Surgeon grade rework and repair, by the book and guaranteed.®
Newsletter | Contact Us
Phone: 978-374-5000
Tips for Rework of Large Scale BGA Components More Features
You've just been given a board with a shorted BGA site. If management decides the board is worth salvaging, there's only one thing to do; remove the BGA component, clean the site, paste the site, and replace the BGA.

You've done this many times before, but still, as any one who has attempted BGA removal and replacement knows, BGA rework at any level can be finicky and challenging.

Yes, it is complicated enough, but in this case the challenge is magnified as this BGA component has 2600 balls at 1.0 mm pitch.

You're no quitter so you plow ahead. Removal of the component is delicate but routine for an experienced pro. You get that done with a little cautious foresight and plenty of monitoring thermocouples under and around the site.

Tips for Rework of Large Scale BGA Components
Figure 1: BGA site vacuum system.
Next you find that clearing the site of excess solder is a little more delicate and you decide to use your BGA rework machine's installed vacuum solder removal system. (See Figure 1).

So far so good, but now you get hung up on the application of solder paste at this site. Even after you've chosen solder paste with the best possible slump characteristics you begin to confront some frustrating problems.

The metal stencil you've had fabricated for this site just isn't cutting it. You find that the old reliable metal stencil material is causing a depositional nightmare on a site of this size.

Proper application of solder paste, an acquired skill, even for low pin counts, is crucial for successful BGA rework, and the more pins there are, the more chances there are for uneven paste deposition.

Tips for Rework of Large Scale BGA Components
Figure 2: Flextac BGA Rework Stencil Pattern - 2600 ball, shown approx. actual size.
With a metal stencil, you get one pass, if you try for a second or third, you risk pumping excess paste between the stencil apertures. This can cause paste bridging and, ultimately, a solder short, which is what you were trying to correct in the first place.

If, in the effort to prevent shorts, you under-paste several pads on this very large site, it's not inconceivable that you could induce opens under the component. Something as simple as whether or not there is even enough room to securely tape the stencil to the board has become an issue.

After doing a little research you finally decide to reduce your paste deposition risk factor by using a Flextac BGA Rework Stencil for the rework. Flextac Stencils are made of plastic polymer, which allows them to conform to the surface of your board, eliminating co-planarity issues.

Because they have a no-residue adhesive backing, if inadequate paste is deposited in stencil apertures on the first pass you can try another, or even one more.

The adhesive effectively isolates each pad, preventing paste bridging and dramatically reducing the risk of shorts and opens. Lastly, the adhesive backing means no tape to hold down the edge of the stencil, so the Flextac BGA Rework Stencils can help in a tight spot. (See Figure 2).

Tips for Rework of Large Scale BGA Components
Figure 3: Edge balls shorting when BGA component "potato-chips" during rework.
There is no board available to complete a proper profile so you have to work your magic with an existing profile. On top of that you decide to be extra careful and place five digital thermocouples under and around the component (getting a few into bottom vias that connect directly to topside BGA pads) so you can properly track the critical temperatures during the process.

Additionally you place high temperature spacers under the four corners of the component to prevent shorting due to uneven column collapse or "potato-chipping" at the corners. (See Figure 3).

Well, you can't hold your breath for an entire BGA reflow cycle, but neither can you breathe easy until the component is properly reflowed and passes x-ray inspection. But your hard work, preparation and care pay off in a successfully reworked site.

Several members of the Circuit Technology Center team contributed to this feature story.
Questions / Comments?
Call 978-374-5000 or submit your questions, comments and requests using the form below.

Your Name

Your E-mail

Your Phone

Your Company

Your Country

Send us a file

Maximum file size 4 megabytes.


Customer Comments
"We were struggling with BGA rework on four of our most complicated assemblies until we decided to send them to you. Your team has been awesome and you've come through on every project."
R.R. Oklahoma City, OK USA
11 Rules for Circuit Board Mods
11 Rules for Circuit Board Mods
Some of the odd twists occasionally needed to modify assembled circuit boards can be surprising. Discover the 11 rules your techs should know.
Learn more ...
Do Your Repair Techs Deserve One?
Do Your Repair Techs Deserve One?
The Micro-Drill is the ideal tool for precision drilling, grinding and cutting on circuit boards. Use it to remove coatings, cuts circuits, drills holes, and much more.
Learn more ...
Must Have Circuit Boards First-aid Kits
Must Have Circuit Boards First-aid Kits
These kits have been used for decades by the most demanding electronics manufacturers. Every item is thoroughly field tested.
Learn more ...
Six Fast Fixes for Circuit Boards
Six Fast Fixes for Circuit Boards
Use this versatile kit to fix damaged SMT pads, lands, gold edge contacts, conductors, plated holes and base board. It's the total package.
Learn more ...