Cold Jet Case Study

Industrial electronics cleaned to perfection with dry ice blasting

THE SITUATION

EICHLER GmbH is Germany’s leading electronics service center with a focus on industrial electronics. For more than 30 years, EICHLER GmbH 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 addition to repairs, the range of services also includes the purchase and sale of used equipment as well as a complete warehouse and life cycle management. In addition, EICHLER GmbH offers its customers a wide range of training courses via the in-house seminar system. Corporate development is characterized by steady and sustainable growth. More than 190 employees and apprentices work at the location in Pürgen-Lengenfeld, Germany.

 

THE PROBLEM

In order to be able to repair the components, protective-lacquer assemblies or circuit boards are stripped. In addition, other heavily soiled parts such as fan and housing parts are brought back to a new condition. Cleaning is done as needed, sometimes several times a day. This was done in the past by compressed air, hand or machine wash. These types of cleaning were time consuming and not always satisfying.

 

“Cleaning plays a decisive role in the repair and maintenance of automation technology. Influences of the production environment, dust, temperature, humidity, etc. 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“, said Stefan Berger, head of department drive technology at EICHLER.

 

After receiving detailed information, EICHLER GmbH purchased an i3 MicroClean S4 System combined with a blasting cabin including dedusting and ionization. The results of the cleaning were excellent.

 

THE COLD JET SOLUTION

Cleaning with the i3 MicroClean S4 Dry Ice Cleaning System is done using the Cold Jet patented (block-shaver) technology.

This shaved dry ice MicroParticles are accelerated to the speed of sound to blow up impurities from the surface of the boards on impact. The combination of kinetic energy and thermal effect breaks the bond between the protective varnish or the contaminant and the surface.

Since dry ice sublimates on contact, there are no traces of water, washing liquid or drying. Cold Jet Systems do not damage or alter the delicate surface. Integrating the i3 MicroClean into a blasting cabin completely eliminates the impact of the production environment.

This procedure supports the environmental program of EICHLER GmbH within the scope of its certification according to ISO 14001: 2015 in environmental management. The Cold Jet System is safe, non-toxic, prevents long-lasting contamination and reduces or eliminates exposure to dangerous chemical cleaners. Stefan Berger said: “The user friendliness is very important and promotes acceptance among employees. After a detailed briefing by Cold Jet, the system was accepted very quickly by the employees and no changes had to be made except for minor adaptations in regular operation.“

 

THE RESULTS

 

“Since the paint removal by dry ice has no abrasive effect, mechanical damage to boards are avoided. 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“, said Stefan Berger.

 

The i3 MicroClean S4 System, combined with a blasting cabin, proved to be user-friendly, operating with high accuracy, and providing excellent equipment quality. As a result, the system pays for itself after just a few years.

Working with the Cold Jet i3 MicroClean S4 System, EICHLER GmbH not only works much more economically, but has also improved occupational safety and environmental protection.