Solving problems is the root of innovation. Whether it’s to fill an unaddressed gap, accommodate a specific need, or improve upon an existing solution, innovation only matters if it makes a positive difference for others.
For Crystal Group, continuously improving the reliability, durability and quality of our products is foundational, not just to solve problems, but to help anticipate and prevent them. This means consistently evaluating what we build and how we build it to ensure our customers are always equipped with the most effective rugged compute solutions when and where they are needed.
An improvement we are implementing on all new products is the transition to a new nano conformal coating material for power supplies, memory, SSDs, motherboards and peripheral cards. While our previous methods were adequate, the new approach and material provides significant benefits to the protection, production and long-term, reliable performance of fielded electronics operating in harsh environmental conditions. In fact, this material has already been adopted by most cellular phone manufactures and is becoming the new industry standard for humidity treatment in rugged electronics. Here’s a quick look at some of the key advantages it offers:
- Superior protection: The new coating provides superior protection against environmental elements that cause corrosive damage and electrical failure, such as caustic gases and humidity, in addition to contaminants, like oils, dirt and grime, that can affect performance.
- Error proofing: The automated atomized spray robot or controlled dip process applies the new coating, which minimizes opportunities for human error.
- Consistent repeatability: The enhanced process is programmed specifically for each board to ensure it produces the same result every time. All parameters are tightly controlled by the robotic equipment to maintain board-to-board consistency; something not readily possible with UV40 or 1B73 automation.
- Reduced lead time: Automation reduces conformal coating takt time, eliminating a potential choke point in production. Shortening build time and eliminating up to two weeks of lead time improves our responsiveness to accommodate abbreviated or adjusted customer schedules.
- Quick curing: Instant curing at room temperature eliminates secondary thermal or light cure processes and related risks for damage from exposure or handling sensitive electronics.
- Streamlined process: With full automation and no circuit card masking, the material flows through a closed-loop pressurized system. The system meters the exact amount of coating each time for each application, which avoids premature curing and potential quality issues typical of UV cure or solvent-based materials.
- Exceptional yield: Eliminating wicking of material in fine-pitch spaces yields defect-free coating without cracking, pits, flakes or dewetting, regardless of board manufacturer.
- Environmentally sustainable: The new process and material are environmentally friendly, sustainable and pose no threat to ozone depletion or global warming. The material is exempt from EPA definitions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- Improved health and safety: Per OSHA Hazard Communication Standard 29 CFR 1910.1200, the coating is not classified as hazardous, making it safer to handle, facilitate, and use in finished products.
- UL certification: ULV94-0 fire retardant and safe for commercial use
Given the critical impact conformal coating has on the overall protection and performance of these essential electronics components were fully tested in our compliance lab and proven to protect against humidity, thermal shock and salt fog. You can request a copy of our white paper to learn more about our new conformal coating process, material, and test data.
Implementing improvements and solutions that matter relies on the right balance of learning from the past, assessing where we are today, and looking ahead to know what problems need to be solved and when it’s the right time to solve them. By striking that balance, we’re ready to deliver improved quality, lead times, and performance with our new approach to conformal coating.