How to Align BGA components
How to Align BGA
Chips to PCB Pads


Zephyrtronics Equipment is Designed, Engineered, and Manufactured in the United States of America.

Automatic, Flux, Solder Paste, Dispenser



How to Align a BGA    Placing the Ball Grid Array to the PCB     How to Prepare BGA Pads    Soldering BGA's

BGA Alignment, Align, BGA, Hot Air Rework, Station
The ZT-7000 Hot Air   TM
Comprehensive BGA, SMD & QFN Benchtop System

BGA Hot Air Nozzles Don’t be frightened by BGA’s 
because their balls are hidden 
underneath the package! 
Aligning BGA’s to the Pads 
and Reflowing them is Easy to Do!
   NASA & Zephyrtronics Show How To:

Early 1990’s: Zephyrtronics engineers had the foresight to resolve the issue of placing BGA’s to the PCB pads. Their patented invention, method and its trademarked, famous cubic design, long used successfully and repeatedly by thousands of engineers and technicians makes aligning BGA's to the BGA pads:

1) Easy to Perform. (Little Skill Required)
2) Quick to Perform. (Less than one minute!)
3) Accurate & Repeatable Placement
4) Inexpensive and Kind to Your Budget!


Our patented Zephyrtronics BGA Alignment Template Invention eliminates the need for expensive so-called “split-beam” vision machines, cameras and monitors, all of which (by the way) must be continuously calibrated.

Below are photographs from Zephyrtronics and from NASA showcasing the easy, reliable five step process for aligning and reflowing the BGA right to the corresponding PCB pads with the world-famous, immediately recognizable trademark design.


ZT7 Align Step 103
TM   STEP 1: First, insert the patented & trademark Alignment Cube into corresponding, non-heated nozzle.  Next, activate the ZT-7’s vacuum to secure Cube within  nozzle as shown.


ZT7 Align Step 2
STEP 2: Lower “Z” Axis of ZT-7 To Where Alignment Cube Hovers Directly Over (NASA Recommends About 1mm Above) the Targeted BGA Pads on the PCB Below.


ZT7 Align Step 3

STEP 3: Moving the Adjustable Board Cradle (PCB fixture), next
“Align the PCB’s pads for the targeted BGA to the Alignment Tool by adjusting the ABC-1 Circuit Board Cradle as necessary.”
--  NASA '04.
 Photo Courtesy of NASA


ZT7 Align Step 4b
STEP 4B: NASA explains the alignment simplicity this way: “The alignment process is completed when the solder pads are just hidden on all directions. The drawing (above) shows what a properly aligned 5 x 5 BGA would look like. The solder pads (red) are just contained the Alignment Tool outline (blue).”-- NASA, '04. Illustration courtesy of NASA from NASA Report describing the Zephyrtronics patented BGA alignment template and methodology.


ZT7 Align Step 4a
Square & Mate the Cube to Outside Perimeter of BGA Pads. The Nozzle’s X, Y and Theta are Now Precisely Relationed to Targeted Pads! Cube Temporarily “Holds Place” for the BGA. Raise “Z” Axis, Deactivate Vacuum Releasing Cube. The next helpful illustration expands on the alignment concept a bit more.


ZT7 Align Step 5
STEP 5: Insert Your BGA/CSP into the Now-Aligned Nozzle Where the Cube Had Been. Activate Vacuum to secure BGA. Lower “Z” Axis and Nozzle Down to the Substrate. Release Vacuum. Your BGA is Positioned on to Corresponding Pads! You are now ready to reflow your BGA with your Zephyrtronics ZT-7 System. How easy is that?

The Very Sad History of "BGA Machines"

Unfortunately (seriously unfortunately), there have been a lot of truly awful and very expensive "machines" released to the market since the 1990's to "address" BGA work at the bench. Many of these albatrosses were marketed by some of the most well-known brands in the soldering benchtop industry...and worse, well-intentioned engineers and technicians were "sold" these machines at prices ranging from $20,000 to $60,000.

