Will the SMD resistors marking become a history?

Will the SMD resistors marking become a history?

Company YAGEO announced its intention to remove marking of RC/AC 0603,0805,1206 SMD chip resistors from July, 1-st, 2013.

Everything implies, that the situation with marking of chip resistors (0603/0805/1206) will soon be similar to chip capacitors – i.e. no marking on the top of the component. The reason for this step is to reduce unnecessary chemical usages for environmental protections.
Naturally, to identify the product resistance value, each single reel will be labeled with all relevant data as so far. Performance, features, specifications and manufacturing process of these resistors remain the same. So, the elimination of the marking on top of the product itself has no impact on the product functionality and reliability. There will be a short period of time that both types of the products, with marking and without marking, co exist while changing the production lines one by one.

Via Electronics Lab.

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  1. That would suck :-(
    Would it kill them to keep marking them? If you ever mix any together, you’ll have to throw them out :-P

    1. You could always measure them, but yeah, good luck with that :)

      Honestly I think this makes sense. Most of the times those markings aren’t used at all.

      1. If the resistor is all burnt up, you prob wont be seeing any markings anyway.

        In all, it makes environmental and business sense, and PCB assembly houses wont notice any difference as its all automated and on reels etc. But for hobbyists and technicians without schematic/pcb access, itl be a right PITA.

  2. Nice.
    I’m optimistic, so I hope that will encourage some manufacturers to release proper datasheets/service manuals for their gadgets, or have a better silkscreen-labeling on their PCBs.
    On-Part labeling is only needed when hobbyists mix up all their SMD parts in a giant bucket, not having any kind of order. Put your parts in esd-proof ziplocks or something else. And even if you’d mix them up, just measure its resistence (or capacity) that what your tools are for. e.g. Part Ninja.
    In summary, I support non-labeling (at least for resistors). Less costs, healthier.

    1. And what do you do when you get given a board that you didn’t assemble, to troubleshoot? Are you going to be 100% confident that the correct components are installed, or will you resort to unsoldering each component to measure it out-of-circuit?

    2. “On-Part labeling is only needed when hobbyists mix up all their SMD parts in a giant bucket, not having any kind of order.”

      Not “only.” Just last night, I had to see component values to determine whether I’d misplaced components in a current limiter circuit that wasn’t functioning properly. Turned out to be a bad joint on a SOT-23 transistor.

  3. Less chemicals is good but it makes circuits a lot harder to repair or hack. Laser etching is the answer.

    1. Yes – they already laser-etch markings on to other SMD devices, so why not resistors. Although I wonder if attacking it with a laser may affect the resistor’s properties underneath the coating (heating, stress etc). They’ve already been laser-trimmed, so maybe laser engraving might affect them.

      Seriously, they’re doing this for “environmental protection”? I think they have more to worry about that a tiny little bit of paint on a resistor. It’s like removing the colour codes from through-hole resistors!

      1. Another thing – with no markings, a small dark-brown/black thing might get confused with a chip inductor, or even a capacitor with a dark ceramic dielectric. Yes, I know, you can test it, but why should you have to, when it was possibly before to see at a glance if it was a resistor?

      2. I think it is more about the company not spending money or time doing the work.

        Someone in the company is saying, “Did the customer complain”? If the answer is, “no” then their answer is, “who cares?”

      3. “Someone in the company is saying, “Did the customer complain”? If the answer is, “no” then their answer is, “who cares?””

        Exactly, and since 99.9999999999% of their business is with owners of pick and place machines who only need the tape and reel marked, they proceed with the idea and save a thousandths of a cent (or some similar tiny amount) on every part that is not marked. Hobbyists simply don’t enter into their equation and just as through-hole versions of components disappear over time, so will other features important only to us.

  4. Why not laser etch some sort of industry standard dot/bar code. Not ideal but allows parts to be manually identified with microscope and machine identified with automated equipment.

