Retronix recently had a request from a long-standing customer to help them with some parts that they had in their stores and needed for the support of a current project. These parts were 304 pin PQFPs and the legs had been damaged due to storage issues.
We visited the customer to look at the devices, and our initial thought was that out of the 36 parts that we may save half due to the extent of the damage. The legs were so far out of true that in some cases they were crossing each other.
When it was explained to me that these parts were obsolete and these are very likely to be the last 36 in the world not currently fitted to PCBs, plus the fact that the end product that these parts were destined for was a crucial part of infrastructure for our armed forces, I then understood the importance of this project in better detail.
After a few weeks of discussions and process lists being agreed, the order was placed for Retronix to salvage these parts and re life them to make them suitable for future assemblies and the support of current assemblies. The damage was to such an extent that shipping these to Retronix was a concern, so I arranged to collect these and hand deliver them personally.
With a lot of care and skill, the operators at Retronix surpassed my original expectation and managed to fix all the devices.
They all now pass our internal ICOS Lead Inspection which checks for the below on Gull Wings devices:
- Lead Coplanarity
- Lead Pitch
- Lead Offset Skew
- Body Standoff
- Lead Length, Width
- Terminal Dimensions
- Foot Angle
- Burr Inspection
The parts were then X-Rayed for any signs of internal damage after the leg straightening process and then tinned to re life the legs. They are now in a suitable condition to be used in new assemblies and the support of current assemblies.
This keeps this crucial piece of equipment running and supported while our customer finalises the new design for this PCB without this obsolete part.
This is a problem that we are seeing more of, companies that need to offer long life support of their products are buying large amounts of parts that are obsolete or are likely to become obsolete, so that they can secure the future of their products. But storing parts for long periods of time can come with risks of damage from storage problems, tarnishing of the connections, moisture ingress and oxidisation.
- Retronix can help with these issues by:
- Leg straightening for damaged legs
- ICOS testing
- XRF testing
- Solderability testing
- Re balling for damaged BGA balls
- X-Ray inspection and functional testing if the parts are obsolete and you require reassurance before storing them
- Tinning or re balling to re life legs, pads or balls if oxidisation has occurred
- Baking out moisture ingress and temperature testing
If you would like more information on this or would like some samples created to run trials, then please let me know:
Original Article published on LinkedIn by Rob – Click here
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