Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Akro-Mils Indicator™ Bins for 5S Process & Lean Manufacturing: "On the Bench" Video

In this "On the Bench" video we examine Akro-Mils Indicator™ Bins. Part of the BinTelligence™ Series, Indicator Bins offer a quick, visual solution for 5S process and other Lean inventory control initiatives. These two-toned bins are easy to use allowing users to "Stock, Pick, Flip, and Replenish."

You can learn more about Indicator Bins in our previous blog article and on our website.

Be sure to look for more "On the Bench" videos on QSource.com and on our YouTube channel.

Please view or download a transcript for this video. You can find transcripts for all of our "On the Bench"
videos on

Q Source Named O.C. White Green-Lite Preferred Partner

O.C. White has named Q Source, Inc. an O.C. White Green-Lite™ Preferred Partner. Q Source is proud to be one of thirteen companies in the U.S. to achieve this status.

The Green-Lite series of illuminated magnifiers feature the newest lighting technology, unrivaled energy savings, and are ESD-safe and RoHS compliant. Green-Lite employ next generation "surface mount" LEDs that produce more light with less glare, consume less power, and last longer.

Founded in 1883, O.C. White is a leading supplier of industrial lighting products and microphone arms worldwide. They design products to provide customers with maximum comfort and utility.

QSource.com offers the complete selection of O.C. White Green-Lite products in our O.C. White Green-Lite Store.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Elements of an Effective ESD Control Program – Part 1

Written and researched by Eric Puszczewicz, Marketing Manager, Transforming Technologies

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) has been a threat for centuries, dating as far back as the 1400s when European and Caribbean forts were using static-control procedures and devices to prevent electrostatic discharge ignition of black powder stores. ESD, simply put, is the sudden transfer of an electric charge from one conductive surface to another. A common example of ESD is the annoying shock one receives when touching a doorknob after walking across a carpeted room.

In today's manufacturing environments, the threat from ESD is constant. As electronics become smaller and more sensitive, ESD can affect production yields, product reliability, and profits. The human body can feel ESD at 2,000 volts, but sensitive components can be damaged at as little as 15 to 30 volts (the image to the left shows a magnified example of ESD damage)! This is why ESD has sometimes been called the "invisible threat." To combat this potential threat, companies involved in electronics manufacturing today follow the industry accepted elements of an ESD Control Program.

An effective ESD Control Program requires three main parts:
  1. An ESD Prevention Program—This is developed by first assessing your ESD problem and then documenting the necessary equipment and procedures to follow to ensure electrostatic safe handling
  2. A Training Program—Required to ensure everyone is aware of, and understands, the ESD Control Program, use of equipment, and correct procedures
  3. An Audit Program—Required to ensure that equipment remains functional and that the ESD prevention procedures are correctly followed. There should be daily, monthly, and yearly checks
These three policies should be included in any effective ESD Control Program. In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at specific procedures and materials that become part of your program.

In the first section, we broadly touched on the three main parts of an ESD Control Program: ESD Prevention, Training, and Auditing. In this section, we'll look closer at each part—beginning with the ESD Prevention Program.

The ESD Prevention Program
Designing the ESD program should be made with company-wide input because ESD damage can occur at all stages in a product's life from fabricating to shipping. Appoint an ESD manager responsible for making sure that all aspects of the ESD program are carried out. ESD problems should be assessed through a facility audit and a close examination of production losses. This information will be critical when deciding what equipment and procedures to implement.

An Electrostatic Protected Area (EPA) area should be established where sensitive materials can be handled. An EPA is a prohibited region where items or activities able to cause ESD damage to sensitive devices are not allowed. This area should be designated with ESD signs or floor marking tape.

All conductors in the EPA should be grounded to a common point ground and all insulators should be removed if possible. Insulators, such as plastic or glass, are materials that prevent the flow or transfer of electricity and cannot be grounded. Charges can accumulate on insulators, which cause many problems. Air ionization can neutralize any charge that builds on insulators and other materials that cannot be grounded. Ionizers produce positively and negatively charged ions and flood a surface area with Ions. Ions are charged particles that are present in the air and, as opposites attract, charges will be neutralized over time.

Work surfaces and floors within the EPA should be covered with grounded ESD matting, such as two-layer rubber or vinyl. Operators in the EPA should be grounded at minimum with a wrist strap and coil cord set or heel grounders. ESD garments such as jackets or gloves may also be advisable. Shelving, storage containers, and even pens can generate static, and these items should either be grounded or made from an ESD-safe material.

Test equipment is also necessary in the EPA to ensure that all devices are in proper working order. This equipment may include a wrist strap/footwear tester, a constant monitor, or a charge plate monitor.

That wraps up the first part of our series on the Elements of an Effective ESD Control Program. Please check back with The Q Source Resource soon for Parts 2 and 3 where we’ll examine the details of the Training and Audit Programs.

