In addition to PCBs becoming thicker over the years, pad and pitch size have also reduced significantly, with many smartphones and other devices now utilizing pad sizes as small as .25mm millimeters spaced at intervals of .5mm. It is known in the industry that new chips are scheduled for release in the next two to three years that utilize designs calling for pad sizes as small as .15 mm with a .3 mm pitch. With adjacent parts so close together, avoiding hitting them with the wick during manual cleaning—and creating another round of rework—will most likely become impossible for even the most skilled technician.
Further, traditional cleaning methods can be even less effective when it comes to cleaning PCBs incorporating advanced chip technologies. For example, one new technology is providing outstanding improvements in security, making it nearly impossible for criminals to access data stored on the processor. However, due to factors such as differing size pads and uneven solder volumes, manual cleaning can be a significant challenge.
Another technology, Ceramic Ball Grid Array (CBGA), a specialty process used in aerospace, military and other high reliability applications, is another high value case in point. These boards,