Director, said: “We started with a philosophy that still exists today. Solderstar systems should be robust, reliable, accurate and most importantly easy to use with minimal training. Every feature you see in [our] products is there for a reason, with the sole aim to help engineers efficiently perform the day-to-day task of maintaining their soldering machines.
“We have dedicated ourselves to 20 years of product innovation, design and manufacture of thermal profiling systems that offer process improvements and efficiencies. By listening to our customers and demonstrating agility in supporting their developing requirements, we have built up a reputation as a leader in the field.
“Solderstar remains committed to continuing to deliver excellence in thermal profiling solutions. We look forward to building on the foundations which have been made over the last two decades.”
Over the years, the company’s portfolio has evolved with many systems added to meet the needs of the ever-changing electronic manufacturing landscape. Its latest product is the SLX thermal profiler launched last year. Designed with the capability to enhance profile information, and with additional sensors to measure new process parameters, the datalogger requires no measurement setup making the process of reliable data capture quick and easy.
With new thermal profiling solutions and software in the pipeline, the manufacturer says its product offering will continue to grow.