40 Years of Solder Training and Process Development Leadership Worldwide

Since 1981, Electronics Manufacturing Sciences has provided the knowledge and hands-on support that enable electronics manufacturers to achieve best-in-class reliability and efficiency. Our clients include the world's largest corporations and many companies still in the startup phase.

We focus on soldering because it is both the core process of electronics manufacturing and the most misunderstood. Most of our work is with electronics manufacturers but we work with all industries that use solder. (For example, we developed the process for soldering rear window defroster clips to glass for automobiles and solved problems with leaking auto radiators. We have also done extensive work with mechanical medical devices as well as medical electronics.) If soldering is involved, we have the expertise and teaching skills to make the process more robust and efficient.

Our Science of Soldering© is the only soldering training and certification that teaches soldering for what it is  —  a scientific process, not a random collection of erroneous hunches and arbitrary rules.

We Go Anywhere - North America, South America, Europe or Asia

Companies all over the world deal with the same soldering issues. And we're there to help. Science of Soldering© is at work in industry leading companies in 14 countries.

We Bring Everything

Science of Soldering© was designed to be easy in all respects. One of the best features for you is the minimal organizational effort required. We bring everything from tools to exercise materials to audio visual presentations. All you provide are students and meeting room with TV and a writing surface.

Standalone Version for Use

by In-House Trainers is Available

Depending on the number of people requiring education, you may prefer to have your own in-house instructor conduct classes. Again, we make it easy. The DVD-like video combined with extensive workbook and teacher notes make it easy for your instructor to get up to speed almost immediately. The train-the-trainer package is offered at very reasonable pricing.

Whatever your needs, we've got you covered. Ask us now for a quotation custom tailored to your specific needs. You will be pleasantly surprised by your choices and pricing. Whether we do it or your trainer does it with our materials, Science of Soldering© will make a huge difference in your productivity and reliability.

Soldering is pure science. Mostly it's chemistry but metallurgy and physics both play important roles. Above all, it's simple science.

So, why does soldering cause so many problems? Mostly, it's because people keep doing and instructing the practices that worked decades ago when component leads had tin or tin/lead plated surfaces that melted during "soldering." Mixing melted solder with melted surface metal is simple. But Europe banned lead, so there are no tin/lead surfaces today and tin is not used with smaller surface mount components because of concerns about tin whiskers causing shorts. The new surface metals do not melt during application of the solder.

Much of What You've Been Told is Wrong

Why do these new component surfaces matter? Because oxides must be removed before application of solder. And the "industry standard" training doesn't understand solderability. Meanwhile, dramatic changes in fluxes have occurred. These changes are difficult to understand for anyone who doesn't work with fluxes 24/7. And the consequences of choosing the wrong flux can be disastrous. Science of Soldering©  teaches foolproof solderability management and all the flux properties.

"Industry Standard" Practices Do Not Reflect Modern Components

Also, when "industry standard" practices were devised, components had large leads to which metal clamps called heat sinks could easily be applied. The clamps sucked up soldering iron heat before it could reach the component  898body. Today's components are tiny; there's no room for heat sinks - but soldering courses still tell people to apply heat as if heat sinks are still present. (Work instructions still call for the use of heat sinks but, of course, that is impossible.) Science of Soldering© teaches a simple but 100% effective technique that ensures component bodies do not getting hotter than the melting temperature of solder. This technique is not taught in any other program.

There's much more to Science of Soldering©. Please go here for more details. Or use this form for information about how to put Science of Soldering© to work in your company.


The Man Behind Science of Soldering©

James A. (Jim) Smith, PhD ABD


Electronics Manufacturing Sciences

Widely regarded for decades as one of the foremost North American electronics assembly authorities, Jim  began work in electronics assembly in 1965 but learned the most about properties of metals while working as a quality technician in a wire mill.

Academically, Jim also holds a PhD ABD in Industrial Organization, the study of corporate behavior and ways to modify that behavior to be more effective. The combination of academic inquiry and experiences from the wire mill resulted in unique insights into how electronics assembly - and soldering, in particular - could be made more efficient and reliable.

The first version of Science of Soldering© was created by Jim in 1981. He has revised the program several times to reflect current state of the art in soldering and display technology. Revision 5 was released in the summer of 2019.

Experience In Wire Mill Taught Metal Properties

The experience of working with different wire metals and alloys provided immensely valuable and unique insights for electronics soldering. "Perhaps that work as a wire mill quality inspector was the most important education possible about soldering," Jim says. "Tensility and ductility are critical parameters in solder joint reliability but most people never have the opportunity to gain hands-on understanding of these features in different metals and alloys."

While working as a manager at a venture capital company that owned several electronics manufacturing companies, Jim discovered that the greatest manufacturing weakness lay in soldering. As Jim phrased it, "The engineers understood how to operate equipment like placement machines because the requirements were obvious and corresponded to engineering training. But soldering science is not obvious and it was killing them. Also, components were being processed as if they were the crude components of the mid-60's. But the components were much smaller and vastly more delicate. Obviously, a program to teach soldering as a science was required. So, I decided to create one."

Founding Electronics Manufacturing Sciences

Jim founded Electronics Manufacturing Sciences in 1981 to teach that science of soldering in terms that everyone in the factory could understand and use.  "The point of Science of Soldering© was and is to make perfect soldering easy and inexpensive," Jim explains. "And it succeeds splendidly."

Many thousands of engineers, operators, technicians and managers worldwide have attended Science of Soldering© classes in their companies. Jim’s soldering workshops have also been featured in NEPCON professional development programs throughout North America and Europe and Georgia Tech Professional Development.

Other Activities

In addition to teaching the science of soldering, Jim has helped set up new manufacturing plants and reconfiguring existing plants in more than 15 countries. Jim has designed and implemented soldering process improvements and totally new approaches in hundreds of electronics manufacturing facilities on four continents including pioneering work in the use of no-clean fluxes and lead-free solders in automotive, telecom and medical electronics. He is also active in root cause analysis and resolution of product failures. For more than 35 years, Detroit automakers have turned to him when problems arise in product launches.

As a prolific author, Jim’s articles have appeared in more than 100 publications worldwide. His quality management  book with Frank Whitehall Optimizing Quality in Electronics Assembly: A Heretical Approach (McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing, NY 1996) changed the way electronics reliability is understood and managed. His column Unconventional Wisdom appeared monthly in Assembly Magazine for more than ten years and he remains a regular Assembly contributor.