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The Finer Points: World Champions of the IPC Hand-Soldering FinalsNovember 21, 2023 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
A long hike to the far corner of Hall A4 on Friday, Nov. 17 brought us to the venue for the world finals of the IPC Hand Soldering Competition. After many regional competitions, the finalists had gathered in Munich to compete against one another to gain the title of world champion.
For the competition, IPC set up a long workbench with five workstations in a row, each with a static-mat, fume extraction, bright illumination, a stereo magnifier, a roll of fine solder wire, and temperature-controlled soldering iron with a set of precision bits.
The wide aisle accommodated an active crowd of spectators out front. A row of vigilant observers, all IPC Master Instructors, stood behind them. The hot-seats were occupied by contenders from far and wide – taking their turn in groups of five to demonstrate their individual dexterity and capability. Twenty soldering champions, winners of the regional competitions and representing Asia, India, and Europe—including Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, People’s Republic of China, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam—competed for the title of 2023 Hand Soldering World Champion.
Each competitor was given 60 minutes to assemble a complex printed circuit board with their performance judged in accordance with IPC-A-610 Class 3 criteria. Each competitor’s efforts was rated on the merits of the results achieved, scored on the quality of the assembly process, the electrical functionality of the assembly, and the speed at which the assembly was produced.
In my opinion, a further criterion was the ability to work under pressure with a crowd of onlookers in front and an IPC Master Instructors looking over your shoulder.
The dexterity of the competitors bordered on the unbelievable; these were highly skilled technicians who were hand-soldering complex electronic assemblies to zero-defect limits. I certainly didn’t envy the task of the judges in conscientiously and meticulously selecting the winners.
But they did arrive at a verdict. The 2023 World Champion is Yao Tang, from Shenyang Railway Signal, China. She took home the cash prize of 1,000€, a certificate from IPC, a trophy for the 2023 World Title, a brand new soldering station from JBC Soldering Tools, a brand new WXSmart multi-awarded soldering station from Weller Tools and a present from Almit GmbH.
The second place winner is Keiko Hasebe, from Advantest in Japan, while Jingjing Xu, from Shanghai Railway Communication, China took home the third place award. The 2023 Hand Soldering World Championship included 19 champions representing 16 countries.
Absolute EMS, Inc., an award-winning EMS provider of turnkey contract manufacturing services, continues to harness the power of nitrogen to enhance the quality, reliability and efficiency of their manufacturing processes. The company’s state-of-the-art facilities are equipped with nitrogen reflow ovens and selective soldering machines, ensuring consistent, high-quality results for every project.
The challenges of the Corona crisis have further accelerated this trend. Many companies now offer only online events, whether due to time or cost reasons. However, at Rehm Thermal Systems, you have a choice: the provider of thermal systems for various industries offers a variety of short, concise online webinars and complements them with in-depth in-person seminars on various topics.
Hentec Industries/RPS Automation, a leading manufacturer of selective soldering, lead tinning and solderability test equipment, is pleased to announce that Dynamic Grid has ordered a Hentec Industries/RPS Valence 3508 selective soldering system.
Bittele Electronics, a leading provider of prototype and small-to-mid volume PCB assembly services, announces the expansion of its Markham assembly facility. The strategic move aims to improve inventory accuracy and streamline operations for valued customers.
Weller Tools, a leader in hand soldering solutions, proudly announces the launch of its new ZeroSmog Shield Pro Fume Extraction System. Designed to prioritize clean air as a fundamental right for workers in the electronics manufacturing industry, the ZeroSmog Shield Pro sets a new standard for workplace health and safety.