Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Production Basics Creates New How-To Video Series

No one likes a good how-to video more than us, and that’s why we were so excited to hear about Production Basics’ new series of instructional videos. These new videos focus on how-to assemble a variety of their products.

The ten videos (counting two factory tours that look at manufacturing processes) range in length from 1:56 to 6:42. Available either on the Production Basics site or on their YouTube Channel, the videos include the following titles:
  • How to Assemble a C-Leg Station – Learn how to assemble a Stand-Alone C-Leg Workstation
  • How to Assemble an RTW Table - Watch how to put together an RTW Table
  • How to Assemble & Install a Drawer Mounting Kit (for RTW, Easy-Lift 4-Post) - A demonstration of the correct way to align and attach Drawer Mounting Kits on your workbench
  • How to Attach a Basic Nut & Bolt – See how quick and easy it is to attach basic nuts & bolts
  • How to Assemble & Install a Riser Shelf – Learn a few useful tips for assembling a Riser Shelf
  • How to Assemble & Install a Power Rail – An excellent demo showing how to install the Power Rail’s surface mount and upright mounting brackets
  • How to Install Uprights (for RTW, PedSys and Easy Lift 4-post) – Find out how to use uprights to install accessories above the worksurface
  • How to Reposition a Drawer Slide – Watch this video to see how easy it is to position drawer slides to allow for different sizes of drawers or drawer order
  • Tour our Factory- Worksurface Manufacturing – An interesting tour of Production Basics Worksurface Processing Department at their Billerica, MA facility
  • Tour our Factory - Welding Work Bench Frames – Another excellent tour of the Billerica, MA facility with a focus on welding C-Leg Frames
These new videos are an incredibly useful resource. For more information about Production Basics products please visit QSource.com. To place an order for any Production Basics products, including the RTW Series and C-Leg Series, please visit our site or contact us via phone (800-966-6020) or email.



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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

3M Removes Ship Hold on Moisture Barrier Bags: Dri-Shield 2000, 2700, 3000, & 3400 Series Available for Purchase

Back in late August/early September, we reported that 3M™ had placed a shipping hold on a number of their Moisture Barrier Bags (Dri-Shield 2000, 2700, 3000 and 3400 Series). We have now been informed that the shipping hold has been removed and these bags are once again available for purchase.

Yesterday, November 4th, we received the following information from 3M:

This letter is to notify you that all 3M Moisture Barrier Bag products previously placed on ship hold have been released from ship hold and are available for sale. We apologize for any inconvenience you have experienced during the period of this ship hold, as we investigated the Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate (MVTR) performance of these bags.

3M’s ship hold allowed them to have two different MVTR tests, including using MOCON™ infrared sensing technology and MIL-STD-3010C Test Method 3030 gravimetric testing, performed by qualified third parties. 3M is advising that users of these bags re-evaluate the MVTR performance to ensure that it meets their application needs.

The following charts* contain the MVTR performance and other data results from 3M’s latest testing:

3M Moisture Barrier Bag Dri-Shield 2000


3M Moisture Barrier Bag Dri-Shield 2700


3M Moisture Barrier Bag Dri-Shield 3000


3M Moisture Barrier Bag Dri-Shield 3400


* These charts can also be downloaded at www.3M.com/static.

For more information about, or to place an order for 3M Dri-Shield 2000, 2700, 3000, or 3400 Series Moisture Barrier Bags please visit QSource.com.


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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Seven Psychological Principles of Organizational Change – Guest Blog

by Karen Wilhelm of the Lean Reflections blog

Implementing new workplace programs (such as lean manufacturing, quality control, or safety procedures) can be challenging when met with the resistance of an established mindset. Our guest blogger examines the principles that champions of change need to consider before they act.

When change fails, it's often blamed on a culture of resistance, one where people won't accept new ideas. An effort to introduce a new safety system, apply lean manufacturing concepts to an old process, automate a line, or add new quality inspection methods can run aground. In a series on my Lean Reflections blog, "What is culture and why is it so hard to change?", I have been looking at some anthropological perspectives on culture and the change process.

Decades ago, experts from the United Nations struggled to introduce beneficial new technologies like mechanized agriculture or better public health practices to traditional cultural groups. In 1953, an elite team of social anthropologists led by Margaret Mead was asked to use their thousands of hours of first-hand observations and analysis of similar circumstances to shed some light on why cultures reject change for the better.

This team of social scientists reminded us that, for a group of people to accept a change, each individual makes a decision based on both emotional and rational reasons. They identified seven psychological principles that change agents should understand. Briefly, let's take a look at them.

  1. The psychology of the experts themselves affects the process. Change champions don't always see that their beliefs and attitudes are not universal or always right. When they encounter embedded—and learned—cultural traditions that seem to be irrational obstacles to improvement, they may expect that all they need to do is give a logical explanation of a better way. They can think that, once enlightened, the group will be enthusiastic about the new methods. They can forget that their own learned attitudes about their brand of improvement took some time to take hold in their minds. They can forget that the group they are attempting to change will need time too.

  2. A person's usual daily behavior and ways of relating to others are directed by beliefs and attitudes that serve some psychological function or provide some benefit. That purpose does not have to be practical or rational. A belief that maintains a comfort zone, predictability, and emotional safety is not going to be abandoned easily. Such a belief may be psychologically necessary to a person, rather than evidence of stubbornness, unwillingness to cooperate, or inability to learn.

  3. The expert must see change from the point of view of the individuals exposed to it. A job is part of a person's self-image. People take pride in their work. The expert's "better way" may result in a loss of face or damage to some aspect of a familiar culture. If people feel undermined or embarrassed, they will resist. If members of a traditional manufacturing culture, especially managers, perceive that new ideas mean they have been wrong throughout their careers, their belief in their own expertise is threatened. It can amount to a psychological attack. And because a culture is a system, changing any part of it can have unintended consequences. Pulling one thread may cause more unraveling than expected. To see the culture as a system and from the point of view of its members takes time for observation.

