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 results are correct and repeatable. Within these industries if a part has been contaminated with particles then it can be extremely costly in product failures. Cleanliness analysis has always been part of the quality control process but now equipment has been introduced to perform this analysis in a fraction of the time that manual counting would have taken.
The Cleanalyzer from Opto GmbH is a high-end analytical system designed to examine particles on filters and has standards the ISO 16232 and 19 others standards are integrated into the software to ensure compliance and can efficiently measure Feret diameter as required by the standard. The system automatically locates, counts and measures particles down to 35, 15 or 5 micron and provide report quality images and metrics. The system can evaluate more than 50 particle parameters for each particle (length, width, area, length of fibre, width of fibre, brightness, reflection rate). The measurement process is fully automated, after setting minimum particle size threshold to be detected and provides scanned results within minutes offering a huge time saving when compared to the manual counting method. The Cleanalyzer provides cleanliness measurements to be completed precisely, reliably and economically.
For more information: www.opto.de