Friday, December 21, 2012

Hakko FX-888D Digital Soldering Station on Flickr

We couldn't be more excited! A few days ago we got our brand new Hakko FX-888D (FX888D-23BY) demo unit! This is the digital version of Hakko's famously-popular (and now discontinued) FX-888. It has everything its predecessor had, plus a little more. (Did we mention it's digital?!?!) Be sure to read our earlier article and check all the specs on

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Information Management as a Means for Dynamic Communication: Guest Blog

by Marlon Davis, Brady North America Business Lead, Tiscor and Software Portfolio

Link 360 Our guest blogger from Brady Worldwide writes about the growing necessity for software applications like LINK360 to manage visual information in the workplace and ensure that users can access important, up-to-date information at all times.

Traditionally, individuals shopping for signs or labels think primarily in terms of the physical properties such as material, adhesives, and ink. This focus on form often causes the actual messaging, or function, to fall in second place. However, with the increase in popularity of interactive communication vehicles, like computers and smart phones, the emphasis on the viewer or reader experience is rising. In these instances of interactive communication, computer monitors and smart phone displays become user interfaces (UI) by pulling information from one data source to another, to present changing information to the viewer. As signs and labels also become more dynamic, I predict they will eventually be pulled into IT's information management scope of responsibility. To quote Marc Andreessen, "software is eating the world."*

A quick look at advertising media gives an applicable example of the transformation that occurs when dynamic content is introduced. Traditional information vehicles and venues like billboard advertisements, movie theater posters, and other forms of indoor advertising are currently undergoing this software transformation with the introduction of electronic displays.

For example, old school movie posters have morphed into graphic movie trailer displays. What once were paper-based roadside billboards are now electronic displays that can shift every few seconds between product advertising and official AMBER alerts. Even the murals and posters once lining airports are now being replaced with interactive UI.

While static posters, billboards, and other signage may never fully be replaced, it's important to understand the benefit of dynamic media. Simply put: dynamic media can convey much more information to the viewer, in an impactful way, and in a timely fashion. This same change in advertising signage can also be applied to visual workplace information in the form of what we consider an information management system.

LINK360 can communicate changes in equipment such as these lockout devices.
A great example of dynamic communication in action within the regulatory world is a lockout/tagout program. When physical changes are made to a piece of equipment–in this case a lockout device is added or taken away–a host of other necessary changes are triggered to communicate with those who interact with the machinery.

An information management system, like Brady's LINK360® software, alerts the appropriate individuals when warning labels, lockout procedures, and inspection procedures need to be created or updated. The purpose of this is to ensure that ongoing dynamic communication is occurring with a company's workers to increase safety and efficiency, and remain compliant.

How the influx of software will impact less mutable signage needs, like exit signs and warning labels, is unknown, but we know it will come eventually. Electronic displays, including cutting edge tablets and those mentioned above, are becoming more varied and popular among the mass audience. Therefore, it's smart to keep an eye toward dynamic communication and information management systems.

We are grateful to our guest blogger, Marlon Davis of Brady North America, for his insights into the changing needs of visual documentation.

* Marc Andreessen, "Why Software is Eating the World," The Wall Street Journal Online

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The 2012 Long Island SMTA Expo and Technical Forum: Technical Sessions, Networking & a Free Lunch

The Long Island SMTA Expo and Technical Forum one-day show will be held Wednesday, October 10th, 2012, from Noon - 5 p.m. at the Islandia Marriott Long Island in Islandia, NY. Q Source is a regular exhibitor at the expo and will be participating once again this year.

The Long Island SMTA Expo features more than 70 exhibits and a full schedule of technical sessions including:
  • Implementing Advanced and "Bleeding Edge" SMT Components presented by Phil Zarrow and Jim Hall, ITM Consulting
  • Current Counterfeit Technologies Counterfeiters' Techniques presented by Tom Sharpe, SMT Corporation
  • Cleaning in a World of "No Clean" presented by Michael Konrad, Aqueous Technologies Corporation
  • "STUMP THE CHUMPS" presented by Phil Zarrow and Jim Hall, ITM Consulting
This regional SMTA show offers free technical sessions, free lunch, and the chance to network with leading suppliers to our industry. The event is a perfect opportunity for Process Engineers, SMT Machine Operators/Technicians, Quality Engineers, Test & Component Engineers, and Project Managers to pick up new knowledge and skills to apply at their workplace.

The Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA) is an international network of professionals working toward developing skills, sharing practical experiences, and creating solutions in the electronic assembly industry.

