solderingOne BGA rework blunder could cost you. Choose the wrong solder paste, for example, and you could find yourself in a sticky situation. But don’t worry; you don’t have to throw out the circuit board with the bath water. Many problems like excessive voiding, pad damage and joint bridging can all be avoided. Take a look at the six most common rework mistakes, and head the missteps off at the pass.

  1. Not enough training

Don’t skimp on the training! A sufficiently trained technician can size up any rework situation in advance and will immediately know when things go awry.

  1. Lack of proper equipment

Make sure you’ve got the right tools to get the job done right—the first time. Shop All-Spec’s complete line of soldering and rework equipment, so you can help sustain a controlled, predictable and repeatable process.

  1. Poor profile development

A bad thermal profile can result in damage and reflow of adjacent components. Develop good profiles with correct thermocouple placement and data analysis.

  1. Insufficient prep work

Before you apply the first heat cycle, decide on a solder paste, solder paste stencil, chemistries and alloys. Bake out moisture from the BGA device and board assembly to avoid “popcorning” and other problems.

  1. Reflow of adjacent connections

Technicians need to be constantly aware of how the heat is affecting adjacent components. Reflow of these adjacent connections often creates new rework problems, such as oxidation, de-wetting, starved joints and more.

  1. Inadequate post-placement inspection

Consider X-ray inspection machines. Trained technicians can quickly and easily detect excessive voiding and poor placement or alignment with X-ray inspection.

Be on the lookout for the six most common rework mistakes, and remedy your rework without excessive voiding—not to mention headaches.

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Save Your Water-Damaged DevicesHurricanes, floods and fire suppression can wreak havoc on electrical equipment. When catastrophic water damage strikes, you don’t necessarily have to ditch any and all devices. Just follow these four, simple steps to strike back and salvage these critical assemblies.

  1. Rinse

Rinse your equipment thoroughly with clean water to remove salt, sediment and particulate matter. You won’t cause further damage by rinsing. Disassemble and flush all interior parts until the rinsate is clean. Then, stand it on end to drain.

  1. Remove

Remove remaining oil, grease and other contaminants. For plastic-safe precision cleaning, consider Chemtronics’s Electro-Wash® PX. Spray thoroughly or dip your equipment in the solvent and agitate while submerged. Allow it to drain and dry completely before returning it to service. For heavy-duty jobs on non-plastics, try Max-Kleen® Xtreme® Heavy Duty Degreaser.

  1. Protect

Protect bare metal with a contact lubricant to help prevent oxidation and corrosion. Consider DPL Deep Penetrating Lubricant. Electrical components not embedded in plastics can be protected with Kontact Restorer®.

  1. Test

Last but not least, test your equipment before operating to be sure you’ve achieved correct resistance levels. You may need to repeat step 3. When you get the go-ahead, energize your equipment under no-load conditions.

When you’re ready, ease into normal operations, and put your mind at ease. Recovering your electronic equipment from catastrophic water damage is as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4.

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Stereo Zoom to Video LensLooking for the perfect microscope or video inspection system? Don’t know where to start? Take a gander at the three types of systems generally used in industrial applications, so you can see at a glance which option is the clear choice for you.

  1. Stereo Zoom Microscope

It’s the most popular for soldering, medical device manufacturing and use in a laboratory. Why? You can work with soldering irons, cutters and more in the large working distance of this microscope. Precision assembly is easy with its live 3-D view and excellent depth of field.

  1. Trinocular Stereo Zoom Microscope Inspection System

Need to capture images and measurements? This system enjoys all the perks of the stereo zoom and adds a third port to support a camera. Plus, you’ll reduce eye fatigue with the trinocular; its 3-D and 2-D views are visible at the same time.

  1. Video Lens Inspection System

For high magnification applications—up to 3000x, consider the video lens inspection system. You can build it piece-by-piece or get it pre-configured and pre-assembled. It pairs easily with a USB camera and significantly reduces eye strain.

Whether you choose a stereo zoom, trinocular zoom or video lens, shop All-Spec’s selection of lighting and magnification products for the system that will be a sight for sore eyes.

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Did you know pre-sterilized swabs eliminate repackaging, documentation and validation of autoclaved swabs? For process improvement and a really clean tip, trust Texwipe.Texwipe Sterile Swab Series

Cotton, foam or polyester, your tip of choice is always sterile when you need it. These individually wrapped swabs are made to exacting and consistent tolerances using high-precision automated processes.

But, don’t just take our word for it. It’s easy to see why. You can see the swabs through the clear packaging for added assurance your seals are secure and your swabs are sterile on contact.

Texwipe Sterile Swabs come in varying shapes and sizes for each and every application your cleanroom requires, including hard to reach areas. Available in USP-grade cotton, polyurethane foam and medical-grade spun polyester. So, go ahead and apply and absorb adhesives, greases and liquids. Clean with confidence. Your critical environments depend on the highest quality contamination control, and Texwipe delivers.

Need help selecting a swab? Shop our Swab Selection Guide.

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Tip Temp Accuracy: How Hot is Your Tip?

by Kathy S. on May 29, 2015

Tip Temp AccuracyToo hot or too cold, your soldering tip can cause damage. Hot tips lead to trace lifting, circuit board defects and component damage. Cold tips lead to longer dwell times, poor heat transfer and poor quality solder connections. Maintaining an accurate temperature is the trick to top performance.

So, what’s the best way to measure your tip’s temp? You can use either a thermocouple for absolute temperature or a contact pyrometer for temperature stability. Or, you can test your tip both ways with the Weller WA2000 Soldering Analyzer.

The WA2000 also measures tip-to-ground resistance and millivolt potential. The accuracy of the type “K” thermocouple used in Weller products is a Special Limit of Error (SLE) with a range of (1.1° C / 1.9° F) or 0.4%, whichever is greater. With the WA2000, you can monitor active soldering. You can also measure temperature loading, excursions and heater response—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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