ECD is a leading global provider of award-winning thermal monitoring, verification and analysis technologies, and intelligent humidity-controlled storage systems. The company has served the electronics manufacturing community for 60 years and the baking industry for over 30 years. ECD is the pioneer of traveling thermal profiling data loggers and software and has continued to innovate new process solutions throughout its six decades. The company’s products are primarily used in the electronics and baking industries, though some technologies have applications in adjacent market sectors like solar panel manufacturing and additive (3D) printing. All products are engineered and made in the USA, and the company’s service operation has won numerous awards.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

ECD engineers and manufactures process control technologies in-house in its Milwaukie, Oregon, USA headquarters. Its range of products includes several models of award-winning M.O.L.E.™ thermal profilers(data loggers), machine quality management sensors for electronics and baking processes, product sensors for baking, continuous monitoring software for electronics reflow soldering, and humidity-controlled dry storage cabinets used in electronics, 3D/additive material storage, and medical device manufacturing. 

E.E: What’s the news about new products/services?

Over the last decade, ECD has developed several new technologies to help manufacturers improve yield and quality. Below are highlights of the most recent products brought to market. 

2015: Introduced SmartDRY™ Intelligent Dry Storage – Humidity-controlled storage is critical in several industries, especially electronics. Moisture-sensitive devices (MSDs) must be stored in a dry environment to prevent damage during processing. If too much moisture is absorbed, defects or complete device failure can result.  The same holds true for certain filaments in the 3D manufacturing space.  If these materials take on too much moisture, they may be unusable.  ECD’s SmartDRY is available in multiple sizes and configurations with various accessories to accommodate different process preferences.  

Product Information: SmartDRY – ECD

Case Study: 3D Printed Parts Made Reliable by ECD Dry Technology – ECD

2019: Launched OvenSENTINEL™ Continuous Monitoring Software –OvenSENTINEL is a scalable system that continuously monitors the reflow soldering process for superior product quality.  Extreme control and visibility – down to the in-process zone, board, and profile specification level – allows isolation of issues and analysis of any potential yield infringement event to maximize known good PCB output.   Completely customizable with user-specified dashboards and flexible data extractions, OvenSENTINEL allows assembly specialists to zoom in at a micro-level for detailed PCB oversight or view macro data for trend analysis and corrective intervention.  

White Paper: How Continuous Reflow Monitoring Supports Lean Manufacturing – ECD

2023: Debuted M.O.L.E.™ EV6 Thermal Profiler – The market’s first traveling thermal profiler with a full-color touchscreen, M.O.L.E. EV6 introduced a radical new design to market.  The device is engineered to save time, simplify data viewing and analysis, and improve productivity.

Video MOLE EV6 – Features 

2023/2024: Expanded M.O.L.E. EV Portfolio with 20-channel and 12-channel Models – Certain applications and PCB assemblies require 

E.E: What are the ranges of products/services?

Thermal Profilers:  Thermal profiling is the recording time and temperature throughout a thermal process – most often to measure exposure within an oven. Using a data logger, information on a product’s thermal transformation experience is collected and analyzed to optimize complex process settings and conditions to ensure quality results. ECD was the first to develop the traveling thermal profiler and has subsequently led the market in innovation. Today, the company has six M.O.L.E. thermal profiler models for the electronics and baking industries. 

Electronics Soldering Equipment Sensors: Machine Quality Management (MQM) tools ensure electronics soldering equipment – reflow, wave, and selective – performs to specifications. Maintaining machine operation within set tolerances is a critical to product quality and high-yield operations. ECD’s MQM solutions use the M.O.L.E.® thermal profiler as the data collection device, enabling one data acquisition system to be used across soldering equipment platforms. The portfolio includes OvenRIDERWaveRIDER, and SelectiveRIDER.

Baked Goods and Oven Sensors: For the baking industry, ECD has engineered an oven balancing tool to evaluate and optimize heat flow for consistent oven performance and repeatable baked goods quality. The sensor portfolio also includes product sensors for bread and cakes that use the M.O.L.E. thermal profiler as the data logging device connected to all-in-one sensor designs to capture the thermal transformation and critical process milestones for bread and cakes. The product lineup includes OvenBALANCER,CakeOMETERBreadOMETER, and VaporWATCH.

Humidity-Controlled Dry Storage Systems: SmartDRY™ desiccant dry storage cabinets are designed to house electronics components with a moisture sensitivity level (MSL) in compliance with the recognized IPC industry standard J-STD-033. ECD’s SmartDRY systems are also effective for humidity-controlled storage of 3D/additive filament materials. Unique among dry storage technologies, SmartDRY’s innovative drying technology allows fast cabinet recovery of under three minutes, enabling frequent parts access for maximum productivity. The portfolio includes six SmartDRY models of varying capacities and features, as well as several shelving and rack accessories. 

E.E: What is the state of the market where you are currently active?

Electronics:  The electronics market has struggled over the last couple of years as supply chain challenges and manufacturing geography shifts disrupted the status quo. ECD’s products, however, help electronics assemblers maximize profitability by ensuring proper soldering temperature profiles and component protection for reliable, high-quality assemblies. Establishing the correct thermal profile for the assembly – no matter how complex – helps determine the ideal temperature and time exposure to reliably solder components to printed circuit boards. Properly storing components to limit moisture exposure while allowing frequent access to parts without going out of specification improves productivity. So, while the electronics market saw tempered growth in 2023 and early 2024, ECD’s performance remained strong because our cost-effective products deliver measurable value. We expect 2025 to be a solid year for electronics. 

Baking:  Global inflation pressures have impacted nearly all market sectors, including baking. Price-conscious consumers make cost-benefit decisions, which has prompted bakers to reconsider packaging strategies, varieties, and other aspects of their baked goods portfolio as inflation has persisted. Operationally, production efficiency and higher yields also help to reduce cost, which is ECD’s sweet spot. Consequently, we have seen an uptick in interest and orders for sensors and thermal profiling products as bakers look to use precision tools to optimize production.

ECD’s Baking Division had a good year in 2023, and the company expects 2024 to track the 5% to 7% growth anticipated in the baking market. Last year, newly launched products gained steam, the engineering team expanded, and investments were made in new operational technologies. These moves have put ECD in an excellent position for future growth.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

Dating back to the COVID pandemic, our customers continue to struggle to engage and retain the correct people. Finding the right people with the proper skill set has been and continues to be a challenge. Experience and process knowledge are therefore very difficult to develop.

The introduction of the M.O.L.E. EV thermal profiling range has significantly reduced the skill level required to conduct accurate profiling. With on-screen, instant data presentation, the M.O.L.E. EV platform has transformed data analysis into a simple go-no go decision, and our customers have realized measurable benefits as a result. 

E.E: What are the most innovative products/services marketed?

Undoubtedly, the touchscreen capability of the M.O.L.E. EV portfolio is the biggest innovation the profiling world has witnessed in the last decade. The simplicity of operation, speed of decision making and reduction in skills required to perform tasks are impacting our customers in a very positive way.