  4. Experts should think twice before trying to introduce a large-scale blueprint for widespread change. But why not, if all aspects of a system are interrelated? For one thing, when people have been through plenty of other failed far-reaching plans that produced painful consequences, their work culture can become immune to another pitch. A big, detailed plan sets the stage for failure because few things will turn out exactly as predicted. People will then feel disappointed or betrayed, or even secretly happy that the initiative is in trouble. A vision or goal is important, but proposing the path to the goal begins with the small steps. Employees have a lot of small, everyday struggles that make it hard to do their jobs. Helping them solve one problem can speak louder than a hundred promises. A small-scale pilot project is a foot in the door. When the change leader says, "Let's try this, and if it doesn't work, we can try something else or go back to the old way," it will lower the anxiety level considerably.

  5. A significant change in someone's life introduces some instability or disharmony, which produces emotional tension. Old behaviors are part of the person's sense of self. New situations require new behaviors. If people feel they don't have the right skills, for example, it threatens self-esteem and may cause worry about keeping their jobs. Even changing shifts or working in a reconfigured workcell will have a psychological effect that the change champion must be aware of.

  6. Frustration accompanies tension when old beliefs and concepts of personal worth are incompatible with new practices. Even minor frustrations can add up to more serious problems. If people start believing that they can't accomplish what is expected of them, change efforts can be derailed. While some tension can help people learn and grow, they need resources and support to become more at ease with the new.

  7. When frustration is persistent or intense, the physical and psychological health of some individuals may be impaired. The signs that someone may be struggling may take the form of anger, withdrawal, illness, or even sabotage. Distress affects a person's ability to learn, and can make it appear that he or she is simply unable or unwilling to learn new methods and concepts. These potential consequences, at greater or lesser degrees, make it important to identify and resolve frustrating conditions, behave with respect, recognize individual differences, and provide encouragement and support.

When change champions take time to understand the workplace culture and the people who will experience the change before introducing disruption, they can adapt their message for that specific group of people. More importantly, they can adapt themselves. Mutual understanding leads to trust.

Karen Wilhelm, has more than 25 years of experience in manufacturing. In addition to her blog, Lean Reflections, Karen is a contributor to the Gray blog and other online manufacturing publications. She can be reached at Karen.m.wilhelm@gmail.com.


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Friday, August 23, 2013

The Best of Q Source's "On the Bench" How-to Videos

Q Source's YouTube Channel debuted our "On the Bench" video series back in April of 2011. On the Bench was created to be a series of product previews, demos, workflow solutions, and how-to's to provide our customers with the information needed to make better buying decisions. Our how-to and workflow solutions videos aim to help viewers get their jobs done easier.

We wanted to take a quick look at a few of our best how-to videos so far. From stereo microscopes to wire shelving units, we've offered some handy how-to’s and teachable tips.

How to Properly Focus a Stereo Microscope

In "How to Properly Focus a Stereo Microscope with the Unitron Z10 Series," Peter Indrigo of Unitron provided us with a great how-to on how to properly set up and focus a stereo microscope. Using Unitron's Z10 Zoom Stereo Microscope, Peter shows how easy it is to attain proper focus and avoid eyestrain.


Setting Up a 3M Model 724 Constant ESD Workstation Monitor

Our "3M Model 724 Constant ESD Workstation Monitor" video presents 3M rep David Leventhal demonstrating how to use and set up the Model 724 ESD Workstation Monitor. David explains how this unit continuously monitors the resistance of the operator and work surface ground connections.


Assembling a Metro Super Adjustable 2™ Super Erecta® Mobile Wire Shelving Unit

Two of our Q Source staff got together to help us with a "Metro Super Adjustable 2™ Super Erecta® Mobile Wire Shelving Unit Assembly." This step-by-step video shows just how easy it is to build your own Metro Mobile Shelving Cart.


Barcode Printing

Brady's BMP71 Portable Label Printer is a versatile printer. In our "Printing Barcodes with the Brady BMP71" video, we show you how to easily create and print a variety of barcodes.


Dimension 4 Assembly

Ever wonder how to build an IAC Dimension 4 Workbench? One of our Territory Account Specialists shows how easy it is in this "IAC Dimension 4 Workbench Assembly" On the Bench video.


Using Akro-Mils Bins for 5S/Lean

Akro-Mils offers many products for 5S and Lean. This "Akro-Mils Indicator™ Bins for 5S Process & Lean Manufacturing" video demonstrates how these two-toned BinTelligence Series bins help you "Stock, Pick, Flip, and Replenish."



For more information on any of these products, or to place an order, please visit QSource.com. You can also give us a call at 800-966-6020 or contact us via email. And make sure you check back at Q Source’s YouTube Channel for new videos coming soon.

If there's a product or topic you'd like to see The Q Source Resource write about please let us know. We'd also appreciate if you share this blog post with your friends and colleagues via the social media links below. If you have questions or comments about any of the products in this blog post, or related topics, please leave us a message in the comments section.

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

AIM-ing to Learn More About Solder: AIM Solder’s Tim O'Neill Trains Q Source Staff

AIM Solder's Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill, Regional Sales Manager for AIM Solder, stopped by Q Source yesterday to help us continue our regular product training regimen. Tim spoke to us about AIM Solder products and solder in general.

Beginning his session by stating, "It's in everything you have that has an on-off switch," Tim took us through the history of AIM and of solder (did you know that King Tut's sarcophagus was soldered). He went on to speak about surface mount soldering, wave soldering, hand soldering, flux, and which AIM Solder product worked best with each application.

To further help us to be able to help you choose the correct solder, Tim provided us with a list of questions that aim (pun intended) to narrow your choice down to the correct product solution. For instance, here are some questions regarding solder paste that your answers to will help us suggest the perfect selection for your process:
  1. Is it a tin-lead or lead-free application?
  2. Do you need no-clean or water soluble?
  3. Is it for a dispensing application?
  4. Is it for printing or rework applications?
  5. Are you using solder paste or gel flux?
  6. Are you using SAC305, Sn/Bi & Sn/Bi/Ag, or SN100C?
  7. Are you using SN100C & low-AG alloys or SAC305?
We want to thank Tim for his time and for sharing his extensive knowledge of AIM Solder products and the soldering process. The information provided to us will most definitely be a valuable tool in better serving our valued customers.



