Every so often, when flipping through the Trade Journals, there is an ad or a column that will catch our eye. In the last few issues of the Semiconductor Trade Journals, EasySpheres has been running this Ad, “Got Balls”. Everytime I see it, I can’t help but think, “Yep, you’ve got balls, alright… charging so much for solder spheres!“These certainly are not cheap solder spheres.
I don’t want to bash EasySpheres business model, which is essentially a distributor of Kester Solder Spheres in smaller packaging, as distributors play an important role in the distribution of goods to smaller customers, and I’m sure EasySpheres provides good service to its customers. What I do want to comment on though, are the tiny packages these end of being.
How to get cheap solder balls
When you deal with tiny solder spheres, 10,000 pieces can be smaller than a teaspoon of spheres. Even going as high as a million might fill a tablespoon. The volume of these spheres is really tiny, and what most purchasers don’t realize is that the weight of the delivery packaging can easily be 10x the weight of the goods sold. I understand that companies all want to run on “Just In Time” inventory, but when you order such small order quantities, take a second to think of the manufacturing process of these spheres.
Any process that needs to run production to churn out a teaspoon of product is going to be expensive relative to the quantity purchased. We looked at this model over and over again, and it just never made sense to us. Yes, you can charge high prices for tiny package quantities, but our view is that the better deal for the customer is to sell 100x (yes, one HUNDRED TIMES) the amount of spheres — 1 million or (1 kkpcs) — for the same price as 3–4x (three to four times) that tiny amount.
What makes solder balls cheap?
To start the production process to churn out essentially small pieces of alloyed metal is an expensive process for tiny amounts, but if purchasers can buy more of the material, the price drops drastically. So no, we don’t typically sell less than one million pieces, but our prices on one million solder spheres is generally less than the same price EasySpheres charges for 40,000 spheres. Check it out for yourself!
CAPLINQ supplies a range of solder spheres including Tin/Lead (Sn63Pb37) Solder Spheres or our Leadfree (Pb-free) Solder Spheres including SAC105, SAC125N, SAC305, SAC387, SAC396 or SAC405 and 4N Pure Tin Sn100 Solder Spheres.
We also now offer Bi58Sn42 Eutectic Leadfree Solder Spheres and Bi57Sn42Ag1 Near-Eutectic Leadfree Solder Spheres. You can also contact us if you have further questions on buying cheap solder spheres.