New Products: Cleaning Materials, Equipment, Tests, and Processes

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Following are the new cleaning products introduced by MicroCare, Aqueous Technologies, Rehm Thermal Systems, and Practical Components. The products range from cleaners to a flux residue management system within reflow ovens to cleanliness and residue evaluation testers, and a stencil cleaning system.

MicroCare Europe bvba introduced a family of environmentally progressive industrial cleaners. These aerosol products feature a new formulation that cuts the global warming impact of the products as much as 99.6%. This introduction is the first phase of a multi-tiered effort to enhance the environmental profile of the cleaners used in electronics production. It includes VeriClean EU aerosol, a high-end defluxer for advanced electronics; ProClean EU, a budget-oriented defluxer/degreaser. The line also features new versions of the "canned air" and circuit chiller "freeze spray" products. Initially these formulations only will be offered only in Europe; worldwide distribution may be available later in the year. The "canned air" and freeze spray products are nonflammable with an ultra-low global warming potential (GWP). All of the new products comply with European "F-Gas" regulations. The new chemistries also enhance the cleaning power of the solvents. The chemical technology is REACh-pre-registered in Europe and RoHS-compliant.

Practical Components Inc. released the Practical Components B-52 CRET (Cleanliness & Residue Evaluation Test) Kit, designed to help determine the ionic cleanliness of a manufacturing process. The test boards and components follow guidelines associated with the IPC-B-52 test vehicle. Ion chromatography (IC) determines both the type of ionic residue and amount. The IPC method for ion chromatography is IPC-TM-650, method 2.3.28. For surface insulation resistance (SIR) testing, IPC-TM-650, method is most modern. The B-52 CRET test vehicle is divided into four primary segments: a main SIR test board; the IC test coupon; the soldermask adhesion coupons; and SIR mini-coupons. Practical Components provides the test vehicles, components, Gerber files, and Aegis Circuit CAM files. If the goal of testing is to perform an engineering evaluation of the manufacturing process, then stock IPC-B-52 boards can be used, but should be as representative as possible. If the goal of the testing is process qualification, per J-STD-001 or IEC 61189-5, then the test vehicles should be procured from the customer's existing PCB vendor using the same material set as for manufactured hardware. Practical will offer both tin/lead and lead-free versions of the PCB052 B-52 CRET Kit.

cap_310020.jpgThe Aqueous stencil cleaner.Aqueous Technologies Corp. announced the StencilWasher MP, a fully automatic misprint and stencil cleaning system designed to remove non-reflowed solder paste and adhesives from misprinted assemblies, stencils, and screens, as well as post-reflow circuit assemblies. StencilWasher MP is capable of removing all solder pastes, including rosin, water-soluble, and no-clean as well as uncured surface mount adhesives. It cleans misprinted assemblies as well as stencils and screens. StencilWasher MP may be used in post-reflow defluxing applications, and features a capacity of 32 × 30". For the wash, rinse, and dry processes, it requires only vertical movement within a single axis, eliminating complex conveyers. The proprietary fluid delivery system reportedly removes contamination effectively and rapidly. The system also features a heated closed-loop wash solution reservoir, a misprint holding rack, and a PLC-based control system. For safety, the entire machine is ETL listed and complies with NFPA 70, 79; IEC; NEMA 1, 12 and OSHA requirements, and is equipped with internal 110% fluid containment.

Aqueous also debuted the E101 Evaporator, an environmentally responsible evaporator. It provides a zero-discharge environment for various aqueous cleaning systems such as defluxing equipment, stencil cleaning systems, and other aqueous-based equipment. The E101 Evaporator has a continuous evaporation rate of 13 gallons/hour. A 136-gallon integrated storage tank handles high volumes of process wastewater. An intelligent control system enables automatic operation and operator intervention as needed. The E101 Evaporator is equipped with a 12-gauge, 136-gallon stainless-steel heating tank with 0.5" insulation and sight glass for volume monitoring. A Smart-Link connector allows the evaporator to send a signal to a cleaning system, notifying it that the evaporator is full.

Rehm Thermal Systems launched an advanced flux residue management system deployed within the heating zones of their VXP convection reflow ovens. Rehm Pyrolysis is the thermally induced decomposition of organic compounds. Complex molecules are broken down into simpler substances with the use of high temperatures (500°900°C) taking place in a largely oxygen free (anaerobic) environment to avoid burning. Long molecular chains are split into shorter ones, reducing the amount of condensable waste and unwanted dripping within the process chamber. The remaining residues are captured within a special granulate. The process requires exchange of the granulate at 12 month intervals. The VisionXP's complete residue management system combines pyrolysis action mechanisms in the preheating and peak zones with cold condensation in the cooling zone. Both liquid and crystalline residues are reduced, creating a cleaner process chamber.



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