Recycle ~ Reduce ~ Reuse

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Lead Free Soldering
Expert in Soldering Bob Willis
Lead-Free. New problems - new solutions
Fact and fiction in lead-free soldering - part I
Fact and fiction in lead-free soldering - part II
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Lead-free soldering is fast becoming the standard of practice for manufacturers of PCBs worldwide. International and domestic legislation is demanding more lead-free production of environmentally friendly consumer products. Recent consumer economics has shown a willingness on the part of the consumer to seek out so-called "Green" Electronics and purchase the lead-free version provided the cost difference is marginal. To comply with the new production standards and compete in an environmentally aware marketplace, knowledge of lead-free soldering processes is needed.

Implementing lead-free soldering processes can be costly because lead-free solders are priced higher than traditional tin-lead solders. There can also be the added cost of process adjustments since lead-free solders behave differently, mainly because the heat requirement for no-lead solder is higher. Fortunately, there are ways to offset these costs with EVS Solder Recovery Systems.

EVS Solder Recovery Systems

Wave soldering machines generate dross. In fact, as much as 75 percent of the solder bath can oxidize over time to become dross. The main component in dross is actually pure solder. In the past, the consideration of scrap and solder dross, in particular, has been of secondary importance. However, things are changing fast. Large companies are increasingly concerned about environmental issues, and the fast growing importance of the ISO-14001 environmental standard is spreading awareness of recycling, re-use and pollution reduction and all companies are interested in cost reduction and process improvements.

Metal dealers have known this for a long time. Many have offered a small dross credit for taking the unwanted dross off manufacturers' hands only to process the dross, extract the solder, and sell it again. This is a financially beneficial situation for the metal dealer; however, the manufacturer can now process their own dross to reclaim usable solder and reap financial benefits in the form of reduced solder expenditures.

An EVS Solder Recovery System will reduce solder bar consumption by up to than 50 percent, speed up de-drossing time and improve environmental credentials.

How It Works

Machine operators ladle the dross from the wave bath into the hopper on the solder recovery system. The machine has its own fume extraction to eliminate fumes. Once loaded, the automatic process takes from 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the capacity of the machine being used. At the end of the cycle the reclaimed solder (on average 50-70% of the loaded dross) is cycled into a tray, cools, and can then be reintroduced into the solder pot. The residual dross is ejected from the chamber through a closed chute into a dross bucket which, when full, can be sent for reprocessing in the normal way. There is a LCD readout that displays processing data and diagnostics and makes for simple maintenance procedures. Installation and on-site training can be accomplished in less than half a day, allowing the rapid assimilation of the solder recovery system into daily operating procedures.

Cost Benefits of a Solder Recovery System

EVS Solder Recovery Systems processing traditional tin-lead solder dross pay for themselves within months and even faster using the much more expensive lead-free solder.

Lead free solutions

New EVS 8/10K Lead Free Solder Recovery System