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Keeping an eye on component cleanliness
Date:10/21/2013

This news release is available in German.

For components emerging from processing, the first order of business is: off to the showers! Oftentimes, multiple layers of impurities have become deposited on the surface, such as lubricant residues or filings. If these particles are not removed, they can affect the quality and functioning of the products in which they are used later on. The cleanliness guidelines for sectors such as the automobile industry have been considerably stiffened in recent years. The problem with this: to date, there hasn't been a satisfactory method with which to monitor the purification process, as there are no suitable measurement systems on the market that can be directly built into industrial cleaning systems. The effectiveness of cleansing procedures is checked through random sampling of individual components emerging from each batch. This process is a laborious one, however: to perform these checks, employees must manually wash away any residual impurities by hand in the laboratory, capture the particles rinsed away in a filter for analysis, and then analyze the results under a microscope. This method is too time-consuming and labor-intensive to permit a statistically relevant testing frequency.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA have now developed "PuriCheck" - a system that will make future cleanliness controls simpler and much more efficient. "This is a sensor system that can be connected to all standard cleaning systems, where it will monitor rinsing baths, for instance," explains Dr. Markus Rochowicz, group manager for contamination control at Fraunhofer IPA. The system consists of an analysis sieve with a variable mesh width, along with integrated camera technology and software for image
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Contact: Dr. Markus Rochowicz
markus.rochowicz@ipa.fraunhofer.de
49-711-970-1175
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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