Follow the link for more information about the Long Island SMTA Expo and Technical Forum show. To learn more about Q Source, please visit

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Brady's LINK360 Cloud-Based Software Platform: Ease of Use for Ease of Mind

Brady Worldwide's professional software products are known for making it easy to create and print quality labels, track inspection data, manage cable infrastructures, and more. For their latest software product, Brady heads to the "cloud" with the LINK360™ platform for managing visual information on and around equipment and machines.

If your company regularly performs maintenance and repairs on equipment, you need to retain a visual record of any changes made. Visual documentation is an important tool for keeping equipment running at the highest levels, creating a safe work environment for employees, and avoiding costly downtime. Visual documentation is also a very important factor for EHS compliance and/or Lean activities.


Brady's LINK360 cloud-based software falls under the category of Visual Information Management (VIM) and addresses safety, efficiency, and production by:
  • Pushing actionable data to users involved in maintaining programs to provide safe and productive environments
  • Closing the data loop on actions focused on maintaining and managing equipment safety and performance
  • Visualizing information for users at the point-of-need when working with the equipment
  • Scaling easily to accommodate adding new users without needing to purchase extra seat licenses. You can add new sites, equipment, and devices.
In addition to the software, Brady is also offering professional services for customers using LINK360 such as assistance with equipment list collection, lockout and maintenance procedure writing and posting, and custom standards creation for maintenance activities. Additional services include:
  • Software setup & training
  • Procedure writing services (Lockout, Maintenance, etc – VLOP)
  • Visual equipment control data collection & application
  • Equipment labeling
  • Safety audit & assessment services
  • Software custom templates
  • Visual workshops
LINK360 is targeted at almost all industries that require safety and maintenance procedures, but will be of the most obvious benefit to food & beverage, manufacturing, manufactured goods, and local & state agency environments. The software features two main modules of interest to managers in these fields (especially those looking to get/stay EHS compliant and for Lean practitioners that need to create, review, and print visually instructive preventative maintenance and inspection procedures), the Lockout/Tagout Center and the Reliability Center.

The Lockout/Tagout Center helps to create and maintain safe working environments by providing tools to help lockout hazardous energy sources. This center allows the user to manage lockout/tagout programs while performing maintenance on machinery or equipment, create & print instructive visual procedures, tags, and labels; and access assistance for compliance with OSHA 1910.147 for lockout of hazardous energy sources. The Lockout/Tagout Center will be of most interest to those managers tasked with implementing and managing the company's safety program, such as EH&S Coordinators, Global Safety Managers, and Regulatory Safety Managers.

The Reliability Center is all about providing tools to help streamline the process for regular equipment checks. You can maintain equipment performance levels by creating and managing visually instructive maintenance procedures, controlling who may view, create, or edit templates and procedures; using pre-defined print templates, accessing helpful notifications/alerts, and more. Managers responsible for the operational capacity of their facilities (such as Plant Operations Managers, Maintenance Managers, Production Supervisors, and Chief Engineers will be assisted most by the Reliability Center.

LINK360 is cloud-based and is available anywhere you access the internet through a browser. The software supports the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8, 9; FireFox 8-14, Chrome 11-21, or Safari 5.0.1-5.1.5.

The LINK360 platform can print procedures, labels, and tags to any sheet-fed printer, inkjet or laser. Your 8.5" x 11" procedures can be printed to any Wi-Fi enabled, sheet-fed printer through an iPad's Safari browser. Brady offers durable labeling materials for energy source labeling and tagging including the following items:
  • Tag Blanks - # 12770
  • Tag Blanks - # 12771
  • Tag Blanks - # 12772
  • Sign & Label Blanks - # 12834
  • Sign & Label Blanks - # 12900
If you are interested in purchasing a license for the LINK360 platform please contact us via phone (800-966-6020) or email and we will get you set up right away.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Customize Production Basics Workstations to Meet Your Exact Needs

What do you do if you're shopping for Production Basics industrial furniture and you can't find the exact product solution you need among the hundreds of items available at Customize, customize, customize!

With the goal of helping you stay productive and work efficiently, Production Basics offers a custom products service. Need a specially sized workstation? Or perhaps accessories to perform a unique task? Production Basics can quickly help you meet those requirements with high-quality workstations and parts featuring special materials, finishes, and sizes & configurations to meet your specifications.