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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Q Source Staff Member Delivers Keynote Speech at Young Autism Program Charitable Event

Dan Olawski delivers keynote address at
Young Autism Program Charitable Foundation
Annual Dinner/Dance
At Q Source we take great pride in the quality of our employees. Everyone at Q is committed to providing the best customer service experience possible, but there are some who go much further than that. Many of the folks at Q Source offer their own time, talent, and expertise to contribute in very meaningful ways in their communities or to raise awareness on important social issues. Dan Olawski, resident blogger and social media guru, is one of those people.

More used to writing blogs than giving speeches, Dan recently delivered the keynote address at the Young Autism Program Charitable Foundation (YAPCF) of DDI's Annual Dinner/Dance here on Long Island. Reflecting on his experiences as an autism parent and the need for autism education and awareness, Dan spoke to an audience of about 400 parents, teachers, and administrators gathered for the fundraising event.

"I'd never spoken in front of that many people before and was extremely nervous. But I relaxed after I realized how important the topic was to me…and getting my first laugh at one of my jokes didn't hurt either," he said.

Dan has worked at Q Source since 2010. In addition to his blogging and social media work for The Q Source Resource Blog and QSource.com, his spare time is spent contributing to the Autism Society's blog and his own personal blog where he talks about his experiences and offers his insights on being an autism parent. Dan has had a passion for autism awareness and advocacy ever since his young son with autism was a student in the YAP program.

Autism is a multifaceted developmental disorder that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language, communication skills, and rigid, repetitive behaviors. Autism includes a wide spectrum of symptoms and levels of impairment. There is currently no cure for autism.

The Young Autism Program (YAP) was created in 1995 as an experimental program with the goal of returning autistic children to regular kindergarten by age six. It is one of the most intensive programs of its kind in the U.S. The YAP Charitable Foundation was formed by YAP parents in 1999 to privately raise funds to supplement the unique educational needs of children enrolled in the Young Autism Program. The Annual Dinner/Dance is their largest fundraising event of the year. Previous Dinner/Dance guest speakers have included state and local representatives, researchers, and other autism parents.

"Being asked to speak at the YAP Dinner/Dance was an incredible honor," Dan said. "Many parents of autistic children go through similar experiences as I have and to see the audience's reactions to my speech was very touching and one of the most incredible and inspirational feelings I've ever had."

Everyone at Q Source would like to congratulate Dan for being asked to deliver the keynote at this important event. We're all very proud of your hard work and devotion to this very important subject. Keep up the inspiring work!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Save Big on Hakko's FX-888D Digital Soldering Station at Q Source

When Hakko's FX-888D Digital Soldering Station was released back in January we were so excited to tell you about it that we wrote several blogs, made an unboxing video, and created a Flickr set of cool FX-888D photos. Well, our excitement hasn't waned and we just had to remind you that the Hakko FX-888D is available at QSource.com for just $91.35 AND you get a FREE extra sponge with your order!

We've previously informed you about the FX-888D's (part number FX888D-23BY) new features such as user selectable preset temperatures & digital calibration, password protection, and a low-temperature alarm (and we've even filled you in on some great tutorials about those options). So, let's not waste any more of your time when you could be clicking over to QSource.com and purchasing your own FX888D (or a second or third one if you've already bought one). We'll leave you with the top specifications of Hakko's powerful and economical FX-888D Digital Soldering Station:
  • Temperature range: 120° - 899°F (50° - 480°C)
  • Digital readout displays °F or °C
  • Adjustable temperature control
  • Maintains idle temperature within 1.8°F (1°C) when set to 400 - 899°F (200 - 480°C)
  • Store up to five preset temperatures with Preset Mode
  • Ceramic heating element and sensor for rapid heat-up temperature and fast thermal recovery
  • Password-protected temperature setting functionality
  • Ergonomic, lightweight iron handles
  • Uses Hakko T18 Series Tips
  • Wide selection of tips available for soldering SMD and through-hole applications
  • ESD Safe
  • Compact design takes up less bench space
The Hakko FX-888D Digital Soldering Station is in stock and ready to ship from Q Source.


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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Weller's New Consumer Soldering Irons: High-Performance Soldering PLUS Lights!

How do you make a Weller high-performance soldering iron even cooler? You add LED lights to it! Among the impressive specs of the new "red dot" Design award-winning Weller High-Performance Consumer Soldering Irons are the three built-in, temperature-resistant LEDs that deliver light to the application.

Available in four wattage models (15, 25, 40, and 80) and six packages (the 25- and 40-watt irons are available in kits), Weller's new soldering irons offer light-, standard-, medium-, and heavy-duty solutions. The new irons offer a low-cost entry into soldering for DIY and hobbyists.

Weller added the superior-life LED technology to their Consumer Soldering Irons to respond to customer feedback for application illumination. The three high-intensity LEDs provide 30-degree focused light at 25 Lumens/ft2 light intensity with no tip shadowing. With a flashlight strength beam length, these powerful LEDs eliminate the need for an alternate light source.

These innovative new products, the Weller SP15NUS 15-Watt High-Performance Light-Duty LED Soldering Iron, the SP25NUS 25-Watt High-Performance Standard-Duty LED Soldering Iron, the SP25NKUS 25-Watt High-Performance Standard-Duty LED Soldering Iron Kit, the SP40NUS 40-Watt High-Performance Medium-Duty LED Soldering Iron, the SP40NKUS 40-Watt High-Performance Medium-Duty LED Soldering Iron Kit, and the Weller SP80NUS 80-Watt High-Performance Heavy-Duty LED Soldering Iron all share the following common features:

  • Three high-temperature, long-life, 5 mm LEDs (at 25 lumens/ft2) that provide enhanced soldering accuracy and application illumination
  • A co-molded, soft-grip ribbed handle design that reduces slippage and maximizes comfort
  • The round handle and triangular area work together for ease of tip rotation and greater tip control
  • Stainless-steel, high-performance heater technology
  • An industry-leading 7-year warranty
  • A cord strain relief for extended life
  • UL Listed – cUL available

The irons differ in their heat ratings (the 15-watt and 25-watt models provide heat up to 750° F, the 40-watt goes to 900° F, and the 80-watt reaches 950° F), and in their recommended application use. Please see the chart below for tips on Choosing the Right Soldering Tool:

