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

Top Tips & Best Practices for PCB Handling

Posted on by Michelle R. in All-Spec News, ESD News, Static Control Tips and Tricks, Technical Articles Leave a comment

Even minor mishaps can have destructive consequences. Get a handle on printed circuit board (PCB) handling with best practices to avoid common pitfalls – read on for our expert advice.

Keep it clean. Shavings and soldering debris can build up more rapidly than you’d realize. It’s essential to clean your station at least every few hours to avoid transferring foreign object debris (FOD) to your assembly.

Minimize handling. Maintain as little hands-on contact with assemblies as possible, using tray carts, racks and other specialty transport materials instead. When you must handle assemblies, hold them gently by the edges.

Glove and re-glove. Keep in mind that gloves are easily contaminated by epoxies, adhesives, fluxes, etc., or by simple unconscious actions like touching the face or hair. It’s important to change your gloves at least once every few hours.

Leave the lotion at home. Many companies provide special lotion that doesn’t contain silicone, an ingredient which is harmful to electronic assembly. You should never wear personal hand creams from home when working with PCBs.

Consider you storage solution. When not being worked on, assemblies should be placed in an acceptable storage container. It’s important to consider the type of assembly, as storage requirements can vary widely.

Handle with care. In an unprotected environment, boards and components must be transferred between stations in an ESD-protective bag. Be sure to
keep it closed – never use the bag like a pot-holder, as this renders the board completely unprotected.  

Watch your step. Don’t fall into the trap of common mistakes, like placing an antistatic bag on the workbench over grounding materials – this simply acts as an insulating layer between your grounding device and the board, leaving it unprotected.

We make it easy to find everything you’ll need for safe, effective PCB handling right here at All-Spec, with stock and custom solutions available to suit any application requirement. View our comprehensive offering from top brands like Fancort, Metro, CCI and more to discover your ideal solution.

Could Your Shoe Grounds Be Leaving You Vulnerable to ESD?

Posted on by Michelle R. in All-Spec News, ESD News, Technical Articles Leave a comment

What’s better – grounders for one shoe or two? Because body voltage is usually measured in a standing position – with two feet on the ground – it’s easy to assume you’re safe with just one.  Keep in mind, however, that a shoe grounding device protects against static by creating a path to ground, one that is maintained only when the grounder is in contact with an ESD-safe floor mat. If you’re wearing only one shoe ground, you’ll lose contact each time your foot leaves the floor – leaving your workspace and components susceptible to damage.

Why take the risk? Your best bet for full protection is to opt for dual grounders. We carry a selection of full sole shoe grounds, heel grounds and toe grounds from top brands like Desco, 3M and Static Solutions. Stock up and save on these personal grounding essentials with All-Spec.

Don’t Settle for the Wrong Cleanroom Chair: Polyurethane vs. Vinyl

Posted on by Michelle R. in All-Spec News, Technical Articles Leave a comment

In any controlled environment, focus on the task at hand is essential – and comfort plays a key role. Ergonomic cleanroom chairs are available in a range of polyurethane or vinyl upholstery styles, all engineered to prevent particle contamination – but which option is right for you?

Polyurethane – Resilient and easy to clean, polyurethane resists stains and damage from punctures, grease, water and chemicals, while withstanding heat, weight, mold and mildew.

Vinyl – One of the world’s most flexible materials, vinyl construction provides added warmth, with increased comfort, flexibility and breathability over time.

All-Spec carries a complete range of cleanroom seating from brands like BioFit, Bevco, Gibo/Kodama, Workstation Industries and more. Shop our selection and discover the perfect solution for your critical environment.

Mitutoyo Steel Rules: How Do They Measure Up?

Posted on by Michelle R. in New Products, Product Spotlight, Technical Articles Leave a comment

What makes a Mitutoyo steel rule worth the investment? As expected, it delivers a quick and reliable measurement reference – but the difference is in the details. Constructed of sturdy, tempered stainless steel, Mitutoyo’s version combines strength and durability with a slightly flexible design, allowing it to conform to surfaces without permanently bending or breaking. With sharp edges and clear embossed and engraved gradations, it offers precision, definition and accuracy that is second to none. It’s the measurement basic that receives overwhelmingly positive reviews from professionals just like you – an essential for any toolbox. Discover the difference a quality Mitutoyo steel ruler can make – and get yours from All-Spec for less!

The Brush-Off: Which ESD Brush Is Best for You?

Posted on by Michelle R. in Cleaners and Aerosols, ESD News, Static Control Tips and Tricks, Technical Articles Leave a comment

With a range of sizes, styles and material types, we’ve got an ESD brush suited for virtually any application. Commonly used in solder removal, dusting, board prep, ESD wiping, general cleaning and more, there are six main types of anti-static brushes.

Conductive – Used to reduce static charge to 0V in environments where rapid discharge is not harmful to the application. For example, brushes used inside copy machines are generally conductive.

Dissipative –Used wherever high current flow is damaging to the application, dissipative brushes are excellent for removal of static charge that results in the adhesion of particles to an object.

Low Charging – Ideal for environments where the creation of a minor charge is non-threatening. Low charging brushes do NOT remove an existing charge.

Insulative – This inexpensive alternative to conventional anti-static brushes is best for environments where static protection is non-critical. Brushes immersed in liquid offer additional ESD protection.

Cleanroom – Durable and non-shedding, these brushes are designed to withstand sterilization in cleanroom environments while eliminating static charge.

Thunderon– This special fiber is one of the softest synthetics available. Thunderon conductive fiber offers far greater control of static and superior overall performance.