IPC Tech-Ed: PCB Cleaning & Coating

23 & 24 May, Paris, France

On 23 & 24 May, 15 European IPC members and PCB professionals convened at our partner IHS-Markit’s premises in Paris, France to attend the IPC Tech-Ed on PCB Cleaning and Coating. During this two-day event, IPC offered instruction and tutorials from outstanding experts in our industry.

With key topics ranging from automated and selective conformal coating, to cleaning before coating and cleaning machines, the event provided quality education and networking opportunities to participants.

The first session focused on “Automated and Selective Conformal Coating” and was presented by Stéphane Etienne from Nordson.  His course covered topics such as “Why is conformal coating required and what are its key advantages?” “What coating technologies are available and what are application methods available (spraying, dipping, flooding) and likely problems/issues with coating?” “What are process requirements and available process controls and inspections methods (automatic coating inspection, layer thickness measurement)?”
Stéphane explained coating specific software and highlighted automated coating inspection as well as modular coating line with closed loop control, and much more.

The second session on “PCBs Cleaning Systems” was presented by Benoit Fillastre from MBTech. Benoit presented the different existing approaches to PCB cleaning systems, including the washing process (closely related to chemistry used, water-based, semi- water-based or solvent based), the cleaning technology (spray in air, spray under immersion, ultrasonic or vapor-phase) and the cleaning machine construction (batch type, semi-inline, or inline). He covered key parameters, advantages and limits to each existing system and explained systems monitoring and traceability.

The third session focused on “Conformal Coating, Issues and Remedies” and was instructed by Emmanuel Anglade from Humiseal. This session looked into the fundamentals of PCB coating. Emmanuel provided the definition of conformal coating, what it does, reasons for coating PCBs, and how to select and apply conformal coating. He also addressed what kind of technologies and chemistries are used and for which applications, which contaminations they protect against with all the above in relation to IPC standard requirements (as well as other conformal coating standards: ie, UL, MIL, etc.).  Emmanuel highlighted key pros and cons for each coating type and application methods in relation to costs and reliability of assemblies and in line with key IPC standard requirements. He concluded by covering key troubleshooting approach regarding PCB coating issues.

The fourth session was dedicated to “Cleaning Before Coating” and was presented by Bertrand Thimmesch, Zestron. This course was based on his experiences gained from more than 15 years’ work in the electronics cleaning and coating industry and covered a wide range of topics and lessons learned on a variety of technical topics:

  • Cleaning principles (agitation systems, spray, ultrasonic, spray under immersion, immersion air-supported) and cleaning agent concepts
  • Cleaning systems and Cleaning Agent Effectiveness
  • Climatic failure mechanisms (electrochemical migrations, corrosion induced leakage current, signal distortions on high-frequency circuits)
  • Cleaning before coating (residues and failures) and advantages of conformal coating (influencing factors, failure mechanisms, coating failures, cleaning before coating, analytics and test methods)
  • Low Standoff Cleaning and component placement considerations
  • Cleaning process optimization and Cleanliness Assessment

Our partner Zestron (leading supplier of chemical and cleaning products), hosted the event within its Zestron Academy (Zestron Academy allows to benchmark cleaning technologies and solutions according to specific customer needs and objectives)

In addition to first-hand relevant educational content, participants enjoyed networking over a nice dinner at Paris Opéra, all while enjoying a relaxed atmosphere and within the restaurant which is located inside the beautiful and historical Palais Garnier.

All IPC Tech-Ed participants gained a rare opportunity to propel their career forward and gained valuable knowledge from inspirational people. 

Do not miss our next IPC Conference on Automotive Electronics, to take place on 4- 5 June 2018 in Nuremberg, Germany.

Interested in taking part or in suggesting specific topics meeting your own needs, please contact Natalia Rivas, at RivaNa@ipc.org or +32 2.740.22.35.