SMT, PCB Electronics Industry News

Ravi Parthasarathy & Terry Price to Present at the Virtual SMTAI

Sep 10, 2020

ZESTRON is pleased to announce that Ravi Parthasarathy, M.S.Ch.E., Senior Application Engineer and Terry Price, Ph.D, R&D Scientist, will present “Accelerating Continuous Improvement with Next Generation pH Neutral Cleaning Products” at the SMTA International Virtual Conference.


Electronic assembly cleaning and defluxing is a critical process step particularly for those OEMs and CMs manufacturing IPC Class III electronics. A key component of the cleaning process remains water-based engineered cleaning solutions. Today, most cleaning agents available are inhibited versions of either alkaline or pH Neutral based as each have their process advantages. Once optimized, these cleaning processes effectively remove post solder residues from around and underneath critical components thereby ensuring the manufacturer that their assemblies can meet the desired reliability requirements.

Electronic assemblies continue to grow more complex in terms of component design, board density, standoff heights, and increased use of sensitive material sets. Different market sectors may have unique materials sets that need to be considered when developing and/or selecting a chemistry for the cleaning process. These advances continually challenge the cleaning process. Often times, cleaning process improvement can be realized by increasing the cleaner mechanical energy through spray bar design, pressure and configuration, thermal energy by increasing the cleaning agent wash temperature, and chemical energy by increasing the cleaning agent concentration. However, chemical energy can also be increased through increased solvency of the cleaning agent itself.

In this study, two EMS companies explored alternate cleaning agent options in pursuit of continuous process improvement and meeting new product cleaning challenges. Each company was using an inline cleaner with a water-based cleaning agent and each had an optimized process that met their cleaning process requirements. However, they elected to explore the benefit of a cleaning agent with greater solvency in an effort to improve overall process efficiency and cleaning performance.

This paper documents their current cleaning process as well as presents field data detailing the cleaning process performance improvements and resulting cleanliness levels achieved on complex electrical assemblies through the use of a cleaning agent with greater solvency. Examples of the new challenges will be discussed and the resulting field data detailed.

Ravi Parthasarathy and Terry Price will present the key results from the study during the Manufacturing Excellence track at the virtual SMTA International conference. For more information, please visit

Headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, and operating in more than 35 countries, ZESTRON is the global leading provider of high precision cleaning products, services and training solutions for the electronics and semiconductor manufacturing industries. With eight technical centers worldwide and the industry’s most knowledgeable team of engineers focused on high precision cleaning, ZESTRON’s commitment to ensuring that its customers surpass even the most stringent cleaning requirements is without equal.

For additional information or to tour one of our technical centers, please visit

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