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Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design Forum

SMT electronics assembly manufacturing forum.


Color theme of lead free

#28859

Color theme of lead free | 1 June, 2004

Would like to know what people are doing to differentiate their lead and lead free environments in their production areas. How do you keep it separated? What, if any, visual colors do you use to indicate a lead free area? Gray? Green? For instance, we segregate our blade holders by anodizing different colors, use different color spatulas for handling paste, things like that. Of course we use the standard signs, and such, but am curious what direction others are going to in order to keep it separated. Your input will help in an internal debate.

Thanks. Ray

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Ken

#28878

Color theme of lead free | 1 June, 2004

The biggest fear is mixing the solder pastes and bar solder. Had a training program for teaching folks what the alloys are and how to read them. I have locked up the bar solder and use the buddy system to restock the pot.

Put up many signs on lead free wave machine and have bar- coded he boards to indicate LF.

have 100% separate touch-up dept. Bottom line is this: Read your documentation before proceeding!!!! That is the golden rule in manufacturing.

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Dave

#29053

Color theme of lead free | 11 June, 2004

I am Just starting to explore the Pb free soldering processes. It sounds like you have been involved for some time. I have a million questions, do you have contact info that I could use to discuss off line? Thanks

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#29056

Color theme of lead free | 11 June, 2004

Dave: You're missing the point of our on-line forum. We exchange ideas, so that we all benefit.

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#29062

Color theme of lead free | 11 June, 2004

We have segregation of materials, Different storage areas for paste and Bar stock, etc. We are bar coding the solder paste materials (have to scan paste container, and blades before use, etc. line won't run unless its good). Also changed packaging style (jar to cartridge) of paste a yet another visual cue (plus to get away from jars). Different areas for rework of lead and lead free, etc.

What I'm asking is what kinds of visuals people use. Mat Color, Aisle colors, and things of that nature to say to the casual observer that this area is different.

Reading docs is key, I fully agree, but sometimes its just not enough. Using visuals can help prevent confusion. Anything to help prevent a slip. Can't always rely on the individual.

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Ken

#29073

Color theme of lead free | 12 June, 2004

Well, it finally happened. A machine Operator did not follow our bar code process and "grabbed a tube of solder paste" and guess what. Built 250 assemblies with LF paste when it should have been Tin/Lead!!!!

SOLDER PASTE SUPPLIERS: can you make the solder a different color? Like add a green hue to LF paste? This way I inpect our 6 lines I can just look at the stencil and KNOW what material is on there?

Or add a material that flouresces in UV to no-clean lead free solder paste?

Damnit! Sorry to vent guys, but I just wanted to emphasize that no matter how good your processes is and no matter how many checks and balances it has....it all comes down to people!

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#29094

Color theme of lead free | 14 June, 2004

This is one reason why we changed package styles. Maybe consider getting a different size tube, say from 500g to 1000g or something like that. We use jars for lead paste, and tubes for lead free (different application method) If lead free comes off the stencil, it goes into a small different sized jar, with a green lid, labeled for lead free.

We are rolling out a bar code system for the paste tied into our board scanner system. The paste and the squeegee holders are linked together with the system, so if you do not scan anything, boards will not come down the line, if you scan the wrong paste, same result. If you scan the right paste, but put that down and get a leaded jar of paste, then you should be fired for gross incompetence, or promoted into management (couldn't resist)

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Ken

#29106

Color theme of lead free | 14 June, 2004

I hear ya Ray, but I have standard (automatic) solder dispenser that are 700gram modules. Jars have other issues that I have migrated away from...

I like your idea of slaving the paste bar code label to the board scanner....

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#29138

Color theme of lead free | 16 June, 2004

I learned yesterday that Kester is using a different color on their products. They thought that other manufactures would also follow their lead in this.

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Reflow Oven

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