Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Elements of an Effective ESD Control Program – Part 2: ESD Training

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

The three main parts of an effective ESD Control Program are an ESD Prevention Program, an ESD Training Program, and an Audit Program. In Part 1 of "Elements of an Effective ESD Control Program," we looked at ESD prevention programs. Let's move on and focus on the importance of ESD training.

The second part of an effective ESD Control Program is ESD Training. ESD training leads to the success of an organization's ESD Control Program through educating the best practices for ESD prevention. A dedicated ESD training program shows a sustained company-wide commitment that ESD prevention is a valuable and on-going effort. There are three aspects to ESD training: initial training, recurring training, and evaluation.

The initial ESD training should cover the fundamentals of ESD and define the type and frequency of training for all employees. An initial training program should cover electrostatic discharge, how to identify insulators and conductors, how to identify how much static is necessary to damage equipment, and it should emphasize the costs of such ESD damage. Hands-on training includes how to properly use and wear ESD items, such as a wrist strap or heel grounder, and what precautions to use in non-protected ESD areas. ESD training of personnel can take many forms: In-house training, instructor-led ESD classes, computer-based training, or off-site workshop training.

Recurring ESD training is a vital aspect of an ESD Control Program because it reinforces the information taught in the initial ESD training, but also offers a chance to incorporate program updates and changes. Recurring training also gives employees the opportunity to provide feedback on procedures, which is valuable when evaluating the current ESD Control Program. Guidelines for recurring testing may vary based on the organization, but periodic training is a must for the success of any ESD Control Program.

According to the "Standards of ESD Training Plan" required by ANSI/ESD S20.20, an evaluation should be incorporated into all ESD training programs. This evaluation, which could take the form of a written test, computer-based test, or a Q&A with an ESD instructor, ensures that the employee understands and has retained the information taught in the ESD training sessions. The organization should establish pass/fail guidelines for ESD certification/re-certification and procedures for recording this training in employee records.

An effective, systematic, and sustainable ESD training certification and re-certification system is key for all successful ESD Control Programs. It cannot be stressed enough how essential ESD control is for successful electronic manufacturing.

Check back with The Q Source Resource soon for Part 3 of this feature article, when we'll conclude our discussion of an ESD Control Program with a look at ESD Audit Programs.

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

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Hakko FM-206 3-Port Rework Station: New Product Preview

Targeted at prototyping and for delicate rework, the Hakko FM-206 3-Port Rework Station is the next new product release coming from American Hakko Products (Hakko). Available as either an individual station (part number FM206-55) or in four standard configurations, the Hakko FM-206 is expected on July 5, 2011.

The stand-alone FM206-55 will come with the 3-Port Station, the B2756 Tip Tray, and a B2419 Power Cord. The four standard configurations (FM206-DSS, FM206-DTS, FM206-STA, and the FM206-DSA) each contain a combination of a soldering (FM-2027) and/or desoldering iron (FM-2024), tweezers (FM-2022), or a hot air pencil (FM-2029). Additional optional handpieces are/will be available (including the Hakko FM-2030 Heavy Duty Soldering Iron to be released in the near future).

Benefits and features of the Hakko FM-206 3-Port Rework Station include:
  • A graphical user interface (GUI), which features a digital airflow indicator, a configurable °C or °F display, and also allows for easy setup and operation of the station
  • Easily integrates with the FR-830 and FR-870 Preheaters
  • Vacuum and airflow provided by a self-contained pump (with an optional footswitch to control pump operation)
  • Sleek look and compact size decreases bench space needs
  • All three ports are powered simultaneously
  • Designed to be ESD safe

One of the "coolest" features of the FM-206 is the "cool-down" mode available when using the hot air pencil option. To promote tip life, after you shut down the pencil, the software will do a 15-second purge of air to cool down the tip.

We'll have further, detailed information about the Hakko FM-206 3-Port Rework Station after its release so keep coming back to The Q Source Resource and also check out our YouTube Channel for our "On the Bench" series of videos.

To find out more about the FM-206, and how you can order yours, give Q Source a call at 800-966-6020.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Scienscope Microscopes Added to Product Line

Let's zoom in and take a closer look…yep, you can clearly see that the full line of Scienscope microscope and inspection systems is now available on Whether you need complete video inspection systems or replacement parts and accessories, Q Source has great deals you won't need a microscope to see. features a wide range of Scienscope products for most any task. We offer many complete inspection packages, including a variety of Macro Zoom Video Inspection Systems. If you want to build your own system or upgrade an existing one, we offer microscope stands, lenses, USB cameras, and even color LCD monitors to let you create the exact set-up to meet your needs. Check out the Scienscope International page on to take a closer look at the complete line of products.

