Monthly Archives: April 2013

  • Solving Tombstoning Issues with Kester Flux and Solder


     

    When soldering small electrical components to a board, tombstoning is always a potential issue. If one end of a component is secured before the other, the non-secured end is liable to pop up. Even a few seconds between when the first and second ends solder can result in tombstoning or drawbridging. When this happens time and again, creating a Manhattan skyline on a board, the culprit may be the materials used for soldering. At Kimco Distributors, we carry a full line of Kester products that might help with this problem.

    Tombstoning is especially an issue with the smallest components, which are the parts that many of Kimco Distributors’ customers are working with. As the solder on one end dries, tension on the part builds. If the other end is not already held down with solder, the tiniest components do not have the mass or strength necessary to prevent tombstoning. This issue still arises with larger parts, but less frequently. Larger components usually can withstand uneven soldering more than small ones, because they are more rigid.

    The fluxes, pastes and solders used directly impact the likelihood of tombstoning. These all affect the distribution of heat, and even a couple-second delay can have dramatic effects. Uneven distribution of thermal mass leads to the setting of one end’s solder before the other. As described above, this places tension on the other and is often the cause of tombstoning.

    Because the fluxes, pastes and solders used directly affect tombstoning, changing the soldering materials used is the easiest way to solve this problem. At Kimco Distributing, we carry the best materials in the industry. Kester flux, Kester solder paste and Kester wire solder are all designed to minimize tombstoning. If it persists, even after trying different materials, we have loctite adhesives that can also be used to prevent tomstoning.

     

  • The Hakko FX951-66 Soldering Station Provides Affordable Performance

     

    Hakko FX951-66

    The Hakko FX951-66 Soldering Station promises great performance without significantly cutting into a budget. Built by one of the leading manufacturers of soldering tools, Hakko, and sold by a leading retailer in the industry, Kimco Distributors Inc., this is not a cheaply made unit. It provides the same reliability that all of Hakko’s tools do, which is why they are recognized as a leader and Kimco Distributors is pleased to carry their equipment. At the same time, however, this Hakko soldering station is one of the most affordable models the brand manufactures.

    The Hakko FX951 Soldering Station’s compact, single-port design and ESD-safe construction make it suitable for any electronics assembly station. It will neither take up much workspace nor interfere with ESD-sensitive work, which are two reasons why Kimco Distributors sells many of these. It also has an excellent heat transfer and thermal recovery. The low-temperature alarm alerts workers when the iron is not hot enough, and the lockout key car prevents the temperature from accidently being changed. This soldering station also comes with a 30-min. automatic shut-off.

    The customers who purchase this soldering iron from Kimco Distributors typically use it in one of three capacities. Some businesses only have occasional soldering work, and the Hakko FX951-66 Soldering Station is capable of handling the workload without breaking the bank. Others use this as an additional soldering iron at many different technicians’ stations, which is why Kimco Distributing is currently giving one away for free to customers who purchase five. Finally, some businesses keep this unit handy as a backup, in case the main soldering station malfunctions. Whatever the role of this tool is in a company, it offers superb performance at an excellent price.

  • When You Need the Most Precise Tweezer - Hakko hot rework tweezers


     

    Everyone has been there (even us at Kimco), standing in front of the bathroom mirror for half an hour trying to grasp this tiny molecule with these obtuse tweezers. Perhaps you were tweezing eyebrows or trying to remove a stubborn sliver. Regardless of the exact situation, the tweezers were just not precise enough for the job. Meanwhile, of course, someone downstairs is shouting “Honey, we’re going to be late….”

    For those whose tweezing escapades cause severe family strife, the Hakko FM2023-05 SMD Mini Hot Tweezer Kit from Kimco Distributing is among the most precise tweezers available. Most of our customers who purchase these tweezers or the Hakko FM2022-05 SMD Parallel Remover have much more delicate tweezing operations in mind, though. (Please, do not use the heating element if you are pulling out a sliver with these tweezers. After all, they are not actually made for this purpose.)

