Electronics Assembly Knowledge, Vision & Wisdom
Big Cleaning Job vs. Small Cleaners
Big Cleaning Job vs. Small Cleaners
This paper addresses the reasons a company would move to a batch type washer over the traditional in-line washing systems.
Production Floor

Authored By:
Eric Camden
Foresite, Inc., Kokomo, IN, USA
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Manufacturers face many challenges cleaning today's smaller components with tighter pitch and lower standoff. With every manufacturing dollar needing to go further than ever there is a movement to save money in the cleaning operations.

There are many reasons a company would move to a batch type washer over the traditional in-line washing systems. The vast amount of floor space these units consume as well as the utilities and operators needed to maintain the cleaning operation can add up to a real burden on resources of all types.

It is this type of thinking that is driving companies to move to shorter in-line and batch type cleaners. Of course the capacity of this type of machine will greatly impact the amount of product that can be completed in a timely manner.

The limitation of throughput on the smaller equipment will eliminate this option for almost all major contract manufacturers so we are going to focus on the high mix/low volume sector. This group includes Military, Aerospace, and Medical markets as well as others. This paper will compare traditional large in-line cleaning systems to batch (dishwasher) style as well as other batch systems.

Each has unique advantages and drawbacks that must be considered when choosing a cleaning system to effectively remove flux residues from your assembly
Orientation of the assemblies is of critical concern when using a batch washer to remove any type of residues if large standoff components are involved and especially when removing a no-clean flux. Not only is spacing important to keep in mind but also the degree of canting the board is subject to in the basket as they do not sit straight up in the racks.

This can play a vital role if you are cleaning a double sided, densely populated assembly. The results of the horizontal orientation with the in-line cleaned sample and also with batch sample 5 show that if the saponifier is given time and thermal energy this is the best way to remove residues.
Initially Published in the SMTA Proceedings
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