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12 (Before and After) Reasons to Consider a Mantis Stereo Microscope


Sleek and Ergonomical   How many of you have ever seen or used an eyepiece-less microscope like Vision Engineering’s Mantis? Ever wonder about the name--Mantis? Take a good look. What’s the head remind you of? A praying _____.  That, however is Read more

Cleanrooms - Every Breath You Take, Every Move You Make


Keep Contamination at Bay You may or may not have ever had to don cleanroom clothing. If you have, you understand the “musts” of putting the multiple layers of protection on yourself to keep contamination at bay. The more critical Read more

Choosing a Soldering System


The Drag Racer or the Grocery Getter? When choosing a soldering system -- Going for the shiny, expensive one with amped up wattage may not be the best way to go. Take your time. Which one's the best fit for the job? Consider Read more

12 (Before and After) Reasons to Consider a Mantis Stereo Microscope

Posted on by Barb N. in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Sleek and Ergonomical

 

How many of you have ever seen or used an eyepiece-less microscope like Vision Engineering’s Mantis? Ever wonder about the name–Mantis? Take a good look. What’s the head remind you of? A praying _____.  That, however is about as far as the comparison goes.
Mantis-Compact-inspection-microscope-Boom-12-507px_507The Mantis series of microscopes offer some of the sleekest and most ergonomically-designed visual inspection capabilities and comfort ever imagined. That’s not to say a praying mantis isn’t just as fascinating to look at, however, how the Mantis looks is just a small part of the picture.

Operator Comfort = Time and Money Savings

The Mantis stereoscopic microscope may look like one eyepiece, yet it’s actually eyepiece-less. The operator’s eyes never touch the scope; ports for eyepieces do not exist.  Before, workers were always leaning over their microscopes and experienced constant eye fatigue.

Now, when using the Mantis, operators function in an entirely different way – because they can now sit comfortably and look straight ahead at their work. The impact goes way beyond operator comfort to include improved worker efficiency and accuracy, as well as saving owners time and money.

Twelve reasons the Mantis will make your operators, inspection customers and you, happy.

 

Before

Operators –

 

Felt compelled to hunch over their scope to fit their eyes to the eyepieces

  1. Worried about not being able to wear their glasses
  2. Changed out eyepieces to fit different worker needs
  3. Encountered decreased hand-to-eye coordination when looking through lenses
  4. Experienced health-related absences due to poor body position and fatigue
  5. Missed having any ambient light available because of the need to keep eyes to the eyepieces—adding to eye strain.

After

Operators –

 

  1. Experienced less to no back strain; sitting up straight came naturally when viewing
  2. Swapped out places with other operators without having to switch eyepieces
  3. Noticed excellent hand-to-eye coordination; increased peripheral vision
  4. Inspected and detected solder faults with more accuracy and ease
  5. Appreciated the natural ambient light now available between their eyes and the screenObserved superb 3D images; more depth perception because the Mantis head can be moved around
    1. Observed superb 3D images; more depth perception because the Mantis head can be moved around

All-Spec carries the entire line of Mantis stereo microscopes including the Mantis Compact, Mantis Elite and Mantis Elite Cam. Each series has been designed to address and solve your needs and those of your operators whether being used for inspections, performing manipulation tasks or documenting. See which one’s right for you.


Cleanrooms – Every Breath You Take, Every Move You Make

Posted on by Barb N. in Cleanroom, Product Spotlight Leave a comment

Keep Contamination at Bay

You may or may not have ever had to don cleanroom clothing. If you have, you understand the “musts” of putting the multiple layers of protection on yourself to keep contamination at bay. The more critical the application the more clothes you’ll need.

europlaz-technologies-ltd-injection-moulding-cleanroom 1There’s no bones about it; everything is dirty. And even when you think it’s clean, it’s not. That’s why there’s a huge demand for “special” cleanroom apparel for gowning.

Sounds fashionable doesn’t it…apparel, gowning? Nuh-uh, this is not “Project Runway.”

All joking aside, cleanroom gowning is essential to working in the world of electronic assembly and PCBs. Immediately, you are one of the worst sources of contamination at a whopping 80%. And, there are bazillions of other contaminants besides you — supply air, room surfaces, tools, production machinery and processes, equipment and don’t forget your next door neighbors.

Thank goodness most of the bazillions can be sterilized or disinfected – but you can’t. Enter the invaluable sterile cleanroom wardrobe offering endless ways to cover you up, over, around and if needed, upside down.

