HAKKO Tech Tips

Top Tips for Micro, Electrical and Drag Soldering
In this month’s edition of Hakko Tech Tips, we will specifically look at micro soldering, soldering electrical components and drag soldering. We will also highlight how to combat electrostatic discharge, the importance of cleaning and look at different Hakko systems that can make light work of more challenging soldering operations.

Are there special procedures that I should follow for chip resistor soldering?

There are not really any special procedures to follow for chip resistor soldering as they are pretty much the same as their leaded equivalents except that they are soldered to the surface of the PCB rather than a Through Plated Hole. The main difficulty is their physical size. Surface-mount components are much smaller now and are likely to have a much higher density than their leaded counterparts. 0201-sized components are now common place and are 50% smaller than 0402 devices. They have been designed for use in applications with limited real estate, such as such smartphones, tablets and mobile devices. Because of their physical size these components really need to be handled and  soldered by an automated SMT line, i.e. Screen printed Solder Paste, Components Picked & Placed by machine and then reflowed through an in-line oven.
If they can be hand soldered, most of the time they would need to be processed under a microscope! With components becoming smaller and more compact, the chances of soldering issues occurring have become higher. However, if you do need to hand solder tiny components it will be more important than ever to use the right tools for the job.
Hakko’s FM-2032 micro soldering iron is a high precision soldering device, which requires experience and skill from the operator. It has been designed exclusively for tiny SMD chip components and features a lightweight, easy grip handpiece to enable the operator to work with greater dexterity under microscopes and magnifiers. The FM-2032 micro-soldering iron is compatible with Hakko’s T30 series of tips, which enable the operator to achieve optimal heat transfer whilst reaching some of the smallest areas on the board. The FM-2032 is compatible with a number of Hakko soldering stations, including the FX-951, FM-203 and FM-206.
  What should I avoid when soldering electrical components?
It is important to avoid ESD (electrostatic discharge), which is the transfer of electric charge that takes place when two objects, which have been charged to different potentials, are brought into contact with one another, brought close together or the di-electric between them breaks down. This ESD can damage the componentry on a PCB and cause product defects as well as equipment failures. The most common example of damage caused by electrostatic discharge is when a charged worker or tool touches a grounded device, which has a low resistance to static electricity. When the...