Special thanks to our guest blogger, Eric Puszczewicz from Transforming Technologies’ Static Care blog.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

TargetBlower Model 6202e 5V Ionizing Blower from Simco-Ion Technology Group Now Available: New Product Preview

Simco-Ion's TargetBlower is an in-tool ionizing blower designed to control static charge in near-critical environments. With a ±5V or better balance, the Model 6202e meets the requirements for manufacturing Class 0 (Charged Device Model) devices. It is ideally suited for applications such as backend semiconductor manufacturing and hard disk drive manufacturing.

Key product features for this compact, space-saving ionizer include:
  • Unique Space-saving Design: No other ionizing blower looks like the TargetBlower. The TargetBlower's design improves its function as its collimated chassis directs the ions to the application area.
  • Balance Adjust Trimpot: As the environmental conditions change in the application area, the TargetBlower can be optimized using the balance adjustment trimpot.
  • Thin Filament Emitter Wire: The TargetBlower features a thin-filament emitter wire mounted in a circular configuration that generates a flowing stream of ions toward the application area.
  • Self-Cleaning Ionization System: The TargetBlower's microprocessor automatically operates upon power on and every seven days when the ionizer is continuously turned on. The wire is cleaned with a swiping mechanism. Ionization is not stopped at this time.
  • Alarm: Indicates HVPS failure and loss of ionization.
  • FMS Output: Relay connector allows Facility Monitoring System (FMS) connection to the tool or to a remote location.

The Model 6202e can also be used as a benchtop air ionizer with Simco-Ion's optional 14-21108 24 VDC external power supply. For more information, or to order the TargetBlower Model 6202e 5V Ionizing Blower, please visit QSource.com or call 800-966-6020.

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Akro-Mils Indicator™ Bins - 5S Lean Organization Made Easy

    Whether you follow an organizational process like 5S Lean, or are just seeking a way to create fast, efficient inventory control, Akro-Mils' Indicator™ Bins offer a quick, visual solution. Indicator Bins are part of Akro-Mils' BinTelligence™ Series, "an innovative, low-cost alternative to high-end inventory control systems."

    Allowing users to "Stock, Pick, Flip, and Replenish," Indicator Bins utilize the bright orange color that is part of 5S and other Lean initiatives (check back soon for an in-depth article on 5S Lean in a future Q Source Resource post). A simple visual inventory control process can be created through the following steps (look for our how-to video coming soon to Q Source's YouTube Channel):

    • Stock the bin using a divider to indicate volume for the inventory reserve
    • Pick from the blue side of the bin until reaching the divider
    • Flip the bin to the orange side to indicate inventory is low
    • Replenish the bin, turn it back to the blue side, and repeat

    Featuring the unique two-color design (blue on one side, orange on the other), these polypropylene Indicator Bins are currently available in two sizes (4.25" and 6.75") with corresponding divider sizes available separately. Additional sizes are being considered for a future release.
    "The Indicator Bin simplifies visual recognition when your supplies need to be replenished. An innovative and low-cost alternative to high-end inventory control systems," Thomas Memmen, Mid-Atlantic Regional Sales Manager, Akro-Mils, Inc.
    Other features and benefits of Akro-Mils Indicator Bins include:

    • Double-sided—bin can be filled or picked from both sides
    • Large label area on both sides
    • Strong rolled ridge allows for a maximum capacity load
    • Works with 14" wire shelving, 12" steel shelving, and pick rack systems
    • Organizes supplies and work-in-process easily
    • Reduces excess inventory and clutter
    To order, or learn more about, Akro-Mils Indicator Bins please visit the QSource.com Akro-Mils Web page or call our helpful experts at 800-966-6020. Q Source is your resource for organizational tools, inventory control solutions, material handling, and Lean initiatives such as 5S Lean.

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    RoHS & RoHS Compliance: Questions for Q-Bot

    Dear Q-Bot: When I shop QSource.com for certain products, I often see the terms RoHS or RoHS-compliant. What does this mean and why is RoHS-compliance important? Thanks! — S.R.G. via the Internet

    Greetings S.R.G.:
    RoHS is the acronym for Restriction of Hazardous Substances. Originating in the European Union (EU), and known as Directive 2002/95/EC, it restricts the use of six hazardous/toxic materials used in electrical and electronic products.

