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46 SMT Magazine • February 2016 by Mike Konrad AQuEouS TEcHNologiES The electronic assembly cleaning industry is unique among other assembly equipment seg- ments. Very few, if any, other assembly process- es are considered unnecessary by some while being absolutely required by others. The fact is, assembly contamination may or may not cause a reduction in product reliability. Each assem- bly has a "contamination tolerance signature." While some assemblies are impervious to con- tamination residues, others are not. The amount of electronic assemblies with a high tolerance for contamination is shrinking. Assembly design including size, component type and density, stand-off heights, electrical voltage and current factors, as well as end-prod- uct in-use environmental/climatic conditions all play a role in determining the contamina- tion tolerance signature of an electronic assem- bly. Add to that a cost of failure analysis and the decision to remove process residues/contamina- tion or leave them on the assembly is an easy one. While other electronic assembly processes measure performance in "more" (more feeders, more zones, more magnification, more capaci- ty), cleaning equipment and chemicals measure progress in "less" (less water, less chemicals, less VOCs, less discharge, less contamination, etc.). In the cleaning world, less is more. In 1992, Aqueous Technologies made a com- mitment to reduce the footprint of cleaning. We designed equipment that cleaned electronic assemblies using less water, less electricity, less chemicals, less discharge, and less time than oth- greener cleaning Feature sHort

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