Part Number: SP15N SP25N SP40N SP80N
Duty: Light Duty Standard Duty Medium Duty Heavy Duty
Power: 15 Watts 25 Watts 40 Watts 80 Watts
Soldering Wire Connections: <18 AWG 0.04" dia <12 AWG 0.08" dia <8 AWG 0.13" dia <4 AWG 0.20" dia
Compatible Tips: S5 (included), S3, S31, S32 MT1 (included), MT2, MT3, HK11 MT10 (included), ST1, ST2, ST3, ST4, ST5, ST6, ST7, ST8, HK12 MTG20 (included), MTG21, MTG22
Microcomponents, Electronic Kits, Low-Voltage Wiring: ο x x
Printed Circuit Boards, Radio Controlled, Indoor Lighting: ο ο x
Hobby Models, Small Applicance, Small Engine Repair, Crafts: x ο x
Audio Systems, Electrical, Marine, Jewelry, Automotive: x x ο
Heat Sink, Ground Plane, Metal Art, Plumbing: x x x
Choose the Right Soldering Tool: • = Recommended, ο = Acceptable, x = Not Recommended
* IMPORTANT: Use only Weller tips

Weller Consumer Soldering Irons include an appropriate tip, iron stand, and user manual. The two kit versions include those items plus a soldering aid tool, lead-free solder, and two spare tips.

For additional Q Source product information, reviews, how-to articles, and special offers please subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Training Ourselves to Better Serve You

For almost thirty years, we’ve aimed at being a solution-providing resource for our customers. One of the best ways we know how to do that is to be product experts. With that in mind, we’ve recently stepped up our in-house and off-site training sessions so that we can be even more qualified in making product suggestions to precisely fit your application needs.

The Techspray Roadshow

A Techspray representative speaks about
cleaning products for electronic assembly.
Two of our Territory Account Specialists, Jason Kuhlken and Diane Semple, recently attended the Techspray Roadshow hosted by ACI Technologies in Philadelphia. ACI is a premier testing and training facility for electronic assembly. Techspray is a leading developer of cleaners, coatings, and other safety-/performance-oriented chemicals and tools. Utilizing the latest equipment, they provided a perfect training ground for attendees to work with Techspray (and Plato) products in a real-world environment.

Our Account Specialists received an overview of cleaning applications (ranging from industrial degreasing to PCB defluxing), learned about the pros and cons of various cleaning methods, and were able to experience hands-on testing of the cleaning ability, spray force, usability, and plastic sensitivity of Techspray products.

In addition to sending our staff to on-location training sessions, we’ve arranged for a comprehensive schedule of in-house sessions to be attended by our entire crew. So far, these training sessions have included visits by reps from 3M, Unitron, and Elwood PCA/ADE, Inc.

3M on Static Control

3M rep David Leventhal & 3M’s Joe Gantner
talk about static control.
Appropriate solutions for static control can sometimes be confusing to nail down. With variables like environment, materials, and applications plus the concepts of conductive, static-dissipative, and ESD-safe options, well, finding the exact protective products can be challenging for the untrained. Our 3M rep, David Leventhal, and 3M’s Joe Gantner (Northeast Regional Manager), stopped by to put it all in perspective for us.

Starting with the basics about electrostatic discharge, electrical over-stress, etc., Leventhal and Gantner showed us how static is generated, the major problems caused by static, the types of damage to electronics, and all the shocking truths about ESD. Using their top-quality 3M static-control solutions, they demonstrated the different protective characteristics of static bags, the specific uses of ESD mats, and the importance of using continuous monitors.

Zooming Into Stereo Microscopes with Unitron

Unitron’s Peter D. Indrigo demonstrates parfocality.
One of our favorite application categories here at Q Source is microscopy/visual inspection. We understand the importance of using the correct tools whether you’re doing quality control, biological, or other detailed tasks. Peter D. Indrigo, Senior Vice President of Unitron, visited our office a couple weeks ago to help us enhance our knowledge of stereo microscopes, visual inspection systems, and more.

Indrigo brought a wide range of stereo microscopes and inspection systems along with him to provide us with a truly visual, hands-on training session. We began with the basic terms and anatomy of a stereo microscope and watched how all of the pieces fit together to influence field of view, magnification, and working distance. We learned about parfocality and the common accessories (such as ring lights, C-mounts, and reticles) that help create a powerful visual inspection system. Thanks to Mr. Indrigo we have a clearer focus on the topic.

PCA & ADE on the ABCs of Packaging

Tony Castellano (PCA) & Mike Marino (ADE)
discuss flexible packaging.
Our most recent visitors, Tony Castellano of Elwood PCA & Mike Marino of ADE, Inc., came in to discuss ESD protective packaging and other options related to storing and protecting sensitive devices. PCA (Packaging Corporation of America) and ADE are providers of packaging solutions for the industrial and consumer markets.

Castellano and Marino displayed a myriad of packaging options for static-sensitive devices and explained the importance of using the right material for categories like conductive/dissipative, anti-static shielding, anti-static, insulative, EMC, and environmental. They further expounded on that by detailing other attributes to consider such as chemical transfer, strength, water/moisture vapor transmission, testability, and other characteristics. By the time our visitors were done we felt they had wrapped up the subject in a neat little package.

In the coming weeks we have many more in-house training sessions scheduled. We’ll be better educating ourselves about all of the topics that are important to you (soldering, cleanroom, industrial printing, etc.) with the goal of becoming your number one solution-providing resource.

Please follow the appropriate links for information about our 3M static control solutions, Unitron stereo microscopes/visual inspection systems, and cleaning/assembly tools by Techspray & Plato. You can also give us a call at 800-966-6020 or contact us via email to place an order for those items or to get more info about PCA/ADE products.

For additional Q Source product information, reviews, how-to articles, and special offers please subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hazard Communication: Everything You Need to Know – Guest Blog

by Danielle Gallo, Product Marketing Specialist, Brady North America

Hazard communication is one of the most important occupational safety standards as it ensures employees are made aware of the potentially hazardous chemicals and risks to which they may be exposed. With the extreme importance placed on hazard communication, understanding the changes associated with the harmonization of the United Nations' "Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals" is critical.

History of Hazard Communication & the Globally Harmonized System

OSHA's Hazard Communication Regulation (1910.1200) was initially developed in 1983 with the goal of providing employees with the "right to know" of the hazards of chemicals that they were working around. This regulation accomplished this by mandating that all chemical hazard labels be applied to chemical containers. In addition, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) needed to be supplied for each chemical, and be accessible to employees. Employees also needed to be trained on how to identify hazards and how to work around the chemicals.

