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DECEMBER 2020 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 65 High-Tech, High-Value Cleaning Answers Made Easy With KYZEN's Tech-2-Tech by Pete Starkey I-CONNECT007 Thanks to KYZEN's Tech-2-Tech initiative, I've been tak- ing the opportunity to broaden my knowledge of the fun- damentals of cleaning electronic assemblies. Tech-2-Tech offers a wide-ranging selection of well-cho- sen topics, covering diverse aspects of selecting, evaluat- ing, operating, and maintaining cleaning processes. These were clearly explained in a series of focused 15-minute sessions, each one presented by a different member of KYZEN's team of industry experts. It's amazing how much practical information can be effectively transferred and explained in a 15-minute slot, especially one that's clev- erly designed to fit conveniently into the working day with minimum disruption and includes time to grab a coffee! The series began back in July, led by KYZEN Executive Vice President Tom Forsythe exploring the expectations of a cleaning process and the relative merits of short-term evaluation versus extended field trial for real-life charac- terisation. "Cleaning products must clean," he remarked, "Cleaning agents must touch the dirt, and contaminants must be managed." Without getting buried in scientific detail, Forsythe described traditional cleaning technology and compared it with the complexity of soils currently encountered, the consequent complexity of the processes required to remove them, and the critical importance of effective rinsing. "It's about balance and strength—enough sol- vency power to clean and enough pH to manage the soils and keep them in solution." Forsythe also discussed the dynamics of the cleaning process, particularly when operating in a real-world sce- nario, and the value of gathering and reviewing all the data from a trial before making production decisions. "It's a long journey, with some ups and downs and some bends in the road. Some days, it rains!" Subsequent sessions have included discussion of the five forces of cleaning; the significance of pH and how to maintain it; the importance of rinsing; the causes, con- sequences, and avoidance of foaming; optimisation of cleaner concentration; manual concentration monitor- ing and the benefits of automated monitoring; determina- tion of process bath life, and overcoming the challenges of cleaning under low-stand-off tight-pitch components. Recordings of all of these past sessions are readily accessible on-demand online, together with downloads of the corresponding Q&A sessions—practical answers to sensible questions! And, of course, the KYZEN team are always available to respond to any further queries which may subsequently arise. Still to come, on December 3 at 3:18 p.m. GMT and December 4 at 1:33 a.m. GMT (the alternative time slots to align with North American, European, and Asian time zones) will be Jack Reinke's session on the environmen- tal impact of a PCB cleaning agent: its potential effect on the waste stream and whether or not to put spent process solution down the drain. A definite date for our diaries! For those whose primary interest is metal finishing, KYZEN provided a full alternative programme with each session focused on a specific aspect of cleaning in metal finishing. To KYZEN's great credit, the Tech-2-Tech initia- tive provides an intelligently constructed agenda of no- nonsense practical information, advice, and guidance for the benefit of decision-makers, engineers, and technical staff engaged in electronics assembly. Presented in plain language with interesting analogies, KYZEN's webinar supplies a wealth of valuable informa- tion, presented in an informal and easily assimilated style, with intelligent answers to intelligent questions, refresh- ingly free from commercial promotion. I have greatly enjoyed the experience and look forward to the next chapter. Register today at Tech2TechbyKYZEN.COM

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