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76 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2020 Feature Interview by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 I spoke with BOFA's Andy Mitchell about the current trends and challenges facing elec- tronics manufacturing facilities with regard to fume extraction, fume management, and the current state-of-the-art soldering. Nolan Johnson: Andy, introduce us to you and BOFA. Andy Mitchell: My title is west regional sales manager. I'm responsible for both the techni- cal side and the sales side for BOFA's custom- ers in about 12 western states. BOFA was orig- inally founded in Poole, England, and we're still headquartered in Poole. A lot of the local exhaust ventilation industry started in Europe and the U.K. because the EU had a lot of regu- lations that required it. BOFA started about 33 years ago in the U.K. In the U.S., the company opened up the BOFA Americas division roughly 10 or 12 years ago. Probably the biggest footprint in the indus- try is in the laser coding and laser marking industry, then also the laser engraving and cutting industry. Those processes create a lot of fumes and particulates, that we're able to capture, run through filters, and exhaust clean air back into the room instead of exhausting it outside. That same technology then lends itself to a lot of other industries, with electronics being a big one as well with either soldering pro- cesses creating the fumes from the flux vapor and the odors from conformal coating or clean- ing processes. Also, there's some laser work in electronics as well, and then routing, remov- ing boards from panels—both with a laser or even with a mechanical means; you create a lot of debris, and we have systems designed for removing that as well. With electronics, it's mainly the soldering side, or the conformal coating and chemical side where they come into play. Then, two years ago, we were pur- chased by Donaldson Corporation out of Min- neapolis, Minnesota, so that's our parent com- pany now. We're BOFA-Donaldson Company. Johnson: There are fume extraction issues in the PCB fabrication industry as well, what Fume Extraction in Electronics Andy Mitchell

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