It’s almost June here in the Pacific Northwest. At least, that’s what the calendar says. I’m not sure I believe it at the moment. The weather is acting more like October. It’s a bit warmer than January, but every bit as wet. That pretty much equals October. We’ll just call it Junetober.
And what does Junetober have to do with electronic assembly?
Moisture. That’s what it has to do with electronics assembly. Most of the parts running around in the world today have some level of moisture sensitivity. Despite my lament of the rain here, you have to consider component moisture no matter what your climate may be.
Looking at IPC-M-109, you can see the there are sensitivity levels MSL-1 though MSL-6. There are actually eight levels: 2A and 5A make up the extra two. If you’ve got an MSL-1 part, you really don’t have to worry about. I wouldn’t store it in your fish bowl, but the standard says you don’t have to bake it. Up at MSL-6, you have to bake the parts before use no matter what.
When you buy moisture-sensitive components, they should come in a moisture barrier antistatic bag with an indicator card and a little baggy of moisture absorbing desiccant. The best approach with these components is to leave them in the original, unopened bag. We’ll use what we need and properly seal up the rest just the way IPC-M-109 wants us to.
If you do need to open the bag and ship parts to us without the moisture protection, we may need to bake them for a while to make sure they are properly dried out before putting them in the reflow oven.
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