Manual particle counting systems have previously been the method used to ensure that standards such as ISO 16232 which ensure the cleanliness of finely machined parts are met. Manual counting systems rely on a stereo microscope with a scale in the eyepiece allowing operators to scan the filter membranes and count the particles. For a long time there have been concerns over both the accuracy and the repeatability of this method as it is reliant on a human operator which ultimately can be error prone if the operator loses their place or accidentally skips a section.
There are now a number of different industries including automotive and aerospace that have to conform to ISO 16232 and need equipment that will ensure that the results are correct and repeatable. Within these industries if a part has been contaminated with particles then it can be extremely costly in failures. Cleanliness analysis has always been part of the quality control process but now we have the equipment to perform this analysis in a fraction of the time that manual counting would have taken.
The Cleanalyzer is a high-end analytical system designed to examine particles on filters and has standards such as ISO 16232 integrated into the software to ensure compliance and can easily measure Feret diameter needed for the standard. The system will automatically locate, count and measure particles down to 35, 15 or 5 micron and then provide report quality images and metrics. The process is fully automated, after the user has set the threshold for the minimum particle size that should be detected the filter will then be scanned within minutes. This is a huge time saving when compared to the manual counting method and ensures that cleanliness analysis is completed precisely, efficiently, reliably and economically.