In the electronics industry, the number of processes performed in clean environments is rising constantly. This includes cleaning parts and components. For these applications, acp systems presents the new JetCell-HP, an innovative cleaning cell with dry quattroClean snow-jet technology, designed specially for use in cleanrooms. The compact and digitally controllable solution can be used inline or in stand-alone mode to carry out different cleaning tasks automatically, efficiently and reliably. 

From semiconductor and micronano production to connecting technologies for printed circuit boards, from photovoltaic manufacture and mounting technologies to battery cell and module production, in many sectors of industry higher requirements are making it necessary to shift more and more processes to clean environments. In this context, the demands on the cleanliness of the parts and components are especially high. This is because particulate contamination even in the submicrometer range can impair the quality of processes and products, as can the finest filmic residues, stains and fingerprints. To solve these cleaning tasks in a reliable, scalable, consistent and economical way, appropriately adapted equipment is indispensable. 

Automated dry cleaning process in cleanroom-optimized cell 

Such a cleaning solution is offered by acp systems AG with its new quattroClean snow-jet cleaning cell JetCell-HP in cleanroom-compatible design. The cleaning process is dry and uses climate-neutral CO2. 

The compact cell for flexible automated production is made entirely of high-grade stainless steel with smooth, even surfaces without any external screw connections, and can be easily integrated into a production line or operated as a stand-alone system. All equipment components and materials are geared to cleanroom applications. Thanks to the flow-optimized design of the process chamber, detached impurities and sublimated carbon dioxide are discharged quickly and effectively by the integrated extraction unit. This not only prevents recontamination of the cleaned parts but also the formation of dirt pockets. 

To ensure a consistently good cleaning result, the JetCell-HP is fitted with a sensor system as standard that continuously measures the density of the snow jet. The digitally controllable cleaning cell can be easily integrated into and controlled by higher-level host computer systems via standardized interfaces. To ensure full documentation and traceability, all process parameters such as CO2 supply, compressed air supply and jet time are recorded automatically and transferred to the host computer. 

Designed for use in clean environments, the cleaning cell reliably removes particulate and filmic-chemical contamination, such as ablation residues after structuring MIDs, in a dry and gentle process.

The quattroClean technology – cleanliness achieved by four effects

The key to the quattroClean system’s excellent cleaning effect is the design of the wear-free, two-substance ring nozzle through which the liquid carbon dioxide is fed. The carbon dioxide expands on exiting the nozzle to form fine snow crystals. These are then bundled by a separate jacket jet of compressed air and accelerated to supersonic speed. The jet is easy to focus on a specific area. On impacting on the cleaning surface, four mechanisms (thermal, mechanical, solvent and sublimation effects) ensure that particulate and filmic-chemical contamination are reliably removed. The crystalline carbon dioxide sublimates completely during the cleaning process. The surfaces/parts are therefore dry and can be forwarded directly to the next production step.

The cleaning process is so gentle on materials that it can even be used to clean delicate and finely-structured surfaces.

Easy to adapt to different cleaning tasks

The scalable quattroClean process can be easily adapted to different component geometries and can be used for partial or full-surface cleaning. The process is tailored and validated according to customer and application requirements through tests in acp’s technical center. The process parameters determined in this way can be stored in the JetCell-HP control system as part-specific cleaning programs. Apart from the control system, the complete technology for the snow jet process as well as the media preparation equipment are also integrated into the system housing. The system is put into operation simply by hooking it up to the electricity, compressed air and carbon dioxide supply (cylinders or tank).

acp systems will be showcasing the new JetCell-HP for the first time at Productronica, Messe München, in Hall B2, Booth 341, from November 16 to 19, 2021.