How to Choose a Conformal Coating Company
Posted by diamondmtblog
Tuesday, September 21, 2021 12:58
@ 12:58 PM
If your product requires a conformal coating on its printed circuit boards (PCBs), you may be looking at several options and wondering how to choose a conformal coating provider. You likely know to take this decision seriously, because it can have a significant impact on the product’s quality and your company’s profits and reputation. But what exactly should you be looking for when choosing a conformal coating company?
We’ll break down the factors that make a coating company stand out to help you figure out how to choose the best conformal coating company for you.
What to Look for in a Conformal Coating Company
As with any partner company that helps a business do what it does best, you want to make sure that your conformal coating provider is trustworthy and can deliver quality results. Some factors to look for in a coating provider are:
- Flexibility: Even if you only work with one type of conformal coating now, having a partner that supports different types of coatings can be a significant advantage in the future. Look for a company that can conduct a range of conformal coatings with different processes, such as brushing, spraying and dipping. The more they offer, the higher the chances are of finding one that best suits your product.
- Repair and rework capabilities: A conformal coating service provider should have the ability to rework any parts that are improperly coated, ensuring that they can fix errors and provide a quality coating. These capabilities can also help you fix problems outside of the initial coating, should they arise.
- Knowledgeable, unbiased support: Your provider’s understanding of the coating is a strong indicator of the skills their service will entail. Make sure they are familiar with, at a minimum, the five primary types of conformal coatings — parylene, acrylic resin, epoxy, urethane and silicone. These types and processes can result in differing quality, consistency, moisture protection, corrosion and electrical properties. Understanding these coatings is key to offering informed service to clients and creating the appropriate coating processes.
- Speed: A quick turnaround time is a valuable part of any production partnership, and conformal coatings are no different. Ensure that your provider offers a speedy turnaround. Expedited options are also excellent if you’re in a pinch.
- Solid track record: Your provider should have a strong history of providing exceptional quality. You can often see indicators of this success through many years of business, third-party certifications and positive customer reviews.
- Modern technologies: Choosing a conformal coating service provider that employs modern technologies can help you find a partner focused on innovation. You want to ensure that whoever you’re working with is invested in staying up to date and adopting the benefits of new developments in the conformal coating industry. Otherwise, they could quickly become outdated or cause you to miss out on valuable advantages for speed and part cost.
- Strong quality assurance practices: Look for thorough quality assurance practices such as inspections, documentation, serialization and tracking.
What to Ask Conformal Coating Providers
When you’re trying to assess your conformal coating partner’s performance and capabilities, here are a few questions to ask that should get you the information you need:
- How do you remove ionic and nonionic contaminants? Both types of contaminants require different methods of removal to help protect against the corrosive effects of ionic contaminants and the non-adhesive properties of nonionic contaminants. You’ll want to know that a provider does this and does it right. They should tell you how they clean parts and what materials they use to remove contaminants.
- What do you do to ensure the quality of your coatings? The provider should provide examples of quality assurance strategies. Some methods might include incorporating quality assurance training or a well-documented inspection process. A long track record of success will also let you know how well they achieve quality results.
- What properties will the coating have? Make sure your coating is right for the job and that the provider is knowledgeable on how it works. You’ll want to know how long the coating will last and what they do to affect its properties. For instance, many coatings are treated specially to avoid cracks or bubbles forming in the future.
- What standards does your process meet? Another way to assess quality is to ask what third-party standards your provider can meet. Many organizations, like the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), have set standards and requirements regarding conformal coatings. A good conformal coating partner should meet these requirements, along with any others required for your industry, such as military specifications or healthcare device standards.
- How are you continuously improving? You want to know that your partner is keeping up with new technologies and always working toward better processes. Ask about the kinds of technologies your partner is using and whether they’re following industry best practices, such as static reduction and proper storage, to support your parts.
Asking the right questions is a key component of choosing a conformal coating service provider. In addition to collecting pertinent information, these questions can also help you gauge your partner’s transparency and understanding of the coating process.
Why Choose Diamond-MT
When you’re looking for quality, speed and compliance in one spot, Diamond-MT is the trusted source for several industries. We have a long list of conformal coating services and can help you find the right solution for your product. Our knowledgeable team understands conformal coatings from a molecular level and is well-versed in the range of processes we provide. We can answer any questions you may have.
Aside from expertise, we’ve spent decades developing an effective process for coating that includes extensive documentation and quality assurance practices. We also employ methods that adhere to tight standards set forth by IPC, the Global Association for Electronics Manufacturing. These strategies that help us deliver high-end products are part of what has made us a successful, reliable partner for many PCB users. We also enlist a range of safeguards to keep your products protected, from wristbands to extensive documentation.
Partner With Diamond-MT
We know choosing a conformal coating service provider can be a tough decision. Diamond-MT puts the experts on your side. Our long list of quality assurance methods, third-party standards and established practices make us a trusted and capable provider of conformal coating.
To learn more about our coatings and services, please reach out to a knowledgeable representative to request a quote today.