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88 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2019 is an oil, it's not going to give you eyes on how much concentration of oil you have that you have removed from previous batches. Looking at those process parameters is not enough; you have to look at the resultant surface chemistry on the back end of it. Shaughnessy: Is there anything that PCB de- signers should do, or not do, to help create a better surface? Kidd: The best thing product designers can do to create a surface that won't hinder ad- hesion is to build in surface quality validation checks throughout the production process. When these steps are implemented from the very beginning it puts technicians, designers, engineers, and operators all on the same page about the importance of surface quality in an adhesion process. It doesn't do any good to have all these treatment and cleaning steps if there is no way to measure and evaluate what kind of surface you're creating. What they should not do is develop labora- tory tests and surface evaluations that cannot be scaled to the production line. Everything that is done in the lab that affects surfaces must be able to be done in the manufacturing facility. Other- wise, the tests aren't correlating to the kinds of surfaces being created in production. Designing the process to ensure adhesion predictability through data-rich feedback controls is the best way to create and maintain consistent surfaces. Shaughnessy: How is the company doing? Bien: We're doing great! Elizabeth has been on- board for four years now. I was employee #17, so we're up to 33 now. We're focused in on the electronics market. We came from a back- ground of aerospace, and we're constantly finding new places where companies are not controlling their surface. Our top markets are aerospace, electronics, medical devices, and we do a lot of work in automotive and con- sumer products as well. We're growing every year. A lot of our effort is going towards auto- mating the kind of inspections and measure- ments we've been talking about. Shaughnessy: It's funny that we're seeing such an increase in the last 10 years or so in clean- ing in general. Now, everybody is realizing that contaminants are a problem, and there are consequences, such as non-adhesion. Bien: Well, today's quality is tomorrow's scrap, right (laughs)? Shaughnessy: Right. Even if it works, it's end- ing up in a landfill. Is there anything else we haven't mentioned that you'd like to talk about? Bien: If you want to understand more about surface chemistry and how it relates to your process, we have a great blog that we put out weekly, which is an awareness article per week. It comes out every Thursday. You can find that on our website at btglabs.com. Kidd: And to drive that home, the uniqueness of BTG Labs—and one of the very attractive things that I have found that I'm learning about this company—is that we don't have somebody pay thousands of dollars for a study and then hand you a report with a bunch of squiggly lines and numbers. We're going to make sense of the in - formation and help people to better build their surface process control or build their materi- al system and educate them about the holistic material process that they're looking at. Shaughnessy: That sounds good. Thank you. Kidd: Thank you, Andy. Bien: Thanks. PCB007 Everything that is done in the lab that affects surfaces must be able to be done in the manufacturing facility.

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