Just like your dog or cat, you shed skin and hair, constantly. With it come microbes and the more you move the more microbes you make. Also, if you cough, talk, smoke, exhale or use cosmetics, you’re broadcasting particles far and wide.

These particles seem determined to get into the cleanroom with you, even if you believe you’ve worn enough protective clothing and put it on correctly. From the fashionable bouffant cap and beard covers to the myriad of shoe cover types—high traction, heavy-coated propropylene, anti-skid, super track, hypalon soles, meltblown, spunbond—cleanroom product manufacturers have you covered.

You’re Covered

Need a coat or coveralls, aka, bunny suit? All-Spec carries 72 coats and 115 coveralls. Did you say gloves? Take your pick from latex, neoprene, cut resistant, nitrile, vinyl—gloves for extreme temperatures, light-weight, heavy-weight; and what about the cuff – beaded, rolled or straight?

Each glove has been carefully and meticulously designed to work in particular environments and with specific applications to help keep you from contaminating your work and work area such as during assembly and inspection.

Every one of the hundreds and hundreds of cleanroom clothing items have a reason for existing–to stop particles from escaping from you. And cleanroom clothing has an enormous impact on reducing contaminants.

It’s in the Air

Keep dirty air out cleanroomThink of cleanroom clothing as a barrier between you and cleanroom air. An enormous amount of time and money have been spent to clean the air space you’ll be entering and working in. Properly suiting up for electronic assembly environments can be critical and if not done right, costly and potentially unsafe.

Those rascally particles, although your cleanroom apparel works hard to filter them, will still get out wherever they can–through neck, wrist or ankle openings, pores, holes and tears in the fabric and through your face mask. Everything around you, including the gowning bench you sit on while dressing, works to lessen contamination.

Additionally, every fabric that goes into the construction of a piece of cleanroom clothing has been carefully designed and constructed to minimize contamination as well as adhere to gowning protocols. For each cleanroom garment listed, All-Spec provides the “Standards Met.” For example, this KleenGuard coverall is listed ANSI/ISEA 101-1996, so that you can determine whether the apparel meets requirements.

Some cleanroom garments can be washed, however, most will be disposed of after use. How and where they’re disposed is also important; and sometimes users change one piece of clothing several times in a day depending on the cleanroom requirements.

The goal is to keep the sterile cleanroom clothing sterile including through the gowning process. Also, the order in which you don each item of clothing, down to the most minute detail, must also be considered to produce the most efficient and effective result, that is, the least amount of contamination possible.

Remember, every breath you take, every move you make introduces the potential for contamination. So be sure to “police” your own efforts.


Choosing a Soldering System

Posted on by Barb N. in Soldering Tips and Tricks Leave a comment

The Drag Racer or the Grocery Getter?

When choosing a soldering system —

Going for the shiny, expensive one with amped up wattage may not be the best way to go. Take your time. Which one’s the best fit for the job? Consider –

  • How many tips will you need hot at the same time?
  • Will you need more than one hand-piece?
  • Will you need to be constantly plugging in and unplugging?
  • How inter-compatible are the tips with the hand tools?

Think of solder like flowing water —

pressure washer resizedPace’s subject-matter expert and technical support go-to guy Tony Jones explains how to choose the size of the tip you’ll be using on your workpiece.
Small Tip vs. Large Tip –
If you think of solder flowing like water out of a hose, consider what’s happening if you choose a tiny tip. Like a pressure washer, you’ll be doing the same to the flow of the solder if using a small tip.
With the transition to lead-free solder, your heat requirements have changed. Digitally-controlled soldering stations help you meet the right temperature for creating good solder flow. A rule of thumb – always use the lowest temperature and the largest tip when soldering.

Pace st 50Considering buying a new soldering system? Pace has a buy two get one free promotion going on through May 30, 2016. Choose from the ESD-Safe ST 50 w/ PS-90 Soldering Iron or the ESD-Safe ST 50 w/ TD-100 Soldering Iron.


Your Own Smart House for Doing Business

Posted on by Barb N. in All-Spec News Leave a comment

All-Spec-Blog Fabulous Features at Your Fingertips

There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to make a house feel new again. All-Spec has gone way beyond surface changes in redesigning the website.  Like a smart house, the All-Spec website anticipates your needs and works to provide everything at your fingertips.

Although we don’t have built-in surround sound, yet, or a bathtub that automatically fills with water, we do have a code that will open doors – to savings.

Free shipping graphicReceive free shipping on your orders over $249 through June 30, 2016. Use promo code CELEBRATESHIPPING16 when checking out and while there, check out our new site.

