Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Retronix advantage: Recovering and reusing ICs from scrap or obsolete PCBs

A CEM had a large customer base of complex telecoms PCBs, and found these difficult to debug if they failed after assembly. This was mainly due to their being such a large amount of revisions, the techs found it difficult to be familiar with all of them.

IC Repair

Subsequently there was a lot of PCB “shotgunning” going on. This was the practice of making an educated guess at what IC was causing the issue, and changing it. This meant a huge expense in ICs, most of which were thought to be fine; it would be a solder problem causing the fault (open or short under the BGA).

So they introduced an exercise of sending the removed ICs to Retronix for IC Recovery, and putting them then back into the repair loop. For IC Recovery were also sent 3rd time failed PCBs.

This resulted in a 61% drop in IC cost in the repair area, with no noticeable difference in test yields.
Electrical TestingAll the ICs were tested electrically by Retronix before being returned.

If you want to learn more, please contact us here
Watch the video about IC Recovery here

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Retronix working with Service Repair Companies

A cell phone company manufactured its product in Asia, but had an EU Service based operation for EMEA. The service operation had small easy fix/replacement centres scattered around EMEA, but central repair facilities for PCB debug and repair issues.

It bought parts in bulk from HQ, but experienced many issues with parts shortages, over stocking and obsolete stock at the end of life for a product.

Retronix introduced a programme whereby they recovered the scrap PCBs from the company’s CEM manufacturing operations in Asia, (which were previously landfilled) and recovered the ICs locally. The recovered ICs were then shipped to the EU and held by Retronix free of charge. The service company had online access to all parts held, effectively parts held which had cost nothing, and were known genuine.

The service company would then call off parts as needed by its repair operations. At this point the parts would be refurbished using Retronix’s “IC Rescue” safe process and shipped in a few days to where they were needed. At this point Retronix would invoice for the refurbishment, which was a fraction of the cost of buying new.

The service company experienced no issues with these parts, which were brand new with zero hours use, and had been recovered using the safe “IC Rescue” process.

This successful programme slashed the parts costs of the service company, in terms of both buying and sourcing, as well as reducing obsolete costs massively.

If you want to learn more, please contact us here

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

A possible solution to “Hard to find electronic components”, when you cannot find the new parts, on time

A USA based OEM was looking for Xilinx parts but they could not be found within the timescale. It was offered parts by a broker in China which were advertised as “refurbished”. After further investigation, the OEM found out the parts were on scrap PCBs which the broker had bought from a local CEM. However the part were still on the PCBs, and the PCBs were in ESD bags, in boxes.

The broker was planning on outsourcing the recovery and refurbishment of the BGAs to a local company in Shenzhen, however Retronix was asked by the OEM to do the BGA recovery.

We recovered the Xilinx parts and others from the PCBs locally in Shenzhen. This was done using our new “IC Rescue” process that recovers ICs without a reflow cycle in order to comply with the IC manufacturers’ specifications.  The parts were packed and shipped to our European facility. Shipping of the ICs only was low cost. The remainders of the PCBs were sent for recycling in Shenzhen.

Retronix then removed the excess solder from the BGAs, using a controlled process without reflow or abrasion, then cleaned the parts and immediately reballed them. The parts were mechanically & electrically inspected and packed to be shipped to the USA based OEM.

The parts were placed without any issue and zero failures were reported.

The remainder of the parts were held by Retronix pending sale by the broker, and were sold with a “Retronix Certified” certificate of conformance, protecting the broker and the end user.

If you want to learn more, please contact us here