Efficiency Solutions Found In An Over-Looked Source
Reworking electronics is part and parcel of production life and never quite goes away despite on-line process and efficiency improvements, but how can the ever-present pressure for cost savings and efficiency improvements be met when everything has already been done? Perhaps it is time to look to your consumables for the answer...
Whilst there are many options when it comes to solder stations, tools, calibration electronics and similar; the consumables aspect is often overlooked. Effective electrical maintenance chemicals, such as Air Duster and PCB cleaner can make all the difference to both the time taken and quality of rework produced with invisible cost savings being generated from use of more effective chemicals to reduce the time taken.
What’s the difference?
Often it is assumed that “chemicals are chemicals” and “solvents are just solvents”; the same could well be said about solder stations, wire strippers, the components, or even your finished goods components. Engineers, as discerning and educated professionals, have favourites when it comes to what they work with but sometimes a change can make a difference.
For example, not all solvent cleaners are created equal. Whilst formulations are a closely guarded secret some may only contain one raw material whilst others are a precise blend of multiple chemicals that together, result in superior in-use characteristics. Cost savings from procurement often drive the day-to-day choices on the front line, but as former US president Benjamin Franklin is supposed to have said: “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” Using the wrong but lower cost product may result in increased usage required to deliver the same results demonstrated by a proven, long-time favourite. Initial buy price is not always the economy it that finance suggest it is!
Your Complete Chemical Solution™
Ambersil have been formulating and making maintenance chemicals in-house for over 65-years, so know a thing or two about chemical efficiency and performance; here is their electronics-focussed range:
Ambersil air dusters have been developed to meet the needs of professional engineers where consistent pressure and flow power are top of the list of successful duster characteristics. Each Ambersil “Duster” outputs a strong, dependable jet of dry gas for the removal of loose contamination on electronic components and PCBs.
- Regular [RS Code: 7805221]
- Invertible [RS Code: 558001]
- Lo-GWP [RS Code: 7457548]
- Food Grade [RS Code: 491756]
- Flammable [RS Code: 9074788]
- PCB Cleaner [RS Code: 558041]
PCB cleaner is a more powerful and slower evaporating solvent blend especially formulated to remove common in-use light contamination from PCB’s. Tested for materials compatibility, you can be sure that ‘one-shot’ treatments with Ambersil PCB Cleaner will be all that is required to keep the production lines moving.
Flux Remover [RS Code: 558007]
Ambersil flux remover demonstrates a slower evaporation rate compared to standard contact cleaners in order for the active solvent formulation to dissolve and flush away flux residues. These residues, which are often more viscous (and even burnt on) compared to the usual contaminants found on a PCB or electronic component; therefore a standard Contact Cleaner simply evaporates too quickly to be of much use in flux removal. Whether it is rosin or non-rosin, organic or non-organic; Ambersil Flux Remover quickly cleans it away.
Ambersil contact cleaners are ultra-pure, tried and tested formulations that have seen regular use in all market segments, globally. Ambertron is known for its purity and performance in mission-critical applications and on the most sensitive of equipment, whereas NF Precision Cleaner is a genuinely non-flammable contact cleaner. NF Precision Cleaner passes both standard flammability tests and is ideal for use on contacts that cannot be de-energised or in confined spaces (e.g. lift shafts).
IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) [RS Code: 7805225]
IPA is a universally recognised “safe solvent” with extremely good materials compatibility characteristics and the Ambersil version is no different. A popular choice among optical and electronics engineers; Ambersil IPA can be used for many different general cleaning and degreasing operations.
Acrylic Conformal Coating [RS Code: 557991]
Ambersil Acrylic Conformal Coating has found favour in the coastal, marine, and shipping electronics repair sector for its ability to protect PCBs and components from atmospheric corrosion. The homogenous, clear film is ideal for protection of populated circuit boards and can even be soldered through if required.
Ultrasonic Cleaning Fluid [RS Code: 7457494]
Ultrasonic Cleaning Fluid is a multi-purpose, multi-use fluid for bench top and small unit ultrasonic cleaning additive that improves the cleaning performance and efficacy of the standard specification water. With minimal residue and industrial level performance surfactants, component cleaning is accomplished quickly and effectively every time.
Silicone Grease [RS Code: 7805284]
Ambersil AMS4 Silicone Grease is based on the military specification XG250 silicone grease and has superb moisture rejection properties. When applied to rubber seals on IP6x rated enclosures it not only helps prevent drying out and cracking/wear to the seal, but also ensures even the smallest gap is sealed against atmospheric moisture ingress. One of the more unusual applications of this product is protecting the connectors on outside light displays – ensuring retailers and tourist attractions remain well lit in the dark months.
Freezer Spray [RS Code: 7805278]
Freezer spray is typically used to identify intermittent electronic circuit faults by chilling individual components to the point where the fault is temporarily locked in place or solved. This investigative process of ruling out specific components in order to narrow down the source of the errors requires a freezer pray that is able to not only drop the temperature, but also to be non-flammable to avoid explosive or flammable situations on energised equipment. Ambersil Freezer Spray is 100% non-flammable whilst still providing exceptional cooling properties.
In summary – when thinking about repair chemicals, do not be lured into the false economy of low price – it is very often found that a little more initial cost makes for a more efficient future.