Blog Archives

Grand Rapids Michigan Solder Training

Grand Rapids or “Furniture City” as it is often called, is the main furniture manufacturing location in the United States. It is home to the five largest office furniture companies in the world.

Although furniture manufacturing is the primary contributor to the economy of Grand Rapids, the city is still is home to a very diverse range of other industries. Among these are healthcare and information technology, as well as a large number of manufacturing based companies producing consumer goods.

As with most modern cities, Grand Rapids attracts a number of companies, especially in the field of manufacturing. In fact, it is ranked in the top 10 United States cities for automotive, biopharmaceuticals and metal manufacturing. It is also ranked in the top 20 for the manufacturing of plastics.

With manufacturing playing an important part in the economy of the city, a large emphasis is placed on skilled workers, especially those trained in the field of solder techniques. Grand Rapids, Michigan solder training, provided by BEST, allows employers to support their workforce, so they can stay at the forefront of current practices in the field of solder technology. The training also allows workers to learn new skills in their field as new techniques and equipment come to the fore.

BEST is not only a leader in Grand Rapids, Michigan solder training, but provides certification in a number of areas in this important field of manufacturing. These include IPC Master Training Certification for both instructors and operators, IPC-A-610, IPC J-STD-001, IPC-A-600, IPC/WHMA-A-620 and IPC 7711/7721.

Grand Rapids, Michigan solder training programs provided by BEST can be conducted at our facilities which are just around the corner in Chicago IL or we can bring our mobile training center to your workplace. We are able to train from 1 to 100 employees, and will structure a program to suit your needs.

Missouri Solder Training

Missouri has an economy where businesses of all sizes can thrive. While the state does have a strong agricultural sector, the industries of aerospace, healthcare, chemical production, bioscience and electronics manufacturing also play major roles. In addition to these sectors, Missouri is also one of the leading states for the mining of lead and limestone.

As with many states, manufacturing is starting to take on a larger role in the state’s economic picture. While more traditional forms of production are part of this growth, much of it has come from the advanced manufacturing processes that produce items for the tech sector. This includes products for aerospace, nanotechnology and automation.

Part of the reason that companies in need of advanced manufacturing services come to Missouri, is because the state has a workforce that is equipped with the skills that are needed. With an attractive workforce, and the state’s business friendly atmosphere, growth in these high-tech industries is expected to continue for some time. Due to this, working to stay current with the times will always be necessary.

The business leaders of the state will need to continue to be innovative and productive, the state government will need to maintain the qualities that make the state a great place to do business, and the workers will need to stay competitive by acquiring and maintaining the skills that are needed. One of the skills that these workers and businesses will need is Missouri solder training.

BEST is a company that provides solder training for some of the biggest companies in the world. With a range of diverse Missouri solder training programs and the latest equipment, businesses can obtain first-rate solder training for their staff.

Clients can choose courses at one of the many BEST training centers throughout the country or they can arrange for Missouri solder training and certification from the mobile training center. Contact BEST to learn more about the different options that are available.

North Carolina Solder Training

North Carolina industry consists of a wide range of small, medium and large companies engaged in a variety of manufacturing activities, including food processing, textiles, health care and others. North Carolina has attracted the likes of Apple, Google, and Facebook. North Carolina is also becoming known as a computer data center corridor is paying off with companies like Apple, Google and Facebook all opening centers here in North Carolina.

North Carolina’s technology focus has been in aerospace, aviation and defense. Companies such as GE Aviation, Genral Dynamic, Goodruich and Lockheed Martin and Boeing all have facilities in North Carolina. More than 180 aerospace companies are engaged in manufacturing in North Carolina

BEST  has been serving the North Carolina  solder training market either from its North Carolina location or Alabama locations or by bringing its mobile solder training classroom to the customers in North Carolina. In addition, BEST certified master instructors make their way down to North Carolina.

JSTD-001 certification training , IPC-A610 certification training, IPC-A-620- certification training  and IPC-7711/21 training is available through North Carolina from BEST Inc.

Pennsylvania Solder Training

Pensylvania  is home to a diverse group of technology companies including Sunguard, WESCO, Comcast, Sunoco and others with major operations in Pennsylvania.   The Pittsburgh area is ripe with R and D and technology-based companies in biotech, engineering services and telecommunications

Pennsylvania manufacturing is the state’s largest economic sector by gross state product and workers in high wage, high skill jobs. The impact created by manufacturing is significant to the health of the economy -for every manufacturing job 2.5 jobs in other sectors are created.

EMS activity is diverse in Pensylvania  with the workforce supporting the likes of API Technologies, Cir-Q-Tek, IMET Corporation and others.

BEST has been serving the Pennsylvania solder training market either from West Virgina site-RCBI or by bringing its mobile solder training classroom to customers in Pennsylvania. In addition, BEST certified master instructors make their way to Pennsylvania routinely.

JSTD-001 certification training , IPC-A610 certification training, IPC-A-620- certification training  and IPC-7711/21 training is available through Pennsylvania from BEST Inc.

