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Metcal’s CV-5200 Connection Validation Soldering Station Changes Everything


You may or may not have heard about Metcal’s new soldering station, the CV-5200. The evolutionary tool removes much of the reliance on visual inspection of hand-soldered joints and adds a second, more technology-driven method for validating a successful Read more

Seven Things to Know About Qualifying Your Product to a U.S. Military Specification (MIL-SPEC)


Qualifying the SCS 81705 Series anti-static shield bags to military standards There are a few, sometimes complicated steps to go through before your product can qualify for a particular military specification. SCS recently introduced their new 81705 Series static shield Read more

Get Lean with 5S Workplace Principles


5S - Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain Recognized as one of the strategies associated with “Just in Time” manufacturing (Toyota Production System), the 5S system for workplace organization and standardization originated in Japan. The “5” relates to Read more

Metcal’s CV-5200 Connection Validation Soldering Station Changes Everything

Posted on by Barb N. in All-Spec News, Industry News, New Products, Product Spotlight Leave a comment

You may or may not have heard about Metcal’s new soldering station, the CV-5200. The evolutionary tool removes much of the reliance on visual inspection of hand-soldered joints and adds a second, more technology-driven method for validating a successful solder joint connection.

How does the Metcal CV-5200 soldering station work?

When the ring turns green, you’ve made the connection. Metcal CV – 5200 Connection Validation Soldering Station

Using sophisticated hardware and software components, the integrated system assesses the quality of a solder joint by calculating the intermetallic compound formation (IMC)  while providing closed loop feedback to the operator. Once the IMC is calculated, an LED light encircling the handpiece turns green to indicate a quality solder joint.

With this development, the risks and variables associated with soldering activity and the validation of a successful or unsuccessful solder joint are removed from the operator’s hands. Instead, the quality of a solder join is determined through an objective method that adds repeatability and a measurable standard to the soldering process.

A few of the benefits associated with the Metcal CV-5200 Connection Validation Soldering Station

Reduces Risk and Improves Quality –  decreases solder joint flaws by validating the intermetallic compound (IMC) formation in a soldered joint

Adds Repeatability and Measurable Standards – increases process controls through the LED light ring embedded in the handpiece. The light turns green signals the operator when a successful solder joint has been made. Complements the visual industry inspection standard

Improves Audit Compliance – the Chip-in-Cartridge technology precisely calculates and displays the tip temperature

Have questions about the Metcal CV-5200 Connection Validation Soldering Station? Contact All-Spec for information.


Seven Things to Know About Qualifying Your Product to a U.S. Military Specification (MIL-SPEC)

Posted on by Barb N. in All-Spec News, New Products, Product Spotlight, Vendor News, Vendor Spotlight Leave a comment

Qualifying the SCS 81705 Series anti-static shield bags to military standards

There are a few, sometimes complicated steps to go through before your product can qualify for a particular military specification. SCS recently introduced their new 81705 Series static shield bags and film qualified to MIL-PRF-81705E Type III, Class 2. The qualification didn’t happen overnight and the process can be quite involved including the required, very specific markings on the bags and film.

What makes these SCS 81705 Series anti-static shield bags so special?

First, they meet MIL-PRF-81705E Type III, Class 2 qualifications, frequently linked to higher-level assembly protection such as in military, medical and aerospace markets. Each SCS 81705 bag contains four layers of protection – static dissipative coating, polyester, metal and polyethylene laminate. The polyester dielectric works with the metal layer to create discharge shielding. The static dissipative outside wall allows electrostatic charges to be removed when grounded.

Qualification military specification (MIL-Spec) basics

1. What are the United States defense standards?

They’re often referred to as military standard (MIL-STD) or military specification (MIL-SPEC), and they help meet the standardization objectives set by the U.S. Department of Defense. The defense standards may also be used by other non-defense government organizations (NGOs), technical organizations and industry.

2. How do I apply for qualification?

You apply in writing and each application contains the number and date of the specification, desired testing, as well as the type, grade, class, or other specification designation of the product. The application also includes the brand designation for the product and where the product was manufactured. If you’re a distributor, you’ll also receive a CAGE code.

Example – MIL-PRF-81705E Type III, Class 2 – MIL (military) PRF (document Id/Performance), 81705E (document number), Type III (document type), Class 2 (document class)

3. What is the QPL?

The qualified products list (QPL) is a listing in the qualified products database (QPD) of items successfully subjected to a defined set of qualification and periodic tests using processes, worst case designs or materials to verify the end product’s design, performance, quality, and reliability.

4. What do the general DOD qualification steps look like?

 

5. Where can I get the required MIL-Spec testing done for qualifying my product?

You can have testing done in a laboratory operated by or under contract to the government, or a laboratory used by the manufacturer or distributor either in the plant or one that’s under contract.

6. Where do I find my product listed once I’m qualified?

Once a product meets the recognized qualification requirements, the product will be listed online in the Qualified Products Database (QPD). The QPD can be accessed through the acquisition streamlining and standardization information system (ASSIST).

