PCB Repair Depot Reduces Costs With Better Cleaning Tools and Fluids

Author: Mike Jones, MicroCare Vice President

The Challenge

Benchtop cleaning of PCBs is a tough challenge for process engineers. Dip-and-brush cleaning is an inexpensive but slow method that often leaves residues to migrate across circuits.

Traditional high-pressure aerosols are convenient but can be expensive, environmentally wasteful and people don’t like breathing all those fumes. MicroCare offers a better way to clean circuit boards. There is a large PCB repair depot near Minneapolis (USA) that has tested this for themselves. This company cleans and repairs the electronics in point-of-sale systems used in stores.

These computers have a hard life but must function reliably despite the abuse they might receive. A POS system can get dropped on a floor or drowned in a sugary drink. When they fail, credit card transactions come to a screeching halt. This is a tough pill to swallow for retailers whose customers no longer carry cash.

A Change in Process

For years, this company cleaned their boards with a traditional, high-pressure aerosol sprays. But consumption was high and the cleanliness was not great. MicroCare offered the patented TriggerGrip™ system along with Heavy-Duty Flux Remover – SuprClean™.

After the test the process engineer noted, “The MicroCare product does a superior job. We have cut our [aerosol] usage to a quarter of what it was before.” The TriggerGrip™ system allowed technicians to clean precisely without waste while lowering worker exposures to chemical fumes.

It localizes the cleaning to the area of the repaired area of the PCB, which prevents flux from migrating across the board. The benchtop cleaning process becomes standardized, with a consistent quantity of liquid dispensed for each repair. With the TriggerGrip™ system and SuprClean™ “it is much less work to remove the flux,” the engineer added. “You were right about the savings in the cleaner usage,” the customer told Mike Helmer, the MicroCare sales representative. “I wish we had placed the order two years ago when you first tried to help us.”