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January 24, 2022 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Troubleshooting and Process Optimization
– Lessons Learned from the Trenches and a Decade of Board Talk

Phil Zarrow & Jim Hall    ITM Consulting   Full Day      January 24, 2022  9:00 am – 12:00 pm & 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm  at APEX 2022

PD-21 (Part 1) and PD-26 (Part 2)

In over 25 years of consulting, Phil and Jim have just about seen it all! You may be familiar with their popular podcast (started before podcasts existed), Board Talk, which addresses industry issues with deep understanding and a sense of humor. Join the “Assembly Brothers” for a journey through troubleshooting the most common defects in SMT with an emphasis on identifying the fundamental root causes, and an entertaining overview of best practices.

Topics Include:

Issue Questions from the BoardTalk Crypt:

  1. Why do we get voids in certain solder joints?
  2. Do we need to clean No-Clean residues before Conformal Coating?
  3. What is Causing Intermittent BGA Failures?
  4. Should We Measure Solder Paste Thickness?
  5. Are there effective countermeasures to “new” defects such as “Graping”, HoP, etc.?
  6. Should we consider changing to a newer Solder Paste formulation?
  7. What are the Pros and Cons of Cleaning No-Clean?
  8. Is HASL a Good Choice for Surface Finish?
  9. Should we change from Water Soluble fluxes to No-Clean?
  10. What are potential issues with introducing Ultra-miniature chip components into our products?
  11. Will Nitrogen Reduce Reflow and/or Wave Solder Defects?
  12. Does Your Assembly Line Suffer From Floundering Time?
  13. Are There Standards Governing Component Polarity Marks?
  14. How can we reduce tombstoning?
  15. Can We Skip Cleaning After Rework?
  16. What are the best practices for storing and handling PCB’s?
  17. How to build a “proper” profile board to set up a Reflow Oven ?
  18. Why has Vapor Phase Reflow come back ?
  19. How can we achieve adequate hole fill in wave soldering?
  20. Can we mix conformal coatings during rework?
  21. Will typical No-Clean residues pass an SIR Test?
  22. What causes “Icicles” during wave soldering?
  23. Solder pallets with titanium inserts: yes or no?
  24. How do you remove oxidation from PCB’s?

Q & A – “Stump the Chumps”:  Jim and Phil will answer process questions from participants as time permits.

Who Should Attend:

This course is intended for Manufacturing, Process, Design, Test and Quality Engineering personnel as well as Management who are involved in the production of surface mount or mixed technology assemblies.  If you’re involved with SMT assembly and you’ve never encountered defects, you can take a pass on this workshop.


January 24, 2022
8:00 am - 5:00 pm


+1 847 597 2879
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