Why Flooring is a Total Knock OutConsidering ESD flooring? Ever compare the burn-in oven process with ESD flooring versus no ESD flooring? You might be surprised by who wins the match according to a recent process analysis.

The burn-in process with ESD flooring can be completed in three steps:

  1. Operator places the burn-in board on the ESD cart.
  2. Operator rolls the cart to the oven.
  3. Operator removes the board from the cart and places it in the oven.

Pretty straightforward, right? What about the no-ESD floor scenario? With no ESD floor, the process is nearly five times as long! From start to finish, the operator in this scenario undergoes 14 steps from connecting a wrist-strap ground cord to the ground to disconnecting the cord.

The 14-step process also increases the risk of product defect, scrap as well as dropped product. But, you can minimize the risks with ESD-safe floor tiles from Desco. Configure your workspace easily with Desco’s patented interlocking edges.

When it comes to safety and process improvement, just remember 14 is more than three. Who do you want in your corner?

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Transform Your Circuit Board in 5 Easy Steps

by Kathy S. on May 20, 2015

When it comes to unique circuit board modifications, why not turn to the pro and MacGyver it? All kidding aside, sometimes unusual modifications and component additions are necessary. Ever stack components or mount them upside down?

Here’s a modification that is on its way to becoming part of IPC documented guidelines.

Transform Your Circuit Board

Axial lead component soldered to through-hole component leads.


For more modifications, just follow these “tricks” of the trade. You can learn how to bend the rules and do it safely:

  1. Secure added components with adhesive if the component leads or body will undergo mechanical stress.
  2. Consider placing components end-to-end where applicable.
  3. Place added components on the component side of the assembly or circuit board unless otherwise specified.
  4. Consider insulation for added component leads that may come into contact with component body or other conductors.
  5. Remove existing solder in the connection to avoid bridging or excess solder in the final connection.

CircuitMedic understands out-of-the-ordinary applications and meets your needs with a variety of circuit board repair kits, equipment and adhesives, to name a few.

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Has your tip lost its wettability? If it’s black or dark blue like this, it’s probably undergone oxidation, and solder won’t wet to the surface.How to Improve the Life of Your Lead-Free Solder Tips

What does this mean for your application? It means your tip can’t supply heat to the part being soldered. It may contact the part over a small area, but it won’t transfer heat well enough to get the job done.

But, don’t despair! Although lead improves the wetting action of solder, you can improve the life of your tips when using lead-free solder by following these five, simple do’s and don’ts:

  1. Don’t leave your soldering iron on for long periods of time without making connections.
  1. Don’t set your tip temperature higher than 400°C (750°F).
  1. Do use a flux with an aggressive activation level and long activation window.
  1. Do keep the entire tip surface tinned with a coating of solder when not in use.
  1. Do use the Hakko FS-100 Chemical Paste to re-tin your tip if it’s become oxidized and solder isn’t wetting the tip. This paste is designed to remove heavy tip oxides without corrosive chemicals like zinc chloride. You can use the FS-100 with the FT-700 Tip Polisher to restore solderability to dewet tips.

Just practice these few good tips, and the good tips you need for reliable solder joints will be in the bag.

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4 Steps to Calibrate Your Hot Air Tools

by Kathy S. on May 15, 2015

Despite the large selection of nozzles on the market today, calibrating your hot air SMD rework tools doesn’t have to be a difficult process. That’s not just a bunch of hot air.

Before you start, verify proper operation by testing different settings of the heat and airflow controls, and grab your equipment. You’ll need the Hakko FG-100 Thermometer, Hakko A1310 Thermocouple Probe, Hakko A1130 Nozzle for FR-801 and a Mitutoyo 500 Series Digimatic Caliper.

Then, just follow these steps:

1. Set it up. It should look like this:

hot air tools setup

2. Turn it on. Set the temperature control to 4 and the air control to 10L.

3. Read the temperature. Check the display on the FG-100. It should read 750° F. ± 10% (400° C. ± 10%).

4. Evaluate the results. If the peak reading is within the limit above, the unit is within acceptable tolerance. If it’s not, verify the nozzle and probe are vertically and horizontally aligned. If the temperature remains out of tolerance, adjust the CAL pot, and allow the temperature to stabilize after each adjustment.

The 10% error tolerance is an estimate, but following these four easy steps should yield satisfactory results with minimal expense and time.

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Kasuga Benchtop Ionizer with Cleaning BrushDon’t think twice about installing the new Kasuga benchtop ionizer with cleaning brush; it’s got double the discharging electrode needles as conventional units for ionization that’s twice as fast. Its eight, solid tungsten emitters reduce ion recombination and broaden the ionization coverage area, so you can neutralize electrostatic charges on insulators and ungrounded conductors in a wide, 12” x 48” area.

You’ll save time on maintenance, too. With the built-in cleaning brush, all you have to do is turn the knob to dislodge contaminants.

And, the KD-750B is easy to use. Its intuitive front panel displays the unit’s operating status. Visual and audible alarms let you know when cleaning is needed or if the fan is not working properly.

In fact, because this Kasuga ionizer exceeds the required limits of ANSI/ESD S20.20 and ESD TR53, the reasons to try it are actually more than twofold.

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