Ask the Experts
November 28, 2018 - Updated
January 11, 2009 - Originally Posted

Is Pre-Bake Standard for Rework?

We subcontract all board assembly, however on occasion we need to perform rework. This can include adding a resistor, replacing a BGA or even PTH connectors. The PCB's are mainly FR4, however polyimide materials are occasionally reworked. Is there a rule or standard that can be applied for pre-bake requirements prior to rework?

S. G.

Expert Panel Responses

The pre-bake consideration is also dependent on the components residing on the board. You can check the various IPC standards for this. Remember that increased reflow temperatures for lead-free solders have shortened the typical floor life for components and boards. The MSL levels can vary, but in general 80 to 125 deg. C is a common range for up to 24 hours. There are also "bake and bag" dry storage solutions out there, depending on your rework backlog.

Neil O'Brien
Sales Director
Neil O'Brien has worked in the field of electronic manufacturing equipment for over fifteen years and is currently Sales Director for Finetech, a manufacturer of precision rework systems and die bonders.

The rule of thumb used by us in our rework area for FR4 and Kapton based materials is 105 degrees C for 8 to 12 hours to insure that all moisture absorbed into the pcb materials are driven out and we also bake out the components that will be used as well during the rework. Same profile unless the parts are not rated for that temperature bake out. Then one must increase the length of bake out at a lower temperature but most parts can be baked out at a higher temperature without compromise. BGA's are the most susceptible but other overmolded qfn style packages are also susceptible. Good question and good luck. Rework requires patience.

Mark McMeen
VP Engineering Services
STI Electronics Inc.
Mark T. McMeen is STI Electronics Inc.ʼs Vice President of Engineering Services. He oversees the daily operations of the Engineering Services division of STI. He has over 18 years experience in the manufacturing and engineering of PCBs.

Pre-bake prior to rework is highly recommended. This is especially the case for BGA and PTH, less so for SMT resitistors. The requirements should be based on the materials, not the fact that you are going to perform rework since the thermal excursions should be no more agressive than your original reflow profile. Do not forget to pre-bake your BGAs too. We have seen many cases where PBGA components delaminate due to moisture.

Don Naugler
General Manager
VJ Technologies, Inc.
Don is the General Manager of VJ Technologies, Inc., a leading manufacturer of X-ray Inspection and Rework equipment for the electronics manufacturing industry. He has more than 20 years experience in development, manufacturing, and support of a wide range of capital equipment.

I would recommend IPC/JEDEC J-STD-033B which is a specification for handling, packing, shipping and use of moisture/reflow sensitive surface mount devices. It is available on the JEDEC website after logging in. We follow their recommendations for our manufacturing process.

Prashant Joshi
Director of Engineering
Interconnect Systems Inc.
Prashant has 15 years experience in design and process development. With a MS in Mechanical/ Materials Engineering his areas of interest are connectors, electronics assembly, SMT, reballing, wire bond.

In my experiences and experiments it never hurts to pre bake epoxy with ED copper being heated at high temperatures. Prevents heat shock and helps eliminate pad lifting. 250 degree F for 2 hours IPC also has these instruction that you should follow so you comply for your reliability.

James Mahoney
Applications Project Manager
Quick Turn Flex Circuits LLC
James Mahoney is a Technical Operations Manager with a 20 year track record in managing new product introduction. He is a skilled leader, motivator and problem solver with a strong background in Product Knowledge and Engineering Management.

I cannot answer your specific question, but I would like to point out that if you are subcontracting, you are doing it to save money. If you are doing rework, you are not saving money. You are spending more. I would carefully review your vendor and possibly either select an alternate or bring it all in house. You should be able to eliminate this rework altogether. Obviously I do not have all the details, but those are some thoughts to consider.

Ken Bliss
President & CEO - Retired
Bliss Industries, Inc.
Retired - Mr. Bliss has 20+ years experience creating process methods that improve profitability by maximizing hidden unused capacity and throughput. Ken has expertise in all areas of manufacturing specializing in electronics assembly.

No, it is not a common practice to pre-bake an assembled PCB prior rework, unless the PCB storage conditions (eg high humidity over long period of time) are bad.

EH Lim
Managing Director, Asia Pacific
EH Lim has been in the PCB Assy industry since 1985, starting at Thomson/Singapore for 5 years before moving to Electrovert Asia Pacifc. Lim was Sales Director for Vitronics Soltec prior to joining ECD in 2007 as Managing Director for Asia Pacific.

