Tin Whisker Mitigation, Gold Embrittlement Solutions

Tin Whisker | Gold Embrittlement | Re-tinning Solutions

High Reliability - Aerospace, Defence etc.

Alloy Conversion –

The High Reliability sector is exempt from RoHS compliance due to issues associated with lead free solder, for example tin whiskers & higher temperature processes. Reintroducing lead into the alloy finish on an IC is seen as the best way to avoid tin whiskers.

Retronix offers a fully automated solder dip process, that complies with the High reliability industry standard ANSI/GEIA-STD-0006-2008.

Our process offers repeated dip length, dwell time and temperatures on the smallest of chip components up to the largest QFPs’, and thru hole components.

We can then confirm alloy using our in house XRF system. We offer lead free to tin/lead conversion, and vice versa.

Alloy Conversion of BGA’s – 

Retronix have developed a process that can safely remove existing solder spheres without any abrasive contact or reflow cycles then place new solder spheres using a laser process – again with no reflow cycle.

This process can convert any device from lead-free to leaded, or vice versa.

The process DOES NOT subject the silicon to the reflow temperatures associated with mass reflow. Existing Spheres can be removed using a number of processes :

  • Air knife to remove spheres in an abrasion free, controlled process.
  • Solder wave removal
  • Traditional Solder braid removal

Retronix’s innovation provides authentic, safe & tested components

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Steve Jobs

Using our unique processes such as our latest automated Alloy Conversion/Retinning; ICs can be recovered and reused from obsolete PCBs or manufacturing fallout, even applicable to Military Electronic Components.

This means that the AUTHENTICITY of the components is established which eliminates counterfeit components and stops them being introduced to your supply chain.

Our unique processes use NO REFLOW CYCLES or abrasive techniques to do this, ensuring the most reliable product

Working to IDEA-STD-1010-B standard, Retronix can test your components to ensure authenticity and thus limit the chance of a counterfeit component entering your supply chain.

Read about our testing facilities in more detail here

Obsolescence Services –

Many High Reliability systems rely on electronic parts that are no longer produced by the original manufacturer or sold by their authorized distributors. That reliance is based, in part, on the long life cycles of these systems. So if a component is not available from normal sources, what options are there?

Many high reliability components are used on multiple systems, so can sometimes be found on unused, but obsolete PCBs within the system manufacturer themselves. These components are known, and have had zero hours use, so often recovering them is a better option than buying supposedly “brand new” components from the grey market

Retronix utilise a unique process of component recovery which avoids reflow cycles :

  • Removal using heat from underneath
  • Air knife to remove old solder sphere residue
  • Laser reballing
  • Component Test

Alloy Retinning – 

The High Reliability sector often builds in low volumes, meaning part reels of components can be left on shelves for lengthy times in between small batch manufacturing. This can lead to oxidisation issues which can affect solderability

We can test parts in house for solderability issues, then use our auto tinning process to retin using the same alloy, thereby removing any solderability issues.

Defence/Medical/Aerospace are vulnerable to counterfeit ICs

Many defence, medical and aerospace systems rely on electronic parts that are no longer produced by the original manufacturer or sold by their authorized distributors. That reliance is based, in part, on the long life cycles of these systems.

An electronic part may be manufactured for two years, but many defence, medical and aerospace systems which use these parts may be in service for more than two decades. Older components often need electronic component test & retinning to avoid solderability issues like tin whisker.

These high reliability industries are critically dependant on a technology that obsoletes itself every few years (or faster), is made in unsecure locations and over which it has no market share influence.

To source scarce parts, purchasers in the defence, medical and aerospace industries often buy from independent distributors or brokers. This introduces a high risk of faulty or counterfeit components being acquired.

Retronix’s testing laboratory detects counterfeit and faulty parts and prevents them from being acquired. When we recycle the components from authentic PCBs, safe, reliable and tested ICs can be sourced instead of taking the risk associated with non-franchised brokers. Any ICs we source will have been processed properly, have no tin whisker issues and be functional.


Automatic re-tinning and alloy conversion of leaded devices

Retronix have made a substantial investment in a fully automated re-tinning and alloy conversion machine to ensure that we provide the best and most reliable service for our partners.

The system is an LTS-QFP system modified to comply with our detailed specifications and provides automated tinning process in accordance with ANSI/GEIA-STD-0006-2008 standards.

This is a complete system providing “hands off” solder dip coating of fine pitch QFPs, other SMT devices and all PTH devices. The machine will leave components with a SnPb finish thus avoiding any possibility of tin whiskering.

We are constantly improving our services to make them safer, more reliable and more repeatable.

Alloy conversion of BGAs and micro BGAs

Retronix have developed a process that can safely remove existing solder spheres without any abrasive contact or reflow cycles then place new solder spheres using a laser process – again with no reflow cycle.

This process can convert any device from lead-free to leaded, or vice versa.

The process DOES NOT subject the silicon to the reflow temperatures associated with mass reflow.

All components that pass through Retronix are 100% AOI inspected and you only pay for the components that PASS this inspection criteria.

We do work for many defence companies who perform audits on a regular basis and we comply with the necessary quality standards to ensure that this service is safe, reliable and of the highest standard with class comparable to the best of military electronic components.

“Better a thousand times careful than once dead.” Proverb