Almost every country around the globe has guidelines or regulations with similar objectives to OSHA's hazard communication regulation: To warn employees or anyone coming into contact with the chemical about the hazards present. However, every country had a different way of not only categorizing hazards, but the classification process and how the hazards were depicted.

Big Changes for Better Compliance

Many changes were made to the hazard communication standard, but there are a few key changes that are greatly affecting the way facilities will manage their labeling process.

Revised Criteria for Classification of Chemical Hazards
Every chemical in the United States (there are approximately 880,000 different hazardous chemicals used in the US) needs to be re-classified by the chemical manufacturer per the GHS standard. This re-classification helps with the United Nation’s goal of streamlining chemical hazards globally.

Specified Format for Safety Data Sheets
The MSDS is now referred to as a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and has a new format. The new SDS has 16 specified sections to help streamline the information provided, in addition to making it faster and easier for employees to find the information they need. These new SDS's will need to be filed and available for employee use once they are made available by the chemical manufacturer.

Revised and Standardized Labeling Requirements
Each primary container's chemical label must appear in the GHS format. This new format will still include the chemical name and manufacturer information, but also requires four new elements: a signal word, hazard pictograms, hazardous statements, and precautionary statements.

Secondary containers still need to be labeled per the employer’s hazard communication plan, with the label identifying the hazardous chemical and its appropriate hazard warnings (words, pictures, symbols or a combination). Secondary container labels need to provide employees with the specific information regarding the physical and health hazards.

Requirements for Employee Training: Labels, Safety Data Sheets
Due to the significant changes taking place, it is crucial that employees are fully trained on the changes made and how to read and identify chemical labels and hazard information.

There is an initial training requirement for employees. This training needs to cover the changes to the chemical label and SDS formats, understanding of new headings and the sequence of the SDS information, and an understanding of the standardized label elements (which includes the pictograms, signal words, and hazard and precautionary statements).

Even common worksite chemicals like Benzene, Toluene, or Xylene will have different information displayed on its chemical label and SDS than what employees are currently used to seeing.

OSHA's requirement for annual training on hazard communication has not changed and is still included in the changes to the regulation. As hazard communication continues to be one of the top cited OSHA regulations, it is essential to ensure staff and facilities are completely up-to-date with the changes in the regulation and the effect it will have on the workplace.

Timeline of Critical Compliance Dates
With the significant change made to the 29 CFR 1910.1200 regulation, OSHA has also provided deadlines for mandatory implementation dates.
December 1, 2013: By this date, every single US employee covered under the regulation needs to be initially trained on the changes to the regulation, specifically covering the overview of the changes to the regulation, the changes to SDS, and the changes to the hazard chemical label (focusing on understanding of the pictograms, signal word, hazard statements and precautionary statements).
June 1, 2015: All chemical manufacturers need to have re-classified their chemicals, updated the chemical label formats to the GHS format, and updated the chemical's SDS.
December 2015: All chemical distributors need to ensure that any product they are distributing has all of the updated information.
June 1, 2016: The final date for full compliance.

Q Source would like to thank our guest blogger, Danielle Gallo, from Brady Corporation. Thank you very much for your contribution to The Q Source Resource.


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Thursday, May 23, 2013

CCI's Tacki-Pak: Versatile, ESD-Safe Material Aims to Replace JEDEC Trays

If your company uses JEDEC standard matrix trays for safely handling, transporting, or storing integrated circuits and other sensitive electronics, you might want to check out CCI's (Conductive Containers, Inc.) new Tacki-Pak component handling solution. CCI believes this innovation will replace JEDEC trays for good.

JEDEC trays are currently used in a number of industries such as medical, photovoltaic, and more. The trays utilize individual component cells in fixed rows and columns. JEDEC standards set the specifications (such as what molding compounds are used in their construction and the spacing of each component cell) for these trays.
Standard JEDEC tray vs. CCI's Tacki-Pak

CCI's new Tacki-Pak solution aims to address two factors it sees as problems with using JEDEC trays. First, in most cases, JEDEC trays do not provide any ESD protection. Second, a JEDEC tray’s set structure doesn't allow the user to use the tray if they change their component (instead a new tray must be created and purchased).

The new non-adhesive, tacky surface of CCI's Tacki-Pak material offers ESD-safe properties and limits component movement thereby eliminating the possibility of parts sliding into each other (the Tacki surface holds part steady even when held vertically). Available in conductive boxes, trays, and flat sheets, the Tacki-Pak product also allows the user flexibility to place different sizes/styles of parts on the Tacki surface without the need of buying a specifically sized unit for each style of part. According to CCI, the Tacki-Pak surface is stable, reusable, cleanable, and minimizes residue transfer to the component.

Components hold steady even when vertical
CCI's Tacki-Pak material is available in Tacki-Pak Component Handling Cases, Tacki-Pak Sheets, and Tacki-Pak Handling Trays. Standard and custom sizes are available as well as a choice of tacky level (I for low, non-slip tackiness, II for medium tackiness, and III for heavier items).

Additional specifications for CCI's Tacki-Pak product include:

ESD-Safe Properties (Surface Resistance of Tacki-Pak Components)

  • TP hinged boxes and trays = 103 - 106 ohms
  • Tacki surface = 105 - 109 ohms

Tack Force Levels (Foot Pounds of Force Required to Remove an Object from Tacki-Pak Surface)

  • Level I = 2.0 - 4.0
  • Level II = 6.0 - 9.0
  • Level III = 10.0 - 13.0

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hakko FX-888D Digital Soldering Station: Temperature Presets & Password Lockout Tutorial

Hakko's FX-888D Digital Soldering Station is an inexpensive, versatile tool for a variety of soldering tasks and skill levels. Boasting the quality and reliability of a Hakko soldering station, the FX-888D is the digital replacement for the popular FX-888 analog model.

We've previously told you about the Hakko FX-888D in a preview blog, Flickr photos, and an "On the Bench" video. This time, we wanted to pass on a few tips to help you get the most out of the FX-888D's digital settings.