    Often referred to as Lead-Free, the RoHS Directive indicates maximum levels for these six materials:
    • Lead (Pb): < 1000 ppm (Exposure can lead to neurological disorders—including changes in mental development and behaviors in children)
    • Mercury (Hg): < 100 ppm (Exposure can lead to neurological disorders—especially in babies and children)
    • Cadmium (Cd): < 100 ppm (Exposure can lead to kidney dysfunction, lung cancer, and prostate cancer)
    • Hexavalent Chromium: (Cr VI) < 1000 ppm (Exposure can lead to cancer, irritation, nasal septum perforation, the development of stomach ulcers, kidney and liver damage, convulsions, and even death)
    • Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBB): < 1000 ppm (Exposure is possibly carcinogenic to humans)
    • Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE): < 1000 ppm (Exposure can lead to liver toxicity, thyroid toxicity, and neurodevelopmental toxicity)
    Faced with the reality of millions of tons of potentially toxic electronic waste being deposited into landfills and the environment each year, the EU created RoHS to address hazardous substances in the following product categories:
    • Category 1: Large Household Appliances (refrigerators, washers, stoves, air conditioners, etc.)
    • Category 2: Small Household Appliances (vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, coffee makers, irons, etc.)
    • Category 3: Computing & Communications Equipment (computers, printers, copiers, phones, etc.)
    • Category 4: Consumer Electronics (TVs, DVD players, stereos, video cameras, etc.)
    • Category 5: Lighting: (lamps, lighting fixtures, light bulbs, etc.)
    • Category 6: Power Tools (drills, saws, nail guns, sprayers, lathes, trimmers, blowers, etc.)
    • Category 7: Toys & Sports Equipment (video games, electric trains, treadmills, etc.)
    • Category 10: Automatic Dispensers (vending machines, ATM machines, etc.)
    Category 8 (Medical Devices & Equipment) and Category 9 (Control & Monitoring Equipment) are currently exempted from RoHS compliance. For more information about exempted materials check out the UK’s National Measurement Office site.

    While RoHS is an EU directive, it impacts any business that sells the aforementioned products to RoHS countries or to resellers, distributors, or integrators that sell these products to EU countries. All impacted products introduced into the EU market after July 1, 2006 have had to pass/apply RoHS compliance.

    A related directive to RoHS is WEEE, which stands for Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Directive 2002/96/EC). For more information on WEEE, see the European Commission’s WEEE Directive page.

    As a piece of electronic equipment myself, RoHS and WEEE are important to me. Plus, it's just plain fun to shout WEEE as I zip through the warehouse here at Q Source. Thanks for your question, S.R.G., and please continue reading The Q Source Resource blog.

    To submit your "Question for Q-Bot," please contact me via Twitter (@q_source), Facebook, or the "Ask a Question" link on the QSource.com homepage.

    — Q-Bot

    For Further Reference:
    RoHS Guide
    National Measurement Office (UK)
    Information about RoHS & WEEE from the European Commission (.pdf file)
    Wikipedia's RoHS Page
    eHow's RoHS Page
    Laws Fail to Keep up with Mounting E-Trash
    High-Tech Trash - Will your discarded TV end up in a ditch in Ghana?
    Technology's Morning After

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Hakko FX-8804-CK Hot Tweezer Kit for the Hakko FX-888: New "On the Bench" Video

    In this new "On the Bench" video we preview the soon-to-be-released FX-8804-CK from Hakko. The Hakko FX-8804-CK Hot Tweezer kit is one of the first major add-ons for the FX-888 Soldering Station. It is very similar to the Hakko 950-CK and expands the range of soldering options for the FX-888.

    Be sure to look for more "On the Bench" videos on QSource.com and on our YouTube channel.

    Please view or download a transcript for this video. You can find transcripts for all of our "On the Bench"
    videos on

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    MicroCare Sticklers Names Q Source, Inc. Featured Distributor

    Q Source, Inc. has been named MicroCare Sticklers' Featured Distributor for Spring 2011. Visit the Sticklers Distributor Page for more information.

    As mentioned in a previous Q Source Resource post (Become a Stickler for Clean Fiber Optic Networks with MicroCare Sticklers™), QSource.com offers the complete line of Sticklers Fiber Optic Cleaning Tools. Visit our Web site or call 800-966-6020 to place an order or for more information about the Sticklers line of fiber optic cleaning products.

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    Q Source Awarded Metro's Gold Seal Elite Dealer Status

    Q Source is proud to announce it has been awarded the status of Gold Seal Elite Dealer for InterMetro Industries (Metro) for 2011.

    "InterMetro Industries Corporation is proud to welcome [Q Source, Inc.] and [the Q Source] team into the 2011 Gold Seal Elite Dealer Program. Your entry into this program serves as a testimonial to the effort, dedication, and professionalism which you and your team have exhibited promoting and selling Metro products."

    InterMetro (Metro) is the leader in storage and transport products in the Food Service, Commercial Products and Healthcare Industries. InterMetro is a division of Emerson Electric Corporation.

