Solder repair and rework equipment has come a long way from the days when all electronic
components had wire leads and solder was removed using one of those spring-loaded vacuum
solder suckers. Modern components the size of fly specs and ICs with hundreds of solder
balls underneath simply cannot be handled with the Radio Shack variety of equipment.
Many of the systems provided by these companies had microprocessor controlled heat sources
and have built-in vacuum systems.
It used to be that repairing a PCB or a circuit assembly was a fairly simple task.
Point-to-point wiring or the 2-sided PCBs - some even with plated-through holes - could
be reworked with just a good soldering iron and some solder wick. Removing a leaded component
(remember when resistors had wires sticking out of the ends of them?) was made simpler
with a vacuum desoldering machine, but you could live without it.
Fast forward to 2009. Finding even a single leaded component on a PCB is rare, and
even the connectors are surface mount. In some aspects, surface mount is actually easier
to rework and with less chance of delaminating the substrate layers. However, the small
size of many surface mount components - same as small as 0201 (0.02" x 0.01") - necessitates
the use of a microscope and tweezers. Forget have a cup of coffee in the morning because
the magnified shake factor will make work nearly impossible. You will end up knocking
nearby components off their pads. That is another bother of surface mount - the small
size requires heating with a hot air gun from above or beneath, but either way you end
up reflowing the solder on surrounding components.
Fortunately, companies like the ones listed here offer products and/or services to
help you cope with this brave new world.
Repair & Rework Resources
Advanced Techniques US | 215-364-5588 | Warminster, PA
Manufacturer of BGA rework stations, manual and
semi-automatic pick & place systems, and full convection reflow ovens.
| 203-888-9900 | Seymour, CT
Soldering and desoldering systems.
Automated Production Equipment (A.P.E.) | 305-451-4722 | Key Largo, FL
Rework and repair products including Split Vision,
Micro BGA, CSP (chip scale package) and plastic and ceramic BGA applications, together
with SMT, (surface mount technology) and traditional thru-hole desolder technology.
BEST | 847-797-9250
| Rolling Meadows, IL
Provide expert rework, troubleshooting, repair, and ECO modifications
to your PCBs.
| 570-842-4725 | Carbondale, PA
Produces and sells SMT (surface mount technology)
rework, repair and assembly tools and equipment.
Center | 978-374-5000 | Haverhill, MA
Specialists in all aspects of
PCB repair & rework.
Den-On Instruments Co.,
Ltd | 03-3929-6800 | Japan
Research, development, design and manufacture
of soldering, desoldering, rework systems and tools for the electronics industry.
Ltd | 01865 842034 | England
CTC repair skills certification kits.
| 905-785-1982 | Canada
Surface mount technology related products including surface
mount component kits, soldering | rework tools, as well as engineering related books,
courses and training.
| 512-833-5868 | Austin, TX
Builds, repairs and upgrades printed circuit boards with
quality, value and exceptional customer service.
Finetech GmbH & Co.
KG | 480 893-1630 | Tempe, AZ
Offers innovative equipment solutions for
nearly every kind of rework or micro assembly challenge.
910-695-7223 | Annapolis Junction, MD
Quality soldering | rework tools and systems.
PDR | 530-676-6262
| Shingle Springs, CA
Focused Infra-Red (IR) rework systems for SMT/BGA rework.
| 972-226-2655 | Plano, TX
Lead free soldering stations, soldering tools, tips.
LLC | 503-699-6529 | Lake Oswego, OR
Producers of StencilQuik™, a faster
more reliable rework process.
| 800-858-9729 | Bohemia NY
Manufactures x-ray inspection systems and rework systems
(SMT rework stations).
Automation | 408-262-9004 | Milpitas, CA
Providing fast, easy, cost effective
solution for alloy conversion and rework and repair of BGA components.
909-865-2595 | Pomona, CA
Benchtop equipment and solutions for prototyping, R &
D, low volume PCB assembly, along with rework and repair.