Thermal Profiling-Custom Design Circuit Board
A thermal profile is a complex set of time-temperature data typically associated with the measurement of thermal temperatures in an oven (ex: reflow oven). The thermal profile is often measured along a variety of dimensions such as slope, soak, time above liquidus (TAL), and peak.
A thermal profile can be ranked on how it fits in a process window (the specification or tolerance limit). Raw temperature values are normalized in terms of a percentage relative to both the process mean and the window limits. The center of the process window is defined as zero, and the extreme edges of the process window are ±99%. A Process Window Index (PWI) greater than or equal to 100% indicates the profile is outside of the process limitations. A PWI of 99% indicates that the profile is within process limitations, but runs at the edge of the process window. For example, if the process mean is set at 200 °C with the process window calibrated at 180 °C and 220 °C respectively, then a measured value of 188 °C translates to a process window index of −60%.
The method is used in a variety of industrial and laboratory processes, including electronic component assembly, optoelectronics, optics, biochemical engineering, food science, decontamination of hazardous wastes, and geochemical analysis.