The first-ever IPC Hand Soldering World Championship and Rework Competition was recently held at IPC APEX Expo 2019 in San Diego, Calif. Contestants representing China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand participated in the event. Ryosuke Matsunami of Japan’s PWB Corp. took first place and won $1,000.

Competitors were presented with a fully functional soldered assembly. They were required to remove six specific components, remove old solder and clean the area of removed components. During the removal of the components, the competitors were evaluated by IPC master instructors in accordance with IPC-7711/7721C rework, modification, and repair guidelines. The master instructors deducted points from the possible score according to a standardized set of rules and best practices.

Time to completion was paused while a judge evaluated the assemblies, the removed components and the board according to IPC-A-610G Class 3 criteria. Points were deducted for any damaged components, board features or surrounding areas of the board. Once the evaluation was completed, time was restarted, and contestants were required to place new parts in the locations of the removed components. Competitors had a total of 75 minutes to complete the rework and reassembly of the circuit board. The assemblies were then tested for function and evaluated in their entirety according to IPC-A-610G Class 3 criteria.

Matsunami completed the challenge within the allotted time of 75 minutes without a single error. Second place and $500 went to Wenji Zhang of China’s Jiangsu Jinling Mechanism Manufacture Factory.