Baking PCBs is a common process that is done more often than it is really needed. You have to be careful when baking boards; if they are baked multiple times it can lower their solderability. This can be especially problematic if you are using lead-free solders as they can be difficult to solder to begin with if you do not know how to use them properly.
In general, it is best to only bake boards when you have a specific reason to do so. Some manufacturing and soldering processes bake boards out of habit or to “be on the safe side”. By looking at your process and deciding if baking your boards is a necessary step, you can not only keep your boards in their best shape, but also save time.
One of the main reasons to bake PCBs is to remove moisture from the board. This is one of the easier processes as you only need to heat your board up to the boiling temperature of water. After baking boards to remove their moisture, you should store the PCBs in dry bags with desiccant. By properly storing your PCBs, you can reduce the amount of moisture that they reabsorb after baking, ensuring that you will not have to bake the board again.
Delamination or measeling are problems that arise when there is an accumulation of moisture on multi-layer boards. This moisture can cause the board to break during soldering or mechanical processes. If you have sensitive PCBs, then you may need to bake your board even if it does not currently have too much moisture. Baking your board and properly storing it can help stop delamination and measeling before they start.
Reflow soldering is when you place solder paste on a board with components and then heat the entire product to solder all of the pieces at the same time. This can help save time as well as solder joints that may be too small or difficult to do by hand with an iron. It is even more important to only bake your board once during reflow soldering since high temperatures are used, up to 400°F at times.
Baking PCBs is an important process, but should only be done when necessary. All-Spec Industries carries a number of fiberglass trays and fiberglass totes, which can be used to hold PCBs in ovens while you bake them. We also have precision reflow ovens, perfect for low volume production and lab environments. Do you have any other reasons to bake PCBs? Let us know in the comments!
Here at All-Spec, it is our primary goal to provide every customer with the best service possible. Normally, this is done by supplying the standard product we carry at fair prices and short lead times. We enjoy working with CCI because they share the same philosophy.
Here is a recent example of CCI working with customers to give them exactly what they need (special thanks to CCI for providing the content below!):
One of our larger customers has purchased large quantities of Reel Storage products from CCI. On a visit to this account, the CCI sales person received 2 points of concern from the customer.
The customer said, “You know, these 13” FE Reels work great, but I sure wish they were sized to fit our 4 and 8 foot shelving. And I also wish they were available in a lighter color. All this black really makes for a dark storage area.”
Well, custom solutions is what CCI is all about. The customer chose a light blue color and we designed the bin to be 22-3/4” long. The size now fits much better in their 4 and 8’ racking. The light blue color also brightens up their storage area significantly. We are now working on a 7” bin to do the same thing.
This new 22-3/4” bin has 18qty. 1 inch cells. If interested, its part number is 08M-3770.
As noted in this case, CCI was able to alter the color on the outside of the box while only changing the outer layer to the dissipative range and not affecting the conductive shielding inner layers.
Don’t see what you need on our website? Give us a call at 800-537-0351 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to work with you in hopes of providing a custom product that meets your needs!
The Weller WSM1C cordless rechargeable soldering and rework system gives you the power of a corded station with increased mobility.
Unlike other cordless soldering irons, the WSM1C is a full station with a wide temperature range and a short heat-up time. By having the battery in the station rather than in the soldering iron, the Weller WSM1C can have a powerful lithium-ion rechargeable battery that gives up to 1 hour of soldering capacity with a 20 minute recharge time. While the iron is still corded to the station, the unit can be easily used anywhere, from inside vehicles to outdoors. The WSM1C works well even on a normal workbench, as you have the option of plugging it into a wall outlet for long term continuous use.
- Built-in Stop+Go function saves energy and extends tip life
- Touch screen control
- Temperature-locking function
- Two programmable pre-set temperatures
- Integrated, ergonomically designed 50W micro-soldering pencil
- Changeable, high-efficiency RT3 micro-soldering chisel tip with integrated heating element
- Safety rest with WDC2 dry cleaner
- Run/Charge mode to switch between outlet power or battery.
