Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design SMT Electronics Assembly Manufacturing Forum

Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design Forum

SMT electronics assembly manufacturing forum.

Stencil Cleaner



Stencil Cleaner | 12 May, 2000

We are a small volume pwb house and I am tring to convince the people here that we should purchase a stencil cleaner. Besides the obvious of cleaning all of the past out of the apertures what are other benefits of usings a cleaner of hand cleaning.

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Re: Stencil Cleaner | 12 May, 2000

Okay, the next posts to follow this one will be a barrage of Stencil Cleaner vendors touting how their cleaners are the best!!

I know you're new, but try looking in the archives....Keyword "Stencil Cleaner." You'll find several dozen threads on this topic.

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Mike Konrad


Re: Stencil Cleaner | 12 May, 2000

Advantages of using a stencil cleaner verses manually cleaning stencils:

1. Using a stencil cleaner ensures no direct contact between operator and solder paste (lead being the primary concern).

2. Most stencil cleaners remove 100% of the solder paste from a stencil. The complete removal of solder paste manually is determined by the operator.

3. Most stencil cleaners will not damage your stencils. Manually cleaning stencils raises the odds that a stencil may be accidentally damaged.

4. Many stencil cleaners have built-in filtration systems to capture and remove solder paste from the cleaning solution. Manually cleaning stencils adds to the possibility that lead will be discharged either "down the drain" or in a garbage can, neither are acceptable.

As for the type of stencil cleaners available, there are several technologies to choose from:

1. Ultrasonic 2. Spray in Air 3. Immersion

Stencil cleaner manufacturers include: Aqueous Technologies (that's us) (800) 218-8128 PMR (480) 829-8170 SmartSonic (818) 909-6400 EMC (215) 340-0650

Mike JNJ Industries (508) 478-5290

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Bill Schreiber


Re: Stencil Cleaner | 12 May, 2000

There are several published papers on the Smart Sonic Web Site regarding the advantages and disadvantages of using a stencil cleaner. I recommend the papers by Richard Clouthier "Improving Screen Print Yields" and "Selecting SMT Stencil Cleaning Methods." Mr. Clouthier is a stencil manufacturer and provides his unbias opinion. The papers may be downloaded. Go to and click on "Recommended Reading" button.

Any specific questions, please contact me. Best regards, Bill Schreiber Tel: 1(800) 906-4407 E-mail:

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Re: Stencil Cleaner | 12 May, 2000

I also recommend that you take a peek at the archives, as stencil cleaners have been discussed a number of times.

I also recommend that you check with your stencil manufacturers to determine exactly what cleaning process parameters are acceptable to them in order to avoid the hassles revolving around epoxy debonding. We're having a hell of a time.

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