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Compressed Air in the Electronic Industry

The electrical industry comprises many different areas. On the one hand, mass produced articles such as electrical household appliances, lighting technology, batteries, security systems, consumer electronics, cable and wires and, on the other hand, high-level technologies such as R&D in the field of nano-technology.

The international competitiveness of a company is very important in the industry.n integral An integral part hereby is high quality requirements for the product as well as an effective and flexible production process. For this purpose, more and more robot-based automation solutions are being utilised today e.g. For the production of wafers. Production and machining is a tricky task. Compressed air is often utilised particularly for such sensitive products.

The plants and systems utilised are highly technical, cost-intensive and most are sensitive. High operating standards therefore apply for the electronics manufacturing industry and also high demands on the compressed air. Oil-free and dry compressed air is mostly required. Special conditions apply in manufacturing processes in clean rooms.

The applications where compressed air are utilised are as complex as the areas of the industry. Contact us and we will jointly find the optimal solution with you for a secured compressed air supply and compressed air quality.

Applications in the electronics industry


Placement and cleaning

Automation has also entered the electronic industry as mass produced electronics are now produced with placement automation. On the one hand compressed air is utilised for pneumatic drive units for component conveying and, on the other hand also for picking up and placement of components. Suction air is used in this case which is generated by vacuum pumps. This therefore enables, for example, gripping sensitive parts and subsequently placing them on printed circuit boards during chip production. Production processes for chip production must take place under clean room conditions i.e. the quality of the compressed air must be adapted to these requirements.

Another field of application for compressed air is the application of solder paste on the circuit board as well as cleaning the circuit board, electronic printed circuit board and wafers. The components are blown off here with compressed air to remove any residue from the processing. Compressed air plays an important role in the transportation and storage when processing wafers. The compressed air utilised here must be free of particles, oil and moisture.

Use Case: Compressed air in cleanroom technology

Air bearing

Air bearing

An air bearing can always be found in areas where precession and speed are required. In the electronics industry, these are e.g. inspection devices, wafer steppers, devices for circuit board support, linear guides and spindles for circuit board drilling machines.

The field of circuit board drilling is one of the key areas for air bearings. The circuit boards must be drilled through many times before they are equipped. The rpm for the spindle is located in the high revolution range and this must be guaranteed by the contact-free bearing. An air bearing must be created between the spindle bearing and stator bearing for this purpose and material contact must be prevented. The air bearing is generated with compressed air which enters the bearing gap via the multiple nozzle bearing or single nozzle bearing. Due to the extremely thin bearing gap (air film of 3 to 10 µm), the compressed air must be free of particles and aerosols as well as dry. Humid compressed air can cause corrosion or result in mineral-type deposits.


Nitrogen for soldering

It is imperative that components are connected to each other in the electronics industry. Soldering is one of the most important methods for this. In order to achieve the correct quality results, the correct method and the corresponding device must be utilised for the respective application. No lead-containing solder or lead-containing circuit boards may be used in commercial devices since July 2006. Alternative methods often require nitrogen as an inert gas e.g. in the case of wave soldering plants or re-flow ovens.

The required nitrogen can be gained from the compressed air with the help of nitrogen generators by utilising low-selective diaphragms or molecular sieves. The purity of the protective gas can be up to 95 - 99.5%. A relative humidity of the compressed air entering is often required below 80% in order to protect the nitrogen diaphragm and/or molecular sieve and to increase the operational safety. This is necessary because the nitrogen diaphragm and/or molecular sieve is sensitive to humidity.

Quality assurance at an automotive supplier

Blowing of high-performance electronics via pulsating rotary jets, and tracing of plastic housings with cleaning plasma jets: At the German automotive supplier Hella, compressed air takes over the central tasks in the surface cleaning of safety-relevant components. The most important requirement in this respect: the reliable, complete absence of oil.


Application report