Sorry to those who said no, but that is incorrect. The correct answer is: it depends- on a lot of factors.Here is what you should consider. First, what TYPE of PWB material and component requiresrework, and what KIND of rework? And what is the cost of the assembly? Is itreally cheaper to throw it away? If it is a small chip capacitor that needs to be added,and this can be done with a soldering iron and the PWB material is a standardrobust FR-4 or polyimide material, then a bake is not usually necessary. Soldertouchup, solder bridge removal, tombstoned part rework, stuff like that where asolder iron is used and the PWB will not be heated significantly (significantlymeans not above its glass transition temperature (Tg) as listed in the IPC4101B slash sheet)usually can be performed without any danger to the PWB or thepart. Polyimide PWBs are more easily damaged than most FR-4 PWBs if the solderiron rework is not done properly, however, and may fracture or delaminate ifstresses are applied from the solder tip. If the CCA needing rework is a high-cost assembly,and/or the component being reworked is going to be removed and re-used, and/orthe type of rework will be solder fountain, hot air or hot gas where the PWB Tgwill be approached, then the CCA should be baked per IPC 1601 guidelines andreworked within an hour or two after the bake. This is a very common practicefor most companies, indeed, it is a no-brainer for some whose assemblies andcomponents may cost several hundred or even several thousand dollars. Remember,the cost of scrap is not the cost of the parts and direct labor alone, it isthe cost of re-ordering replacement parts to build another CCA to satisfy thecontract, re-receiving those parts, re-stocking those parts, re-assembling,re-testing, re-shipping, etc. etc..... It might just be a good idea to bakethat CCA needing rework to ensure it is done without damage.

Richard D. Stadem
Advanced Engineer/Scientist
General Dynamics
Richard D. Stadem is an advanced engineer/scientist for General Dynamics and is also a consulting engineer for other companies. He has 38 years of engineering experience having worked for Honeywell, ADC, Pemstar (now Benchmark), Analog Technologies, and General Dynamics.

How many times did you see: It depends! Well, this isanother one. The PCB material type is very important - the polyimide is highlyhygroscopic so the baking before any type of reflow process is recommended. BGAand TH connectors replacement involves reflowing wide areas of the boards anddelamination due to moisture ingression in the PCB structure is pretty common. For minor rework like replacing a chip resistor, capacitor, etc. the baking isnot a must, however a pre-heating of the surrounding area is not a bad ideaespecially when you process flex-rigid or flexible circuits.

Georgian Simion
Engineering and Operations Management
Independent Consultant
Georgian Simion is an independent consultant with 20+ years in electronics manufacturing engineering and operations.
Contact me at

Reader Comment
Pre-baking is a requirement for all field failure returns that require rework. If the rework is for an assembly that is still in process, baking should not be an issue because it is still in a controlled temperature and humidity environment. My rule of thumb, if you don't know where it has been, bake it before rework.
Ray Clark, TT Electronics - IMS

Reader Comment
I recommend that all assemblies be preheated and to use a hot air pencil to remove the components that need to be removed. When you do not preheat the assembly you are thermally shocking the component and surrounding components and the board assembly in general. If you do not preheat you are cutting corners. I have seen ceramic components crack because of thermal shock. I have seen glass seals crack from thermal shock.
Chuck Erbe

Reader Comment
If the rework is concentrated on removing and replacing MSD such as BGAS and CSPs, baking the populated board is necessary in order to eliminate the moisture presence on the assembled board. This is clearly defined and reflected on topic#6 of IPC/Jedec J-STD-033A (Handling, Packing, Shipping and Use of Moisture Reflow Sensitive Surface Mount Devices). However, it is important that the appropriate bake duration for the PCBA and the component to be reworked is considered as per table 4-1 since some PCBs and MSD parts are sensitive to baking.
Manolito Mapaye, Venture Manufacturing Services

Reader Comment
IPC-7711/21 Rework and Reapair of Electronic Assemblies, and IEC EN 61192-5 RWL of Electronic Assemblies, tell to perform adequate pre-bake boards (PCBA) before rework.
Gabriele SALA, GS Consultant, Italy

Reader Comment
A few thoughts from a pcb manufacturers view with experience in flex-rigid:

Drying conditions are also dependent on the copper layout, big copper areas make drying difficult and should need a much longer drying time.

A very smooth drying could be performed in a drying cabinet but this needs a long time, i.e. a week.

And last but not least Polyimide is not always the same critical material considering moisture intake. There are new Polyimide-glass constructions that have even less moisture intake compared to FR4.
Andreas Schilpp, Wurth Elektronik

Reader Comment
So many divergent views! Do we need to bake or not is still not clear. Can we decide that it is relative to component density on PWA or the type of component being reworked on PWA? What is the impact on other soldered components when we bake the PCB at 105 deg.C?
Dayanand.K, Tata Power SED

As a provider of contract PCB level damage repair and rework services, it us our standard practice is to pre-bake all boards requiring any type of hot gas rework process for a minimum of 12 hours at 100-125 degrees C prior to commencing rework. We also pre-bake any components that will be used in a hot gas process unless they are received in a vacuum sealed static bag with a moisture indicator card and desiccant.

Bob LePage
Sales Engineer
Circuit Technology Center
Mr. LePage has been a key member of the team at Circuit Technology Center since 1996. He has vast expertise, experience and understanding of complex circuit board rework, repair and modification operations. He is one of the most knowledgeable experts in this area across the globe.

Reader Comment
With no idea of storage of the assembly, the PCBs need to be baked. Also, moisture sensitive devices need to be baked to avoid any thermal shocks and pop corning. Also, inspect the terminations of the devices before populating into the PCBs.

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