Production Basics can create
custom workstations from your specs. 
If a custom product sounds like the answer to your needs, Production Basics suggests compiling answers to the following questions:
  • What works and what doesn't in your current set-up?
  • What is your application?
  • What is the layout of your facility/department?
  • What are your specific weight capacity, size, material, and function requirements?
  • What is the size and weight of the material if material conveyance is needed?
  • Do you need a mobile option?
  • Do you require adjustable height?
Q Source, working with Production Basics, wants to help you find solutions to meet your exact requirements. If you believe a custom workstation or part will help you to enhance productivity in your workplace, please contact us via phone (800-966-6020) or email and one of our helpful associates will guide you through the process.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Worklon Cleanroom/ESD Garments Awarded ANSI/ESD Conformance Certificates

Superior Uniform Group's Worklon brand of cleanroom/ESD garments has been a trusted industry leader for fifty years. A few of their popular products were recently awarded certificates of conformance for various international standards.

Certificate of Conformance
According to Pam George, Worklon Director at Superior Uniform Group:
Worklon® ESD Lab Wear Work-Stat, 98/Two, and MicroStat were tested according to ESD STM 2.1 – 1997 and pending revision (2012) by an outside lab. The results of this evaluation found that these ESD Garments met conformance standards set by ANSI/ESD S20.20. Apparel from the Work-Stat and 98/Two Systems meet the requirements of a groundable static control garment and groundable static control garment system as stated in ANSI/ESD S20.20. MicroStat ESD Lab Wear meets the requirements for classification as a Static Control Garment at 50% Relative Humidity.

Worklon's Work-Stat Lab Jacket
Worklon's Work-Stat Lab Jacket
George also pointed out that Worklon garments feature the best fabrics (their breathable fabrics provide comfort and help users remain cool while still being safe to meet criteria for the manufacturing of ESD devices) and use high-quality construction techniques. It's their comfort, conformity, and coolness that make Worklon cleanroom/ESD garments THE choice for working in controlled environments.

Q Source has been a proud distributor of Worklon/Superior Uniform Group products for fifteen years. In addition to the aforementioned Work-Stat, 98/Two, and MicroStat products, offers a wide selection (more than 1,600 Worklon cleanroom/ESD items) of cleanroom boots, cleanroom coveralls, lab coats, and more. We have everything you need to provide cleanroom/ESD-safe protection for your employees working with sensitive electronic components. If you have further questions, or want to place a large order, please contact us via phone (800-966-6020) or email and one of our helpful sales associates will assist you.

Superior Uniform Group was formed in Long Island, NY, in 1920 as Superior Surgical Manufacturing Company. Their corporate headquarters are now based in Seminole, FL, and their products cover workers from head to toe in a variety of industries including healthcare, cleanroom, retail, and others.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Top Five Ways IAC Industrial Workbenches Help You Avoid ESD

From the Q Source studios in beautiful Bohemia, New York, here's Q-Bot with our Top Five list:

Top Five Ways IAC Industrial Workbenches Help You Avoid ESD

5. ESD Testing - IAC's static-dissipative worksurfaces, shelves, and ground bolts undergo testing at the factory. Resistance is measured based on a variety of relative humidity settings.

As a robot, I'm very good at taking tests. I actually get tested every 3,000 miles…or is that when I get my oil changed?

4. Optional Personnel Grounding Wrist Straps and Ground Blocks - The Personal Grounding Kit includes a Grounding Block, (which connects to the Grounding Lug on the worksurface), a Wrist Strap, and a Ground Cord.

I was built ESD safe, so I don't need a Grounding Kit. But I do wear Wrist Straps as a fashion accessory.

3. Stainless Steel ESD Grounding Lugs - These are built right into the worksurface and provide an easy connection to a grounding system.

That's funny, my ex-girlfriend used to call me a "stainless steel lug."

2. Static-Dissipative Laminates - IAC uses two types (3M and Nevamar®) of static-dissipative laminates on their worksurfaces and shelves.

Oh, these are extremely comfortable, too. I use them as blankets.

And the Number One Way IAC Industrial Workbenches Help You Avoid ESD…

1. Rounded Edges on Worksurfaces - IAC's premium and industrial workbenches include a 180°-rolled front edge, which protects the ESD-safe laminate from chipping, lifting, and other damage.

Speaking as someone who has many rounded edges I can tell you this is really important.

Thanks, Q-Bot! Well, there you have it, our Top Five Ways IAC Industrial Workbenches Help You Avoid ESD. offers a fine selection of IAC ESD workbenches, workstations, and more. To make your choice easier, we've created the "IAC Workbench/Workstation Configurators page," which will help you narrow down your options to find you the perfect IAC solution for your application.

For further information, or to place an order, please contact us via phone (800-966-6020) or email and one of our helpful sales associates will assist you.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Stop Searching, Start Watching: Subscribe to Q Source's YouTube Channel Today!

Q Source Inc.
Searching for a good resource for informational and industrial product-related videos? Then subscribe to Q Source's YouTube channel and search no further.

