IC Reball is a kind of rework technique, which is used to repair faulty circuit board components such as ICs, resistors, capacitors etc. It also can be used to diagnose and repair PCBs.
Reballing is mainly used for BGA and PGA chips with BGA balls cracked or missing that are unrepairable by other means. It can be used to repair ICs, resistors, capacitors on circuit boards with damaged or missing solder pads that are not repairable by other means.
The IC Reballing process is a very time consuming, labor intensive process. If you have a circuit board that has been damaged to the point where the components are no longer repairable, then Reballing may be an option to consider in order to save the PCB from being scrapped.
There are many steps involved in Reballing and it’s a process that takes time and knowledge to complete successfully.
IC Reballing is a process that uses solder paste and a dedicated stencil printer to place solder paste onto all of the pads on the circuit board. The ICs, resistors, capacitors or diodes are then removed from the old PCB and placed on top of the new solder paste using tweezers or forceps. The new component is placed on the solder paste covered pad and pressed down firmly onto it. This is repeated until all of the pads have been replaced with new components. Power is applied to the circuit board and then the resistors, capacitors and diodes are tested. If everything checks out then the board is returned to the user for use.
Rebalancing is a process that is used to repair BGA balls that have cracked or been missing for some time. BGA balls are typically used on motherboards and in place of solder pads on IC sockets. They are designed to be hot-soldered into place but over time they may become loosened or damaged. This can result in instability and intermittent operation of the socket so it needs to be repaired as soon as possible.
How to Reball a circuit board:
The first step in reballing is to remove the defective component from the circuit board. This can be done using a soldering iron, tweezers or forceps. The old solder is then removed using a desoldering braid or wick. A new BGA reballing station is used to place the new BGA component on the circuit board using a solder paste stencil and laser head. The new BGA component is then soldered onto the circuit board. The new component is tested and then the circuit board is returned to the customer.
What is the process of reballing BGA chip?
BGA chips have solder balls on the underside of the chip which transfer power and data to the PCB. The ICs, resistors, capacitors and diodes need to be replaced with new components with new solder balls since the old solder balls have cracked or been missing for some time.
The process of reballing BGA chip is as follows:
1) First remove all of the old ICs, resistors, capacitors and diodes from the PCB.
2) Clean the PCB with Acetone or Isopropyl Alcohol and allow it to dry.
3) Reball the ICs, resistors, capacitors and diodes by placing them on a BGA Reballing Station. Press down firmly onto the solder balls with your fingers and apply power. The ICs, resistors, capacitors or diodes should be tested for operation and then returned to the PCB.
4) Using tweezers or forceps, place the new BGA ICs, resistors, capacitors or diodes onto the solder balls. The BGA chips are placed directly onto the solder balls or on top of a new substrate. Once in place they should be pressed down firmly and then power applied again.
5) Wipe away any excess solder paste with a sponge using Acetone or Isopropyl Alcohol. Remove any excess liquid with a cloth and allow to dry.
6) Using a magnifying glass, check the solder balls for solder bridges. If you find any then they should be removed with a solder wick.
7) The final step is to use a multimeter to test all of the new components and make sure that they are functioning properly.
What is a BGA Reballing Station:
A BGA Reballing Station is used to Reball ICs, resistors and capacitors. It is a dedicated station that will allow you to replace the damaged BGA components on circuit boards with the same type of components.
A standard BGA reball station is made up of an X-Axis,Y-Axis,Z-Axis and a laser head that can be rotated 360 degrees for reballing of different types of boards. It will have a heated PCB bed which allows for better soldering quality and a stencil printer that will allow you to print the reballing stencils.
Reballing PCBs can be very time consuming and labor intensive, especially when you have multiple boards to restencil in one day. A BGA Reballing Station will allow you to quickly and accurately reball your circuit boards.
What is an IC Reballing Stencil?
A Reballing Stencil is a piece of paper that has a pattern printed on it and contains all of the information that you need to Reball your circuit board.
The stencil is printed on paper with a conductive ink so that it can be used to apply solder paste to the circuit board when you are reballing. The stencil also contains the pattern for the ICs, resistors and capacitors that you will be replacing.
IC Reballing Stencils are available with different types of patterns.
Must you use an IC Reballing Stencil?
If you have never worked with Reballing before, it is suggested that you use a stencil to start. Not only will the stencil make your first Reballing project easier to complete, but it will also ensure that all of your solder paste is applied evenly to the pads on the PCB. You may get away without using a stencil for your first few Reballing projects, but it is highly recommended that you use one as you gain more experience in the process.
However, after you get good at reballing, you may not need to use one. It depends on the BGA chips or process of reballing PCBs that are used. If you like to learn how reballing ic without stencil is done, we’re covering it in the next section.
There are methods to effectively Reballing ic without stencil.
There are some reballing techniques that don’t use a stencil or a PCB with solder paste already on it. Instead, you may have to use a paste dispenser to apply the solder paste to each of the areas where you will be replacing components. This is not an easy thing to do and takes a lot of practice so that you can become proficient in this process.
The best Reballing without stencil method is as follows.
When you don’t use a stencil, you have to do more steps.
Step 1: Clean the old solder paste from ball pads.
Firstly, you will need to clean the old solder paste from the ball pads. You might need to use some chemicals to remove old solder paste.
Step 2: Apply new solder paste on ball pads.
After all old solder paste is removed, you need to apply new solder paste on the ball pads. Use a paste dispenser for this step.
Step 3: Remove ICs, resistors and capacitors from the old PCB board.
You can remove ICs, resistors and capacitors from the old PCB board by using tweezers.
Step 4: Place ICs, resistors and capacitors on the new solder paste.
After all ICs, resistors and capacitors are removed from the old PCB boards, you can place them on the new solder paste.
Step 5: Place ICs, resistors and capacitors on ball pads.
After all components are placed on the new solder paste, you can place them on the ball pads.
Step 6: Remove ICs, resistors and capacitors from the new solder paste.
Then you will need to remove ICs, resistors and capacitors from the new solder paste. Use tweezers for this step.
Step 7: Reball the PCB board.
After all ICs, resistors and capacitors are removed from the new solder paste, you can reball the PCB board. Power is applied to the PCB board and then all components are tested. If all components work, you can return the PCB board to the users.
Almost every circuit board repair service today has IC Reballing as part of their services. The ability to repair a circuit board that would otherwise be scrapped because it is beyond repair by other means is what makes IC Reballing such an important service for PCB assembly companies and end users alike.
IC Reballing is a very time consuming process that requires a lot of patience and practice to master. It is not a process that can be learned in a few days or a week. It takes time to learn and master this process and it is a skill that requires constant practice to keep sharp.