7. What does a qualification not do?

A qualification does not –

• Relieve the supplier of his contractual obligation to deliver items meeting all specification requirements.
• Guarantee acceptability under a contract
• Waive any requirements for inspections or for maintaining quality control measures satisfactory to the Government
• Relieve the original equipment manufacturer of contractual obligations to ensure that delivered items (including the qualified items used in the equipment) comply with all specification requirements

For all available information on qualifying your product to military standards, visit the Defense Standardization Program website.

All-Spec currently has a selection of the new SCS 81705 Series static shield bags and film on sale for 10% off through May 31, 2017. Learn more about the 81705 Series of bags and film, check out the TDS Film and TDS Bags specs or shop all products now.


Get Lean with 5S Workplace Principles

Posted on by Barb N. in Electronic Assembly organization, Lean manufacturing Leave a comment

5S – Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain

Recognized as one of the strategies associated with “Just in Time” manufacturing (Toyota Production System), the 5S system for workplace organization and standardization originated in Japan. The “5” relates to a series of five Japanese words that begin with the letter “S” and translate into five English words, i.e., sort (seiri), set in order (seiton), shine (seiso), standardize (seiketsu) and sustain (shitsuke).

Since then, the workplace tool has spread to many other industries including health care, education and government and has been repeatedly modified, such as adding a sixth “S” word, safety.

Generally, the five S’s eliminate any unnecessary things so workers focus only on necessary items. As a result, the path stays clear to make room for optimum work production.
Five words to help you organize and standardize your workplace

1. Sort

Inventory and sort through your items removing any unnecessary objects.
Need a push to help you identify the non-essentials? If you haven’t used it in the past 30 days, then remove it.

2. Set in order

Organize and order the tools and materials you’ll need. Keep them close and in the order you’ll need them, i.e., FIFO—first-in, first-out.

3. Shine

How would your workspace look to someone at a distance of 50 feet? Clean, neat, uncluttered?

4. Standardize

As the old saying goes, a place for everything and everything in its place.

5. Sustain

Maintain proper order and discipline. Carry out the task before you’re asked.
All-Spec carries an assortment of items to help you organize and standardize your workspace. Take a first step with Treston’s Cornerstone™ Non-ESD Preconfigured Workstation.


PCB Rework – Evolving Cleaning Methods

Posted on by Barb N. in Printed circuit board rework, Technical Articles Leave a comment

Smaller devices makes PCB rework harder.

Today’s manufacturers of printed circuit boards (PCBs) strive for quality and drive operation yields close to 99% and above – yet some boards will still fail functional tests when coming off the assembly line and need rework. With the increase of smaller, better PCBs for smartphones and tablets, PCBs can cost upwards of $200 each. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) must develop effective and efficient rework processes and save the damaged boards when possible to minimize scrapping PCBs and operation losses.

The value of reworking faulty boards is quite clear. With the development of more sophisticated boards and the continuing demand for smaller and smaller devices, performing manual rework has become increasingly difficult.

Previously thought of as a very specialized process used by few OEMs, contactless cleaning is quickly becoming mainstream and mandatory for most PCB manufacturers to stay competitive and meet customer demand.

When performing PCB rework, technicians generally follow three steps –

  1. Remove the non-working component
  2. Clean the leftover solder from the ball grid assembly pads
  3. Replace the non-working component with one that works

Today, both the first and third steps have been automated and can be completed on rework machines. The second step, however, continues to remain in the hands of a skilled technician because of the intricate, critical nature of properly repairing a damaged PCB. Boards can be cleaned using different kinds of tools—from a wicking braid to a soldering iron—along with specialized tips for detailed work. The skill level of the technician can determine whether a board comes through the process undamaged and how often.

One common way a board can be damaged is during manual cleaning. If the soldering iron dissipates for a moment from the pad, it can cause the pad to stick to the wick. As a result, the pad can chip or lift totally off when the technician pulls the tool away. If the pad is destroyed, the PCB becomes scrap.

To help ward of this king of damage, manufacturers are creating thicker PCBs with multiple inner layers of copper.

Open vias and solder resist damage

Unfortunately, the newer PCBs can cause heat to dissipate faster when using a handheld cleaning tool —making sticking challenges even more of a problem.

Additional issues like molten solder flowing into electrical connections or into vias can also occur, causing shorts in the board. Also, if solder is removed inconsistently from the pads, the components may not adhere well and portions of the solder resist may be accidently removed by the wick. The solder can then flow into electrical connections and cause bridges and shorts when it’s put back into the rework machine.

One of the worst case scenarios, in addition to a PCB becoming scrap, is the creation of pad craters within the fiberglass substrate. These cannot be seen during inspection or by X-ray. Pad craters can happen when an operator presses too hard with their soldering iron or rests an excessively hot solder tip for too long on a board.

In this kind of damage, the pad and the solder balls remain connected to one another; however, the pad is not fully anchored to the circuit board, leaving it vulnerable to just the smallest jolt. If the product goes to market and this happens, the result may cause customer dissatisfaction.