 

 

 

All-Spec Blog 4-12-2016 FeaturesDiscover our fresh new features while still enjoying the ones you’ve come to love.  All-Spec’s turned technology on its ear to make your visit an even more intuitive experience—and help you get your business done, faster and more efficiently.

 

 

Nice Newbies

  • MyAccount – your history, your orders, your repeat orders and – you’re in control
  • We like your part numbers, too – pick your product, then assign your own part #
  • Chat us up – LiveChat featuring real people—really
  • We still know you – use your phone or tablet, All-Spec recognizes you and your negotiated pricing
  • Fantastic new features – to create an end-to-end, successful order experience for you

Captivating Keepers  

  • All-Spec’s daily and consistent low prices – like no other, seriously
  • Huge amount of product selections – thousands and thousands and …
  • Quantity discounts – more is better for both of us
  • Major savings on All-Spec brand products – if it’s ours – you save
  • Exclusive promotions – yes, they’re a very big deal
  • Shipping calculations – know before you click and commit
  • Real-time store inventory – what you see is what we have
  • Same-day shipping for qualified customers – and get it the next day if you like
  • Track shipping and delivery – distributing around the country and the whole wide world
  • Largest number of ESD products from major manufacturers – it’s how we started and we’ve never parted
  • Only the products you want and need – long experience helps us to know what to carry – only the best
  • 3M, Weller, Hakko, Kester, Metcal, Bevco – the names speak for themselves
  • If you’re happy, we’re happy – if you’re not satisfied, return an item in 30 days for a refund
  • Short and sweet “how to” videos – watch and learn
  • Custom is part of our business – tell us your problem and we’ll devise a solution
  • Customer service – they’re alive – call us and talk to a real person, immediately

A Swab for Every Job

Posted on by Barb N. in All-Spec News Leave a comment

Whoever thought there could be so many different kinds of swabs, aka, tipped applicators?

Trace_Evidence_vs_Blood_EvidenceMost people only know of the kinds of swabs used to clean ears. Invented in the 1920s, Leo Gerstenzang thought to attach wads of cotton to toothpicks (Q-Tips). This little idea has since grown into a billion-dollar industry and evolved far beyond swabs for cleaning ears.

Most likely you’ve used some kind of swab or at least seen them used; for instance, swabbing the inside of someone’s mouth to get a cell sample for DNA testing.

Today, there are hundreds of different kinds of tipped applicators being used in various areas including medical, diagnostic, industrial and forensic, to name just a few. To further the point, the largest manufacturer of swabs, Puritan, presently makes 1094 different types of swabs.

A swab is not just a swab anymore.

Work-bay-2Highly specialized swabs can actually be quite complicated to make, depending on the environment in which they’ll be used. Considerations such as length, width, color, scored or not scored, flexible, foam, or polyester must be decided upon, as well as, the manufacturer’s capabilities, i.e., machinery, workforce and equipment needed to produce them.

In the electronic assembly industry, workers use a multitude of different kinds of tipped applicators every day to perform very defined jobs and sometimes critical tasks, such as those performed in cleanrooms.

What may seem like mundane actions, like applying glue or cleaning a particular area of a circuit board, suddenly become critical operations. Should the wrong kind of swab for the job be used, the consequences can be extensive and expensive. An entire cleanroom can be jeopardized by just one little swab.

The standard of all things.

critical-environments-qsource1Furthermore, using the right kind of swab can potentially determine the difference between life and death, certainly when collecting samples of life-threatening viruses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) specifically states the kind of Puritan swab that must be used during the Macrofoam Swab Procedure when sampling Bacillus anthracis –

Macrofoam swab, sterile, 3/16 inch thick medical-grade polyurethane foam head, 100 pores per inch, thermally bonded to a polypropylene stick (such as the Sterile Foam Tipped Applicators Scored with Thumb Stop [Puritan, Guilford, Maine; catalog number 25-1607 1PF SC] or equivalent)

Because of the myriad of industries needing swabs and the critical nature of some of the jobs they perform, different entities have created stringent standards to safeguard against irrevocable and possibly deadly mistakes. For instance, the kinds of swabs used in cleanrooms, where levels of all kinds of contamination must be continually controlled.

The implications of saying something as simple as, “I’ll probably need a swab for that,” become much more intricate when considering where, how and why it will be used.

puritan_foam_swabs_industrial_useWant to sample some swabs?

Receive a free sample of Puritan swabs to try on your cleanrooms and assembly applications. Log in to All-Spec and  “Claim Your Free Swabs.”

 


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