Faced with increasing standards of quality control, the automotive industry is reexamining its factory floor operations in an effort to improve yields and lower costs. Cleanliness in the manufacturing environment is becoming an ever‐expanding responsibility of production managers. As components have been reduced in size, and design tolerances have been tightened, controlling the cleanliness of the manufacturing process has become an important factor in meeting performance specifications and controlling warranty costs.
Today manufacturers must be able to control cleanliness down to the micron size range. For manufacturing companies, defining contamination is relatively straightforward. Contamination is a particle, or debris, which is not inherent to the final assembly, component, or fluid (oils or lubricants) being analyzed. A major difficulty in achieving cleanliness down to the micron range is determining how to monitor manufacturing debris at this level. ASPEX solutions provide a detailed particle count, shape and chemistry data to understand mechanical wear information. Customizable reports include particle size distribution histograms, elemental compositions and individual electron images of particles of interest.