Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Investing in the Future: Automated Re-tinning

Importance of Re-tinning

In the PCB industry, the importance of re-tinning components prior to assembly is widely recognised. The way in which the re-tinning process is carried out is often crucial to the reliability of the components. Operator errors can cause damage to fine pitch leads and produce inconsistent results, so it is essential that the re-tinning process is automated.

Automated Processes for Optimal Results

Retronix's specialised services are designed to provide our customers with the most reliable and consistent results possible. With this in mind, we are pleased to announce that we have given our final sign off on our brand-new automated re-tinning machine!

Retronix's Operations Manager, Calum Drummond, receives final sign-off certificate from ACE Production Technology's President, Alan Cable.

The machine is an LTS-QFP system which is being custom built to our specifications which will provide automated re-tinning processing in accordance with ANSI/GEIA-STD-0006-2008 standards. It is equipped with:

  • Articulated vacuum pick-up head
  • Matrix tray (JEDEC)
  • Camera centring station
  • Lead alloy compatible solder pots (x2)
  • Fluxing station
  • Preheating station
  • Washing station
  • Drying station 

This "hands off" approach will allow for automated solder dip coating of fine pitch QFPs and similar devices and will produce consistently reliable results. 

Retronix's Guarantee

All components which pass through Retronix are subjected to thorough automated optical inspection testing and you only pay for the components which PASS our strict inspection criteria. 

To find out more about our component re-tinning services, please visit our website

Monday, 28 May 2012

Retronix Leads with Revolutionary Process

Unique and Innovative Process

Retronix's proven IC recovery process is the ONLY way to safely recover ICs from faulty and obsolete PCBs. Every day, companies waste huge amounts of money by scrapping faulty PCBs rather than recycling them. Why? Because there has never been a risk-free and reliable way to recover high-value ICs - until now.

IC manufacturers' specifications state that components can be subjected to no more than three reflow cycles. Our process allows us to safely remove and refurbish components with zero reflow cycles.

Comparison of current IC recovery processes and Retronix's IC recovery process.

Benefits of Recycling ICs

When PCBs fail in assembly, it is mainly due to process issues such as defective solder joints and raw PCB faults rather than silicon faults. Recycling ICs from failed PCBs with Retronix allows you to:

  • SLASH PRODUCTION COSTS - By recovering and re-using high-value ICs, you can save up to 80% of the cost of scrap and obsolete PCBs
  • FIND RARE COMPONENTS - Recovering ICs gives you with a new source of rare components. Retronix can recover scarce components from faulty or obsolete PCBs, providing you with a supply of safe and authentic ICs
  • BEAT COUNTERFEITING CONCERNS - The counterfeit industry is growing at an alarming rate. Removing and refurbishing components with Retronix prevents parts from entering the grey market and allows them to be thoroughly tested and certified (providing they pass our strict standards) before re-use or resale
  • REDUCE LANDFILL MATERIAL - Recycling components (which often contain harmful chemicals) rather than sending them to landfill doesn't just save you money - it also saves the environment
Read more about how Retronix's revolutionary process can help you recover ICs safely and save you money.

Combating Counterfeit

Evolution of the Counterfeit Trade

It's the three words every purchasing department dreads - "the grey market."

Counterfeit electronic components have been making their way to the UK market for some time now and it is estimated that 95% of these unsafe and unreliable parts are arriving from Asia - a recent study revealed that the counterfeit industry accounts for 8% of China's gross domestic profit. The Chinese counterfeit market is becoming more and more sophisticated and those involved are spending vast amounts of time and money on developing new ways to "fake" components.

Components being removed from PCBs in China. © Kevin Lee/Getty Images 
Most CEMs, franchised brokers and non-franchised brokers have had some experience of counterfeit components in the past. Using these parts can lead to massive financial liability as well as loss of reputation - it is believed that counterfeiting costs the semiconductor industry around $7.5 billion every year in lost revenue.

Combating Counterfeit Worldwide

There are ways to stop the spread of counterfeit components. 

Retronix has been at the forefront of the "combating counterfeit" initiative for a number of years and has recently invested significantly in state of the art testing equipment to help in the fight to stop counterfeit components reaching production lines all over the globe.

Ensuring Authenticity of Components

For Retronix's strategy to be effective, it is vital for the purchasing professionals, distributors and brokers to become part of the fight and use Retronix's services as the first line of defence. Send your grey market components to Retronix for testing before you purchase them and, provided that they pass our scrupulous testing process, you will be able to hand them over to your customer with our certificate of authenticity.

Retronix has also developed a revolutionary process that allows us to recover components safely from obsolete PCBs without the component die reaching reflow temperatures. Apart from the obvious cost savings, this also ensures that the history of the component is traceable - meaning that you have no doubts about their authenticity.

All components that are recovered using the Retronix method are tested, baked, packaged in tape and reel or waffle trays then vacuum sealed. Working to IDEA-STD-1010-B standard, Retronix offers various tests including:

  • Visual Inspection
  • Acid Wipe Test (examining component for changes to screen printing)
  • Curve Trace Test (powered and un-powered)
  • Key Functional Test
  • De-capsulation
  • Ionic Contamination Test
  • Solderability Test
  • X-Ray
  • XRF    

We know that careful and thorough testing combined with our unique component recovery process will help in the fight against counterfeiting and ensure that you provide your customers with authentic and reliable components. To find out more about what Retronix can offer, please visit our website or email one of our team members.