Compressed Air: Benefits and uses in Electronics Manufacturing

31st July 2013

Compressed air is so commonly used in manufacturing that is often referred to as industry’s Fourth Utility. Of the total energy supply to industry every year, more than 10% of it is used to compress air[1]. Compressed air can be used to drive machinery efficiently and safely, provide finishing and cleaning for products, or work with volatile or explosive materials.

So how exactly does compressed air benefit the electronics industry?

Cleaning electronic components after production

Many of the machines used to create certain electronic components can leave chemical or material residue behind. Compressed air is an efficient way to clean components without damaging them, as it involves no liquids which could cause harm to the components or leave behind a residue of their own. It can also be used to clean the machines that are involved in the manufacturing process, such as the air knives that are used to produce LCD panels.

Drive vacuum pumps

Compressed air is often used to power manufacturing equipment, such as tools found on the assembly line. Machinery that is vacuum powered is often used in electronics manufacture to hold, position, and assemble electronic components. This way LCD panels, circuit boards, and memory chips (to name but a few components) can all be assembled using the power of compressed air.

Why use compressed air as a power source?

Compressed air is a highly useful resource for manufacture and approximately 70% of all companies make use of compressed air[2]. Compressed air is easy to store, and so can be used in places where other power sources would be impractical or impossible to access. Machines running on compressed air can operate at extreme temperatures, and compressed air does not interfere with any electrical monitoring equipment.

Because compressed air can be produced on site, it is much easier to control the quality of the product, ensuring the dirt and other contaminants do not damage the equipment the compressed air is being used to power, or the components that equipment is assembling or making.

Getting the best quality compressed air

Compressed air has many uses in the manufacture of electronic components. It is therefore important that the highest quality compressed air is used. Low quality compressed air can include dirt, water vapour, and chemicals such as oil. These contaminates, when under high pressure, can cause serious damage to machinery. They can also damage or discolour the components the compressed air is being used to manufacture.

High quality compressed air is a safe, reliable, and flexible power source for use in electronics manufacture. In order to get the highest quality compressed air, you need to ensure that you are using the correct equipment. As well as supplying compressed air and filtering systems, AFS Limited can provide maintenance and support services to identify problems and reduce costs.

Get in touch with AFS today for more information on the right compressed air solutions for your electronics manufacturing.