    QSource.com offers a wide selection of Metro products and features an extensive collection of items in our Metro Wire Shelving Department.Link

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    The Hakko FX-8804-CK Hot Tweezer Upgrade Kit: New Product Preview

    American Hakko Products (Hakko) announced the FX-8804-CK Hot Tweezer Upgrade Kit as one of the first major add-ons for the FX-888 Soldering Station. Also available as individual parts, the kit contains the FX-8804 Hot Tweezers, FH-800 Tweezer Holder, the A1378 Tip, the A1559 Cleaning Sponge, and a Tip Alignment Block. All items will be available in a forthcoming release and can be pre-ordered from the QSource.com site.

    The Hakko FX-8804-CK Hot Tweezer Kit resembles Hakko's 950-CK Hot Tweezer Kit, but the Tweezer Holder features the same blue color of the FX-888 Soldering Station and the unit has the proper connection and heaters for the FX-888. The FX-8804-CK Kit provides the FX-888 with the option for adding SMT repair and the ability to rework passive devices right out of the box using a variety of optional tip sets for a range of active SMT device repair.

    The Q Source Resource will have more in-depth information about the FX-8804-CK Hot Tweezer Upgrade Kit in the coming days. The Q Source YouTube Channel will also feature videos about this new add-on for the Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    The Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station & Toshiyuki Kita: When Art & Industry Meet

    What do beautiful, modern furniture pieces, Sharp's AQUOS® televisions, and the Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station have in common? They were designed with functionality AND artistic beauty in mind.

    When Hakko set out to create a replacement for their popular 936-12 Soldering Station, they wanted something that was not only powerful, but "fun" to use and "attractive." They turned to the man whose furniture and product creations transcend everyday objects into pieces of art: designer Toshiyuki Kita.

    Flip the Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station over and you'll discover a name and a signature. Pretty unusual for an industrial item to be "autographed," but when an award-winning designer and artist creates something for you it's worth bragging about.

    Kita's philosophy for the FX-888 was to create a soldering station where "the conventional industrial appearance is wiped away and innovated into a form that will bring free imagination." The FX-888's election as a Japanese Design Selection is good evidence that he succeeded.

    To get a closer look at, and learn more about the Hakko FX-888, check out Q Source's "Unboxing the Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station" video and our blog post. Visit QSource.com or call 800-966-6020 to order the Hakko FX-888.

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    The Hakko FA-430 Fume Extraction System & FR-870 2-Bank IR PreHeater: New Product Preview

    Coming on the heels of their successful FX-888 Soldering Station launch, American Hakko Products (Hakko) announced the new FA-430 Fume Extraction System and their latest IR PreHeater, the FR-870. Both items will be available May 10, 2011 and can be pre-ordered from QSource.com now.

    The Hakko FA-430 Fume Extraction System, a replacement for the HJ-3100 model, offers a much smaller footprint (13" W x 14.4" H x 13.5" D), quiet operation (44 - 53dB @ 1 m), and powerful suction all in a compact, ESD-safe package. Also announced with the FA-430 were two new duct kits—the Rectangular Nozzle C1571 and the Round Nozzle C1572.

    You can see more photos of the FA-430 on the Q Source Flickr Photostream.

    The Hakko FR-870 2-Bank IR PreHeater has two independent switchable zones, manual or auto modes of operation, soft EPO, and a compact 9.7" x 5.5" heating area. The FR-870 integrates with the Hakko FR-803B and the FM-206.

    You can see more photos of the FR-870 on the Q Source Flickr Photostream.

    Check back with The Q Source Resource in the coming days for more in-depth information about the Hakko FA-430 Fume Extraction System and the FR-870 2-Bank IR PreHeater. The Q Source YouTube Channel will also feature videos about these new Hakko products.

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Simco-Ion: New Name, Expanded Global Presence for Leading Electrostatic Solutions Provider

    Simco Industrial and ION Systems have merged brands to become Simco-Ion Technology Group (Simco-Ion). Simco-Ion, an Illinois Tool Works (ITW) Company, is a leading international provider of electrostatic solutions.

    "The combination of Simco’s strength in [the] General Electronics and Flat Panel Display markets along with ION Systems' strong presence in [the] Semiconductor/Technology market gives the new unit unprecedented global presence in the technical Ionization marketplace," said Berry Brown, General Manager for the Simco-Ion Technology Group.
    QSource.com features an extensive choice of Simco-Ion electrostatic solutions products, including: the Top Gun™3 Ionizing Blow-Off Gun, the Aerostat® PC Benchtop Ionizer, the orION™ Ionizing Air Nozzle, and the MinION™ 2 Compact Benchtop Ionizer Air Blower.

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Production Basics Relocates: Ergonomic Workstation Maker Announces New 40,000-Square-Foot Facility

    Production Basics, makers of ergonomic workstations and accessories, announced they've moved into a new 40,000-square-foot facility in Billerica, Massachusetts. The new location consists of manufacturing, warehousing, and office space.

    Visit QSource.com for a large selection of workstations and accessories, including: Production Basics C-Leg, Quad, and Electric Stations and RTW Tables.