Scienscope International's product solutions range from general purpose optical and video inspection solutions for the electronics and PCB industries to complete inspection solutions including microscopes, measurement systems, machine vision, and x-ray technology. Scienscope, founded in 1995, is based in Chino, California.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hakko's HJ3100 Fume Extraction System: Act Now for An Unbeatable Price & Free Filter Adapter

As mentioned in our previous post, "Hakko FA-430 Replaces HJ3100 Fume Extraction System," the Hakko HJ3100 is being replaced…but it's still an excellent fume extractor and is offering the HJ3100 at an unbeatable price, and with a free filter adapter, while supplies last.

At a phenomenal savings of almost $100 off the regular price, the Hakko HJ3100 Fume Extraction System features efficiencies greater than 98% at 0.3 microns. The HJ3100 is designed for use at soldering stations to extract the contaminated air directly at the source. The HJ3100 and its replacement parts are available until current supplies are depleted.

The free filter adapter (part number 999-241) lets the HJ3100 use the new FA-430's main filter (A1586) and pre-filters (A1585). The adapter simply drops into the HJ3100 and allows the FA-430's main filter to provide excellent filtration efficiency and increased airflow performance.

To order your Hakko HJ3100 Fume Extraction System with free filter adapter, or for more information, please visit our Web site or give us a call at 800-966-6020. Remember, supplies are limited so ACT NOW.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Top Tools for 5S/Lean Success

If you read our recent article about 5S/Lean, or if you are starting a 5S initiative at your workplace, you may be ready to check out some tools for 5S success. Whether it's organizing or cleaning, or even just some good advice, Q Source offers the best tools to fit your 5S needs.

Before we focus on the tools, here's a refresher look at the steps of 5S. For a detailed explanation please read our previous blog article:

  1. Sort – Sort through everything in the work area and eliminate all unnecessary items. Store or throw away everything else.
  2. Set In Order – The goal here is to organize the workspace. Arrange, straighten, label, and work toward an efficient work area.
  3. Shine – Sweep, clean, and tidy up the work area to promote a clean, efficient, and safe workspace.
  4. Standardize – An ongoing successful 5S initiative needs the consistency created by standardization.
  5. Sustain – 5S is only a success if the efforts of the first four steps are continued on a regular basis.'s solution-providing Web site offers the tools you need to make each step of the 5S process easier and successful.

Proper labeling of products, storage areas, procedures, and floors is an integral part of 5S and we have a variety of label printers, labels, signs, and tapes to help make the process easier. Our printer offerings include thermal transfer printers, portable printers, and even an entire store dedicated to the Brady BMP 71 Printer. Of course, you'll also find all the ribbons and accessories you'll need to go along with your printer.

To make your visual workplace easy to navigate you need the right labels, signs, and floor tapes.'s choices are far-reaching and include: dot matrix, ink jet, thermal transfer, and write-on labels. Our safety-related labels and signs also include a selection of ESD-safe labels. Our floor tapes and striping choices feature a variety of colors and sizes.

We've previously written about the Akro-Mils Indicator Bin, which is a really cool and inexpensive way to create a visual inventory control system. In addition, we have a wide selection of totes, trays, and bins of all sizes, shapes, and colors—you're sure to find the right bin for the job.

If bins won't do the trick, or you need to ship unneeded items from your workplace, check out our selection of corrugated boxes available in many shapes and sizes.

And when you need a place to put your bins and boxes we have many shelving and storage options. 

The third step in the 5S process, calls for a clean, safe work area. Our cleaning supplies section contains many tools to help you create a tidy, spotless workplace. A selection of industrial and ESD-safe garments also promote worker cleanliness and safety.

Further enhancing work-area safety are our safety information choices and a selection of industrial and task lighting products.


Perhaps the greatest tool you can have is knowledge, and a great way to learn about 5S is to use one of the three Rs…Reading. In the age of Google, there are thousands of 5S/Lean resources for you to check out. Here are just a few:


  • Lean Thinking by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones
  • Lean for Dummies by Natalie J. Sayer and Bruce Williams
  • The Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker
  • Lean Hospitals by Mark Graban
  • The 5S Pocket Guide by James R. Peterson
Other Resources:
That's our look at some of the best tools for 5S/Lean success. It's, by far, not an all-inclusive list, but, as always, if you can't find what you need please call (800-966-6020) or contact us through our Web page and we'll help you find a solution. Good luck in your Lean endeavors.

