Considerations when ready to buy a BGA Rework Station
We have been in the rework industry since 2010 and started offering BGA Rework Stations from Chinese based manufactures such as ACHI, Scotle, LY, Honton, Zhumao, Shuttle Star and Jovy as US based agents in 2012. To this date the most popular unit is the IR6000 and the primary reason for the success was its low cost. Other units such as the R390 and IR Pro SC were also quite popular. Most were satisfied with their purchase, while others had various issues. Many of these issues could be solved by better quality control while others were issues of customer service/ language barrier. We wanted to offer our customers a better experience as many of them were new to the industry but as agents we were limited in our capacity to help.
Some of the issues that were common throughout all brands was units arriving damaged. This consisted of broken heating elements, loose connectors and faulty components. The simplest resolution was for the manufacturer to send parts to the customer and have them install it. Many customers tolerated this due to the cost of the unit, but we wished there was something more that could be done. I personally would hate to buy something only to have to fix it, to use it.
Another issue was missing parts or accessories, the manufacturers would rectify this issue however the problem lies with the delay in transit as the choice was made to use Air Mail to send out any missing parts or accessories.
The last but most important issue was warranty and support. Warranty wise, if the customer experienced an issue the manufacturer would send them out the part that appears to be defective. If it turns out that that part is not the issue, they would send out another part. During this time the parts are being sent out Air Mail, so if the customer has a busy repair shop they are out of luck during this time. The main issue however is the language, the manufacturers are in China and its difficult for them to understand the issue that the customer has. This also plays a large part in the support of the unit, if they cant understand you its extremely difficult for them to help you troubleshoot, create profiles or even get the unit set up and operational.
When the folks behind TBRM contacted us about representing them we were ecstatic. With a limited lifetime warranty, US based support and the chance to offer a product that is made in the USA we were more than willing to offer their product.
The difference between TBRM and other manufacturers:
The unit comes with a limited lifetime warranty that means a decade from now if any parts go bad you can send it in and have a certified technician install replacement parts with no labor charge, you simply pay the cost price of the parts and shipping fees. If you ever need any assistance they are there via phone, skype or email.
Why go with TBRM, when I can save XX amount and get a Honton, LY, Scotle, ACHI, or Jovy?
The main reason would be quality, each unit is built and tested by a trained technician. This means the chances of a unit arriving DOA is considerably diminished. They check every part of the unit such as the heaters, controllers and fans to ensure everything is fully functional. A profile test is also performed, where the unit goes through the preset profile to ensure the machine not only turns on but works as intended.
Now just for arguments sake, lets say quality between all rework station manufacturers including the TBRM is the same. If you need help or support can you call them and get professional and courteous assistance from an engineer who has actually assembled the product? If something malfunctions, is the part provided to you at cost price? If the unit arrives to you damaged, will the company pay to have a replacement unit shipped to you, or are you required to fix it yourself and worst case scenario ship it back to China? Does the company offer training and or profile development by a certified technician who will use the same machine?
This is very important to consider, as purchasing a BGA Rework Station does not mean you will be able to repair SOMETHING. Many become frustrated because of this, there are a few factors to consider but the most probable is an improper profile. We wont get into detail on this as there is already an article on the TBRM blog about it. The reason for pointing this out is, you have the option to call the manufacturer and order a profile consulting service. Who better to help you with a profile than the manufacturer themselves? If you require more in depth training you can even fly out to their facility and learn on the same exact machine you have. They can even have a technician fly out to you if required.
We are now extremely proud to offer our customers a quality BGA Rework Station without worry of dissatisfaction or problems. The TBRM also features a unique benefit, you can start off with a basic model and later upgrade to a more advanced model without buying an entirely different unit.