The Future is HERE for
Complete Rework Stations
you: In the next few years, it will be hard to
find a manufacturer who will build anything that will not contain
SMDís (Surface Mount Devices). What
this means to you as the service tech, is that you had better be ready
for the new technology. Having the proper tools to do the job and the
knowledge to use the tools that you choose will be important to your
survival in the electronics repair business. Surface mount technology
has been around for a long time, but the tools for R&R (Removal and
Replacement) have been slow to be accepted by the service and repair
organization. I think
mostly because it is hard to justify the price of the better tools when
weighed against the price of the average repair. It
forces some of the more conservative service centers to look for
innovative ways to use the tools at hand to do the work.
The biggest problem with this is that it is possible to ruin the
whole board by not having the right tools.
Thereby ruining the whole device that you are working on.
This usually presents no problems when the repair cost will be
over that of the replacement cost.
It becomes a real problem when working on higher priced equipment
as opposed to what we call throwaway equipment.
Those of you who plan on staying in the electronics repair
business had better be servicing at least some higher priced equipment.
That also requires an investment in top quality soldering and
desoldering equipment to perform a job worthy of your reputation.
Fortunately for you, the investment does not require you to
mortgage the business. For
less than $800.00, you can purchase a
988D850DTP package deal which gives you the
ability to replace almost any thru-hole, chip, SOT, SOP, QFP, PLCC, and
etc. component. I said
almost because there is a component used in some equipment called BGA's
(Ball Grid Array). They are
only repaired by a select few service centers because the equipment can
cost several 10's of thousands of dollars to repair BGA equipment and is
beyond the scope of this article.
About us: Our
company has been in the electronics business for 58 years and has seen a
lot of soldering and desoldering tools and techniques come and go. We have been specializing in selling soldering and
desoldering tools for the past twelve of our 58 years and have
been looking for the perfect rework station that will handle all
soldering and desoldering jobs with ease and not requiring considerable
technique. We finally found
a manufacture in Taiwan who met all of our requirements for a quality
rework station at very affordable prices.
We decided to import these tools and sell direct to the servicer,
making them even more affordable. With
this Xytronic 988DTP package, you will be able to successfully desolder thru-hole
components on single and multi-layer boards. You will be able to pick
off chip components like the dreaded fish caps (Surface Mount
Electrolytic Capacitors) with the set of Xytronic TWZ60
hot tweezers, blow hot air on
small chip components and SOT, SOP, etc. with the Xytronic HAP60
hot air pencil, and
blow hot air on large components with the high wattage, temperature and
air flow controlled 850D Hot Air Rework Station. Included with all of this is
one of the best, temperature controlled soldering pencils available.
Money Back Guarantee:
Without boring you with all of the specifications of these
tools, I will just tell you that you will wonder how they put all of
this quality in these tools for so little money. To back this up, we
offer a sixty-day money back guarantee on everything that we sell. We
simply donít sell anything that we donít believe in 100%.
Now with that in mind we can get down to business and give
you a scenario of how you might use the Xytronic 988D
desoldering Station. You will first notice an obvious increase in productivity. You will be able to remove an IC from a
single layer board to the tune of about 2 seconds per pin. A 100-pin
microprocessor will take you about 200 seconds, or about three and
one-third minutes. It will take you slightly longer with a multi-layer
board due to the slower heat transfer to the other side of the board.
You must get thorough solder melt before pressing the trigger on the
desoldering pencil. When you are done the IC should just fall out and
all of your pads will be perfectly clean and ready to accept a new IC.
Re-soldering the new IC should be just as fast with the
temperature-controlled soldering iron on this station. There is a K-Type
thermocouple built right into the tip of the ceramic heater, thereby
holding the idle temperature within 3 degrees Celsius.
Eliminate Costly Repairs: You will
also begin to eliminate costly board repairs caused by using inferior
tools. I think we all can relate to ruining or almost ruining a pc board
at one time or another. Sure you were probably able to repair your
mistake, but you were sure hoping that if anybody in the future saw your
work, they would not be able to trace it back to you. I know...we have
all been there. This scenario can all but be eliminated by using
quality tools. Remember, the tools make the technician, just like the
business suit makes the businessman.
Cost of Doing Business: You will also
find that you will lower your cost of doing business, thereby making
your business more profitable, and more competitive in the marketplace.
Whether you have 200 technicians working for you, or you are a one-man
shop, you still have to be productive, competitive and perform quality
work to remain in business in this economy.
Hot Tweezers: Technicians who work on
camcorders and other equipment with Surface Mount Electrolytic
Capacitors will be relieved to see how easy they are to remove and
replace. With the hot tweezers, you can remove one about every three to
five seconds. With a little practice, you can easily replace them with
the hot tweezers too. Also removing chip resistors, chip capacitors, and
SOICís are a snap. The tweezers have blades up to 30mm wide. The tips
come in sizes of 2mm, 3mm, 5mm, 10mm, 15mm, 20mm, and 30mm.
Hot Air Pencil: The HAP60
hot air pencil is
also great for removal and replacement of small chip components.
