Cleaning the intricate components of industrial electronics typically involves a time-consuming process of careful disassembly and manual hand washing.
Eichler GmbH is Germany’s leading industrial electronics service center. For more than 30 years, Eichler has gained unique knowledge and experience in the repair of automation technology components in the fields of HMI, control systems, drive technology and robotics. The repairs are done at the component level using the latest analysis, cleaning and repair tools.
In order to be able to repair components, protective-lacquer assemblies and circuit boards are stripped, and other heavily soiled parts like fan and housing components are cleaned until they can be considered in "new" condition.
Cleaning is done as needed, sometimes several times a day, using compressed air or manual hand washing. These types of cleaning were time consuming, ineffective and often incomplete.
“Cleaning plays a decisive role in the repair and maintenance of automation technology. Influences of the production environment, dust, temperature and humidity have a negative effect on the condition and functionality of electronic components, which can lead to failure of the assembly at the customer and in the worst case result in a production plant downtime."
- Stefan Berger, head of department drive technology at Eichler
Eichler needed a solution that would ensure thorough cleaning of electrical components without damaging the delicate parts or requiring painstaking disassembly.
Eichler implements dry ice blasting
Dry ice blasting is the solution Eichler needed to meet the high standards of its operation.
The dry ice blasting process uses non-abrasive media in the form of recycled CO2 pellets that won’t damage the surfaces of the boards. The combination of dry ice cleaning’s kinetic energy and thermal effects break the connection between the dirt and surface, lifting away contaminants.
Dry ice sublimates on contact so there are no traces of water or washing liquid as with alternative methods.
Dry ice blasting does not damage or alter delicate surfaces.
Integrating dry ice into a blasting cabin completely eliminates the impact of the production environment.
1) No mechanical damage
The dry ice blasting process is non-abrasive, easily removing old paint without causing any mechanical damage to the boards. This high level of accuracy was not possible with manual cleaning methods.
2) No disassembly/reassembly required
The substantial time it takes to disassemble and reassemble certain parts is greatly reduced, as dry ice blasting allows detailed cleaning in tight spaces. Because there is no secondary waste, there is no need to worry about particles left behind.
3) User-friendly and safe
Dry ice blasting is a user-friendly method that was readily accepted by employees. It was easily integrated in their usual processes with very little adaptation. The process is also safer for employees, who are no longer exposed to harmful cleaning chemicals.
4) Environmentally responsible
Dry ice blasting supports the environmental program of Eichler GmbH within the scope of its certification according to ISO 14001: 2015 in environmental management. The method is safe, non-toxic, prevents long-lasting contamination and reduces exposure to dangerous chemical cleaners.
“The component-accurate repair of coated components was not possible before the introduction of dry ice blasting. After the repair is carried out, the parts will be partially painted new and the components are delivered to the customer in their original state."
- Stefan Berger
Dry ice blasting proved to be user-friendly, operated with high accuracy and provided excellent equipment quality. As a result, Eichler GmbH not only works much more economically, but has also improved occupational safety and environmental protection. By these measures, the system pays for itself after just a few years.