It takes skill and precision to work with surface-mounted electronic components (SMD) and when it’s time to find the right type of soldering system to handle rework jobs, it helps to have some expert guidance. Whether your SMD rework operation is big or small, these tips and recommendations can help save you time and effort on finding what works best for your needs.
If you are accustomed to using soldering irons up to this point, making the switch to a rework station is a good way to boost productivity. Soldering irons are fine for basic soldering tasks and occasional use. However, in a professional work environment, the SMD rework station is always a winning choice. These stations are made of durable, quality materials that make them ideal for long-term use. They also offer more flexibility for soldering and de-soldering in various indoor and outdoor settings.
One of the main features to look for when choosing a rework station is flexible temperature control. Each soldering job is unique, and some may require working at a low setting, while other jobs may need blazing heat. Most systems are capable of reaching a maximum of 800+ to 900+ degrees Fahrenheit. Getting a system with wide-ranging heat control makes it a valuable one for any rework job that comes your way. Also, you want a station that can maintain the temperature you set consistently for overall better performance.
A basic rule of thumb when it comes to a rework station’s wattage is that more wattage is always better than less. You typically see stations with a wattage range of 40 watts to 80 watts and some go higher. Generally, if the workload is medium to heavy, a higher wattage station provides more steady power for longer periods of time.
If you are shopping for a reliable SMD rework station for use in a workspace that must remain free of static discharge, always choose an ESD-safe soldering system. These systems are designed to produce no static charge, and they can be well-grounded to ensure safety. If static isn’t a concern, ESD-safe or standard rework stations are perfectly fine for most work areas.