Whether you're an existing owner, or considering purchasing your own Hakko FX-888D Digital Soldering Station, learning how to access and set certain settings will help you get the most out of this feature-rich tool. We're going to focus on three such settings: Setting preset temperatures, changing preset temperatures, and setting up and using the password lockout feature.

SETTING THE PRESET TEMPERATURES

The Preset Temperatures option on the Hakko FX-888D defaults to off. Just follow these easy steps to turn on this handy feature:
  1. Turn the FX-888D on while holding the UP button (this will access the Parameters of the unit).
  2. The display will show Parameter 1. Press the UP button until you get to Parameter 11 (which controls the presets).
  3. Press the ENTER button and you'll see a 0 (zero means off and one means on). Press the UP button to 1, which turns on the presets option.
  4. Press ENTER and you'll see 5P (this indicates you have five presets available to use). Pressing the UP button here allows you to choose how many presets you want to use (or you can just press ENTER to stick with the default five presets).
  5. Pressing ENTER brings you back to Parameter 11. To save the setting, press the ENTER button until you see a Y (for yes). Pressing ENTER here saves the selections you just made.
Now you can simply press the UP button to cycle through your preset temperatures (pressing ENTER to lock in your choice).

CHANGING THE PRESET TEMPERATURES

Once you've turned on the Preset Temperatures option, you can easily change the presets to the temperatures of your choosing by following these steps:
  1. Turn the FX-888D on and you'll see it comes on at 750° and winds up to that temperature.
  2. Press the UP button and the default preset 3 appears and reads 750°. Hit the ENTER button to select this preset.
  3. Now, we'll change the 750° to 720°. Hold the ENTER button down until the 7 starts flashing.
  4. Hit ENTER to keep the 7 as is. The 5 will start flashing and now we press the UP button until the digits go round to 2 and then hit ENTER. Leave the 0 as is and hit ENTER again. Now preset 3 is set to 720°.
Repeat the process for each of the presets you want to customize.

SETTING & USING THE PASSWORD LOCKOUT FEATURE

The Hakko FX-888D has a Password Lockout feature, which encompasses two choices. The Partial Lockout allows you to lockout specific features on the unit. The Complete Lockout lets you lock all of the features. Both options will require the password to unlock. Here's how to set up each option:

Complete Lockout
  1. Turn the FX-888D on while holding the UP button to access Parameter Mode.
  2. Use the UP button to get to Parameter 14 and press ENTER.
  3. The unit will display 0, which is off. Press UP to get to number 2 (Complete Lock). Press ENTER to choose it.
  4. The display will show three dashes. These are for the password. Use the UP button to scroll through letters and numbers. Hit the ENTER button at your selected character to choose that for the password. Do this for all three dashes.
  5. After the last dash is selected you'll return to Parameter Mode. To store your password you need to hold down the ENTER button. When you see the Y, hit ENTER and your password will be saved. 
From this point on, when the user attempts to change the temperature or any other setting they’ll be presented with three dashes for the password.

Partial Lockout
  1. Turn the FX-888D on while holding the UP button to access Parameter Mode.
  2. Use the UP button to get to Parameter 14 and press ENTER.
  3. The unit will display 0, which is off. Press UP to get to number 1 (partial lock). Press ENTER to choose it.
  4. After selecting Partial Lockout, the display will show you option 1 and a flashing 1 (temperature adjustment). If you want this to be password locked press ENTER or press UP to go to 0 for no and press ENTER.
  5. Next you'll see option 2 (password protect the changing of presets) and a flashing 0. Zero means off and 1 means on. Use the UP button to make your selection and then press ENTER.
  6. The third option is for the digital calibration feature. One means yes and 0 means no. Again make your selection with the UP and ENTER buttons.
  7. Finally, the display will show three dashes for the password. Use the UP button to scroll through letters and numbers. Hit the ENTER button at your selected character to choose that for the password. Do this for all three dashes.
  8. After the last dash is selected you'll return to Parameter Mode. To store your password you need to hold down the ENTER button. When you see the Y, hit ENTER and your password will be saved. 
And, again, from this point on, when the user attempts to change any of the options you password protected they'll be presented with three dashes for the password.

Pretty easy, right? Now you know how to turn on the Preset Temperatures option, change the Preset Temperatures, and set up the Password Lockout feature. We'll cover additional tips and settings in future blogs.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Three New Lindstrom Pliers Added to QSource.com: Tools Target Assembly, Craftwork & Lead-Free Apps

Lindstrom Tools is known for creating industry-leading cutters and pliers for a number of applications such as electronics assembly, medical device manufacturing, bead & jewelry arts, and more. We're excited to tell you about three newly available Lindstrom pliers we just added to our Web site.

The Lindstrom RX7894 RX Series ESD-Safe Ergonomic Needle Nose Pliers, the 7894 Supreme Series ESD-Safe Needle Nose Pliers, and the LF7890 LF Series Lead-Free ESD-Safe, Chain Nose Pliers are now available from QSource.com. These tools fit right into the existing top-quality RX and Supreme Series and the new lead-free tools, LF Series.

RX7894 RX Series Pliers

Lindstrom's RX Series is the compilation of more than 150 years of experience and expertise in making world-renowned ergonomic pliers. The RX7894 model joins this celebrated line that has become the favorite of jewelry, bead, and wire bending artists.

The Lindstrom RX7894 RX Series Ergonomic Needle Nose Pliers with Smooth Jaw were created to meet Lindstrom's ERGO™ process for ergonomic tools: It must be suitable to the task, the user, and the environment. In addition to a comfortable, effective grip, the RX7894 has Lindstrom's adjustable Biospring to reduce tension throughout the working cycle. Other important features and specifications of the RX7894 Pliers include:
  • Ergonomic, ESD-safe handles
  • Two-component synthetic material
  • High-performance, alloy steel needle tip polished and hardened to 55-58 HRC
  • Micro-Touch shaped handles for greater control of pliers for precision work
  • Screw joint to minimize friction and maximize jaw alignment
  • Dimensions: Length = 6.24" (158.5 mm), Jaw length = 1.26" (32 mm), Jaw width = 0.35" (9 mm), Tip width = 0.05" (1.2 mm), Weight = 70 grams

7894 Supreme Series Pliers

Lindstrom's Supreme Series were created for general electronics work and precise wire bending applications. The 7894 ESD-Safe Supreme Series Needle Nose Pliers, like all pliers in the Supreme Series, features an advanced lap joint with a precision screw and nut, which ensures precise jaw alignment even at the extreme tips.