Our YouTube channel features product previews/reviews, informational/how-to videos, demonstrations, and our exclusive "On the Bench" video series. A few of our most recent videos included a look at Lindstrom's Rx 8140 RX-Series Ergonomic Cutters; an overview of R&R Lotion's ESD-Safe, Static Dissipative Bottles & Dispensers; and a product demonstration of 3M's Model 724 Constant ESD Workstation Monitor.

We currently feature more than twenty videos on our channel and that number is growing on a regular basis. Future videos will include a series examining some of Excelta's most popular tools.

So why miss out on all the action? It's very easy to subscribe. Just visit the Q Source YouTube channel, click on the "Subscribe" button at the top of the page, and choose if you want to be emailed each time we add a new video. That's all you have to do to ensure that you'll have access to our latest videos the second they're uploaded. Subscribe today!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Brady Launches "Lean Visual Blog"

Brady Worldwide (Brady) has launched a new Lean-related blog. The Lean Visual Blog features articles about 5S, TPM, safety, and more.

Launch content includes "Lean Visuals—An Introduction," which is an excellent article by Rick Ruzga (a Brady Lean Services Engagement Manager). Another valuable offering is the list of Lean Visual Resources—a reference section that is sure to continue to grow.

According to Brady, the Lean Visual Blog will be updated with new content every Monday. If you're involved with Lean or Lean Services, we're sure you'll want to add the Lean Visual Blog to your blogroll right away (and, of course, The Q Source Resource...if you haven't already).

For Brady Lean products, printers, signs & labels, and more, please visit the Brady Department at If the Brady product you need isn't available on our Web site, or if you need further information about Brady products, please contact us via phone (800-966-6020) or email and our helpful experts will be happy to assist you.

Friday, May 4, 2012

3M Wins Two 2012 Edison Awards

3M3M announced Monday that two of their products were honored with Silver 2012 Edison Awards. The 3M™ Kind Removal Silicone Tape and the 3M Aerobic Procedure for Lactic Acid Bacteria with 3M™ Petrifilm™ Aerobic Count Plate were recognized for innovation in the Lifestyle & Social Impact and Science/Medical categories, respectively.

The Edison Awards celebrate American innovation in product design and are named for inventor Thomas Alva Edison. This year's winners were announced at The Edison Best Products Award Gala in New York City on April 26.
Edison Awards
The 3M Kind Removal Silicone Tape is a next-generation, repositionable medical tape that integrates 3M's adhesive technology with a silicone base to provide a tape that is easily secured, but also easily removed…thus creating a more comfortable experience for patients.

3M's Aerobic Procedure for Lactic Acid Bacteria was developed as a testing method by 3M Food Safety working with its food-processing customers. The procedure is a simple way to test food and environmental samples for concentrations of lactic acid bacteria, which can affect the shelf life, as well as the flavor and color of products.

3M is fundamentally a science-based company. They produce thousands of imaginative products, and are a leader in scores of markets—from health care and highway safety to office products and abrasives and adhesives. Q Source, Inc. has been a distributor of 3M products since 2003.

Q Source’s 3M Department features an extensive selection of Tapes, Grounding products, Chemicals & Cleaners, Labels, and more. If the quality 3M item you're looking for isn't on our site, please contact us via phone (800-966-6020) or email and our expert associates will be happy to find it for you.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The EEV Blog's Soldering Tutorial Video, Part 3: Wrapping it All Up with Surface Mount Soldering

Dave Jones is back again in the Electronics Engineering Video Blog's EEVblog #186 – Soldering Tutorial Part 3 – Surface Mount video. In this final installment of the three-part soldering tutorial, Jones demonstrates several surface mount soldering techniques in an informative video that flows quickly—despite its almost 40-minute run time.

Jones wants you to know that surface mount soldering is "an absolute piece of cake." To that end, he uses the basic tools and techniques from the first two tutorial videos to easily complete several surface mount component soldering jobs.

The new techniques featured in Part 3 include drag soldering, tack & reflow, and the use of solder paste with a hot air gun. Jones uses these techniques to solder an 0603 resistor, an 8-pin ICU, an 0.65 mm component, an 0.5 mm pitch PIC24 microchip quad flat pack, and a high thermal capacity d-pack.

Throughout the video you learn about using flux pens (Jones likes to say, "FLUX IS EVERYTHING!"), soldering paste, hot air guns, and different kinds of soldering tips. When the video is over, you've been presented with so much helpful information that you truly feel ready to go and solder with confidence.