    Both Hakko’s Mini Hot Tweezer Kit and Parallel Remover, which are compatible with the manufacturer’s FM-202, FM-203 and FM -206 soldering stations, are designed to be used in the highly demanding electronics assembly industry. Kimco carries these tools, because they are manufactured to the highest standards, while also being extremely functional. The Parallel Remover’s fixing collar ensures proper tip alignment, while the Tweezer Kit is built to work on components as small as 0201. The Teezer Kit also has a rever-action tweezer function, which can be activated at the flip of a switch. Both are easy to set up and switch between functions.

    These tools from Kimco are certainly not built for getting out slivers. Their ESD-safe design and efficient heat transfer make them ideal for the fine work of electronics assembly and repair. Even if they were suitable for home use, their prices are a bit more than the average home tweezers. As Kimco’s featured product right now, though, they are a bargain for anyone who needs a high-grade tweezer for soldering.

  • Why is there a need to hand solder using nitrogen?


     

    Nitrogen is playing an increasingly important role in the electronic assembly industry, as businesses seek to cut costs and become more environmentally conscious. The gas has been used for years in the soldering process, but it has never been universally employed. As professionals in the industry become more familiar with the benefits of N2 soldering, though, its use is becoming more prevalent. Companies that turn to nitrogen handsoldering often supply Kimco Distributing with two reasons for their decision. First, N2 soldering offers improved performance over conventional forms of soldering. Second, it also promises environmental benefits.


    Handsoldering with nitrogen often provides better results than using an oxygen-rich environment. Nitrogen prevents oxidation from occurring during the soldering process, thereby protecting the components being soldered. Even minor oxidation causes major problems when one is dealing with miniscule electrical parts. In addition to this main benefit, nitrogen handsoldering also improves dross.

    Nitrogen, itself, is environmentally neutral. It is not manufactured but extracted from the air, thus neither creating or removing greenhouse gasses. When used in soldering, however, the gas is environmentally beneficial. In a purely nitrogen environment, there is no longer a need to clean. The nitrogen is not environmentally beneficial, but it removes the need to use environmentally harmful cleaning materials.

    A handsoldering unit like the Hakko FM2031-02 has all the features technicians need in a soldering tool. It is compatible with the T22 soldering tips, so it can solder a variety of components. It has a high mass and is powerful, making the Hakko FM2031-02 from Kimco Distributing ideal for high heat sink applications and heaving ground planes. Finally, it is also compatible with the Hakko FM203-DP ESD Safe Port. This N2 handsoldering tool is compatible with standard soldering equipment, but has the advantages of nitrogen soldering.

  • The Hakko FM2024-42 Desoldering Hand Piece Kit: Easy to Set Up and Use


     

    The Hakko FM206 soldering stations are well-built, precise and functional. At Kimco, we are happy to stock this series, because they are built by a leading manufacturer in the industry: Hakko. For some work, however, a soldering station does not have all the features workers need. At Kimco, we also carry several additional tools that are compatible with and complement the FM206 stations. One of the most popular tools is the FM2024-42 Desoldering Hand Piece Kit.

    Hakko’s Fm2024-42 Desoldering Hand Piece Kit from Kimco is designed to work with the brand’s FM203 and FM206 series. This hand-held tool makes removing solder easy, while not getting in the way of other work. It takes up very little space in a work area and is simple to set up. Because it is easy to use and compact, employees are able to quickly switch between the desoldering iron and another tool without impeding their workflow.

    Along with the actual desoldering iron, Kimco includes everything one needs to connect and use this piece in the box. It comes with a holder, cleaning drill, connecting cord, novel remover and ceramic filter. There are also instructions, which we at Kimco highly recommend opening and reading. This is not a set of Lego’s for your children – those instructions are important!

    Opening the instructions should take a few seconds and reading them might require a few minutes. Aside from these minor delays, setting up the Hakko FM2024-42 Desoldering Hand Piece Kit should be quick. With this tool, you or an employee can be desoldering in mere minutes, and it will provide reliable performance for years to come.

  • Surface Mount Soldering with the Hakko FR801 Hot Air Rework Station

    Surface mount soldering is a fairly simple task, which only requires solder, a stencil, a few tools for handling components and a hot air rework system. While it may be tedious, it is one of the simpler aspects of electronics repair and assembly. Nevertheless, high-quality tools must be used in surface mount soldering. The incorrect solder, cumbersome tweezers or an inconsistent rework system will only decrease productivity and increase aggravation. When businesses come to Kimco Distributors in need of a reliable hot air rework system, we often suggest the Hakko FR801 Hot Air Rework Station.

