Rework (electronics) Process Printed circuit board
The rework may involve several components, which must be worked on one by one without damage to surrounding parts or the PCB itself. All parts not being worked on are protected from heat and damage. Thermal stress on the electronic assembly is kept as low as possible to prevent unnecessary contractions of the board which might cause immediate or future damage.
In the 21st century, almost all soldering is carried out with lead-free solder, both on manufactured assemblies and in rework, to avoid the health and environmental hazards of lead. Where this precaution is not necessary, tin-lead solder melts at a lower temperature and is easier to work with.
Heating a single SMD with a hot-air gun to melt all solder joints between it and the PCB is usually the first step, followed by removing the SMD while the solder is molten. The pad array on the conductor board should then be cleaned of old solder. It is quite easy to remove these residues by heating them to melting temperature. A soldering iron or hot air gun can be used with desoldering braid.
The precise placement of the new unit onto the prepared pad array requires skilful use of a highly accurate vision-alignment system with high resolution and magnification. The smaller the pitch and size of the components, the more precise working must be.
Finally the newly placed SMD is soldered onto the board. Reliable solder joints are facilitated by use of a solder profile which preheats the board, heats all the connections between the unit and the PCB to the melting temperature of the solder used, then properly cools them.
High quality demands or specific designs of SMDs require the precise application of solder paste before positioning and soldering the unit. The surface tension of the molten solder, which is on the board's solder pads, tends to pull the device into precise alignment with the pads if not initially positioned totally correctly.