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Removing Markings from Devices

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#54516

Removing Markings from Devices | 29 April, 2008

All:

I am interested in how process engineers are both removing and adding markings to active devices. We have a job where we have to both remove the markings of and the re-mark SOICs. The markings on the devices look like they are pad or ink jet printed.

For removal we have tried ISOpropyl alcohol and a variety of thinners.

Part pic is attached

BWET

Attachments:

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#54520

Removing Markings from Devices | 29 April, 2008

Stick on labels. Does both processes at the same time......

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#54521

Removing Markings from Devices | 29 April, 2008

We manufacture several water based ink removers. We have 1 type for solvent based inks and another for non solvent based inks. Check out our info and contacts atwaterworksllc.com

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#54533

Removing Markings from Devices | 30 April, 2008

This runs up a big caution flag in my mind! Counterfiet parts are often produced by removing the original markings and remarking the ICs with different part and lot numbers. I am not accusing you of this BUT we have recently been bit by counterfeit parts. We received a batch of 208 pin QFPs from a parts broker, installed 4 per board on 20 boards and none of them work. Testing of the chips to verify they are counterfeit is being discussed by my upper management.

Can you give me a legitimate reason why you would need to remove the markings and relabel the IC?

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#54566

Removing Markings from Devices | 1 May, 2008

At my last company, we sent specific key components out for remarking to help protect our intellectual property as it is much more difficult to copy a design if you don't know what the components are. (Yes, I understand this is not foolproof but rather a deterrent that adds cost to the process.) The company we used was HGM inc. (www.hgminc.com) in Santa Clara, CA.

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#54567

Removing Markings from Devices | 1 May, 2008

Thanks Chris. I stand corrected in that there are legitimate/honest reasons to remark an IC. Just have to be careful as there are a few not so honest people out there trying to make a buck in the counterfeit market this way as well.

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#54569

Removing Markings from Devices | 1 May, 2008

Yup, this is pretty scary, all right. I have just used up the last FPGAs of a batch we bought from a Chinese source. Never again! Some of them worked, some didn't, in a variety of nefarious ways. People cautined me about empty packages, etc. Well, these weren't empty, but of low quality. Some wouldn't accept the configuration bit stream, some ran real hot, and some had multiple bad I/O pins. At first, Xilinx said they'd never heard of such stuff, but a week later they said customers had gotten a lot of junk from China, they had no idea what the source of these parts were, bad wafers, counterfeit, damaged and reclaimed parts or what. But, they said if we bought them from a non-licensed distributor, we were totally on our own, they didn't even want to see the parts.

So, I got stuck holding the "bag".

Jon

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#54570

Removing Markings from Devices | 1 May, 2008

I just got done analyzing an old piece of gear with relabeled parts. We had a schematic of the boards, with no info other than the OEM's part numbers and the way the chips were interconnected. It took me no more than 15 minutes with a couple databooks to figure out what the several types of chips were in the circuit. (I will admit it isn't ALWAYS that easy to guess at standard parts that have had the markings removed.)

Jon

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#54572

Removing Markings from Devices | 1 May, 2008

Following chrisw's recommendation of a supplier above. Other component marking contractors are: * Prime Solutions; 4261 Business Center Dr, Fremont, CA , 94538-6357; 510-490-2299 http://www.primesol.com

* e-certa.com; 3930 Walnut Ave, Bloomington, IN 47401; 812 323-7824 http://www.e-certa.com

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#54575

Removing Markings from Devices | 1 May, 2008

Revealing trade secrets to achieve what a company can do to make money is a "touchy" situation. Especially on a forum where people are asking for help.

Our company has the capability to remove your markings, and reapply them in several techniques.

Here is a hint to remove the markings: Layer removal

If your not sure, dont attempt. Alot of chemicals can eat your product. Some chemicals remove to much. Some chemicals are not going to work.

If it is not a chemical, then........(light on in brain). Remember, Layer Removal....slowly.:) The technique is slow and takes a minimal amount of time for the area in question. If not done correctly, you can destroy valuable IC's. Some IC's contain silicate DIE with wire bonding. Destroy the Wire Bond or the DIE and the component is useless, and a unsatisfied customer.

If you need the work to be done by experience, our company can provide this service for you.

Located: San Diego

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#54580

Removing Markings from Devices | 2 May, 2008

You're not the only one. We just got done with a batch of ICs that had a high reject rate at placement. The machine was rejecting about 70% of the parts because it didn't recognize the part. The reason it didn't recognize the part was due to the fact the parts had dried solder paste on the leads! Right from the reel!

Explaining that to upper management was a hoot!

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#54612

Removing Markings from Devices | 5 May, 2008

Yep, many of us have seen this firsthand. I had a customer who fouled up a job, then "found" a deal on some (10) very expensive Xylinx parts, and badly needed these parts to complete the job. Everything looked good afterwards, but nothing worked. Xray inspection showed a slight problem, that would be the missing die and wirebonding in the ICs. 8 Ben Franklins each! If it looks bad it probably is, if it looks good, it MIGHT be.....

From our side we often use the remarking of ICs, and strictly on the basis of protection of intellectual property.

'Hege

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