Technical Articles Archives

Latex Gloves – Are You Allergic?

Many industrial manufacturing environments require workers to wear protective gloves, including during electronics and medical device production and assembly. Latex gloves not only protect workers from harmful chemicals but also protect products from worker contact and contamination during manufacturing Read more

ST 925 SMT Rework System–Three favorites combined into one nice savings

Save a few steps--and some money--with the Pace 925 SMT Rework System Pace has introduced a new low-cost “combination” system ideal for surface mount technology (SMT) rework. It’s worth adding up the savings by comparing the a la carte prices Read more

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

How to Be Well-Grounded and Keep Both Feet on the Floor

Posted on by Kathy S. in Technical Articles Leave a comment

How to Be Well-Grounded and Keep Both Feet on the FloorDo you have both feet on the ground? If you’re wearing 1-meg heel grounders, you may not be as grounded as you think.

UL and OSHA recommend a minimum of 1 megohm resistance to ground (RTG) to ensure the flowing current will be within safe levels. With both feet on the ground, your 1-meg heel grounders yield an RTG of ½ megohm, not 1 megohm.

How can you be UL and OSHA compliant at all times? Consider the following chart:

1-Meg Heel Grounder(s) 2-Meg Heel Grounder(s)
1 Foot on the Floor RTG = 1 RTG = 2
2 Feet on the Floor RTG = 1/2 RTG = 1


All-Spec carries an assortment of heel grounders for complete path-to-ground protection. While the size of the built-in resistor depends on the standards of your specific operation, wearing two, 2-meg heel grounders means you’ll be sufficiently protected—and well-grounded—no matter what.

Top Five Cutting-Tweezer Styles

Posted on by Kathy S. in Technical Articles Leave a comment

Top Five Cutting-Tweezer StylesYou can thank a Swiss watchmaker for your precision cutting tweezers. He designed the tweezers for cutting hairsprings in wind-up watches in the early 1900s.His invention then led to the cutting style of tweezers commonly used in the electronics industry today. A cut above? Perhaps. Nowadays, cutting tweezers serve multiple industries with greater functionality for diverse applications.

So, how do you know which one works best for your application? Let’s take a look at today’s top five cutting-tweezer styles:

  1. 15A-GW

Most popular—Cuts at the tips; features angulated head and flat cutting blades

  1. 14A-N

Fine round tips with extra-long cutting blades

  1. 15A-RW

Relieved face with a rounded tip; ESD-safe epoxy coating

  1. 15A-C

Shorter blades than the 15A-GW

  1. 15A-ST-PE

Angulated head and 32 AWG stripper

Today’s cutting tweezers have come a long way since wind-up watches. From angulated heads to relieved faces, optimized cutting performance—regardless of application—is right at your fingertips.

It’s No Small Task: How to Grab the Best Tweezers with Extreme Precision

Posted on by Kathy S. in Technical Articles Leave a comment

tweezer guideIf grabbing and gripping make you grimace and groan, you might need new tweezers. Your tweezers or forceps should function as an extension of your fingers, so you can quickly and easily pick up and manipulate small and delicate items. Suspect yours are out of whack? Realigning is difficult—if not impossible. Your best bet? Consider a variety of high-quality, precision tip styles and shapes for a variety of applications.

Tweezer material is another big decision you’ll need to make for your small tasks. The two most common materials are stainless steel and stainless anti-magnetic, anti-acid—easily identifiable by either an “S” or an “SA,” respectively.

Generally speaking, SAs are more rust and corrosion resistant but softer. S material tips are typically 20 points harder on the Rockwell C scale than SA tips.

Need help selecting the right tweezers for your task? Simplify the process with our no-fuss selection guide, and put an end to the griping with your gripping.

7 Steps to a Sterile Isolator

Posted on by Kathy S. in Technical Articles Leave a comment

Isolator Cleaning GuideIs your isolator maintaining its required microbial grade? Sure, it’s designed to keep contamination at bay, but you still need to clean and disinfect it on a regular basis. If your decontamination process falls short, you could be looking at long-term contamination, including vegetative bacteria, viruses, molds and more.

Control contaminants and protect your critical environment in seven, simple steps:

  1. Do your prep work. Have you tried Texwipe’s wipers pre-wetted with 70% IPA? They’re perfect for wiping down gloved hands and cleaning products.
  2. Use a quarter-folded wiper wetted with IPA or a pre-wetted wiper and begin wiping in this order: ceiling, back wall, side walls and deck. Remember to watch out for the filter! For hard to reach areas, use an isolator cleaning tool and mop cover moistened with IPA.
  3. Work from high to low, clean to dirty, dry to wet.
  4. Use overlapping strokes in straight, parallel lines.
  5. Change wiper surface with each stroke.
  6. For corners and tight areas, use swabs moistened with IPA.
  7. Place wipers, swabs and covers in a disposal bag or place through the disposal port.

Don’t compromise your clean air device. Follow these guidelines for the particle-free protection your environment requires.

4 Steps to Calibrate Your Hot Air Tools

Posted on by Kathy S. in Technical Articles Leave a comment

Despite the large selection of nozzles on the market today, calibrating your hot air SMD rework tools doesn’t have to be a difficult process. That’s not just a bunch of hot air.

Before you start, verify proper operation by testing different settings of the heat and airflow controls, and grab your equipment. You’ll need the Hakko FG-100 Thermometer, Hakko A1310 Thermocouple Probe, Hakko A1130 Nozzle for FR-801 and a Mitutoyo 500 Series Digimatic Caliper.

Then, just follow these steps:

1. Set it up. It should look like this:

hot air tools setup

2. Turn it on. Set the temperature control to 4 and the air control to 10L.

3. Read the temperature. Check the display on the FG-100. It should read 750° F. ± 10% (400° C. ± 10%).

4. Evaluate the results. If the peak reading is within the limit above, the unit is within acceptable tolerance. If it’s not, verify the nozzle and probe are vertically and horizontally aligned. If the temperature remains out of tolerance, adjust the CAL pot, and allow the temperature to stabilize after each adjustment.

The 10% error tolerance is an estimate, but following these four easy steps should yield satisfactory results with minimal expense and time.