Many factors contribute to achieving a perfect print including people, processes, platforms and, of course, products. It is the product category that is too often compromised by poor quality consumables. DEK’s consumables are designed and manufactured to be an enabler for process improvement.
DEK’s Mike Danby explains how understencil cleaning rolls provide a positive example of the philosophy behind the mass imaging leader’s Process Improvement Product. “The choice of fabric on a cleaning roll is key. Most fabrics are a source of lint contamination or they just don’t clean, either because they are not sufficiently absorbent or they compromise vacuum power. Also, some fabrics are needlessly thick, and this reduces the effective length of the roll, which in turn increases changeover frequency and therefore down time”.
For Danby, developing a fabric that exhibits the perfect combination of characteristics was the challenge. DEK’s SMT fabric needed to clean without contaminating, be suitable for fine pitch applications and be absorbent without reducing vacuum. “Our developments have resulted in an understencil cleaning roll that actively reduces print defects and ensures the process balance in mission-critical six sigma operations,” Danby claims.
Besides an impact on print productivity, other consumable products in common use have environmental considerations. Environment protection and safety in the workplace are high on social and industrial agendas, which sees the cost of deploying hazardous products increases almost daily – be it financially through higher storage and transportation charges, or socially through workplace accidents or factors like atmospheric contamination in major industrial areas. The challenge was to develop environmentally safe and sensitive products that work effectively and remain enablers for process improvements.
Products like DEK’s Pro EF under stencil cleaning chemistry is a prime example of how this goal can be met. Pro EF is low VOC, has no flash point, and is formulated specifically to work in under stencil cleaning applications. Because it is much slower to evaporate than solvent based cleaners, less needs to be deployed and – importantly – what gets dispensed is used rather than evaporating. Solvent based cleaners typically evaporate quickly and are known to be a source of odour, sickness and industrial pollution.
DEK Pro EF provides additional benefits that make it a legitimate process improvement product, as Danby explains: “Whilst solvent based cleaners can induce thixotropic changes in solder pastes, DEK Pro EF is pH neutral and has no such impact. These intrinsic qualities reduce the risk of solder slump and the formation of solder balls.” He concludes: “At DEK we understand printing and the need to develop and supply quality process improvement products that are a legitimate path to productivity improvements for our customers.”
DEK is a global provider of advanced materials deposition technologies and support solutions including printing equipment platforms, stencils, precision screens and mass imaging processes used across a wide range of applications in electronics pre-placement subassembly, semiconductor wafer manufacture, and alternative energy component production. For more information, visit DEK at http://www.dek.com.