If you would like to recommend other useful 5S/Lean tools, or are just starting out and have questions about 5S/Lean, we'd love to hear from you in our comments section.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Entire 'Static Solutions' Product Line Offered On

There's no static in this announcement… now offers the entire Static Solutions product line. If you're looking for one of their static control, clean room, or maintenance products, we've got it! features Static Solutions products to meet needs in many areas. Personal grounding items include Heel and Sole Grounders, Wrist Straps, and Ground Cords. For testing and monitoring there are Test and Audit Kits, Test Probes, Meters, and ESD Monitors. Table and flooring solutions include ESD Table Mats, Dissipative Floor Finishes, Conductive Floor Paint, and ESD Floor Cleaners. Check out the Static Solutions page on to explore the complete line of products.

Static Solutions, Inc. manufactures ESD-safe products for production, static control, clean room, static testing, data logging and sanitary maintenance. They are headquartered in Marlborough, MA, with manufacturing facilities in England.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Get an ASG PS-55 Power Supply…FREE!

ASG's Econo-Busters 6.2 free power supply offer is back! Get a FREE PS-55 Power Supply (regularly $203.28) with the purchase of select ASG Electric Drivers from

Just add the qualifying electric driver to your cart and we’ll do the rest. The free power supply will be automatically added to your order.

Back by popular demand, this limited time offer expires 9/30/2011. Cannot be applied to previous purchases.

ASG is a division of Jergens, Inc. offers a wide selection of ASG light assembly products.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

5S: A Useful Tool for Building a Lean Workplace - Feature Article

Cluttered, dirty, confusing, wasteful, and dangerous…not the adjectives you want used to describe your business. Implementing a Lean initiative, beginning with 5S, can transform your business into an organized, clean, efficient, straightforward, and safe workplace.

5S is a tool that can be used to create a foundation upon which a complete Lean initiative can be built. Mark Graban, founder of and a Senior Fellow at the Lean Enterprise Institute, believes "5S needs to incorporate Lean thinking…looking at providing a better workplace, engaging people in that improvement, providing more value to customers, and preventing errors."

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Web site, "5S is a system to reduce waste and optimize productivity through maintaining an orderly workplace and using visual cues to achieve more consistent operational results."

The components of the 5S system are: Sort, Set In Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain (also known by the Japanese words: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke). The Japanese names are tied to initiatives that are mostly associated with Toyota (the Toyota Production System, for example), but the concept goes back even further to Henry Ford's CANDO (Clean-up, Arrange, Neatness, Discipline, and Ongoing Improvement) system, which he discussed in his classic 1926 book, Today and Tomorrow.

Before beginning the 5S cycle, the creation of a 5S team will help ensure the success of a 5S initiative. The team should include staff, frontline workers and, yes, management because as Karen Wilhelm, publisher of the Lean Reflections blog, says, "Companies that do not have a full commitment to lean and learning at every level will not see business results." Lean consultants are often brought in to substantiate that commitment with training for each of these components:
  1. Sort: The process begins by culling through everything in the target area, whether it be in manufacturing, an office, or a hospital environment, and eliminating all unnecessary items. Keep only the essentials and store or throw away the rest. The entire team should be involved in the sorting process so an accepted, general consensus about what is and isn't necessary can be reached.
  2. Set In Order: The next step is all about arranging the remaining items and creating an organized workspace. The straightening, labeling, etc. during this phase are all aimed at promoting an efficient workflow. There are many valuable tools and procedures that can be implemented to make this stage a success. These include painting or labeling floors to indicate specific work areas, using tapes and labels to outline where tools or other supplies should go, special bins to store supplies and for inventory control, shelving and cabinets to solve storage issues, and more.
  3. Shine: After the unnecessary items have been discarded, and the work area organized and made more efficient, then the cleaning process can begin. Sweeping, shining, and making the work area tidy helps workers to quickly recognize leaks, broken parts, malfunctions, etc. and, most importantly, it improves worker safety. This step in the 5S process needs to be practiced on a daily basis…workers need to make it a habit to clean the workplace before things get messy.
  4. Standardize: When the first three steps of the 5S process have been completed, attention needs to shift to creating a detailed procedure to standardize these practices. Because 5S is a visual process, some of the handy tools for this step include signs, checklists, charts, and scoreboards. It is this step that requires the most training and practice to promote the consistency needed for a successful 5S initiative.
  5. Sustain: Achieving success with the first four steps means nothing if the fifth step, Sustain, is overlooked. Maintaining the 5S process and creating good habits can be encouraged by visual reminders such as signs or posters around the work area. Regular meetings to review procedures and to discuss new issues will keep the focus on sustaining 5S efforts.
Wilhelm urges that each "S" is important and that following the sequence is key. But, "Many people do say that 'sustain' is the most important, and you can make a good argument for that being true," she said.

