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Ask Helena & Leo

Ask our Experts! Helena and Leo can help! With more than 70 years of combined experience in the fields of soldering, metallurgy, PCB fabrication, standards and cleaning processes, Helena & Leo are ready to help you solve your manufacturing problems – no matter how big or small. Get answers and expert advice from them now!


Stay on top of the latest tips, best practices, and trends in the electronics and soldering industries with SolderTips. From common soldering problems to innovative practices, we know all the foremost tips of the trade to help you address critical issues and make pivotal decisions for your business.


EPTAC offers industry-leading solder training and IPC certification classes to professionals and businesses, with a wide variety of classroom, e-training and customized options. Learn how you can get the training you need to increase quality standards, improve productivity, and maximize profits.


For over 25 years, EPTAC’s team of knowledgeable and experienced instructors have trained thousands of soldering technicians. Our instructors will teach you to apply soldering and components assembly techniques learned in the classroom to your real-world, everyday work environment.

About Us...

EPTAC is an internationally recognized leader in solder training and IPC certification, providing professionals with the skills to accelerate their careers, and businesses, the talent to succeed. For over 30 years, EPTAC has been helping corporations increase quality standards, improve productivity, and maximize profits. With fourteen (14) locations in North America, EPTAC continues to expand its offerings and exceptional instructional staff to provide easy access to knowledge and skill based programs when and where industry demands it. Access our scheduled programs through our website, easy to use APP, or schedule your own corporate on-site training. Only from EPTAC.

It's all about the soldering!


Smartphones, Homes, and Automobiles: What IoT Means for OEMs

Posted on 3.22.18 by Leo Lambert

In recent years, the development and adaptation of the Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized the way consumers interact with electronic devices. From smartphones equipped with facial recognition, to smart speakers that respond to your voice, the connectivity of devices has become increasingly prevalent in our everyday lives. Just how popular is IoT? According to

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Increase Quality, Efficiency & Profits with Solder Training & IPC Certification

Posted on 2.22.18 by Leo Lambert

Electronics manufacturers must seize every opportunity to differentiate themselves amongst competition by producing quality products, while remaining profitable. Balancing the efficient production of high quality products, while ensuring a return on the bottom line, can be difficult without the right strategy and standards. With the right training and education, however, increased production – and profitability

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Defining Popular IPC Certification Courses

Posted on 1.23.18 by Leo Lambert

When you and your employees obtain or renew your IPC certifications, you receive the proficiencies and knowledge to produce a consistent, high-quality product. Becoming IPC certified in one or multiple levels of electronic and cable wire harness assemblies demonstrates to your partners and customers that you follow the most widely accepted set of industry standards

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Question: We all have from time to time had solder, be it in paste or wire form, sitting on shelves for what seems like years. I know there are all types of variables related to its’ longevity, but given this, what’s really going on with the expiration dates and are there tests you can perform to validate or extend this period?

Question: We are having a discussion about whether or not solder can touch a component body; in particular, we have a plastic SMT component where the solder has wicked up to the body on the legs. Sections are shown below. Is this condition acceptable under any circumstances, or is it always a reject in all three classes?

Question: I have always had in the back of my head that burnt flux is a defect for all class 3 assemblies. Upon further review I have not been able to identify the specific section of the IPC-A-610F standard which identifies burnt flux as an acceptable or defect condition.

Question: We are having a hard time with the removal of gold from hollow cup connectors. Using lead free solder, we are wicking the solder out with braid, but what is happening is that the pins are getting overheated and coming loose from the connector. Are there other methods we could explore?

Question: We have some PCB cards that are flooded with champagne size encapsulated bubbles. While no single bubble bridges between conductors there are numerous small bubbles similar to Figure 10-131 below, None have popped, as they are all encapsulated. Is Figure 10-131 a Defect Photo?


Manchester, NH – June 1, 2016 – EPTAC Corporation has joined PowerAmerica to offer IPC Designer Certification to students and faculty of North Carolina State University. This effort supports professional development for careers in electronics by providing instruction framed by industry best practices.

Manchester, NH – April 8, 2015 – Kelly Dack, one of the electronic industries most consummate printed circuit board designers, industry supporters and interviewer of the trend setters in the market has joined EPTAC Corporation to support the growth efforts of EPTAC’s IPC Designer Group, lead by Gary Ferrari.

Manchester, NH – March 13, 2015 – EPTAC Corporation announced that it has released an update to its popular IPC Certification mobile app on both Apple iOS devices and Google Android phones.

Manchester, NH – January 20, 2015 – Michael Creeden, founder of San Diego PCB, Inc. has joined EPTAC Corporation and Gary Ferrari’s training staff to support continued growth in education and training for the printed circuit board design community.

Manchester, NH – October 21, 2014 – EPTAC Corporation announced today that along with the acquisition of the Accelper IPC Training Center in Schaumburg, IL, it has also acquired multiple IPC Certification Center licenses for a number of locations across the United States and Canada.

New Solder Training Kits

New Solder Training Kits

EPTAC offers a variety of training kits, including Wire & Terminal, Cable-Harness, Rework and Repair, Lead-Free, Standard Surface Mount, Standard Through-Hole, and more. Click below to learn more about our training kits, manuals, and other certification materials.

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Ask Helena & Leo

Question: We have boards with PEM® nuts being soldered during production. Has IPC established minimum soldering criteria for SMT PEM®s?

Question: We have a through-hole integrated circuit (IC) component that has good wetting when it goes through the wave soldering machine, and the solder climbs pretty far up the lead.

Question: If we are using a solder pot to tin wires and create solder joints (splices), what Maximum Limits of Solder Bath Contaminant do we adhere to (IPC J-STD-001, table 3-1)? Preconditioning or Assembly? What exactly does Preconditioning mean in this context?

Question: While reviewing IPC-A-610, Section (Torque of Threaded Fasteners), the question of “what is the standard industry practice” came up. I checked several reference documents like IPC-AJ-820 but found nothing that explained this to any length. Can you explain what the “standard industry practice” is?

Question: Why did the IPC make the gold removal requirement for Class 2 products a requirement (D2D3) when in Rev E of J-STD-001 it was a process indicator (P2D3)?