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News

Stencil cleaning frame optimises efficiency

Tecan : 05 March, 2002  (Company News)
A highly-effective frame system, specifically for handling solder paste/glue stencils during the cleaning process, has been developed by Weymouth based specialist Tecan Ltd.
With the Tecan approach, the stencil is easily and quickly transferred, from the printing frame to the dedicated cleaning frame, and fixed using a simple quick-release mechanism. In addition to double-ended axial tensioning the readily adjustable cleaning frame has mid-section support to stabilise the stencil, avoiding damage throughout the cleaning cycle.

Saving time and money, typically for medium and high volume PCB manufacturers, the frame overcomes traditional problems, such as accidental damage and inconsistent cleaning, encountered while transferring stencils to and from the cleaning area and in the cleaning machines and tanks themselves. Some producers attempt to clean stencils while they are still attached to their re-mountable printing frames, a common practise, which can bring further problems. For example, prolonged exposure to today's cleaning solutions can inflict terminal damage to printing frames, significantly reducing overall operational efficiency.

Using the new system, the printing frame itself remains within the production environment, maximising its operational future, only the cleaning frame is exposed to the cleaning process. Since there is minimal physical contact between the stencil and the cleaning frame, the stencil can be efficiently cleaned whilst under safe tension - whatever the cleaning system used. When removed from the tank, or spray booth, the frame’s design ensures the maximum drainage, or run off, of the cleaning solution from the frame, and the stencil itself, maximising cleaning agent recovery and limiting staining.

Robust stainless steel construction offers compatibility with any known cleaning solution available today, says the company. Frames are available to suit all re-mountable stencil types and can incorporate individual requirements such as non-standard cleaning tank dimensions.
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