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70 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2022 Connectors such as those pictured in Figure 1 are challenging to rework as they generally have a high density, and tight spacing of con- nector pins as well as a ground connection run- ning through the center of the body of the part. e generic term for these types of connectors is "surface mount center ground connector." ese surface mount connectors are designed for parallel board-to-board, flex-to-board, and cable-to-board configurations, and are gener- ally compatible with both infrared and forced air convection rework heating methods. Spe- cifically, a popular type of this connector con- figuration is a mezzanine connector which connects two parallel printed circuit boards in a stacking configuration. e rework of a component such as this requires that the assembly be handled by keep- ing in mind ESD 2020 guidelines for static control, including but not limited to opera- tor grounding, proper packaging, and proper keep-out zones with respect to insulators that can generate and/or hold an electrostatic charge. When components such as this (Figure 2) are connected to a ground plane, it is impera- tive that the right amount of heat be imparted to the component during the removal process, especially when connected to a large ground plane. Aer properly supporting the assem- bly in the rework system, apply paste flux with your preferred chemistry to the compo- nent leads. e next step is making sure that the neighboring components are shielded to make sure all the components which need to be are thermally shielded. Components to be particularly watchful of include (but are not limited to) plastic-bodied connectors, ceramic Reworking of SMT Connectors With Center Ground Connection Knocking Down the Bone Pile by Bob Wettermann, BEST INC. Figure 1: Board-to-board connector. (Source: Molex Corp.) Figure 2: SMT connector with center ground-board view.

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