Solder (and other technical) Certification Training

When it comes to dry technical training such as found in the materials for the IPC A-620 wires and terminals, the acceptability criteria for PCB assemblies, the IPCA-610 or the IPCA-600 acceptability of printed circuit boards getting through the class as a student can be quite challenging.

Not only is the material dry and highly technical it is highly repetitive in nature which makes it challenging to pay attention for several days. In addition, the nature of the training is such that while much of the material is applicable to a given working environment there are many times when the information is not pertinent to what you will see in your current job.

Therefore, in order for you to absorb the material and be able to navigate the book (the main purpose of the certification training) your training “experience” better be interesting, engaging and enriching.

The issue of how to get this experience is more challenging.

Recently the BEST training staff has been reviewing how the brain works and learns and comprehends information. We can across the “Brain Rules”. In this book, Dr. John Medina, a molecular biologist, shares his interest in how the brain functions and how we learn and function at work. In each chapter, he describes a brain rule—what scientists know for sure about how our brains work—and then offers ideas how to apply these rules.

One of our favorite rules that we discovered and that we know intuitively as soldering instructors who teach some dry materials is that You Must Keep Peoples’ Attention (Rule #4). The takeaway for us that you must do something emotionally relevant at the 10 minute mark to regain attention. The link to his video on how this applies to how you learn is interestingly done here

It also told us the following for a better learning experience:

1. No cell phones

2. No other allowed multitasking

3. The emotions of students need to be engaged

BEST instructors try really hard to keep the student engaged through stories, funny anecdotes and lots of personal experiences such as cooking, hobbies and “war stories” about the tech topic at hand.

IPC J-STD-001 Certification

The IPC J-STD-001 certification training program is the definitive electronics assembly certification class in the IPC certification program. Adopted for use by the Department of Defense (DoD) in 2001, the IPC J-STD-001, “Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies” document specifies, illustrates and describes the materials, the acceptance criteria and methods. NASA has also adopted this standard in 2010 as an eventual replacement for its training and certification program for manufacturing soldered electrical and electronic assemblies.

This hand soldering skills development class is the hand soldering class for those manufacturing PCBs assembling cables and building up electronics assemblies. This certification program goes through a variety of potential topics. Commonly referred to as the J Standard, IPC J-STD-001 is the industry standard for workmanship in the electronic assembly process. It governs hand and machine soldering processes and it describes the materials, methods and verification criteria for producing high quality soldered interconnections. The IPC-JSTD-001 Standard emphasizes process control and sets industry-consensus requirements for a broad range of electronic products. This class is not designed for those who have never touched a soldering iron rather is designed for those who have several years of experience and can read/write at a 4th/5th grade level.

The specific areas which can be covered in this class include the following:

• Understanding industry terminology

• Selecting solder, flux and solder paste

• Soldering Wire/Terminal Connections

• Soldering Through-Hole Components

• Soldering SMT Components, including Fine Pitch

• Selecting and using the proper tools

• Recognizing acceptable criteria for all solder connections

• Applying accepted cleaning requirements

The material that a CIS candidate (technician level) would go through depends on what is seen in the particular business. This certification program is modularized meaning that those modules which are pertinent to the business the technician is working at are to be taught and tested.

Soldering Certification

There is some confusion on the types of soldering certification programs available and which one is applicable for a given situation. I hope to clarify the different types (at least for the US market) in this post.

There are several soldering certification program categories.

The type of soldering certification program that is most widely recognized, acknowledged is the IPC certification. This certification program is administered by regional training centers which have been granted licenses to act as the training centers for the IPC certifications. The need for such certifications stems from either:

1. Contractual obligations
2. 3rd party specifications
3. Marketing requirements
4. Quality system requirements (usually ISO)

This type of training can either be at the technician level (CIS) or the trainer level (CIT) in order to accommodate the flexibility required in training.

The second category are soldering training company specific certifications which are many time in accordance with IPC, EOS/ESD, IEX, JEDEC or other specifications. Usually specific hand soldering or workmanship skills (such as BGA rework or ultra fine pitch soldering) are taught in these classes. These classes can either be instructed at the technician or trainer levels.

Finally there are a variety of specialty soldering or rework or assembly certifications tied to government agencies. These include NASA and DoD soldering certifications.

Hope this helps!

Minnesota Solder Training

BEST is now taking its training on the road in Twin Cities (Minneapolis).

The soldering lab which BEST uses for training is located at the Dakota County Technical College (DCTC). This facility is top notch with professional soldering stations, high clarity projection graphics and fully outfitted soldering stations up to the latest industry standards.

Where is the College?

Located in the heart of Rosemount, Minn., just minutes away from the Twin Cities, the main campus of Dakota County Technical College reflects the intimacy of a small town with the networking and cultural advantages of a modern metropolitan area.

Dakota County Technical College
1300 145th Street East (County Road 42)
Rosemount, MN 55068
651-423-8301

What Classes Are Being Held?

BEST is using this facility to teach IPCA-610, IPC-JSTD-001 and IPC7711/21 CIT level classes.

The training center at DCTC is set up for professional solder training right in your backyard!

In addition to offering the local professional training center the DCTC allows you access to potential training and development grants for this and your other training.