So, if you haven't watched Part 1 or Part 2 of the EEV Blog's Soldering Tutorial, please go check them out. We're sure they'll have you soldering like a pro in no time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

MicroCare MCC-CBCSK Circuit Board Cleaning Station: "On the Bench" Video

MicroCareMicroCare Corporation is introducing a new combo-kit for circuit board cleaning that will be available on May 1st. The MCC-CBCSK Circuit Board Cleaning Station Kit is an economical collection of some of their most popular products for cleaning circuit boards. Sold separately, these items total over $76.00 but the entire kit will have an introductory price of only $39.95!

Included in the MCC-CBCSK Circuit Board Cleaning Station Kit:
  • 1 - MCC-ESD SolventMiser™ Trigger Grip™
  • 1 - MCC-SPR SuprClean™ Defluxer high-purity cleaning fluid
  • 1 - MCC-RBNB natural bristle, short nose Trigger Grip™ brush
  • 1 - MCC-BK3 bench mounting kit
  • 2 - MCC-WF44 high-performance lint-free dry wipes (50 per pack, 100 total)

Our MicroCare representative, Ed Roth, showed us what comes in the MCC-CBCSK kit and how the products are used.

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

Monday, April 16, 2012

Production Basics Offers New LED Lighting Option

Production Basics, manufacturers of quality workbenches, workstations, and other industrial furniture, are now offering an LED option for their overhead lighting product. The Overhead LED Light features a long-lasting, energy-efficient light source that helps save you money over the long term.

LED bulbs from Production Basics are more durable in comparison to the standard T8 fluorescent bulbs and are more likely to avoid breakage. Cool to the touch, LED lights don't have the low buzz or flickering associated with fluorescent bulbs.

Production Basics Overhead LED Lights are available with or without Overhead Arms and come in 36", 48", 60", and 72" widths in a standard black finish. Constructed of 18-22 gauge steel, these Overhead LED Lights add 14" to the overall height of the workstation.

For more information about these new Production Basics Overhead LED Lights please give us a call at 800-966-6020. You can also visit our Production Basics Department for our extensive line of industrial furniture and accessories.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Brady IP™ Series Thermal Transfer Printers Compared in this TechCenter Article

The newest in our TechCenter series of articles focuses on Brady's IP™ Series. Now live on, "Brady IP Series Thermal Transfer Printer Detailed Specifications" aims to educate you about these rugged, feature-rich thermal transfer printers.

The Brady IP Series Thermal Transfer Printers are easy to use and are perfect for a variety of applications. Available in two models (the IP300 and IP600), these printers allow you to easily create and print text, bar codes, tags, graphics on labels, and wire markers.

The IP300 (300 dpi) and IP600 (600 dpi) offer fast print speeds (200 mm/sec., 8"/sec. and 100 mm/sec., 4"/sec., respectively), a 4.16" (105.6 mm) print width, and the capability to print for a number of industrial applications including: compliance shipping, bin labels, regulatory arc flash, datacomm patch panels, and more.

For more extensive information and specifications (including info about materials, physical properties, interface, and fonts/graphics) please read our detailed TechCenter article. And when you're done with that excellent article you can check out the rest of our collection including info about Brady's Portable Label Printers.

To place an order for a Brady IP Series Thermal Transfer Printer, or for further information, please visit our Web site, give us a call (800-966-6020), or send us an email and one of our helpful experts will be happy to help you.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

How to Protect Your Manufacturing Plant from the Hazards of Dangerous Chemicals: Guest Blog

Special thanks to our guest blogger, Lenard Cohen, President of Static Solutions

Companies seeking to avoid potential dangers to their workers, the environment, and ESD-sensitive components must consider a number of factors when weighing the benefits of high-quality ESD products and their cost. To help make this choice easier, the most important step should be to educate the engineers and buyers about the possible risks and how they can be avoided.

Education about the potential hazards will help to address the traditional conflicts every company faces:
  • The engineer wants to correct or prevent an ESD-caused problem
  • The buyer wants to purchase a material that meets functional specifications
  • The safety engineer, if there is one, must specify the safest material and focus on avoiding future litigation
The Clean Air Act Regulations & How to Address Them
Some of the aforementioned conflicts were made more challenging many years back when the EPA's Clean Air Act issued regulations to reduce 189 toxins. The affected products fall under both state and federal regulatory agencies (California and Massachusetts being very stringent).

