Ecoclean's new high purity test centre has been officially inaugurated at its German production site in Dettingen unter Teck.
The facilities and conditions have been created to carry out cleaning trials on high tech components with the highest cleanliness requirements.
In line with changing and sector-specific requirements in industrial parts cleaning, Ecoclean has added new products and services to its portfolio. These include cleaning machines and systems specially designed for so-called high-purity cleaning applications, where extremely high cleanliness requirements for metallic and optical components must be reliably met.
Such components are needed, for example, by equipment manufacturers supplying the semiconductor industry, in precision optics, as well as in laser, measurement, analysis and high-vacuum applications. It was thus a logical and appropriate step for Ecoclean to provide the corresponding capacities and technologies for conducting cleaning trials in a clean-room environment under ultra clean conditions for customers from these market segments. This resulted in the new high purity test centre at the company’s production site in Dettingen unter Teck. It was officially inaugurated at the end of November 2022.
More than just an alternative to in-house trials
The new centre comprises a total of five cleaning systems which are outfitted specifically for high-purity cleaning tasks. These system cover all the technologies, media and processes needed for wet-chemical parts cleaning, such as ultrasonics, injection flood washing, plasma cleaning, pulsed pressure cleaning (PPC) and ultrasonics plus.
For customers who manufacture precision parts for high-purity applications, the ability to perform cleaning trials in Ecoclean’s test centre offers several advantages:
• As a rule, new parts require extensive process validation procedures and cleaning trials. These would put a strain on in-house cleaning systems, which are invariably already validated and operated at full capacity.
• The cleaning processes and process parameters, for example washing mechanics, chemistry, water qualities, cycle times and cleaning results, can be designed and optimised for the respective component independently of any company processes which might already exist.
• The trials make it easier to estimate process requirements and cleaning results in advance, thus minimising the risk for the team consisting of the customer and equipment manufacturer.
• In addition, tests and feasibility studies on the cleanability of new precision components can be performed without having to interfere with validated production processes.
• Last but not least, job cleaning services are also available to customers if required.
Equipped for pre-cleaning and final cleaning tasks with the highest requirements The new test centre has two cleaning areas, each with different cleanliness classes. The first one is in a clean-room that contains both a solvent-based chamber cleaning machine with integrated low-pressure plasma cleaning and a chamber-type machine for aqueous media. This area is used for pre-cleaning tasks, which prepare parts for final cleaning in the clean-room environment. It is also suitable for meeting the higher cleanliness requirements of a variety of typical ultra-fine cleaning tasks encountered in sectors such as the sensor, aviation, e-mobility and coating industries.
The final cleaning area is in a validated ISO Class 7 clean-room with ISO Class 6 zones. This contains a chamber-type washer for solvent media, a chamber-type washer for water-based media, and a multi-chamber ultrasonic cleaning system with nine wet and two dry stations. Here, different ultrasonic frequencies, cleaning chemicals, PPC, passivation agents and more can be tested. A range of (combinable) options are also available for drying parts.
In addition, the new tech centre is fitted with media preparation systems for reverse osmosis (RO), de-ionised (DI) and ultra-pure water (UPW), thus supplying all the types of water qualities needed for ultra-fine and high-purity cleaning operations. Thanks to this equipment, extremely high cleanliness standards, such as those demanded by Grade 1 and 2, can be met. Since all systems are networked via the Ecoclean connect cloud solution, all machine and cleaning test data are available in digital form.