Ask the Experts
May 19, 2010

Rules for Reusing Components

What are the rules regarding reusing a component? If you remove a component from a circuit board and the component is functional and not physically damaged, can it be reused on another circuit board?

D. W.

Expert Panel Responses

Reusing components which have been removed from any printed circuit board is risky at best, due to the thermal excursion the component experienced through the assembly cycle and the removal cycle. Although the thermal profile is predetermined during the assembly process it many times is not during the removal and replacement cycle, which could introduce latent failures in the component. The other issue which needs to be addressed and this is an issue we faced many years ago at a computer company, is the product cannot be sold as new equipment, as all the components within the system are not new, some have been removed and reinstalled, so the system has to be sold with the caveat "like new." I know it is a small point but within the limits of the law, it is a point to consider when making the decision to re-use removed components.

Leo Lambert
Vice President, Technical Director
EPTAC Corporation
At EPTAC Corporation, Mr. Lambert oversees content of course offerings, IPC Certification programs and provides customers with expert consultation in electronics manufacturing, including RoHS/WEEE and lead free issues. Leo is also the IPC General Chairman for the Assembly/Joining Process Committee.
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