In addition to a special manufacturing process that provides extra-long contact surfaces, the 7894 Pliers offer the following benefits and characteristics:
  • Specially made box joint
  • Precise alignment of jaws
  • Fits a wide range of applications
  • Smooth jaw surface
  • Chain tip
  • Supreme white handles
  • Dimensions: Length = 5.2" (132 mm), Jaw length = 1.26" (32 mm), Jaw width = 0.35" (9 mm), Tip width = 0.05" (1.2 mm), Weight = 56 grams

LF7890 LF Series Pliers

Lindstrom's LF Series pliers and cutters were created to make it easy to choose which tools were safe to use in lead-free assembly areas. The Lindstrom LF7890 LF Series Chain Nose Pliers feature ESD-safe grips in the "get the lead out" industry-standard color, green.

Perfect for a wide range of lead-free/ESD-safe applications, the 7890 Pliers offer the following specifications and characteristics:
  • Great for bending wire in lead-free areas
  • Green handles identify pliers as lead-free
  • ESD-safe, safely dissipates electrostatic charges
  • Dimensions: Jaw surface = Smooth, Tip type = chain, Handles = LF green handles, Length = 5.2" (132 mm), Jaw length = 1.26" (32 mm), Jaw width = 0.05" (1.2 mm), Tip width = 0.05" (1.2 mm), Weight = 60 grams
For other selections from the Lindstrom RX Series, Supreme Series, and LF Series pliers please visit QSource.com. We also offer a large selection of Lindstrom Cutters and shears.

For more information, or help choosing the right Lindstrom tool for your application, please call Q Source at 800-966-6020 or contact us via email. To place an order for these new pliers, or any other Lindstrom product, please visit our Lindstrom Tools Department at QSource.com.

If there's a product or topic you'd like to see The Q Source Resource write about please let us know. We'd also appreciate if you share this blog post with your friends and colleagues via the social media links below. And, as always, feel free to leave us a message in the comments section.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Q Source’s Worklon Cleanroom/ESD Garment Sale Offers Savings on Protective Apparel

Do you or your employees work in a cleanroom or ESD-sensitive environment? If so, you know how important proper safety precautions, such as wearing appropriate garments, are to protecting workers and products. Our special savings offer of an extra 10% off Worklon cleanroom and ESD garments will help you be safe AND save money.



The Worklon line, by Superior Uniform Group, features all the cleanroom and ESD apparel you have to have to add that layer of protection from head to toe. QSource.com carries more than 1660 Worklon items. Among that number is a large selection of lab coats, frocks, and cleanroom coveralls. With our wide selection, and this excellent savings opportunity, we’re sure you’ll find the protective gear you need (like this 1930-L Microdenier Sandwash ESD Raglan Sleeve Intershirt or these 1182-L LD-100 Polyester Taffeta Cleanroom Uppers Hypalon Sole Boots).

All you need to do to start saving on these high-quality Worklon items is “Like” us on our Facebook Coupons page (if you haven’t already). Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to easily access the discount code for all subsequent monthly offers on a wide selection of product solutions at QSource.com. Please note: Our April Social Networking Sale offer of 10% off Worklon garments ends on 4/30/13 and cannot be combined with other offers.

If there's a product or topic you'd like to see The Q Source Resource write about please let us know. We'd also appreciate if you share this blog post with your friends and colleagues via the social media links below. And, as always, feel free to leave us a message in the comments section.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Ergomat Infinity Mats: Could Be the Last Mat You'll Ever Buy

Ergomat wants to sell you the last mat you'll ever need to buy. Their Ergomat Infinity line of ergonomic floor mats is being touted as the "first ever ergonomic mat available with up to a lifetime warranty" and as a true "green" ergonomic mat.

The Ergomat Infinity Mat (coming soon to QSource.com) is available in smooth or bubble style with ESD versions for both and was created to offer a Polyurethane mat with both ergonomic comfort and unbeatable durability. And with a nod toward being green and protecting the planet, these long-lasting mats meet Ergomat's goal of "Reduce, Re-use, and Recycle."

Infinity Mats can be manufactured in custom shapes and sizes to fit the footprint of your workstation. And because they feature a very high chemical and UV resistance, they are perfect for use in the health care and pharmaceutical industries. Ergomat's Infinity line is also appropriate in critical areas for general industries.

In addition to their long-lasting durability and anti-fatigue characteristics, Ergomats Infinity Mats also feature:
  • Molded beveled edges
  • Mats will never curl up, thus eliminating tripping hazards
  • Virgin raw material only
  • Silicone & latex-free
  • The closed cell/non-porous surface allows for easy wash down/cleaning
  • Anti-static properties
  • Cleanroom ISO Class 5 (100)
The regular warranty, for normal usage, of the Ergomat Infinity is 12 years. Ergomat offers the lifetime warranty option for dry or retail type environments under a service agreement. Regular usage relates to a user standing or walking on the mat while wearing regular footwear. Environmental requirements are a temperature under 77 degrees F (25 C) with humidity below 80%. The warranty covers the replacement of the mat (no direct or indirect costs are covered). So, under acceptable, regular use the Infinity Mat will truly be the last mat you'll ever need.

For more information, or to purchase an Ergomat Infinity Mat, please call Q Source at 800-966-6020 or contact us via email. To place an order for other Ergomat products please visit our Ergomat Department at QSource.com.

If there's a product or topic you'd like to see The Q Source Resource write about please let us know. We'd also appreciate if you share this blog post with your friends and colleagues via the social media links below. And, as always, feel free to leave us a message in the comments section.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

3M's Got You Covered with New Products to Protect Your Ears, Head, & Electronic Components

3M™ recently made announcements for three new products: The 3M H-800 Series Full Brim Hard Hat, the 3M Peltor™ Earmuffs X Series, and the 3M Static-Dissipative Heat-Activated Adhesive Cover Tape 2679. All three with a common purpose…to offer a protective covering.