Most of these machines had so-called "split beam" alignment prisms hitched to a camera to superimpose the image of the BGA over the image of the pads on the PCB. This camera/prism arrangement was from the beginning plagued with inaccuracies and "offsets" from a mere bumping of the bench they rested on.

Now, we see these companies -- ten years later --  without any shame whatsoever introducing yet more "new" machines without the split-beam (which was never needed in the first place) and obsoleting their former models leaving their customers without any service or spare parts and stuck with machines that won't work. We know. We speak to them all the time.

Worse, these same companies now have the gall to criticize "split beam vision" systems as they advertise their latest new machines. Really! Buyer beware.

The Zephyrtronics ZT-7: Fifteen Proven Years

The ZT-7 has been on the market since 1998 and is still the number one system on earth with a customer base as sterling as it gets. The ZT-7 is at work as you read this webpage around the planet in every field where PC board assembly work, rework, repair or prototype design is done.

Zephyrtronics was ahead of its time with the first single-spot, single-axis BGA placement system, the first Z-axis and retractable Y-prime movable heat zone, the first with ultra-thin nozzles that don't disturb adjacent  components, the first with a truly modular BGA system, the first with theta locking nozzles, the first with countdown timing, the first BGA system with ramping bottom-side preheat and more. We did it first long ago and our customers from those days are still using their gear today. Dependability and quality!

There's no reason to risk throwing your company's good money away and getting stuck on unproven, new BGA "machines" that may not even be around next year.

You don't need to take a chance with your PCB work  when your bench can have the ZT-7. The same ZT-7 used by the most prestigious companies on the planet, that has a proven history since 1998, that is manufactured with quality and pride here in the U.S.A., and that ships with a 2-year limited warranty.


  How To:

ZT7 Redress 1

STEP 1: 
BGA removal requires cleanup as unequal solder deposits will still remain at vacated site. After chip removal, slide the “Y” Axis of ZT-7 back out of way, and apply flux to pads. Begin preheat to the bottom of the PCB at 150°C with the AirBath.


ZT7 Redress 2

After briefly preheating (soaking) your PCB and generously applying flux, use a heated DeSoldering Tool with a “soft tip-pad interface” and suck up excessive solder from your pads. Preheating permits lower, safer temps for all DeSoldering tasks.


"Vision Award" Awarded to Zephyrtronics in Recognition of Its Breakthrough
"AirBath Device" for Preheating at the Benchtop

The Zephyrtronics AirBath is Featured in Ray Prasad's
 Definitive Text
"Surface Mount Technology"

"Innovative...simpler, safer way to remove and repair sensitive devices" The Editorial Staff, SMT MAGAZINE


ZT7 Redress 2b

A  popular method is to generously apply flux and melt LowMelt® DeSolder into the residual solder on the pads with the AirBath. Remove all solder with a foam swab or Solder Sucker


ZT7 Redress 3
STEP 3:  Switch off the ZT-7 and the AirBath. Gently clean site with a foam swab and a Non-Flammable Flux Remover. Inspect. (Notice? No Wick!)



©1996 - 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018,2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 by Zephyrtronics®. All rights reserved. The information, text, images, photographs, charts, graphs you receive online from Zephyrtronics® are protected by the copyright laws of the United States. The copyright laws prohibit any copying, redistributing, retransmitting, or repurposing of any copyright-protected material. Zephyrtronics is the registered trademark property of JTI, Inc. "The Science of Zephyrtronics" and "Simplicity Through Innovation" and "Zephlux" and "ZeroLead" and "Zero Balling" and "Zero Residue" and "Post Cooling" and "Post Cooler" and "AirBath" and "SolderGlide" and "ZeroTouch" and "SolderMill"  and  "Just So Superior" are the protected trademark property of JTI, Inc. "Zephyrtronics" and "Low Melt" and "Air Fountain" and "Fountainhead" are the registered trademark properties of JTI Inc. *The above names are the registered property of their respective owners.

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Updated for November 22, 2022