  5. Those SMD multimeter tweezers are gonna go through the roof. Or someone will make a 3D printed tester [with embedded wiring] to make it easier to check values.
    Hmm- 2 plates tapering together. Insert SMD at wide end, slide it toward narrow end until the plates “grip”. Plates connect to DMM / capacitance / inductance meter, read off value. Remove part, slide in the next… it’s got promise.

  6. 0402 resistors I have used in the past, don’t have markings on them neither.
    0603 is a very common size these days, and they are usually too tiny to print values on them. For e.g. at work I’ve got resistors printed ‘331’ that are 10k ohm. I first thought it was 330…

    Leaving complete trust in the silkscreen sounds too strict. I usually only put component names on it, which refer to a BoM which can be changed at any moment in time. For example, getting a resistor divider wrong can be very common. Then your silkscreen is incorrect.

    Measuring components in circuit can be done; if you have a bit of a smart LCR meter with low voltages (measurements below 0.5V and no semi’s turn on), you can get pretty good results.
    Of course, if you got 10x 10k parallel, you will measure 1k, but if you’re repairing things, it’s generally a good thing to trace out the circuit.

  7. Well, as usual they uses the classical enviroment-friendly, eco-anything, for your convenience, bla bla.. justification, when they really want to say “we need to lower the expenses so, saving ‘ink’ is a good idea”.
    Really someone believes the industry takes care about the enviroment? it cares about their money… high fines prevents they damage the enviroment, so, the money is the key.
    They should remove any color or other kind of printing from capacitors, resistors (through-hole), etc.

    Solution is far simple: you dont mark the smd resistors, i don’t buy your products…

    Sorry if i sound so pissed but… everyday listening to similar ideas is… a mess..

    1. How did you manage to live with unmarked capacitors?

      complaining about that is a fallacy; the original idea might be a problem, but the advertised consequences are unrelated and unrealistic.

      other people would say, your argument is invalid.

  8. this is really not funny but hey, resistors (and ICs, but that’s another story) were the last one with markings. Capacitors and inductors (and 0402 resistors) never had markings, and we lived with that.

  9. I think it’s completely in line with most of modern electronics being
    produced by robots today. Crawl out of your basement already.

    That’s surely pain to hobbyists and all people who simply enjoy doing
    something themselves in the outsorced and mass-produced world of
    today. However I think this is yet another drop in the bucket to push
    hacker communities to develop simple affordable pick&place machines.

    I, for one, welcome our new unmarked SMD overlords.

      1. right, nice looking box.

        tell me though, what happens when 1 resistor gets accidentally dropped into the wrong section, or do you never suffer from human error ?

      2. @jack : Each small tube has a cover, on which I add small labels. And I try to discipline myself to open only one tube at a time, specially when using unmarked components :)

        For the moment, I never mixed anything.

  10. So they are too cheap to print on it what it is they sold you? I would never buy that. What if an SMD part is dead, so you can’t test it to find out what it was.

  11. Yep – resistor gets fried, can’t measure it, no silkscreen markings, how are you to know what it was?

    I agree that, since other components (caps, semis) don’t have markings, or have obscure markings, then complaining about the resistors is maybe silly, but, hey, the markings helped. Just because other components are blank is no excuse to remove markings from resistors…..

      1. Somebody also told me recently that some fancy pick-and-place machines actually read the component markings (if any) to verify them. Not sure if that’s the case, but this would certainly screw that up. Aherm, carried away with my demonstratives.

    1. How about the obvious one: safety.

      If you replace a component of the wrong size, whether to large or to small, you risk starting a fire.

      Allowing to much current to flow through a circuit because you could not determine what size the original component was and find a properly sized component is hazardous not just to the technician but to the end user.

      So the company is choosing to stop painting components to safe guard the environment while making the work environment of the technician more hazardous. Sounds like a regulation is needed to prevent electronic products from being sold in the US which do not have 100& of it’s components properly marked and labeled.

      People claim there is too much Government. It is due to stupid, don’t care if someone dies from it decisions like this that has caused there to be so much Government and regulation.

      1. Please don’t take offence, but I’d like to point out two spelling mistakes – “to large or to small” should be _too_, and “….have 100% of it’s components….” should be _its_ not it’s.