    This Hakko hot air rework station from Kimco Distributors takes only a moment to heat up and provides a consistently hot airflow. The temperature of the hot air stream is easy to adjust, but it will not vary unless altered by a user. If a technician ever is unsure of the current settings, the variable airflow meter is easy to read with just a glance. The unit also comes with an automatic cool-down, which engages as soon as someone presses stop. Its compact design makes this unit easy to include on a workbench without cluttering a technician’s space.

    Many of Kimco Distributors’ customers have been very pleased with the consistent performance of their Hakko FR801 Hot Air Rework Stations. Some have even purchased multiple units, either after trying out one initially or as their business grew. Currently, Kimco Distributors is offering a free hot air rework station to clients who purchase five units. This is a simple way of saying thank you to our most loyal customers in the surface mount soldering industry.

  • Featured Product Hakko FM-206 Soldering System - Tech Sheet with Feature/ Benefits

    Hakko FM206 Soldering System - Tech Sheet with Feature/ Benefits

    With three ports and a variety of accessories, the Hakko FM206 is a versatile rework station. The soldering iron, hot air pencil, hot tweezer, desoldering kit and nitrogen soldering iron, all of which are compatible with the three-port workstation, can be mixed and matched for a variety of uses.

    Hakko FM206 Features:

    Display in either °C or °F
    Digital airflow indicator
    Self-contained pump for air flow and vacuum
    Automatic or manual hot air profile
    Passcode protected
    Security lock
    Automatic shutoff and sleep functions
    Compatible with Hakko’s FR830 and FR870 Preheaters
    Meets or exceeds ANSI J-STD-001 standards
    Hot air handpiece reaches maximum temperature in less than 20 seconds

    Benefits:

    Multiple configurations for a variety of uses
    Easily switch between accessories
    Rework sizes as small as 0201, 01005 and even 10x10mm QFNs
    Prevent theft with the passcode and security lock
    Compact design keeps workspace clear

    Compatible Accessories (Handpieces):

    Hakko FM2027-06 Soldering Iron
    Hakko FM2030-02 Heavy Duty Soldering Iron
    Hakko FM2031-02 Heavy Duty Nitrogen Soldering Iron
    Hakko FM 2029-01 Hot Air Pencil
    Hakko FM 2024-42 Desoldering Hand Piece
    Hakko FM 2023-05 SMD Mini Hot Tweezer
    Hakko FM2022-05 SMD Parallel Remover

    Specifications:

    Maximum power consumption: 410W (station), 70W (soldering iron and desoldering tool), 140W (hot air handpiece)
    Temperature range: 200 – 450ºC (392 - 842ºF)
    Temperature stability: ±5ºC when idle
    Vacuum pressure: 80kPa (600mmHg) (maximum)
    Suction flow: 14L/min.
    Air flow: 6L/min. (maximum)
    Heating element: Composite heater (for all tools)
    Size: 162(W)×136(H)×245(D)mm
    Weight: 6.2kg (station), 30g (soldering iron), 65g (desoldering tool), 50g (hot air handpiece)

    Standard Configurations (includes station FM206-55)::

    Hakko

    Part Number: FM206-DSS = Desolder, Solder, Solder

    Hakko

    Part Number: FM206-DTS = Desolder, Tweezer, Solder

    Hakko

    Part Number: FM206-STA = Solder, Tweezer, Air

    Hakko

    Part Number: FM206-DSA = Desolder, Solder, Air

  • Customization with the Hakko FM203 Dual Port Soldering Station

     


    The Hakko FM203-01 ESD-Safe Dual Port Soldering Station offers great flexibility at an affordable price. Kimco Distributing’s main configuration of this soldering station comes with two FM2027-03 soldering handpieces, which can, themselves, be used in a variety of situations. This dual-port station, though, can be set up in a variety of other configurations.

