Cleaning in 2011

By Dr. Harald Wack, president, ZESTRON worldwide

For many suppliers within the electronics manufacturing industry, 2010 was a year of recovery from the economic downturn of 2009.  As some manufacturers simply tried to regain their footing, others used the opportunity to explore new business platforms, moved out of their comfort zones and in turn, excelled.

In particular, some companies in the cleaning industry experienced this type of growth. Although cleaning may still not be a top priority on everybody’s agenda, it is an absolute requirement for mission critical applications. The increased variety and complexity of electronics as well as the demand for higher reliability have resulted in a larger mix of cleaning applications and the development of breakthrough technology products in the precision cleaning market.  These trends have also forced cleaning suppliers to further expand their current products’ process windows while achieving perfect cleanliness levels and the most cost-effective solutions.

I expect these trends to continue for 2011. To meet the end customer’s expectations, it is imperative for any manufacturer in the electronics industry to choose a cleaning agent supplier with extensive experience and a strong R&D team.  Furthermore, the ability to develop and market products that are compatible with sensitive substrates as well as benchmarked against the highest cleaning standards is a must.  And in the end, the most important thing for the engineer on the production floor is to work with a supplier who has an experienced team of process engineers and the ability to solve any cleaning challenges on the spot.

Dr. Harold Wack will be teaching PD-20,  Methods and Principles of Process Control, on Sunday, April 10, at IPC APEX EXPO. Learn more at www.IPCAPEXEXPO.org/courses.

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