The best way to address these toxins is by focusing on the two most important criteria:
  • The information presented in the Material Safety and Data Sheet (MSDS). Learning to read the MSDS is very important (if you don't know how to read one you're missing potentially vital information; such as if a particular product needs special precautions for application or disposal)
  • The Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) number for each product. It is important to keep the VOC number as low as possible to prevent contamination
What are the Sources of VOC
VOCs are most commonly found in the following areas:
  • Soldering: such as plating, solder, flux, stencil cleaners, and flux-removing solvents. Using lead-free solders (RoHS approved) has gained common acceptance. One of the concerns of using lead-free solder, though, is the higher operating temperatures, the need to use more aggressive solders, and whisker generation. There are exemptions from the EPA's regulations for the defense and hospital industries
  • Coatings: including ESD paints, isocyanates and other cross-linking agents, aziridines, ESD floor finishes, strippers, cleaners, and hand lotions
  • Materials: like ESD table and floor mats, finger cots, and smocks
  • Coalescent agents from floor finishes and free monomers from polymer binders
  • Phthalates used in common table floor mats and the chemicals used to clean the mats
  • Paraben-containing hand lotions: are not allowed for pregnant women
  • Floor finishes: should not have certain chemicals in their formulation, i.e., phthalates (Green formulations, that have undergone testing, are available from reputable sources)
  • Strippers: should not contain sodium hydroxide or Diethylene glycol monobutyl ether (DEGBE)
  • Table/floor mats: avoid those containing dioctyl phthalates, which are present in vinyls and lower cost rubber mats
Safeguarding Workers from VCMs
Volatile Condensing Materials (VCM) are also potentially harmful to workers, parts, and the environment. Here are the best ways to avoid the dangers:
  • Read the MSDS sheet fully
  • Call manufacturers and request hard core test data
  • Always use proper precautions when handling all ESD products (gloves, eyewear, exhausts)
  • Remember when using ESD products the aim is to:
    • Eliminate or prevent ESD caused failures
    • Create a safe environment (and avoid all potential fines)
    • Protect the worker (this will avoid any possible law suits)
  • Purchase from proven, reputable sources
Educating workers, engineers, and buyers will help to create a safe and compliant workplace and reduce the chance of employee injuries or legal action against the company. For further information about protecting and preparing your company to face dangerous chemical hazards please contact the experts at Q Source.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

JBC Tools FAQ Answers Your Soldering Temperature Questions

JBCKnowing the correct soldering temperature is important to completing a proper soldering job. Our friends at JBC Tools, manufacturer of quality, ESD-safe soldering/desoldering/rework products, created an FAQ to provide you with answers to your soldering temperature questions.

The JBC Section FAQ is a must-read (see below for a preview answer) and will help you make up your mind when purchasing a JBC Soldering Station:

Q. Will a JBC Tool allow me to solder at a lower temperature?
A. Yes, because JBC Tools tips have extremely fast thermal response. Slow thermal response means the tip doesn’t have the time to recover the temperature (especially if a series of solder joints are being performed). Non-JBC iron tips experience a significant drop in temperature as the tip transfers heat to the board. When the operator uses a higher temperature to combat slow response, it can result in shorter tip life and PCB/component damage.
JBC Stations
JBC's Knowledge Base includes a lot of other great info…definitely worth a visit.

Q Source has been a JBC Tools distributor for years and offers 300 JBC products. So, if you're looking for a JBC Tools Soldering Stations, Desoldering Stations, Rework Stations, and more, please visit our Web site or give us a call (800-966-6020) or email and we'll help you find the right tool for your job.

Friday, March 16, 2012

R&R Lotion ESD-Safe Bottles & Dispensers: Static Control for Your Dispensing & Storage Needs

ESD control on the job and in the workplace requires addressing every potential source of static. R&R Lotion's line of ESD-safe Bottles and Dispensers helps you address an area of static control that could go without a second thought.

R&R Lotion's line of ESD-safe Bottles and Dispensers

R&R takes ESD-safety seriously and has created a new process for creating their ESD-safe bottles and dispensers. Each one is molded of polyethylene in a process that utilizes a concentrate free of any Ethoxylated Tertiary Amine (which is commonly used as an anti-static agent).

R&R Lotion's line of ESD-safe Bottles and Dispensers
R&R makes a variety of ESD-Safe Pump Dispensers,
including standard & anti-splash pumps

Featuring an average surface resistivity of 109 to 1010 Ω/square, the ability to dissipate a static charge of ±5000V in less than two seconds (at 40% relative humidity), and no chemical reactivity with solvents like TCE or alcohol, R&R Lotion's ESD-safe bottles and dispensers do not have the less desirable characteristics seen with surfactant-laden materials. Tests conducted also showed that the pH of deionized water solutions remained the same before and after a seven-day period and that no color or physical changes were observed during solvent tests.