- 1 hour soldering capacity
- Recharge time: 20 minutes
- Energy-efficient switching power supply: 100V to 240V
- Temperature range: 200°F to 750°F (50°C to 400°C)
- Heat-up time: 4 seconds
- RoHS compliant
The Weller WSM1C is currently on sale at www.All-Spec.com. Purchase now for $252.00 and save 46% off the normal price of $468.00!
One question we get a lot at All-Spec Industries is how to properly launder ESD-safe garments. Generally your best bet is to check with the manufacturer for their garment specific instructions, but there are a few tips that you should keep in mind when cleaning any ESD-safe wear.
- Repair any holes or snags in garments before washing
- Do not use bleach or fabric softener
Bleach can cause deterioration in the conductive components of your garments, and fabric softener may interfere with moisture absorbency as well as mask any soil release finish it may have.
- Wash different types of garments in separate loads
Avoid cross-contamination of fabrics by only washing like garments together. This will also prevent stiff or abrasive fabrics from hurting more sensitive garments.
- Hang dry your garments when possible
Tumble dry only on lowest setting. Many ESD-safe garments are temperature sensitive, so you do not want to hurt their conductivity during the drying process. Also ESD-safe garments tend to dry fast, and you do not want to over dry them.
- Only iron on lowest setting
Avoid ironing if you can, as the heat may hurt the ESD-safe properties of your garments. This is another reason why it is best to hang dry, as you will have to iron your garments less.
Overall it is best to contact the manufacturer to find what chemicals should be used to clean ESD-safe garments. Different fabrics call for different care, so each garment will have different requirements to keep clean and ESD-safe.
We do carry a number of ESD-safe garments at All-Spec Industries! Here is a list of garment specific washing instructions for all of our ESD-safe wear.
Lab Tech™ ESD-Safe Garments
Tech Wear Smocks and Lab Coats:
Worklon ESD-Safe Garments
Work-Stat and 98/Two ESD-Safe Lab Coats
Microstat ESD-Safe Lab Wear
We are excited to announce the publication of our latest Spring 2012 catalog as well as a new printing company we have joined forces with!
Last year, All-Spec Industries made the change from an annual catalog to quarterly catalogs to provide our customers with a more visual representation of our product lines. Since our website provides real-time product information, our catalog serves as a supplementary aid when purchasing through our site. To keep our customers up to date, we will publish two general catalogs a year, while the other two will be targeted towards particular lines.
Our brand new catalog runs until July 31, 2012 and is strictly soldering-focused. In addition to an initial mailing to our existing customers, the new catalog will be mailed out with orders shipping from our warehouse. You can also request a catalog from our website.
Because we’re always looking for more eco-friendly practices, we chose Pittsburgh based Knepper Press, which takes pride in their green initiative, to publish this catalog. All of Knepper Press’ electricity is generated by wind power which ranks them 15th in the nation for being one of the top printing companies using renewable energy.
“We’re as green as they come and when we do things to stay environmentally green, we do it consistently, 365 days a year,” says Knepper sales representative Dennis Albert.
Some interesting eco-facts about Knepper:
- The paper they use comes from forests that are properly managed both environmentally and economically
- They are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified since 2007
- They are G7 certified, one of the highest industry standards for printing quality, since 2010
- Every shred of un-used paper gets recycled using recycle bins in every room in the building
- Their printing plate is 100% aluminum and is also recycled
- Their inks are vegetable-based inks which contain no solvents as opposed to the solvent-based products in the past
- A computer machine does the mixing of their inks so none gets wasted
“All-Spec made a decision to put our 100% Wind Power logo on their catalog and customers will recognize that All-Spec is concerned about the environment as well. Not too many companies can say they’re associated with a printer that uses 100% wind energy power and All-Spec can say that,” states Albert.
Be on the lookout for our brand new Soldering catalog coming your way soon!