Despite the seemingly easy implementation, many 5S initiatives fail. According to an Industry Week article, "…the average lifespan of a 5S effort is a paltry one year." Why such a dramatic failure rate?

Karen Martin, of Karen Martin & Associates (a Lean consulting firm), believes the two missing elements are often leadership and culture. "Japanese leaders are trained as coaches and Lean is seen as an overall plan instead of being done in a step-wise fashion as it is in the U.S.," she said. Martin further points out that in the book Lean Thinking by James P. Womack & Daniel T. Jones (considered the "bible" of American Lean philosophy), the words "leadership" and "culture" don't even appear in the index.

Graban stresses there has to be a Lean spirit. "I think if 5S is done in the spirit of helping people improve their own workplace and engaging people in improvement then that's more in keeping with the Lean spirit," he said.

"A bad system will defeat a good person every time," said W. Edwards Deming, a consultant of statistical control procedures for post-WWII Japan. Just because an organization implements a 5S/Lean program doesn't mean it's doing it for the right reasons or that it will lead to business successes.

Martin points out, "There's a lot of what we call 'Lame' going on out there." She says the danger is that, "Organizations will hear about 5S and think it's a nifty tool to implement at their company without a deeper understanding of Lean. They need to understand that 5S is a countermeasure to solve specific problems, not a tool to be slapped into an operation for no clear reason."

Graban shares an example of an accounting firm in the U.K. that made workers take all their family photos off their desks and put tape outlines marking where their keyboard and mouse should go. "How in the world is putting tape around your keyboard going to help you do a better job for your accounting clients. I would argue that it doesn't help at all."

If an organization truly embraces the culture of 5S and Lean by providing proper training and sustaining the efforts on a daily basis they will see success. As Lester R. Bittel said in The Nine Master Keys of Management, "Good plans shape good decisions...good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true." Bad habits can bring disaster, but good habits bring great rewards.

Wilhelm believes that, "The main reward of 5S is that an organized workplace is a prerequisite to improving flow, one of the main concepts of Lean." Martin says the rewards of implementing a 5S initiative include: increased productivity, boosted employee morale, cost reduction, heightened customer confidence, and quicker service. And Graban adds, "If you look at good applications of 5S they engage the people who are actually doing the work…that's where 5S becomes very powerful."

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hakko FA-430 Replaces HJ3100 Fume Extraction System

American Hakko Products (Hakko) announced the discontinuation of their HJ3100 Fume Extraction System. The Hakko FA-430 Fume Extraction System is the recommended replacement for the HJ3100.

HJ3100 replacement parts are still available until current supplies are depleted. For replacement filters, order the FA-430's A1585 Prefilter and the A1586 Main Filter.

To use the A1586 Main Filter with the HJ3100 Fume Extraction System, a free filter adapter (Part #: 999-241) is required. To obtain the adapter, register online at

The simple drop-in support frame adapter allows the FA-430's Main Filter to provide equivalent filtration efficiency and an increase in airflow performance for the HJ3100.

For more information about the Hakko FA-430 Fume Extraction System see our previous blog post. Check back with The Q Source Resource and our YouTube Channel soon for a video look at the FA-430.

To order the FA-430 and related accessories, please visit's FA-430 Fume Extraction System page.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hakko FX-8804-CK SMD Hot Tweezer Conversion Kit for the FX-888: Now Available

Hakko has officially released the all-new FX-8804-CK Hot Tweezer Kit for the popular FX-888 Soldering Station and Q Source is now accepting orders!

The FX-8804 uses the same tips as the Hakko 950 Hot Tweezer but has the proper connection and heaters to work with the FX-888. It provides the FX-888 with the option for adding SMT repair and the ability to rework passive devices. The FX-8804 Hot Tweezer prevents damage to surrounding components on densely populated boards by delivering heat directly to components. It can easily remove SMD chips and flat packs up to 25 mm.

You can read more about the FX-8804 in our recent blog article and see it on our YouTube Channel and on our Flickr Photostream.