    Many of Hakko’s soldering tools, which are all available from Kimco Distributing, are compatible with the Hakko FM203-01 Soldering Station. Of course, customers who do not plan on using two handpieces can purchase the unit only one soldering iron included. A single iron can be complemented with Hakko’s FM2031 Heavy Duty Nitrogen Soldering Iron, for N2 soldering, or the brand’s FM2030 Heavy Duty Soldering Iron, which uses heaver, T22 Series tips than the standard T15 Series soldering tips. The FM2024 Desoldering Hand Piece Kit and FM2023 SMD Mini Hot Tweezer Kit are also both fully compatible with the FM203-01 Soldering Station. At Kimco Distributing, we carry all of these different tools, because our customers are involved in a wide range of soldering. These accessories let them customize Hakko’s soldering station to meet their specific needs.

    Regardless of what configuration the soldering station is set up in, it is able to handle virtually any soldering-related job in the electronics assembly industry. (We haven’t found a soldering station that can also make coffee yet). Its process control feature lets technicians change the temperature, without changing the tip. The temperature can be set anywhere from 200 to 450⁰C (400 to 840⁰F), and is accurate to ±15°C. It also has a sleep mode and automatic shut-off function. With these features and the many accessories available from Kimco Distributing, this unit can act as a solid base of a customized soldering station.

  • Kimco has solutions for Dealing with Component Tombstoning & Wettability

     

    In the microelectronics assembly and repair industries, wettability can be a major issue. As the size of components decrease, parts become more and more susceptible to the surface tension of solder paste. 01005-sized components are the most problematic pieces to work with, but this affects parts that are 0201, 0402 and 0603 as well. Kimco Distributing carries a full line of Kester solder paste, which helps solve the problem of wettability, but changing the solder paste is not the only solution.


    In an ideal world, parts and pad sizes always match up perfectly. Anyone who has repaired laptops or other electronics, though, knows this is not always true. Wettability can be an issue with any microelectronic work, but it especially comes into play when the component and pad size are not perfect matches. This scenario often results in excess solder paste on the pads, which in turn leads to uneven thermal mass distribution. Ultimately, this causes tombstoning.

    Selecting a different solder paste from Kimco Distributors can overcome wettability issues. In addition to changing solder paste, using a different type of wire is another way to alter the wettability. Kimco Distirbutors has a Kester wire solder for virtually every type of application. Finally, since reflow also contributes to tombstoning, using a different flux is another possible solution. Changing to a Kester flux does not directly solve the wettability issue, but it may be enough to prevent tombstoning, which is often the real issue at hand.

    As you might guess, the solution for tombstoning and wetability requires a unique approach for your specific application. Selecting the right product to meet your specific need might require a quick converstation with one of our customer service representatives. Please feel free to contact us via email sales@gokimco.com or call (800) 521-9197. With over 30 years experience working in the electronic repair and assembly industry, repair and assembly industry, there's no application issue we can't fix.

  • Why does a Hakko Soldering tip last so long and work so well?

    At GoKimco.com, we carry a full line of Hakko soldering tips, which are considered some of the best in the industry. When it is time to replace a tip, many customers ask us why they should use a Hakko OEM soldering tip, rather than an after-market one. We recommend using Hakko-brand tips for two reasons: they offer better heat transfer and have a higher quality construction than non-OEM tips.

    Heat transfer in soldering is extremely important. Poor thermal conductivity impedes the ability to solder components, and can be a source of aggravation, and can reduce the quality of a project. Kimco Distributors carries Hakko replacement tips, because we believe in giving our customers the tools they need to succeed. If we had only inferior soldering tips that have lower heat transfer rates, our customers would be unable to consistently perform high quality work.

    Hakko soldering tips have thicker plating than most non-OEM tips. On average, we have found that Hakko desoldering nozzles are about twice as thick as other manufacturers. Hakko’s higher quality construction prolongs the life of the tip, without impeding its heat transfer. Even if Hakko tips and nozzles cost a little more than other options, they tend to last much longer. The investment in a quality tool is a wise decision, and translates into long-term savings.

    Customers who visit GoKimco.com in need of Hakko replacement tips have already recognized the importance of quality construction. They use a Hakko-brand soldering station, because they understand how well-made tools impact workflow and the end product’s construction. We recommend continuing to invest in high quality tips and using Hakko-manufactured replacement parts.

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