Andy

All-Spec-Blog-4-12-2016-Smart-House-finalThere’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.
Free shipping graphic

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.

Receive 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.

 

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A Swab for Every Job

by Andy on May 4, 2016

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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Recent U.S. tin prices have made it an opportune time to buy solder wire in bulk, especially for major production and electronics manufacturing environments.

Solder manufacturers such as Alpha–known for its advanced solder wire technology–adjust their prices throughout the year based on the fluctuation of tin costs.

Currently, the price of tin per pound is at its lowest point since 2010. And while demand may be in decline and customers appreciate the lowered costs, it may be unlikely to last–similar to the recent, lowered gas prices.

Yet, at the moment, Alpha distributors and customers alike are able to take advantage of this temporary decline in the cost of tin.

Overall tin prices have climbed significantly since the early 2000s, when the average pound was approximately $2. During 2011, it reached a peak of nearly $15. And since late 2013, the price has steadily declined from approximately $11 to where it stands today at $8.

The low costs of Alpha solder wire at All-Spec is just one example of the effect of tin price on solder wire.

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The key to an efficient assembly and rework application is to maintain proper tip temperature and avoid damage, which is why SensaTemp® from PACE has become a leading technology in the electronics manufacturing industry.

Your run-of-the-mill soldering station may indicate it’s soldering at, for instance, 700°F. However, that temperature display only indicates the heat of the soldering pencil. It does not take into account the additional heat generated when coming in contact with the solder and component or printed circuit board.

This is precisely where SensaTemp® technology is leaps and bounds more efficient for general and precision soldering applications.

What is SensaTemp®?

SensaTemp® is a highly responsive, close-looped temperature control system, featuring a high-precision laser-trimmed sensor.

SensaTemp® recognizes the work’s thermal load, and instantly provides the heat required for safe, rapid reflow. Significantly reducing the chances of operator damage, The PACE MBT stations installed with SensaTemp® provide an advanced thermal process control. This control allows you to solder at a safer, lower temperature. And according to PACE, this allows you to get consistent results even during heavy, continuous use.

There are numerous configurations of MBT stations with SensaTemp® technology on our site and you can check them out here.

If you have any questions about PACE or any soldering stations on our site, reach out to our experts at Sales@All-Spec.com.

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With the latest major addition to the All-Spec Loctite® line, we are excited for our clients to try out the Bond-A-Matic adhesive dispensing system, which has a pressure range of 0 to 15 psi, ideal for low-viscosity adhesives under 3,000 cPs. Here are three essential benefits of this system:

#1 Precision = Efficiency and Lower Cost of Ownership

With this model, Loctite focused on a system that dispensed adhesive in the most efficient manner possible. With the adjustable pressure regulator, users have increased control of the amount of solution dispensed, significantly reducing waste.

#2 Adaptable

The Bond-A-Matic has a diverse dispenser that is compatible with a variety of bottles and squeeze tube sizes, including:

  • 250-ml bottles
  • One-pound bottles
  • One-liter bottles
  • Two-kilogram bottles
  • 200-gram squeeze tubes

#3 All-Inclusive Kit

Rather than nickel-and-diming its customers, Loctite took the best route possible and offers everything you need to get your adhesive dispensing started in one, complete order. The Bond-A-Matic comes with the following accessories:

  • Reservoir with ¼” tank fitting
  • Vari-Drop applicator
  • Teflon-lined black feedline (¼” outer diameter; 7” long)
  • Two spring strain reliefs
  • Anti-bubbler tip and sleeve
  • Needle assortment kit
  • Tube of silicone grease

If you need more information about this dispensing system or adhesives in general, reach out to our sales team at Sales@All-Spec.com.

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