Conference will zero in on complex cleaning and coating challenges
By Terry Costlow, IPC online editor
Oct 30, 2012
Cleaning and coating have become big topics as line widths shrink and reliability requirements rise. A November conference provides vital insight for all attendees.
When it comes to issues like cleaning and conformal coating, both senior employees and comparative newcomers often feel that they've got a lot to learn. An upcoming conference will
address both sides of this complex issue, with a morning session for beginners and two days of presentations by a number of subject matter experts in the afternoon.
Conformal coatings are seeing more usage as more products require increased reliability. Though many on the business side may feel that adding protective coatings is a simple job, those on the technical side know it's far more complex.
"If you don't design the board for conformal coating, you can increase the cost of conformal coating by two to five times," said Jason Keeping, project manager for conformal coating/underfill at Celestica Inc. "If you don't select the right material, you can increase the cost by 10x and you can actually increase the number of defects."
Keeping will be one of the presenters at the High Reliability Cleaning and Conformal Coating Conference being held November 13-15 at the Crown Plaza O'Hare in Chicago. That conference will begin with a morning session for those who are fairly new to the fields of coatings and cleaning.
Doug Pauls of Rockwell Collins will be the other presenter for this introductory session. The two agree that a morning session may not be the end all for knowledge in a nuanced field like coating and cleaning.
"The presentations aren't the end of the discussion. The presenters are making themselves available for later contacts," Keeping said.
After the morning session, the technical conference will begin with a fire-hose download of in-depth presentations. Subject matter experts from across the industry will present their latest findings in the two fields. Among them are presentations on a quality issue that's been growing rapidly over the past couple years.
"Tin whiskers will be the next issue, much like lead free has been. We'll have a full session discovering and mitigating tin whiskers," Keeping said.
Presenters will also zero in on many issues in conformal coating including high temperature limits of silicon coatings and the adhesive strength of coatings. Plasma treatments of conformal coatings and changes to the IPC-B-52 Test Vehicle are also on the schedule.
Event chairman Mike Bixenman of Kyzen Corp. helped ensure that the agenda is equally packed on the cleaning side. Many in the industry have moved to no-clean fluxes, but that hasn't eliminated concerns about getting rid of small particles that can cause big problems.
"With the move to QFNs, tolerances are getting smaller and it's becoming more complex to remove fluxes," Keeping said.
Cleaning challenges in a high density interconnect world, a comparison of extract solution composition for bare boards and localized extraction methods for ionic analysis are a few of the presentation titles.
The conference will also examine the non-technical topic that has become a major factor for business planning in the 21st century, regulations. Some of the materials and processes used in cleaning and coating make regulations a critical topic. An entire session is dedicated to these rules.
"Different states and different countries have their own requirements for certification, flammability and other factors. We'll also examine chemical processes, looking at the fumes that go up the stack and other materials that need special handling," Keeping said.
For more information, visit www.ipc.org/cleaning