By Karina Dernická, Marketing Specialist
In addition to cleaning technology, PBT Works also produces standalone solder paste printers for SMT applications. The main focus is on tabletop stencil printers, and the technology is suitable for laboratories, universities, R&Ds, start-ups and small production lines. With more than a total of 4,000 installations worldwide, the company has a reputation for being among the top manufacturers of both cleaning and printing technology.
To continually deliver high–quality solutions, PBT Works focuses on research & development (R&D) and manufacturing, with an overall theme of quality. CEO and Co-Owner Robert Sítko said that the company’s design is a result of careful customer feedback processed through detailed research and trials. It applies the most advanced computing and simulation methods in its design and cooperation with universities and research institutes, allowing the company to solve even the most challenging projects. Then, the design team converts that research into state-of the-art equipment.
While R&D and manufacturing are important aspects to success, PBT Works understands that producing top quality products only can be realized when the company and all its employees are fully engaged. For the company, quality and on–time delivery are of the utmost importance because theseprovide a strong base for customer collaboration.
“We work hard every single day to meet our internal goals and customers’ needs,” commented Sítko. In order to achieve that,he said that the company upholds the following ideals:
• Company Culture: Creating a friendly and fair workplace that is open to any creative ideas.
• Technology: Strong machine concepts with smart designfeatures.
• Relations: Be global, act local. Provide worldwide high–quality and friendly support with the intention of creating long-term customer partnerships.
• Environment: Constantly improving product to provide long lifetimes, lowest possible consumption, and high potential for renewal.
The company’s machines remove all contamination from electronics assemblies, tools for electronics assembly processes and delicate mechanical parts because cleanliness matters everywhere. PBT Works provides four main types of cleaning:
Cleaning PCB assemblies after the soldering process significantly improves reliability in electronics devices. The companydesigns automatic spray-in-air, closed-loop zero-drain cleaning machines to clean any size, shape and complexity of electronics circuit boards under fully controlled cleaning conditions. It provides a range of flexible tooling accessories that allows quick changeovers from high-mix/low-volumes to large capacity requirements. Additionally, its software provides full process documentation, specific MES and line automation connectivity.
2. Stencil Cleaning:
Automated cleaning of SMD stencils and squeegees significantly improves print quality and reduces risks of mechanical stencil damage compared to traditional manual cleaning. PBT Works’ machines are tested to clean fine–pitch stencils with thickness of 25-50 µm (1-2 mil) with apertures 50 µm and lower.
Cleaning soldering pallets and jigs improves the PCBA placement precision for the solder wave or selective soldering machine, reduces cross-contamination from flux and significantly prolongs pallet lifetimes. Regular cleaning of condensation traps and filters from SMT ovens maintains heat transfer functionality, leading to reliable soldering process.
4. Mechanical Cleaning:
Precise mechanical part washing based on the latest technical cleanliness standards is critical to optimal component function, while proper surface treatment improves corrosion resistance or coating quality. PBT Works’ systems offer complete cleaning process control and documentation including specific MES connectivity. It also can design customized fixtures for part clamping to clean inside the machines.
Cleaning Process Design
In addition to the above cleaning types, PBT Works provides numerous resources to help customers navigate the cleaning process and find the best fit for their cleaning processes. These include cleaning process development, cleaning diagnostics, diagnostic toolbox and reliability. Many newcomers to cleaning technology are not familiar with many of the important rules when developing their cleaning processes. The test methods for newly established processes and product qualification are supported by various standardsincluding IPC CH56B, J-STD–001 and more. PBT Works offers tools, services and consultancy services, including a standards-based checklist, to help customers save significant time and cost.
Cleaning Process Control
Additionally, when building an effective cleaning process, diagnostics are key in testing and measuring. Electronicsassembly cleaning technology is a complex process in which several factors must be managed to get acceptable results for ionic, organic and particle cleanliness. PBT Works provides the cleaning diagnostics needed for success. Accessing diagnostic tools is another benefit when building and maintaining a cleaning process. Various methods and instruments help make the process effective and powerful. Diagnostic methods help to build a new cleaning process and to maintain its stability. Test methods for cleanliness help to determine future assembly reliability. These include fluid diagnostic, optical diagnostic and testing, electrochemical and chemical test methods, physical test and diagnostic methods, and optical test methods.
Finally, reliability plays an important role in establishing a cleaning process. Today, state-of-the-art electronics are usedin areas where 10 years ago they would not be possible.
These are submitted to harsh conditions and human lives depend on their reliable function. According to IPC classification, products are assigned to various categories. For example, assemblies that must run reliably in harsh conditions, with malfunctions resulting in damage to human life are classified as CLASS III according to IPC 610 standard (standard for Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies).Some assemblies are classified as CLASS IIIA. These are used in space or military applications. Some manufacturers of implantable electronics also work to CLASS IIIA requirements.However, reliability also must be built into assemblies, classified as CLASS II (industrial electronics).
Reliability of assemblies also can be disturbed by manufacturers. Soldered assemblies can suffer from internal stress due to intermetallic layer growth, temperature mismatch, induced stress, fatigue stress from mechanical external forces (vibrations), creep corrosion, deep temperature–induced metallographic structural changes,radiation damage and other factors.
PBT Works specifically targets electrochemical corrosion and measures to prevent damage through ion migration. This isthe area where the company is most proud to share its knowledge and experience.
PBT Works’ other business focus is design and production of offline paste printers for SMT applications. These are suitable for laboratories, development and small production lines. Its SMT stencil printers are affordable and easily operated yetaccurate for both prototyping and small– to medium–size production.
The company offers two different types of printers:
Highly precise and flexible offline 23“ and 29“ stencil printers with camera-guided alignment are suitable for SMT production. Applications include small/mid series production, prototyping and new product development, solder paste printing, SMD glue printing, thermoconductive paste printing, ink screen printing, thick firm printing and printed electronics screen print. Additionally, these printers can print on ceramics, foils and metals.
Manually operated stencil printers are affordable while providing an accurate, precise print. Applications include prototyping, laboratory, new product development, solder paste printing, SMD glue printing, thermoconductive paste printing, ink screen printing, thick film printing and printed electronics screen print. Additionally, manual printers can print on ceramics, foils and metals.
All of the printers feature control adjustment on printing pressure, board from stencil separation speed and print table height.
“With a rich 30-year history, PBT Works has a reputation for experience, quality and innovation,” concluded Sítko. “We are based in 59 countries across five continents so that we can be‘local’ for our customers. Our company guarantee is high-end technology and excellence in both cleaning and stencil printing. We believe in true partnerships with our customers, where we both educate and learn from them. Our ultimate goal is to solve their challenges cost-effectively and as efficiently as possible.”