Global Fastener News

1994 FIN – Hornbeck: U-C components Finds Demand Up for Clean Screws

March 23
00:00 2011


November 28, 1994 FIN – Business came to U-C Components, rather than U-C soliciting orders for clean screws, Fred Hornbeck said.
Few Firms are prepared to meet the intricate standards, Hornbeck explained.
“A microscopic bit of contamination or a single fingerprint can wipe out a whole multitude of chips at great cost to the manufacturer,” the former IBM engineer and now consultant to the vented screw manufacturer said.  Fasteners must pass through a sequence of controlled steps into a clean room environment for final processing.

Fasteners used in many electronics, medical and aerospace applications must be completely free from residue, he said.

“As semiconductor devices become smaller and more complex, contamination control becomes critical to insuring defect-free products,” Hornbeck told the Western Association of Fastener Distributors fall meeting in San Francisco.  WAFD toured the U-C facility in Mountain View, CA.

A class 100 clean room is considered minimum for semi-conductor processes. Filters must provide .5 micron filtration at 90 feet per minute of airflow. A human hair is about 100 microns in diameter.

“To remove contaminants down to the micron level, specialized equipment is involved,” Hornbeck said. “High-energy scrubbing is provided by variable-frequency ultra-sound transmitted throughout each cleaning tank. The sound waves generate intense pressure waves that implode with great force on the surface of the fasteners. Special designs are involved to optimize the water flow to sweep away contaminants as they dislodged and to keep them re-contaminating the surfaces.”

Clean room construction requires all stainless steel construction, fully enclosed console to prevent particle shedding plus chemical resistant piping, Hornbeck said.

“Ultra-pure components, including fasteners, are vital in the semiconductor, aerospace and medical industries,” Hornbeck said. “Without high-quality cleaning standards many of the manufacturing processes throughout the world would not be possible.”

“In 1992, the U.S. share (of the electronics and semi-conductor industries) was estimated to be about $18 billion,” Hornbeck said.

Electronic equipment sales growth will outpace GNP growth, he predicted.  ©1994/2011 Fastener Industry News



Related Links:

• U-C Components

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