3M H-800 Series Full Brim Hard Hat

The 3M H-800 Series Full Brim Hard Hat provides head protection that is easy to wear with a nod toward alleviating workers' frustrations with hard hats. The H-800 Series Hard Hats feature a lightweight shell, new advancements in suspension design, and 3M's patented UV indicator.

Available in eleven colors and three different styles (hi-viz, non-vented, and with the optional venting), the H-800 Hard Hat aims to meet workers' demands for comfort by offering three levels of adjustment; a smooth, easy-turning ratchet suspension; four- and six-point suspension combinations (enabling the hard hat to sit lower on head and reduce pressure points); and an absorbent brow pad. These high-impact resistant, full brim hard hats address safety concerns by using 3M Scotchlite™ Reflective Material for enhanced visibility and an optional UVicator™ Sensor that indicates when the hard hat should be replaced because of UV exposure.

The adjustable, easy-to-use H-800 Series Full Brim Hard Hat meets the following standards:
  • Hi-Viz H-800 Hard Hat colors meet ANSI Z89.1-2009 High-Visibility Performance requirements
  • Non-vented H-800 Hard Hats meet ANSI/ISEA Z89.1-2009 Type I Class C, G, and E requirements
  • Vented H-800 Hard Hats meet ANSI/ISEA Z89.1-2009 Type I, Class C requirements

3M Peltor Earmuffs X Series

3M's new Peltor X Series Earmuffs were created to protect the hearing of those working in high-noise environments. Featuring Noise Reduction Ratings (NRR) of 21 dB to 31 dB, which is the highest NRR earmuff available on the market, the Peltor X Series was created to set new standards in hearing conservation and comfort.

The 3M Peltor Earmuffs utilize a combination of cutting-edge technologies including innovative designs for spacers, earcup liners, and cushion foam. These lightweight earmuffs also feature a dielectric wire headband (and twin headband design), a low-profile design, color coding, and soft, wide, easy-to-replace cushions. The 3M Peltor X Series Earmuffs are available in over-the-head and hard hat-attached models.

3M Static-Dissipative Heat-Activated Adhesive Cover Tape

3M's Static-Dissipative Heat-Activated Adhesive Cover Tape (Model 2679) provides protection for packaging electronic components in tape and reel. The 2679 Cover Tape was designed to seal such components into 3M polycarbonate carrier tapes for storage or transport.

The 3M 2679 Heat-Activated Cover Tape uses a heat application to seal with the carrier tape. The tape offers smoother peels (to reduce the risk of component migration and pick-and-place errors) and improved transparency for visual inspection (which also prevents picking mistakes), while protecting components from damage.

The 3M Model 2679 Static Dissipative Heat Activated Adhesive Cover Tape is RoHS compliant and available in 480-meter roll format with widths ranging from 5.2 mm to 49.4 mm.

To order any of these new 3M protective cover products please contact Q Source at 800-966-6020 or via email. We also offer almost 800 additional items in our 3M Department at QSource.com. Contact our helpful experts today for assistance with 3M solutions to meet your exact needs.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Master Appliance Heat Guns: Versatile Tools for a Variety of Flameless Heat Tasks

There's nothing like having a fully stocked toolbox. And whether you're a homeowner or a professional, having the proper tool handy helps to avoid those "uh oh" moments. Some fixes go beyond the everyday screwdriver or hammer, and having something like a heat gun in your toolbox could be a life-saver.

Master Appliance knows a thing or two about heat guns—having manufactured them for 55 years. They've provided homeowners, electricians, plumbers, and contractors with high-quality heat guns to meet a variety of tasks such as paint stripping, thawing out pipes, soldering, bending PVC pipes, drying paint, and more. Let's take a closer look at a few of these versatile, must-have tools.

MASTER APPLIANCE MASTER HEAT GUNS®

The original Master Appliance Heat Gun first released in 1958, the Master Heat Gun has been used by countless professionals for a myriad of tasks requiring reliable, flameless heat. Solidly built (double-protected heating element and die-cast aluminum housing) and powerful (its universal motor provides 23 CFM airflow with temperatures up to 1000°F) the Master Appliance Master Heat Gun offers durability and longevity.

Features and benefits of the Master Appliance Master Heat Guns include:
  • High temperature and power ratings: 1000°F/540°C at up to 1740 watts
  • Make quick work of heating tasks with a high airflow rating of 23 CFM at 3000 FPM
  • Powerful high-speed universal motor
  • Sturdy die-cast housing
  • Adjustable non-slip stand
  • Great for drying and heating parts, bending plastics, curing adhesives, shrink tubing, and more

MASTER APPLIANCE VARITEMP® HEAT GUNS

Master Appliance's Varitemp Heat Guns offer heavy-duty, professional quality with variable temperature control. Variable temperature is important for tasks such as thawing out pipes where you'd want to start at a lower temperature and increase the heat as you conditioned the pipes. Reaching temperatures up to 1000°F, Master Appliance's Varitemp models make such tasks quicker and easier.

Features and benefits of the Master Appliance Varitemp Heat Guns include:
  • Up to 1000°F/540°C at 1740 watts temperature and power ratings
  • Easy dial-in temperature adjustment from ambient with variable temperature control
  • High airflow rating: 23 CFM at 3000
  • High-speed universal motor
  • Rugged, lightweight, and sturdy die-cast aluminum housing
  • Heating element encased in a double-protected housing

MASTER APPLIANCE PROHEAT® HEAT GUNS

Master Appliance’s ProHeat Series include a number of heat gun models with options to make any job faster and easier. For instance, the ProHeat LCD Heat Gun offers LCD temperature and airflow displays, while the Quick-Touch provides a momentary contact switch, which turns the unit off if the switch isn’t held.

Features and benefits of the Master Appliance ProHeat Heat Guns include:
  • A rugged thermoplastic housing provides protection and longevity
  • High-temperature, flameless heat via the enclosed ceramic heating element
  • The easy grip handle and protective hand & switch guard provide ergonomic protection and prevent operator fatigue
  • Easy to hang and use with its convenient hanging loop
  • Easily draws intake air through its protected, wrap around air intake
  • A stable, built-in stand and 3-wire grounded cordset provide flexibility and hand-free use
Q Source offers an extensive selection of Master Appliance Heat Guns and accessories perfect for any task where fast, reliable, flameless heat is required. In addition to the Master, Varitemp, and ProHeat heat gun lines.