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.