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Rework Station for SMD PCBs

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Rework Station for SMD PCBs | 13 November, 2012

What is a type or model of rework station is good for prototyping SMD PCBs?

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Rework Station for SMD PCBs | 14 November, 2012

It depends on what type of packages you will be working with. Will you be working with BGA/LGA devices or QFP. For QFP, Pace is a really good system. I would recommend a power supply with 3 ports: iron, de-solder, and hot air. You can replace most component packages with these 3 hand pieces. It will cost around $1200-1500 USD. For BGA/LGA there are cheap IR rework systems out there that do a pretty good job. We use Puhui Technologies IRDA rework system. We picked it up on E-bay for around $250.00.

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Rework Station for SMD PCBs | 20 November, 2012

In order to be able to do full prototype assembly, you will need to be able to mount and reflow a large number of different devices of differing technology. One part might be a simple QFP, another might be a .4mm pitch uBGA. If you are prototyping and cannot mount ALL of the devices you are out of luck. So to fully answer the question, and to have complete capability for prototype designs and components, you'll need a rework station with both top and bottomside heating, split vision optics for alignemnt and placement of fine pitch or bottom terminated devices, something similar to AirVac DRS25. To be real, you are looking at $60K USD and up to do this right, if prototyping at a rework machine is what you really want to do.

I have no affiliation, and receive no benefit from the company listed above.

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Rework Station for SMD PCBs | 21 November, 2012

Before you go out and spend 60K on a rework system, you need to look at what technologies you are prototyping with. I'm speaking common-sense of course. A cheap rework system such as Pace MBT systems will allow you to rework most components. For more advanced packages, there are cheaper systems out there. Go cheap first, you may find something that will work well with what you have. But in order to assist you better, it would be good if you could provide a list of package types you will be using on your product(s).

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