Official Blog Site of All-Spec

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 Conduct Rework without Going Haywire

Posted on by Kathy S. in Soldering Tips and Tricks Leave a comment

How to Conduct Rework without Going HaywireOops! Found another design error? Sometimes designers who fail to validate the schematic, layout and board risk wasting time on rework and wire tacking. And, sometimes wire tacking seems to be a necessary evil in an ever-changing design environment.

Jumper wires, also called wire tacks and patch wires, are discrete electrical connections that are part of the original design. The purpose of these additional wires is to bridge portions of the conductor pattern formed on a printed board. Haywires, on the other hand, are discrete electrical connections that are added to the board in order to modify the basic conductor pattern.

When do you need to add them? Well, you might need additional wires if a design flaw appears in production and test. Also, you might need additional wires if an upgrade or modification is needed, and it’s not possible to scrap the boards. Sometimes a damaged board requires a repair involving additional wires.

However, not all rework options require jumper wires or haywires. Take a look at this rework option case study from CircuitMedic. Here, circuit patterns were corrected using flat ribbon conductors.

Whichever option you choose, experts advise careful consideration of all proposed rework methods based on your unique situation—before your board goes completely haywire.


Combatting Computer Vision Syndrome: Is Your Task Lighting Up for the Task?

Posted on by Kathy S. in Industry News Leave a comment

Combatting Computer Vision Syndrome--Is Your Task Lighting Up for the TaskDo you suffer from headaches, blurred vision or eye strain? You could have computer vision syndrome (CVS). CVS affects about 90 percent of people who spend three hours or more a day at a computer.

One of the biggest culprits? Inadequate lighting. Improper lighting exacerbates the problem and also reduces productivity, and yet the amount of light in the workplace remains one of the most common complaints. Specifically, ambient lighting is frequently too high and task lighting too low. Glare from computer screens and light sources also leads to unwanted aches and pains.

With ergonomic lighting, the problems associated with CVS are typically alleviated, and operational efficiencies improve. Proper and adjustable task lighting at every workspace is necessary to mitigate the symptoms of CVS.

Your lighting needs will vary by task and by your age; reading, for example, requires more light than computer work, and a 60-year-old needs more light than a 20-year-old. Task lights with adjustable arms and dimming controls provide maximum flexibility. When your workspace is properly lit, the entire space should be illuminated, and glare should be minimized.

Improve well-being, productivity and job satisfaction with All-Spec’s selection of ergonomic task lighting for every task, and combat the serious effects of CVS in the workplace.


4 Tips to Solder Tip Selection

Posted on by Kathy S. in Soldering Tips and Tricks Leave a comment

4 Tips to Solder Tip SelectionThe wrong soldering tip can quickly turn a routine task into a train wreck. With so many different types of tips on the market, it’s easy to get derailed. The best tip is to know which tip is the best tool for your specific task before you begin. Here are four of the more common ones, so you can always stay on track:

Chisel Tip: Perhaps the most common of soldering tips, the chisel tip is easy to use and serves multiple purposes. This is a good tip type for beginners. It’s ideally suited for creating smooth joints and smoothing over solder deposits.

Pointed Tip: Need to do small, detail work? Reach for the pointed tip. It’s great for moving solder around once it’s been deposited. Use it to create small solders and pinpoint where you want your solder material to land. Beginning and advanced users rely on the pointed tip.

Rounded Tip: The rounded tip offers stability in soldering and is used for depositing solder and for creating strong joints. It’s a solid choice for both beginners and advanced users.

Mini Wave Hollow Tip: The hollow tip features a small well that holds solder material at the tip. This makes it easy for depositing. Beginning and advanced users choose the hollow tip to move solder around while it’s still hot.

Need help figuring out which tip goes with which system? Visit All-Spec’s tip selection guide, and find the perfect tip for your task every time.


New Research Suggests a Brighter Future for LEDs

Posted on by Kathy S. in Industry News Leave a comment

New Research Suggests a Brighter Future for LEDsA new type of LED could lead to cheaper, brighter lights as well as mass produced displays thanks to a team of Florida State University materials researchers. The organic-inorganic LED hybrid is made of a class of materials called organometal halide perovskites. Perovskites have the same type of crystal structure as calcium titanium oxide.

After months of experiments using synthetic chemistry to make the class of material perform better than initial tests suggested, researchers were surprised to discover the material glowed exceptionally bright. It measured at about 10,000 candelas per square meter or about 25 times brighter than a computer screen and displayed remarkable stability.

The findings, published in Advanced Materials, are advantageous for industry as the earth abundant material can be processed in an economic way, which until now has been one of the major obstacles to LED advancement despite their heralded energy-savings.


Advances in Solder Paste Technology: What You Need to Know Before You Make the Switches

Posted on by Kathy S. in Soldering Tips and Tricks Leave a comment

Advances in Solder Paste Technology--What You Need to Know Before You Make the SwitchesSwitching solder paste when you’re getting the yields you want may sound like throwing out the solder paste with the circuit board, but listen again. Advances in paste technology necessitate continual evaluation. Whether you need to tackle lead-free, head-and-pillow or another reflow issue, the surge in materials coming to market warrants an intermittent process to evaluate and qualify these new solder pastes.

But, what is an appropriate level of testing considering time and budgetary constraints? World-class suppliers perform rigorous laboratory testing. These tests, performed by reputable organizations, are solid. Is there any merit in replicating them? Generally speaking, no.

Today, it’s more commonly accepted to buy into the test results that are done by the paste manufacturer lab. However, you may want to consider conducting your own performance tests or process tests. These are tests that evaluate how each new paste performs during your specific process. They make look at printability, shelf life, tack and more.

Then, consider doing a design of experiments (DOE) such as the 27-board challenge developed by Cookson Electronics. It’s an economical and practical test that examines several parameters with a small sample size.

Keeping apprised of new developments in technology helps to ensure you are always operating at peak performance, so making any number of switches will always sound like music to your ears.