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32 SMT Magazine • July 2017 Guidelines for the proper storage, handling and moisture protection of electronic compo- nents can be found in IPC standards (IPC/JEDEC J-Std-033C). Though these date back to 1999, there were no published standards for storage and moisture protection for printed boards un- til 2010, and their proper handling is still of- ten overlooked. But with the correct storage control and the use of suitable drying methods, considerable manufacturing advantages can be gained; PCBs will remain solderable for a much longer time and damage during reflow due to moisture can be eliminated. The IPC-1601A (2016 revision) Printed Board Handling and Storage Guidelines states that "If process controls are ineffective, and printed boards have absorbed ex- cessive moisture, baking is the most practical remedy." It goes on to state, "However, baking not only increases cost and cycle time, it can also degrade solderability of the printed board which requires extra handling and increases the likelihood of handling damage or contamina- tion. In general, both the printed board fabri- cator and the user should strive to avoid bak- ing by practicing effective handling, packaging, storage, and process controls…" In addition to moisture management at key steps in the fabrication process, 1601 also makes clear that boards should be protectively pack- aged to limit their exposure to ambient humidi- ty during processing and storage. And packaged only after determining that their moisture con- tent is below the maximum acceptable mois- by Rich Heimsch SUPER DRY-TOTECH EU PCBs are MSDs MORE THAN JUST DRY AIR

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