4. January 2017   12:08 pm
Andy Stecher

Andy Stecher
Elgin, IL



In the 1980’s Ronald Reagan famously quoted the Russian proverb “doveryai, no proveryai”, or “trust but verify” in describing his cautious approach to foreign relations with the Soviet Union.

A few years later, William Edwards Deming, the American engineer, statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and management consultant famously quipped “In God we trust; all others bring data.”

Deming founded the four-step Plan-Do-Study-Act management method used for the quality control and continuous improvement of manufacturing processes and products. It is widely acknowledged as a cornerstone of Kaizen, Lean manufacturing and the success of the Toyota Way.

With over 6,000 systems in operation using over 20,000 plasma jets, Plasmatreat customers can trust that Plasmatreat technology can provide impressive surface treatment and corrosion protection results.  Still, we recommend that customers work with us to test their application before committing to production, and to monitor their surface treatment process routinely to assure that it continues to perform as specified.

The idea of rigorous process characterization is so important to us, that Plasmatreat manufactures and supplies our own line of Plasmatreat Testtinte dyne inks that offer a quick, simple, and very cost-effective way to characterize a substrate’s surface energy (http://www.plasmatreat.com/test-inks-onlineshop/). However, although dyne inks are great for measuring surface energy and work better than comparable dyne pens, they are somewhat subjective tools to use.  For applications that require a simpler and more quantitative and objective approach to surface measurement, we have also established some strong partnerships with companies that specialize in specialized equipment useful for measuring the efficacy of the plasma surface treatment process.

BTG Labs (www.btglabs.com) located on the Northern edge of Cincinnati, Ohio offers the  Surface Analyst, a fast, easy, accurate and non-destructive handheld instrument for characterizing the surface energy materials based on an automated contact angle measurement approach.  Manufacturers in the aerospace, medical, automotive, electronics and consumer goods segments use the Surface Analyst for critical manufacturing processes. The Surface Analyst can either display the contact angle, or (as pictured above) can be used in a simple “Pass/Fail” mode in production. Data can be downloaded via USB port to a computer for record keeping, SPC, and further analysis.

Photo Emission Tech (PET) Inc. (www.photoemission.com) manufactures and markets non-destructive, non-contact surface contamination, thin film, and coating detection down to the Angstrom level. The PET systems rely on Optically Stimulated Electron Emission, or OSEE, a principle based on Einstein’s Nobel prize winning photoelectric effect.   As a tool for measuring surface cleanliness on conductive substrates, PET’s computer-driven OSEE  measurement system is capable of validating the cleaning quality of parts with extreme accuracy and sensitivity.

Plasmatreat uses each of these tools; dyne inks, contact angle and OSEE in our own process development laboratories, and would be happy to show you how they work, and help answer your questions about surface measurement devices and techniques. We will be speaking about characterizing the efficacy of plasma surface treatment at the 40th annual meeting of The Adhesion Society in St. Petersburg, Florida, February 26 through March1 (see www.adhesionsociety.org/) and at the upcoming Plasmatreat West Coast open-house at our new Hayward, California facility on March 30-31, 2017. For more information about surface measurement or these events contact infoptna@plasmatreat.com