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Kolb prove durability of CILS labels in board wash tests

Kolb Cleaning Technology

CILS and Kolb find a solution to maintain legibility of PCB labels during board washing

Identification of printed circuit boards (PCBs), components and products remains critical so that units can be tracked both during manufacturing and post-production. Some of Kolb’s customers reported that the labels on their PCB units were getting damaged and becoming illegible during production.

PCBs are exposed to a variety of environmental contaminants during production, very high temperatures, harsh chemicals and ultrasonic movement in board washes. It is exposure to these processes that can be destructive to the labels or render them unreadable. 

As PCBs are typically produced large scale, there could be significant cost implications if labels fail as it could affect thousands of units. Kolb realized they needed to find a durable label solution that could withstand their board washes and high production temperatures.

What Kolb did
A mutual customer referred Kolb to CILS International. After receiving CILS label samples, Kolb subjected them to simulation tests to satisfy the need for a solvent, abrasion and heat resistant label solution.

Simulated cleaning test
Kolb tested the durability of CILS labels using their average machine cleaning parameters in their standard AQUBE LH7® cleaning machine, and using 11 of their registered detergents. Labels were tested on printed, assembled and soldered circuit boards in temperatures up to 90°C.

Simulated solder test
Kolb also simulated the PCB soldering process to test the durability of CILS labels. These were ‘baked’ in a drying cabinet in temperatures up to 180°C.

Results and recommendations
Kolb's test results showed, that when variable data was printed using a Thermal Transfer Printer with the requisite printer ribbon, on durable labels CILS-8900, CILS-8900US (ultrasonic), CILS-8100 and CILS-8100 HT (high-tack), it solved Kolb's challenge.

The image above shows the visual result of one of the tests that Kolb conducted, as is detailed their application test report.

The unique durable label solutions from CILS has given Kolb complete peace of mind to recommend CILS labels to their PCB manufacturing customers, and the confidence that they will provide adequate resistance to abrasion, smudging, heat, moisture, solvents and cleaning agents.

Kolb’s test results proved conclusively that CILS labels are manufactured to withstand the harshest environments.

"Kolb proactively solved customer concerns with a proven durable label solution from CILS. We now confidently recommend CILS labels to all our PCB manufacturing customers." - Christian Ortmann, CEO Kolb Cleaning Technology.

About Kolb
For the past 25 years Kolb Cleaning Technology have developed cleaning systems and cleaning chemicals for electronics and printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturers. Click here to find out more about Kolb and their range of board washes. Kolb and CILS work with some of the best-known brands in the electronics industry.

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