Comparing lead vs. lead-free solder for PCBs

Comparing lead vs. lead-free solder for PCBs


3 MIN. READ

complex PCB

For electricians and plumbers trained as recently as the 1970s, lead solder might have been the only option for joining pipes and connecting electronic components. In 1974, U.S. federal law began to target lead solder in plumbing, and by 1986, the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments effectively banned it in all plumbing used for potable water.

Bans on lead solder came to the electronics industry in 2006, when a European Union (EU) directive banned its use in most consumer electronics devices, with a few limited exceptions. Although the directive only applied to devices sold in the EU, most businesses determined that producing separate products for sale in the EU was impractical.

As a result, these businesses changed the solder used throughout their production lines. Although products using lead solder can still be sold legally in the U.S., more and more products reaching U.S. markets use lead-free solder.

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How to Best Utilize Your Senior Electrical Engineers During PCB Testing

How to Best Utilize Your Senior Electrical Engineers During PCB Testing

test results

3 MIN. READ

Testing printed circuit boards (PCBs) is largely automated. However, the testing process still requires expertise to collect, sort and cleanse data for statistical analysis. Moreover, some test procedures are still better conducted manually.

As a result, even PCB manufacturers that use automated PCB testing still need test engineers and technicians to support them. Here is an overview of what these experts do and how to utilize them.

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Why PCB repair is more environmentally friendly than replacement

Why PCB repair is more environmentally friendly than replacement

Looking for faults on a PCB

3 MIN. READ

Electronics are often viewed as a “cleaner” industry than transportation, industrial chemicals and mining. This may be true after the electronics are manufactured and assembled. However, to reach that point, electronic devices such as printed circuit boards (PCBs) rely on all those “dirty” industries. This impacts the environment, and as a result, many PCB customers are turning to repair or recycling to minimize their reliance on newly manufactured PCBs.

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Small Business Opportunities in Electronics

Small Business Opportunities in Electronics

3 MIN. READ

The diversity of the electronics industry, combined with the enormous demand for electronics products, creates numerous small business opportunities for entrepreneurs. Broadly, these opportunities allow a small business to break into a seemingly impenetrable industry and carve out a sizable niche.

Opportunities in the electronics business can arise from products you develop or others’ products that you support. Here are a few examples of small business opportunities in electronics:

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The PCB Troubleshooting Flowchart

The PCB Troubleshooting Flowchart

6 MINUTE READ

This PCB Troubleshooting Flowchart was first developed by Huntron Technical Support 25+ years ago and looking at it now is still pertinent to today’s PCB repair environment. It provides a fairly accurate window into the process many technicians and engineers follow when looking to diagnose and repair a printed circuit board (PCB).
In this article we take a closer look each step in the process and offers some suggestions that may help you with your PCB repair procedures.

Troubleshooting flowchart
The Troubleshooting Flowchart
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The Benefits and Drawbacks of Common PCB Testing Strategies

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Common PCB Testing Strategies

3 MIN. READ

manufacturing defects

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) can be manufactured quickly. Pick-and-place machines automate the placement of components onto the PCB, and reflow ovens eliminate the need to solder each connection separately. However, high-speed manufacturing requires a PCB testing strategy that can keep up with production. Slow testing can create a bottleneck in your facility.

Every manufacturing process has an inherent failure rate. Placement of solder outside of the designated location can lead to a solder bridge that might be invisible to visual inspection. PCB testing is crucial to:

  • Minimize waste.
  • Reduce returned products.
  • Optimize safety.

Without an adequate testing strategy, your business could face diminished profit margins, unhappy customers and even product liability lawsuits.

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What Is Trending in the World of Printed Circuit Boards?

What Is Trending in the World of Printed Circuit Boards?

modern PCB

3 MIN. READ

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) were invented over 80 years ago, yet they continue to evolve. These developing PCB trends are specifically tailored to address demands in the current market. Customers now expect electronic devices to be smaller, less expensive and more adaptable.

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To Repair or Not to Repair Your PCBs? That Is the Question

To Repair or Not to Repair Your PCBs? That Is the Question


3 MIN. READ

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are the heart of all electronic devices. PCBs are easy to manufacture in mass quantities and can pack a lot of electronic functionality into a compact space. Their space efficiency is achieved by their three-dimensional structure of multiple layers of conductive traces that connect electronic components and insulating material.

When PCBs malfunction, you are faced with the choice of repairing the PCB, replacing the PCB or disposing of the entire electronic device. For some low-cost electronic devices, the best option is to replace the device. However, for expensive or custom-built devices, this may not be an option and you may be limited to PCB repair or replacement.

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Staying Connected with Huntron

Staying Connected with Huntron

During these strange times Huntron understands the need for all to do what they can to stop the spread of the coronavirus. We also understand that the electronics world has not come to a complete standstill and that sales and technical support are still necessary.

Huntron has always taken pride in the level of sales and technical support we provide to our customers. For a small business such as Huntron, this is vital. While those at Huntron who can work from home are doing so, we are still safely maintaining sales and service for our customers when needed. Contacting Huntron for any support is still through the normal channels such as telephone and email but in some cases responses could be delayed. Also take advantage of resources such as the Huntron Users Support Forum (https://www.huntron.com/forum/ ) and the Huntron YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/HuntronTechSupport ) for great technical support information. If you are not currently a member of the Huntron Users Support Forum then we highly recommend you join by simply registering. Membership does require your registration be approved by a Forum Admin (a step unfortunately made necessary to avoid forum spammers) but the Forum Admins are checking and approving new registrations several times daily. We encourage you to join in on the conversations!

As always, please contact us with any questions or support needs. We are here to serve you!

Thank you and stay safe.

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