Product Spotlight Archives

Metcal’s CV-5200 Connection Validation Soldering Station Changes Everything


You may or may not have heard about Metcal’s new soldering station, the CV-5200. The evolutionary tool removes much of the reliance on visual inspection of hand-soldered joints and adds a second, more technology-driven method for validating a successful Read more

Seven Things to Know About Qualifying Your Product to a U.S. Military Specification (MIL-SPEC)


Qualifying the SCS 81705 Series anti-static shield bags to military standards There are a few, sometimes complicated steps to go through before your product can qualify for a particular military specification. SCS recently introduced their new 81705 Series static shield Read more

Get Lean with 5S Workplace Principles


5S - Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain Recognized as one of the strategies associated with “Just in Time” manufacturing (Toyota Production System), the 5S system for workplace organization and standardization originated in Japan. The “5” relates to Read more

Metcal’s CV-5200 Connection Validation Soldering Station Changes Everything

Posted on by Barb N. in All-Spec News, Industry News, New Products, Product Spotlight Leave a comment

You may or may not have heard about Metcal’s new soldering station, the CV-5200. The evolutionary tool removes much of the reliance on visual inspection of hand-soldered joints and adds a second, more technology-driven method for validating a successful solder joint connection.

How does the Metcal CV-5200 soldering station work?

When the ring turns green, you’ve made the connection. Metcal CV – 5200 Connection Validation Soldering Station

Using sophisticated hardware and software components, the integrated system assesses the quality of a solder joint by calculating the intermetallic compound formation (IMC)  while providing closed loop feedback to the operator. Once the IMC is calculated, an LED light encircling the handpiece turns green to indicate a quality solder joint.

With this development, the risks and variables associated with soldering activity and the validation of a successful or unsuccessful solder joint are removed from the operator’s hands. Instead, the quality of a solder join is determined through an objective method that adds repeatability and a measurable standard to the soldering process.

A few of the benefits associated with the Metcal CV-5200 Connection Validation Soldering Station

Reduces Risk and Improves Quality –  decreases solder joint flaws by validating the intermetallic compound (IMC) formation in a soldered joint

Adds Repeatability and Measurable Standards – increases process controls through the LED light ring embedded in the handpiece. The light turns green signals the operator when a successful solder joint has been made. Complements the visual industry inspection standard

Improves Audit Compliance – the Chip-in-Cartridge technology precisely calculates and displays the tip temperature

Have questions about the Metcal CV-5200 Connection Validation Soldering Station? Contact All-Spec for information.


Seven Things to Know About Qualifying Your Product to a U.S. Military Specification (MIL-SPEC)

Posted on by Barb N. in All-Spec News, New Products, Product Spotlight, Vendor News, Vendor Spotlight Leave a comment

Qualifying the SCS 81705 Series anti-static shield bags to military standards

There are a few, sometimes complicated steps to go through before your product can qualify for a particular military specification. SCS recently introduced their new 81705 Series static shield bags and film qualified to MIL-PRF-81705E Type III, Class 2. The qualification didn’t happen overnight and the process can be quite involved including the required, very specific markings on the bags and film.

What makes these SCS 81705 Series anti-static shield bags so special?

First, they meet MIL-PRF-81705E Type III, Class 2 qualifications, frequently linked to higher-level assembly protection such as in military, medical and aerospace markets. Each SCS 81705 bag contains four layers of protection – static dissipative coating, polyester, metal and polyethylene laminate. The polyester dielectric works with the metal layer to create discharge shielding. The static dissipative outside wall allows electrostatic charges to be removed when grounded.

Qualification military specification (MIL-Spec) basics

1. What are the United States defense standards?

They’re often referred to as military standard (MIL-STD) or military specification (MIL-SPEC), and they help meet the standardization objectives set by the U.S. Department of Defense. The defense standards may also be used by other non-defense government organizations (NGOs), technical organizations and industry.

2. How do I apply for qualification?

You apply in writing and each application contains the number and date of the specification, desired testing, as well as the type, grade, class, or other specification designation of the product. The application also includes the brand designation for the product and where the product was manufactured. If you’re a distributor, you’ll also receive a CAGE code.

Example – MIL-PRF-81705E Type III, Class 2 – MIL (military) PRF (document Id/Performance), 81705E (document number), Type III (document type), Class 2 (document class)

3. What is the QPL?

The qualified products list (QPL) is a listing in the qualified products database (QPD) of items successfully subjected to a defined set of qualification and periodic tests using processes, worst case designs or materials to verify the end product’s design, performance, quality, and reliability.