What to Do in the Area

Minneapolis Saint Paul is a progressive destination with a dynamic vibe and a whirlwind of creative energy.
Here, you’ll find all the attractions, events and excitement of a major metropolitan area, without the hassles. Looking for happy hour at the hot new spot, tickets to the theater or late-night plans to enjoy live music? No problem. Minneapolis is compact, easy-to-navigate and affordable, so you’ll squeeze a lot into your visit. The arts and culture guide is a good place to start discovering the city.
Nearly 40,000 people live in downtown Minneapolis, ensuring that it’s alive ’round the clock. Take it all in: amazing theater, world-class museums, sports galore, picturesque strolls in a green, urban environment. The variety of what Minneapolis Saint Paul has to offer is sure to delight.

Basic Soldering Training

Instead of looking for someone with existing hand soldering skills how about taking somebody with great employee attributes – like showing up every day, having a team attitude, treating others with respect, communicating well and being honest and training that person in hand soldering. How do you go about doing this?

One thing I know I would not do is just “throw them out onto the manufacturing floor”.

Guiding such an individual with great employee attributes and seeing how they can fare over a 2-3 day period in formalized basic solder training is one way to see if they can become a great asset in terms of hand soldering skills. This course should be administered by a professional solder training company who is exposed to and trains lots of talent. This allows you as the employer to get a non-biased 3rd party assessment of not only this employee’s potential to solder but their hand-eye coordination, listening skills and general aptitude for a manufacturing environment.

The beginning of such a program starts with the basics of handling both electronic components as well as PCBs. Such a course would instruct “newbies” to electronics assembly in the types pf packages (instead of saying “Can I have one of those orange-colored square parts?”) and the importance of handling PCBs correctly (per JSTD-001 guidelines). This should be followed by training in the basics of EOS/ESD handling of PCBs and components (per EOS/ESD 2020 guidelines) as well as how moisture sensitivity handling guidelines should be followed. Finally, safety guidelines of the chemicals and other materials used in a typical manufacturing environment should be given the employee in order to garner the respect of those materials.

Once the groundwork has been laid, the student should then learn about the basics and care of hand soldering equipment. This soldering class should teach the students about the care and proper operation of the equipment including but no limited to how to change out tips, tip care and tinning (to make sure that equipment costs due not go through the roof and the outgoing quality can be maintained). The more a student knows about the proper operation and care of the equipment, the longer the equipment will last and the sooner any process indicators or defects will be produced using the same equipment.

Next, the basics of hand soldering including both through hole and SMT components should be learned. Through hole hand soldering instruction should consist of lead preparation, lead tinning and hand soldering . SMT hand soldering would include the basics of pad prep, device tacking, cleaning and “easier’ pitch component installation. Some outlines for the criteria for acceptable solder joints would be part of this instruction.

At the end of the class, besides the instructor evaluation of soldering skills, the instructor will have a good idea on the communications skills of the hand soldering tech. A small functional assembly project, which includes the most basic of mixed technology components, will give the student something good to feel about while giving the employer a good indication of what kind of soldering technician they have on their hands.

Soldering Classes

Like any hands-on skill development class, there are numerous factors to consider when choosing which soldering class you think is the right one for you or someone in your company .

There are several criteria you should take in to account when considering a soldering class:

· Your current experience level and language proficiency in the area of instruction
· Certification requirements
· The desired outcome of your soldering class experience

Your experience level in hand soldering should match that of the class material being taught. If you have never soldered in your career and expect an advanced soldering class to make you in to an expert you are mistaken. In addition, if English is not your (or the student’s) first language it makes sense to ask what level of language proficiency will be required in taking such a class. There is no sense getting frustrated if the expectations are not same of student and instructor.

If there is certification required as an outcome of your training then make sure that the right certification (assuming you pass) can be obtained. In the soldering assembly, rework and inspection criteria for PCBs and cables the IPC certification is the industry-accepted standard. For PCB inspection criteria the IPC A-610 is the standard the world over. For the assembly of PCBs the JSTD-001 certification is widely accepted as both the defence the space industries as well as nearly every end market accept this workmanship standard.
The IPCA-620 is the inspection criteria which is the standard for cables and connector assemblies. For the rework and repair of PCBs the IPC 7711/21 standard dictates practices and procedures for either restoring a board to the initial criteria (rework) or the repair of physical damage to the PCB (repair). Finally the A600 standard dictates the inspection criteria for the PCB. The above standards are widely accepted certifications in the PCB assembly industry.

If a specific desired outcome is to be obtained by the end of your instruction, make sure that dialogue between you and your trainer takes place. One example of such an outcome would be “I would like to make sure that I now the proper technique for reworking fine-pitched, 0.5mm pitch or less QFPs without bridging”. Make sure that this specific information is discussed with your instructor. Another example would be “I would like to learn how to rework large format capacitor son PCB with high thermal mass boards without eroding the metallization on the pads “. One way to insure this happens is to make your boards and parts as part of the training. Insuring that there is strong dialogue between your instructor and the student/s will increase the likelihood of a good training experience.