Script – The Final Steps
After assembly and soldering of the boards we remove remaining solder and flux residues to avoid possible shorts and long-term oxidation of the boards.
In-depth cleaning is even more important to prepare for conformal coating.
We use non-flammable, water based liquids to clean off the residues. This cleaning agent is not aggressive to the components and can clean most of the residues without touching the boards nor the components.
There are limitations to this procedure however. Some components are not cleanable with water-based chemicals because the cleaning procedure might damage them or water could trap inside and cannot dry out perfectly, causing electrical problems later.
Non washable parts are for example buzzers, shielded modules, unsealed switches, humidity/gas/pressure sensors or lenses.
Our engineers check the datasheets of these parts and check if they are washable. If there are non-washable components on a board, we skip this step for the order.
We use a machine for the washing. The board is fixed on a frima and pushed into the machine, where two rotating arms spray the cleaning agent firs, rinse afterwards with distilled water and finally dry the boards with hot air knives.
Next we break out the individual boards from the panel, and remove the panel borders. At the end of the production of the bare boards, we prepare for this step by V-cut or breakout of the panels, so that after assembling the individual boards can be separated easily.
When panels have break-tabs, we cut the bridges with a manual tool. When panels are V-cut, we use a de-panelier with rotating knives.
Now the assembled boards are ready for delivery. We pack them to protect from damage that might occur during transportation.
All packing materials we use provide protection against electrostatic discharge.
The assembled boards are packed individually in ESD bubble bags, they are recognised by their pink colour.
Some components require special attention for packing, such as connectors that have protruding parts. We protect these with ESD foam sheets.
Finally the boards are placed in corrugated boxes, with package fillers to prevent the boards from moving in the box.
The boxes are labelled and shipped by courier and arrive at their destination, hopefully in the best possible condition .