One would think it is common sense to wear gloves or finger cots when holding, inspecting, etc… printed circuit boards, but unfortunately it’s not uncommon to see manufacturers whose employees do not regularly wear hand protection.
We found a great video (it’s really just audio in a video player) talking about the subject of wearing gloves while handling PCBs. The video is fairly short (7 minutes) but the two guys are experienced and knowledgeable plus they’re easy to listen to and very personable. If you’d rather not listen to the Assembly Brothers, below is a recap of what they had to say.
Wearing ESD-safe gloves protects boards from ESD but the gloves also protect boards from contaminants, and this simple step is often overlooked. Both dirt and oil are typically present on our hands at any given time, and handling a PCB with bare hands will transfer the dirt and/or oil to the board. The addition of the containments can cause a myriad of board problems including weaker solder joints. Fluxes do not reliably remove the contaminants; they’ll remove oxides but not dirt, oil, etc…
Bottom line: EVERYONE who touches a PCB should be wearing gloves or cots of some sort. On top of wearing hand protection, you have to wear the gloves correctly…cutting the finger tips from gloves for better dexterity defeats the purpose of wearing any hand protection.
For those that do track defects, you will definitely see an improvement if wearing gloves or some sort of hand protection is mandated.
It’s official, All-Spec Industries has joined Twitter! Follow us to keep up with company news, sale products, promotional news, new products/brands and more. @All_Spec
From time to time we find handy lists of tips and tricks about soldering, and these lists seem to be fairly popular. Since Weller knows soldering, I thought I’d pass on a list we recently found. You may have seen several of these tips in our other posts (here’s a list of articles regarding soldering tips and tips for soldering) but it’s always a good reminder; plus there are a few new ones. This helpful list not only explains what not to do but also why and what could happen.
1. Do not remove the soldering tip from the iron while the power is on…this causes the temperature of the element to rise which results in thermal shock and shortens the life of the heater
2. Keep a damp but not soaking wet iron sponge…using a sponge that is too wet will reduce the temperature of the tip too quickly and cause damage to the tip
3. Avoid disconnecting the iron from the base unit while the power is still turned on…this could cause a short that will damage either the iron or the base unit
4. Keep a nice coat of solder on the working part of the soldering tip…this prevents oxidation which can shorten the life of the tip
5. This is pretty obvious and not always avoidable but do not drop the iron while it’s heated…dropping the iron can cause a bunch of problems from mechanical damage to thermal damage
6. Also common sense and related to number five…do not throw the soldering iron into the stand
7. A soldering iron does not make a good pry tool…using the iron as a crowbar can damage the tip to the point it is useless
8. Using a serrated or sharp object to remove a tip could chip the soldering tip
9. Do not plug a soldering iron that is broken into a base that is working…doing so can cause damage to the base
10. If a station is used on a daily basis, keep the temperature at the lowest setting while it is sitting at idle for extended periods of time…this prevent thermal cycling
Caig Labs is best known for their DeoxIT line of contact cleaners but they also manufacture dusters, wipes and conductive pens. Caig Laboratories DeoxIT is now recognized worldwide as a solution for fixing electrical connections.
Caig products are proudly manufactured in the United States and are used in a wide variety of industries including audio/video, avionics, medical, computer and many others plus it’s useful to keep in the shop, car and boat.
DeoxIT claims to have over 1,000 uses and using Deoxit on electrical connections and contacts will provide brighter lights, clearer audio and video and even prolonged product life.
One of the best selling products is the Caig S5S-6 DeoxIT Contact Cleaner.
Caig Laboratories D5S-6 Features:
- Acts as a combination contact cleaner, conductivity enhancer, lubricant and rejuvenator
- Fills tiny taps and reseals surface for better flow of electricity
- Dissolves corrosion and oxidation of metal connections
- RoHS and VOC compliant
Already use Caig products? Be sure look over Caig’s DeoxIT transition information and cross references since the company recently made some product name and part number changes. The Caig Labs site also has several pages of great resources including: