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MSL, ESD and Shelf Life Policy

Moisture Sensitivity Level (MSL)

Harwin is aware that certain housing materials used in the manufacturing of connectors are hygroscopic (tending to absorb moisture from the air). These materials may be more sensitive to the elevated temperatures common to reflow soldering environments. Harwin use Industry Standard materials that have been carefully considered to minimise this sensitivity.

Electronic assembly industry standards committees IPC and JEDEC have addressed the concern over this vaporizing and outgassing from these hygroscopic-sensitive materials during PCB assembly in the two specifications listed below:

  • IPC/JEDEC J‐STD‐020 – Moisture/Reflow Sensitivity Classification for Nonhermetic Surface Mount Devices;
  • IPC/JEDEC J‐STD‐033 – Handling, Packing, Shipping, and Use of Moisture/Reflow Sensitive Surface Mount Devices.

When IPC/JDEC J-STD-020 revision E was published, the MSL classification scope was widened from “Solid State Surface Mount Devices” to “Surface Mount Devices”, bringing Harwin Surface Mount products into scope.

Clause 6.2.5 States “Non-IC Packages – Currently J-STD-020 does not provide failure criteria for non-IC package styles. Any party choosing to use the procedure within this standard to determine the MSL rating for a non-IC package is responsible for defining the appropriate failure criteria to ensure the long term reliability of the device.”

As there is no Industry Standard for non-IC package failure, Harwin have not been able to test for MSL level. Without determining this level, Harwin cannot package or label our products as required by J‐STD‐020 and J‐STD‐033.

On new product ranges, Harwin are developing failure criteria so that MSL levels can be determined.

Harwin makes the following recommendations with regards to all their products – but especially those with plastic housings, in case of hygroscopic-sensitive materials:

  • All parts shall be stored, packaged, and handled according to any special instructions outlined in a product specification if applicable – or according to the Shelf Life recommendations below.
  • All parts shall be stored in their original packaging; or, if opened, they should be repackaged in the same way they were originally packaged.
Sensitivity to Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)

No Harwin products are sensitive to Electrostatic Discharge (ESD).

Shelf Life for Harwin products

Harwin operates a Shelf Life policy for all connector products containing plated components.

During the period of the 36-month shelf life, the connectors must be stored in acceptable storage conditions, constituting:

  • The product must be kept in the original sealed Harwin packaging at all times and must retain all date code traceable numbers.
  • The product must be stored in a suitable environment that is not subjected to extreme variations in temperature and humidity.

For connector products stored at Harwin, at the end of the 3 year shelf life, any components that have not been sold are destroyed and responsibly recycled.

If you have any questions regarding this statement, please do not hesitate to contact the Technical Team using our Ask an Expert form.

This Policy is also available in PDF Format for download.

Document SI-38; Issue 3; Date 11-Jun-2019; C/Note 21998

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