Replacement can be done with solder paste and it should look like it has
never been removed when done. Then you know that you have done a job to
be proud of. When you get
into larger components, you will then use the large
850D hot air
machine. It has a 310 watt ceramic heating element that is temperature
adjustable, with a sensor built into the tip to keep the temperature
constant regardless of air flow. The air flow is also adjustable so you
can use high air flow for removal and low air flow for replacement with
solder paste. Several focus hoods are also available to cover the many
different types of ICís including PLCCís (the J leads). The unit
comes with a four focus hoods that
will be perfect for many jobs. There are many different sizes of focus
hoods available for this unit. There are also focus hoods from other
manufacturers that will fit the heater perfectly, so you can share focus
hoods if you already have some in your service center.
Free Accessories: With this complete
unit, we also offer a complete set of TWTP
high tensile stainless steel tweezers, a soldering tip
for soldering in IC's, a very high quality soldering tip
cleaner Part # 460, an
IC popper that
really works, all for
FREE with the Xytronic 988D850DTP Complete Rework Station. This station
can be seen on our web site at http://www.howardelectronics.com/xytronic/988D850DTP.html.
SMD Removal: With this station you
should be able to, very easily and without much expertise, remove and
replace most any component. Some of the harder components would be the
fine pitch QFPís (Quad Flat Packís) so that is what we will dwell on
right now. Removal is done by simply applying a good quality paste flux
and applying heat from the 850D Hot Air Station. Preferably with the
correct focus hood or tip to match the job, but if not you can still use
the 5mm focus hood that comes with the unit. You just have to move it
around a lot more and will probably take longer for removal. With the IC
Popper, you never have to worry about getting the IC too hot because the
IC popper will pop up the IC just as soon as you have solder melt on all
leads. You also do not have to worry about pulling any pads, as the IC
Popper does not put enough pressure on the IC to pull up a pad because
of trying to remove prematurely.
Clean-up and Site Preparation: Now
that you have the IC popped off it is time to clean the area with the
desoldering tool. This does a fine job of cleaning the pads. Just turn
the temperature up a little, touch the pad and wait a couple of seconds
for solder melt. Then start in a circular motion with the desoldering
tool perpendicular to the pads and work your way around the pads until
all of the solder is removed. Next I would take an alcohol pad or flux
remover and clean up the flux residue.
Then take your syringe of solder paste with a blunt tip stainless
steel needle or plastic taper tip needle and apply a small bead of
solder paste around the outer perimeter of the pads. Next take a vacuum
pickup tool and locate the proper positioning for the IC to the pads.
The solder paste is tacky and should hold the IC in place during re-flow
of the solder paste. Positioning of the IC at this point is not
extremely critical. If you have at least 50% of the lead on the pad it
will correct itself during re-flow. The solder has a terrific surface
tension and will align the IC automatically during re-flow.
SMD Replacement: Next take the 850D hot
air handle and adjust the air flow to a point where it will not blow the
solder paste during re-flow. This can be achieved by trial and error and
then can be set the same way each time you re-flow with that particular
tip. What you are really trying to achieve with the solder paste is
exactly what has been done during the production of the component or
unit that you are working on. The secret to proper re-flow with the
solder paste is to bring the temperature up to approximately 130 degrees
Celsius. (This is called the pre-heat time). Then slowly (about 2 į
C/second) bring it on up to about 170 degrees Celsius. (This is called
the Soak Time). Then more rapidly bring it up to 220 degrees Celsius
(this is called the dwell time), and remove all heat and let it cool on
itís own without any external cooling. (Of course, this is called the
Solder Paste Type: There are three
well know types of solder paste in use today which are all determined by
the type of flux used to hold the solder balls together. The most common
type is the RMA type, which stands for Rosin Mildly Activated. It washes
off with denatured alcohol or a common flux remover. The second type is
Water Soluble, which washes off with DI (De-ionized) water. The third
type is No Clean, which means that you can leave it on without any
detrimental effects. The No Clean
Solder Paste and Flux are fast taking over the as the most popular.
PC Board Pre-Heater:
One other practical addition to our soldering and desoldering tools
that is brand new on the market at the time of this writing is an SMD
Pre-Heater. With the use of a pre-heater, you can virtually almost
eliminate thermal stress and thermal shock on the component and printed
circuit board. Pre-heating of the PC board is now the accepted process
when reworking large components and is an absolute must when reworking
BGAís (Ball Grid Arrays). The Xytronic 628 Pre-heater has a ceramic
heater with a K-Type Thermocouple and closed loop for temperature
stability. It also has digital readout of the set temperature and the
actual temperature. This will be a regular stock item and can be
purchased for the low price of $475.00 and can be seen on our web site
closing I want to say that I realize that times can be tough in the
service business but good tools are essential for survival. It is very
rare in the electronics service business to see a successful company who
has not made a significant investment in soldering and desoldering
tools. We are very happy to
be able to offer these professional quality products to our fellow
colleagues at such great prices. You can also save 5% by going to
www.howardelectronics.com and ordering through our SECURE on-line
shopping cart. If you are not connected yet, just tell us that you seen
this article and still receive the 5% Internet discount.
Author - Jerry Howard, President
Howard Electronic Instruments, Inc.