4. What do the general DOD qualification steps look like?

 

5. Where can I get the required MIL-Spec testing done for qualifying my product?

You can have testing done in a laboratory operated by or under contract to the government, or a laboratory used by the manufacturer or distributor either in the plant or one that’s under contract.

6. Where do I find my product listed once I’m qualified?

Once a product meets the recognized qualification requirements, the product will be listed online in the Qualified Products Database (QPD). The QPD can be accessed through the acquisition streamlining and standardization information system (ASSIST).

7. What does a qualification not do?

A qualification does not –

• Relieve the supplier of his contractual obligation to deliver items meeting all specification requirements.
• Guarantee acceptability under a contract
• Waive any requirements for inspections or for maintaining quality control measures satisfactory to the Government
• Relieve the original equipment manufacturer of contractual obligations to ensure that delivered items (including the qualified items used in the equipment) comply with all specification requirements

For all available information on qualifying your product to military standards, visit the Defense Standardization Program website.

All-Spec currently has a selection of the new SCS 81705 Series static shield bags and film on sale for 10% off through May 31, 2017. Learn more about the 81705 Series of bags and film, check out the TDS Film and TDS Bags specs or shop all products now.


Get to Know Stencil Rolls

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

You Get What You Pay For

You’ve most likely done it—chosen a lesser priced, no-name brand item hoping it will perform as well as the brand name one. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s always a risk and generally based on the critical nature and use of the product or past experience. Should you take a risk when considering lower priced stencil rolls?

First you need to understand what you may be losing while believing you’re gaining.

stencil-rolls-all-specWhat’s the Diff?

You may not be able to see the difference and be dazzled by the price but you might want to look below the surface before you decide to go the cheaper route. Consider paper towels. You have a bounty (no pun intended) of choices and generally brand name towels promote anything from thicker, to more absorbent, to softer and on and on until you give up trying to compare. Most of us have tried the cheaper version of paper towels. Did you see a difference? Most likely you did and it had to do with quality.

Before Choosing Cheap – Consider This

Off-Brand or Premium Brand Stencil Rolls

We’re all brand aware and we know that some brands have earned the trust of customers because the product does what it says it will do every time. That’s part of the reason you pay a higher price–reliability. Also, keep in mind—most manufacturers will require high-quality, hydroentanged fabric because lower-quality ones can cause problems. Can you afford to sacrifice quality for quantity?

stencil-rolls-microcareCue the Glue

Some very cheap stencil rolls use glue fillers to lessen the material costs. The glue used in stencil roll paper made from polyester fibers can actually dissolve and weaken the paper with the application of solvents used in stencil wiping. As a result, if examined by a microscope, you’ll find that more residue has been left behind and caused increased linting. Glue fillers may make the paper cheaper, however what you gain in price, you lose in the paper’s ability to pick up contaminants.

Take a Second When Considering “Seconds”

There’s a reason why they’re called “seconds” and if you’re not sure why a particular batch has that description, you should find out before you buy. Seconds are called “seconds” because they haven’t met the manufacturer’s quality standards for some reason. How will that one decision affect quality on down the line?

Shorted

No, they really did short you and knowingly. We can revisit the paper towel experience or let’s talk toilet paper. Yes, the roll ran out really fast—but it was cheaper. Hmmm–less for less? You bet your bottom dollar.

cheap-expensiveThere’s no real comparison when truly comparing paper towels and toilet paper to the critical nature of stencil paper rolls. The sophistication that goes into researching and developing efficient and effective stencil rolls pales in comparison. However, as paper goes, they both use the same gimmicks to get you to believe you’re getting more for your money. And, companies like MicroCare have documented proof of rolls being priced significantly lower because the rolls have much less paper on them. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Guarantees

When buying, look for a company that offers unconditional guaranteed quality. For instance, MicroCare not only promises quality but also that their unique MicroWipe FP paper will lower your stencil printing costs.


Twelve Reasons to Consider a Mantis Stereo Microscope

Posted on by Barb N. in Magnifiers and Microscopes, Product Reviews, Product Spotlight, Vendor News Leave a comment

Sleek and Ergonomical

Original_Mantis_stereo-viewer-microscope_507How 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.The 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

Mantis-Compact-inspection-microscope-Boom-12-507px_507The 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
  1. Felt compelled to hunch over their scope to fit their eyes to the eyepieces
  2. Worried about not being able to wear their glasses
  3. Changed out eyepieces to fit different worker needs
  4. Encountered decreased hand-to-eye coordination when looking through lenses
  5. Experienced health-related absences due to poor body position and fatigue
  6. 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 screen
  6. 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.


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