Automotive Cleanliness Standards
Vehicles are becoming much more than a means to get from point A to B.
Rather, they have become a safety shield for its passengers, designed and outfitted with the most advanced of technology to make the end user’s experience safe and luxurious.
With that in mind, in electronic modules and the subcomponents of electrical all must be very clean in order to function properly and prevent circuits from shorting. Therefore, it is only logical that the zero defect requirement will be a given standard as the industry evolves with hybrid, electric vehicles and the possibility of autonomous vehicles in the near future.
Automotive industrial requirements such as VDA 19 and ISO 16232 now require strict control of the quantity of residual contamination on the components supplied. Two specified factors now apply, those being “Qualitative Requirements” (Contamination by measuring mg/component through Gravimetric analysis), and “Quantitative Limits” (The measure of quantity, size and type of participles, defined by metallic and non-metallic organics). These standards are becoming the “new norm” demanded by OEMs and the Tier 1’s whom supply parts for sensitive subsystem parts used in automotive electronics, fuel systems, transmissions, etc.
Current Cleanliness at Perfection Spring & Stamping Corp.
The VDA requirements allow for four methods to clean parts, including Shaking, Ultrasonic Cleaning, Spraying (Pressure washing), or Flushing. As a supplier to the Automotive Market, our current state of technical cleaning here at PSS is achieved by “Spraying”, utilizing a three-stage aqueous process followed by heated forced air dryer. We have an enhanced wash process that uses de-ionized water in the final rinse and a unique recipe to achieve superior results. Though this process was once the “first of its kind” to meet and exceed customer’s needs, the time has come to change and adapt as these requirements are becoming more stringent.
In order to rise to our customers growing needs and the new industrial standard(s), we are actively exploring and determining how the manufacturing process, including the wash process, can be modified. We are confident that the future wash system, to be complete in 2018, shall be capable of meeting and exceeding cleanliness requirements for the foreseeable future.
In the meantime, we are excited to announce that we have purchased and installed new testing equipment that will be able to verify our cleanliness! The test microscope and computer system is a GT-Vision Filtrex.
Not only will we be able to report to the International Standards, but as well as particular Customer Specific Requirements. The system shall be invaluable for rapid development of future cleaning protocols.