R&R Lotion's
R&R Lotion's SCB-16-ESD & SCB-32-ESD
ESD-Safe Spray Bottles

R&R Lotion ESD-safe Bottles and Dispensers are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and dispensing types including:
  • Flux Dispensers (w/16 ga., 20 ga., or 26 ga. needles)
  • Flux Brush (2 oz. flux dispenser w/brush)
  • Flux Pen (2 oz. flux bottle w/pen tip)
  • Sports Bottles (32 oz.)
  • Storage Bottles (4 oz., 6 oz., and 8 oz. square w/lid and 2 oz., 8 oz., 16 oz., and 32 oz. round w/lid)
  • Catch-All Containers (16 oz.)
  • Wash Bottles (8 oz. and 16 oz. w/closure & 90-degree stem molded in one piece for leak-proof use)
  • Water Bottles (8 oz. and 16 oz. w/Yorker top)
  • Spray Mister Bottles (2 oz., 8 oz., and 16 oz.)
  • Spray Bottles (16 oz. and 32 oz.)
  • Solvent Dispensers (4 oz., 6 oz., and 8 oz. w/standard or anti-splash pumps)
Flux Dispensers from R&R

Take a closer look at R&R's complete line of ESD-safe bottles with our Flickr photo set and check back with us soon for an upcoming "On the Bench" video focusing on these quality containers. carries all the bottles and dispensers from R&R Lotion and a wide selection of industrial hand lotions, sunscreens, and more. Visit our site to place an order or contact us via phone (800-966-6020) or email for more information.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Production Basics Announces New Suspended Drawer Units

Customers can save money with Production Basics’ new Suspended Drawer Units. These 18- & 20-gauge steel units feature various configurations of 3”, 6”, and 12” full-extension drawers in one chassis meaning they use fewer materials and weigh less, which also means less expensive shipping costs.

Each 19"D x 14"W x 18"H drawer unit chassis combination features 18” of drawer space and is available in a standard black color. Suspended Drawer Units are available for use with C-Leg and Easy-Lift Dual Leg Workstations, RTW Tables, and Easy-Lift 4-post workbenches.

For more information, or to purchase these Production Basics Suspended Drawer Units, please call (800-966-6020) or email us and one of our expert associates will help you find the perfect unit to match your workstation configuration. You can also select from an extensive selection of Production Basics products from’s Production Basics section.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Waldmann Tevisio: Efficient, Ergonomic Magnifiers Now on

WaldmannWaldmann Lighting's Tevisio line of LED magnifiers is now available at These high-quality, ergonomic magnifiers are perfect for use in a number of industrial, electronic, and laboratory applications.
Waldmann's Tevisio LED Magnifier
Some of the Waldmann Tevisio magnifiers' impressive features include:
  • 48 high-quality SMD LEDs
  • Use only 14 watts of power to create an output of 6,000 lux
  • 100% to 10% touch-enabled dimming
  • Scratch-proof, 6” diameter, wide-angle glass lens for distortion-free vision
  • Spring-balanced arm w/a large arm radius is easily adjustable
  • Six independent swivel joints provide variable head positioning
To learn more about Waldmann's high-performance magnifiers and to place an order, please visit, send us an email, or give us a call (800-966-6020) and we'll help you choose the right Tevisio model for your job.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hakko's Tips for Tips

Our friends over at Hakko have an excellent Knowledge Base article about how to maximize the life of your soldering tips. To read the entire article, please visit the Hakko USA Knowledge Base.

In their very informative article, Hakko reminds us that the main factor in reduced tip performance and longevity is oxidation. They offer these five tips to avoid oxidation problems:
  1. Clean the tip regularly
  2. Make sure the tip is completely coated with solder, which will help protect the iron plating
  3. Because heat and oxygen cause oxidation, whenever possible, use the lowest possible temperature to solder
  4. To avoid damaging the iron plating, do not rub the tip against component leads, pads, or other objects
  5. Water soluble and other highly active with aggressive cleaning action fluxes should be avoided
Sounds like good advice for long-lasting tip use. Q Source offers a fine selection of Hakko accessories to promote proper tip use and cleaning habits. And, when it is time to replace your tips, we have all of the quality Hakko tips you need to complete your soldering applications.

For further info about Hakko soldering products, or to place an order, please visit our Hakko department on our Web site, send us an email, or give us a call (800-966-6020) and one of our expert associates will be happy to help.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

NIST Certification: Questions for Q-Bot

Dear Q-Bot:
Can you tell me a little about NIST Certification? I think it's some sort of standard. Thanks!
— A.D. via the Internet

Hello A.D.:

NISTNIST stands for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which is an agency of the United States Department of Commerce. Founded in 1901, the agency was the U.S.'s first federal physical science research lab. The NIST was founded with the purpose of furthering measurement science, standards, and technology as to promote economic security and U.S. innovation, enhance industrial competitiveness, and elevate our quality of life.