Tough cleaning woes

Two different types of solder are used in manufacturing, with melting points of 183° C and 302° C (361° F and 575° F) respectively. Manual cleaning can change the melting temperature of solder on pads and become too low to form a connection, causing a dry joint. Also, package-on-package (PoP) chips cannot be manually cleaned with assurance or without the threat of the package bottom melting.

Advanced chip technology also causes PCB cleaning challenges. Even though one company’s breakthrough technology makes it almost impossible for criminals to access data, it also makes components difficult to clean due to differing pad sizes and uneven solder volumes.

Ceramic ball grid arrays present another huge challenge. These highly specialized boards, along with the components used in aerospace, military and other high-reliability applications, have become extremely hard to successfully, manually rework, and usually have to be trashed if faulty.

Alternatives – Contactless cleaning

Contactless cleaning or scavenging can significantly reduce the challenges associated with manual cleaning, and can be a substitute method in many applications. If no contact is made with the pad or board, possible mechanical damage is greatly reduced. Instead, precision-controlled tips clean pads too small and too close together for technicians, while software and equipment continually control thermal profiles.

All-in-one designs

Contactless cleaning has generally been used on very large, high-end machines or as an optional, retrofitted add-on that allows for the cleaning function to become part of the removal and replacement steps on a single rework machine. Stand-alone contactless cleaning machines require a much lower capital investment, plus other added benefits like great throughput.

The standalone machines take only a single operator to run and can increase the speed of an assembly line operation if used next to a standard rework machine. They offer excellent flexible opportunities for manufacturers to easily add contactless capability to their existing operations. If they presently have a standard rework machine and no scavenger add-on, a contactless cleaning machine can be added quickly to work side-by-side with their current system. This is a useful route if suddenly the OEM needs a quick way to add capability because of increased customer demand.

As chip sizes shrink, and production struggles to keep up with an ever-expanding demand for smaller and more powerful electronics, rework processes must continue to develop.

From a Metcal article –

From the original article – The Evolution of Cleaning Methods,in PCB Rework by Robert Roush and Paul Wood, Metcal


Ten Labels to Solve Your Engineering Challenges

Posted on by Barb N. in Identification, Labeling Leave a comment

Labels – Put the right one on

There’s a right label for every application and Brady has designed a handy cheat sheet to help you on your way. When choosing a label, you’ll want to ask yourself several questions –

  • Will the label be in a harsh environment?
  • Will your label face high, cold or fluctuating temperatures?
  • Will your label encounter chemical or abrasion?
  • Does the color of your label matter?
  • Does the label need to stick to a difficult substrate?
  • Do you want the label to be glossy or matte?

Brady offers an endless choice of labeling solutions. Whether barcode labels, electrostatic dissipative labels, equipment identification labels, rating plates labels, circuit board labels or identification labels, they will most likely have the perfect label for your application.

 Why’s it so important to make sure you have the right label for your application?

The wrong label could cause you to lose business, create a safety hazard, waste your time with replacing them or worse—lose the product all together because the label has been damaged or gone missing. Below you’ll see ten engineering application problems and their solutions.

Labeling Challenges and Solutions    
The Application Challenge Attributes Solution
1.       •         Wave solder environments for circuit boards and electrical component pre-process labeling Abrasion, high heat and low temperature resistant Polyimide material
•         Extreme wash protocol and cleaning chemicals
•         Auto apply equipment
2.       •         Component identification Abrasion, high heat, fuel/oil and low temperature resistant Polyester material
•         Bar code labels and rating plates
•         Use on glass, thermoset polyester plastic
•         and polyvinyl fluoride plastic surfaces
3.       •         Rating and serial plates Solvent/chemical, fuel/oil and low temperature resistant Metalized polyester
•         Durable and quality identification
•         Versatility in using characters, graphics and barcodes
4.       •         Requires excellent solvent resistance and print performance Abrasion, high heat and low temperature resistant Polypropylene material
5.       •         ID lab vials, centrifuge tubes, test tubes, straws Solvent, high heat, and low temperature resistant Polyester material
•         Frozen surfaces, including glass
•         Polypropylene stored in liquid nitrogen
6.       •         Nameplate identification, asset tracking, general purpose labeling Outdoor durability, high heat and low temperature resistant Weather resistant material
•         Surfaces constantly exposed to outdoors
7.       •         Durable labels, nameplates, schematics, control panels Outdoor durability; abrasion, solvent and high heat resistant Photosensitive anodized aluminum
•         Harsh operating environments
8.       •         Instant visual indication of heat exposure High heat and reversible temperature indicator Reversible temperature indicating
•         Components, industrial and household applications (electric pumps, rotating equipment, brakes, refrigerators)
•         In cold chains, hot spaces areas
•         Where temperature measuring difficult or impractical
9.       •         Permanent color, durable against abrasion, harsh fluids Outdoor durability, low temperature and high heat resistant Durable polyester
•         Use on regulatory, compliance, electrical components
•         Finished goods, automotive/passenger compartment
•         ID and asset tracking
10.  •         Use to ID external push-buttons, switches, internal connection points Abrasion, fuel/oil, high heat resistant, outdoor durability Polyester material
•         Requires name plate quality for rating, serial plates

Article based on an original publication by Brady.

 


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