        Small point, yes, but this has become so prevalent nowadays (especially the misuse/abuse of the apostrophe) that nobody seems to notice any more and soon people will think that this really is how it’s used.

        Yo dawg, we heard you like apostrophes, so we put some apostrophes in the words so you can read apostrophes when you read words. OK, that didn’t work out so well ;-)

        Yesterday I saw somebody talking repeatedly about “coper pore” (referring to _copper pour_ on a PCB)…..

  12. The biggest problem I have with this is that it makes it harder to recycle electronics with unmarked components. This makes the statement that they want to remove the markings to save from using chemicals a bit hard to take.

  13. Thinking out loud here: What tech can be used to apply after manufacturing labeling to a SMD component? Laser marking is probably too expensive (and dangerous) for the small guy… and ablating material might change its characteristics. Wondering if an inkjet print head with USB microscope for positioning could be used to fire a color sploge code. Assuming you’ve got cyan, yellow, magenta, with 8 splodges you can have 3^8 different values.. or over 12 bits of data. It shouldn’t be too hard to write a machine vision app to read that code back… or just design the code so that a lookup table can be used to decode. I suspect regular inks won’t be durable enough on a hard surface… but I think it’s possible to get specialty inks for inkjets.

  14. @Lindsay Wilson

    Lindsay Wilson says:
    April 15, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Please don’t take offence, but I’d like to point out two spelling mistakes – “to large or to small” should be _too_, and “….have 100% of it’s components….” should be _its_ not it’s.

    If it’s that big a problem for ya, take either to or too out of the English language. Two is sufficient for communication and eliminates all confusion between to or too.

    It’s to confusing to have so many words that sound alike meaning so many different things; its got to stop.

    Small point, yes, but this has become so prevalent nowadays (especially the misuse/abuse of the apostrophe) that nobody seems to notice any more and soon people will think that this really is how it’s used.

    I’m not a journalist and posted my opinion. Nor was I applying for a job to this forum. so I did not bother to double triple or quadruple check what I wrote before I posted which mostly is what I do when not pressed for time.

    While I’ll agree that proper spelling and usage is important, it’s not so important that someone like you should deny work to someone who happens to have what appears to be two misspellings on their resume and lie about an inability to read said resume due to all the misspellings.

    I say that because it actually happened to me. Of the two apparent misspellings, only one word was legitimately misspelled while the other was the intentional misspelling of a word for a business name.

    I am a perfectionist and at times very compulsive in that regard. I however, realized 25 years ago that perfectionism is a personality disorder that must be controlled and never expected of others. I then composed my own definition for perfectionist to remind me to keep my perfectionism in check as much as is possible.

    Perfectionist: A poor attempt at being God. A sorry attempt at being God. A failed attempt at being God.

    I am quite comfortable in showing my inability to attain the impossible, and am even more comfortable in allowing my inability to attain the impossible to offend and drive completely insane people like you for the very fact that: you need to learn when it’s OK to strive for and expect perfection and when it is not OK to strive for and expect perfection.

    This is not a professional conversation in a professional setting, it is therefore improper to expect and demand that every little jot and title of a post be completely without error. If the English language was not such a screwed up mess logically, we would not be having this conversation. Words would be spelled the way they sound and excessive multiple spellings of the same sounding word would not exist.

    You will argue the history of the English language. I however will argue the logic of the everyday average human, who does not possess the gift of a photographic memory and never will. As a result, the average human, no matter how much he or she studies and practices on a daily basis, will have the ability to recall every word and definition for the purpose of proper spelling and use.

    You will always think from your emotional attachment to the traditions that you have won this debate and are write. I however, having considered this debate from a logical position, desiring to have mercy and not sacrifice, and being compelled to perfection will always be right.

    Take care. =)

  15. Remove all markings from all components and pass cost savings to end users and fabricators adjust the assembled PCB price accordingly. That is, make it cheap enough to replace whole ‘circuit’ . New replacement price would have to be 1/10 of original costs, and all old ‘products’ put back into production to support the repairs of ‘legacy’ equipement.

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