The NIST creates a Standard Reference Material® (SRM) to be used to certify and confirm the accuracy of specific measurements. The SRM is used for instrument calibration and to promote the creation of new methods of measurement. An SRM is also used to perpetuate measurement traceability in the U.S. When an SRM is created the NIST also provides a Certificate of Analysis and a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), if applicable. These SRMs are the basis for the way products are tested to gain NIST Certification.

In addition to the SRM, there are a few other common terms you might come across when researching NIST Certification: NIST SRM Certificate or Certificate of Analysis, NIST Certificate of Traceability, NIST Traceable Reference MaterialTM, and NIST Certified Value are a few. According to the NIST, these are defined as:
  • NIST Standard Reference Material (SRM) - A Certified Reference Material (CRM) issued by NIST that also meets additional NIST-specific certification criteria and is issued with a certificate or certificate of analysis that reports the results of its characterizations and provides information regarding the appropriate use(s) of the material (NIST SP 260-136).
  • NIST SRM Certificate or Certificate of Analysis - In accordance with ISO Guide 31: 2000, a NIST SRM certificate is a document containing the name, description, and intended purpose of the material, the logo of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the name of NIST as a certifying body, instructions for proper use and storage of the material, certified property value(s) with associated uncertainty(ies), method(s) used to obtain property values, the period of validity, if appropriate, and any other technical information deemed necessary for its proper use.
  • NIST Traceable Reference MaterialTM (NTRMTM) - A commercially-produced reference material with a well-defined traceability linkage to existing NIST standards for chemical measurements. This traceability linkage is established via criteria and protocols defined by NIST to meet the needs of the metrological community to be served (NIST SP 260-136). A NIST NTRM may be recognized by a regulatory authority as being equivalent to a CRM.
  • NIST Certificate of Traceability - Document stating the purpose, protocols, and measurement pathways that support claims by an NTRM to specific NIST standards or stated references. No NIST certified values are provided, but rather the document references a specific NIST report of analysis, bears the logo of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the name of NIST as a certifying body, and the name and title of the NIST officer authorized to accept responsibility for its contents.
  • NIST Certified Value - A value reported on an SRM certificate or certificate of analysis for which NIST has the highest confidence in its accuracy in that all known or suspected sources of bias have been fully investigated or accounted for by NIST. (NIST SP 260-136)
Keeping all that in mind, the simplest way to define the NIST Certification process is that a product gets tested against an SRM to see if it meets the specific criteria for that product type. Most products that measure something, such as clocks, thermometers, tachometers, light meters, etc., have an NIST SRM for the manufacturer to make a comparison with. When a product is certified by the NIST it can be sold with an NIST Certificate.

NIST Certification testing can also result in an NIST Certificate of Calibration, NIST Certificate of Compliance, or NIST Certificate of Traceability. A Certificate of Calibration means that the product was tested and approved to meet a certain level of accuracy. The Certificate of Compliance is similar to the Certificate of Calibration, but in this case the product fell within a stated tolerance but can not be adjusted. The Certificate of Traceability is given to a product that was not tested against an NIST SRM, but instead compared to an NIST SRM of a similar product. The Certificate of Traceability is awarded then after the product comparison has been made and the proper paperwork filled out.

It is important to note that an NIST Certified product is not endorsed or recommended by the NIST. And while the process of getting a product certified and selling it may seem more costly than non-certified products, the NIST product is guaranteed to be accurate through the specially designed tests created to ensure measurement quality and precision-made products.


National Institute of Standards and Technology Web Site
NIST Overview Video
NIST's Standard Reference Materials Page
NIST on Twitter
NIST Designed and Operated Atomic Clock
Wikipedia's NIST Page

Friday, January 20, 2012

IAC Industries Launches New Web Site

Leading technical furniture manufacturer, IAC Industries, launched their new Web site Wednesday. The site has been updated to make it easier for customers to discover IAC's precision industrial workstation products.

The site's online catalog has been rewritten to provide more critical information and make it easier to select from IAC's choice of ergonomic workstations, industrial workbenches, cleanroom benches, storage cabinets, material handling stands and rolling carts, and related accessories. The online catalog is organized by categories to provide a clear path to what the customer is looking for.

IAC, based in Brea, California, has also added new sections to their site such as "Getting Started," "Customer Resources," and "Rich Media," which further add to the ease of navigation and customer satisfaction. The Quick Ship section provides information about IAC's popular ready-to-ship product configurations.

Q Source is an IAC distributor and you can also research products and place an order for IAC products at Check out our IAC Industries section or contact us by email or phone (800-966-6020). Our YouTube Channel features an excellent tutorial video about how to assemble an IAC Dimension 4 Workstation.