Volume XII, Issue 9 - September 2015

Path through forest

In This Issue


What Is Clean Enough?

Knowledge is Power - Use it

Get the heads-up on great resources and events.

I love your site and your obvious independence, it is a breath of fresh air.
Graham N. Fraser
Managing Director
Fraser Technologies Ltd., U.K.

Feature Article

What Is Clean Enough?

Barbara Kanegsberg, BFK Solutions
Suppliers of cleaning chemistry or cleaning equipment may claim their product “successfully cleans” heavy greases, particles, fluxes, and other soils. Private companies, military, and governmental agencies report successful cleaning in selecting a particular cleaning agent. What does “successful cleaning” actually mean for your manufacturing process? Success is a matter of perspective. “Clean enough” depends on the level of residue that can be tolerated in the next step of the process. “Clean enough” depends on the hazards to product performance posed by residue left on the final product. Here are four examples including cleaning electronics assemblies, LOX cleaning, cleaning to prepare surfaces for thermal spray, and cleaning medical devices during manufacture and before reuse.

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Knowledge Is Power

Upcoming Programs

Electronics Conference, Rosemont, IL
Meet with “The Cleaning Lady and The Rocket Scientist” at SMTAI – you have three opportunities.

Tutorial Workshop
Ed and Barbara Kanegsberg will conduct “Tipping Point Cleaning and Defluxing, (Session T15)” on September 28, 2015. This half day tutorial workshop will cover cleaning challenges and options for manufacturers of both electronic assemblies and other high-value products. Attendees will learn when, what, how and how much to clean. The course will cover case studies including aqueous and solvent processes. It will include initial results of studies with new cleaning agents conducted with Dr. Darren Williams at Sam Houston State University. For more information go to http://www.smta.org/smtai/tutorials.cfm

Poster Session
Are you self-conscious about asking questions during formal technical sessions? Do you have 3 or 4 questions to ask? Have we got a good idea for you! Come visit with Ed Kanegsberg and Barbara Kanegsberg at our Poster Session, “Understanding Cleaning Parameters” on Tuesday September 29,Poster sessions are a great opportunity to ask specific questions in a more informal setting than you usually find in a big conference hall.

Technical Session
Attend “Cleaning Parameters and Cleanliness Monitoring of Electronics Assemblies (MFX3),” on Sept 30. Presenters will discuss how variables in the assembly process impact efficacy of cleaning. Learn practical approaches to increase product reliability. Barbara will chair the session.

Southern California SMTA Tech Expo – Sign up!
The LA/OC SMTA presents their 5th Annual Expo & Tech Forum in Long Beach. It’s free to attendees; it’s fun, it includes lunch – and it gives you great ideas to improve manufacturing and to meet friends and colleagues.

Hear Ed and Barbara Kanegsberg present:
“Oh flux! – How Not to Clean Electronics Assemblies”

Is it the irate customer? Is it the flux residue? Is it the friendly SCAQMD or OSHA inspector? You’ll laugh; you’ll cringe! You’ll have fun! Forget the success stories. We all tend to hear glowing reports of successes. Research has shown that successes are reported; failures are not. You can learn more from failures than successes. Hear about real-life cleaning mishaps. Hear about “partial successes.” Learn how to interpret success stories and adapt the approach for your own manufacturing facility. Come away with great ideas to clean electronics assemblies and to avoid costly investments in process equipment and chemicals that are not right for you. Understand how to fix small issues before the line goes down, before you lose business. Unlike reality T.V, most names will be changed to protect the innocent.

Just added: bonus material! We’re working with Dr. Darren Williams at Sam Houston State University to blend and test low VOC cleaning chemistries. Hear what’s cooking in cleaning agents and what this could mean for electronics cleaning and defluxing.

Are you an electronics manufacturer? Sign up! You’ll learn tons. Don’t wait till the last minute; the SMTA folks need to know how much food to plan!


Have you signed up for a reasonably-priced table top exhibit? You should!



Aqueous Degreasing
“Kanegsbergs on Cleaning: Degreasing With Aqueous Products”  appears in the August 2015 issue of  Products Finishing Magazine. Both solvent and aqueous cleaning agents can be effective degreasers. Read a short, painless introduction to the chemistry of aqueous cleaning agents. The more you understand how degreasers work, the easier it is to put together an effective critical cleaning process.


Geckos appear to defy gravity as they run up a wall or across a ceiling. How can they do that? It is not by exuding some sort of sticky goo. It is due to force, the same kind of force that causes a particle or soil to adhere to the surface of a component being manufactured or used, or to tooling, or to cleanroom surfaces. Three molecular forces — polar, hydrogen bonding, and dispersion — are associated with adherence as well as with solvency and cleaning. Learn more in “Particles Cling to der Waals,”  Barbara Kanegsberg and Ed Kanegsberg in the August 2015 issue of “Controlled Environments Magazine.”


About BFK Solutions

Does your cleaning process work sometimes (but not well)? Are you waiting for the results of “one more cleaning test”? Are you afraid of regulators - or consultants? Our “Actually Do Something (A.D.S.) Action Program” may be just the gentle nudge you need. Stop putting up with semi-beautiful cleaning processes and contact us to learn more.