Clean Room Airflow for Contract Manufacturing

For many types of manufacturing services, a highly sanitized and isolated workspace is key. To prevent contamination and poor production practices, sealed clean rooms with varying degrees of quarantine are necessary. At MultiSource Manufacturing LLC, we ensure the protection of semiconductor components and assemblies during fabrication with our ISO Class 3 (FED STD 209E Class 1) clean room.

 

The certification of our clean room to a Class 3 is critical for all our semiconductor services and many medical component and assembly production. When you choose MultiSource for your clean room-required contract manufacturing services, you can trust our facilities to protect every part of your product from start to finish.

 

Each clean room across the industrial world needs to meet highly specific requirements in order to qualify for ISO (globally) or Federal Standard (in the U.S.). A large part of meeting these specifications has to do with the airflow.

 

Airflow in a clean room is a critical part of what makes it so clean. Put simply, all clean rooms need a down-and-out flow of air. The ventilation systems are installed in the ceiling and push airflow directly downward while other vents pull the flow outward, removing air continuously from the isolated room. This also continuously removes any particulates, bacteria, and other contamination from the room as it’s passed through with the air.

 

There are two main types of clean rooms that the majority of contract manufacturers use for any industrial processes that require extreme isolation from contaminants. These include:

 

  1. Single Pass: These simple-type clean rooms push the airflow down-and-out continuously. This means there is new air constantly introduced to the room through high-grade filters in the top vents and that air is then removed from the room entirely. These clean rooms can be used for manufacturing processes that don’t need climate-control options, such as temperature and humidity.
  2. Recirculating: For manufacturing processes that need exacting humidity and temperature control as well as high air filtration, more complex clean rooms that use recirculating systems are vital. Recirculating systems have an additional wall containing the interior room. This passageway around the room seals airflow and the air pushed down-and-out of the interior room is forced back upwards to the top of the room and re-filtered through the top vents. This ensures continued filtration and exposure to the same allotment of air for as long as the room and exterior passage is sealed.

 

For semiconductor and medical device manufacturing, single pass clean rooms can be effective, but a recirculating room is recommended for true quality in production. Our Class 3 clean room uses a recirculating airflow for excellence and safety in all our manufacturing processes that require zero-contaminant exposure.

 

Contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500 for more information about our clean room. Request more information, or request a quote for contract manufacturing services today.

 

The History of Additive Manufacturing and Its Use for Prototype Production

At MultiSource Manufacturing LLC, we provide a wealth of manufacturing services, including extensive, precision-based, prototype fabrication. Our prototype capabilities range from single components to full assemblies with rigorous testing and full diagnostics of the final product. When you work with MultiSource, you gain the benefits of a state-of-the-art prototyping program that promises quality from the very beginning. Our prototyping technicians utilize additive manufacturing technologies to build unique components and assemblies for a broad range of industrial applications.

 

Additive manufacturing today is synonymous with 3D printing, and while it’s a newer industrial process, it has a rich, albeit short, history starting in 1974.

 

Additive Manufacturing Timeline

 

1974:  David E. H. Jones published a conceptual overview of 3D printing in his column in the New Scientist journal.

 

1981: After the development of early additive manufacturing technologies in 1980, Hideo Kodama, working at the Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute, created two ways of additive manufacturing with a thermoset polymer.

 

1984: The stereolithography process was developed and patented by Olivier de Witte, Alain Le Méhauté, and Jean Claude André. Soon after, Chuck Hull from 3D Systems Corporation patented his own stereolithography fabrication system that used ultraviolet light lasers to cure photopolymer layers.

 

1988: Fuel deposition modeling (FDM), the type of 3D printing used by most commercial consumers, was developed by S. Scott Crump. His well-known company, Stratasys, marketed the first commercial FDM machine in 1992.

 

1995: The Fraunhofer Institute introduced selective laser melting processes.

 

2009: Any original patents for FDM machines and the FDM printing process expired. Because the industry was now open to competition, the development of this and other printing processes rapidly increased. In the 2010s, various metalworking forms of 3D printing were introduced, though limited, as were 3D printing of other materials than polymers, such as ceramics.

 

2012: Filabot, a 3D printing and filament company, developed ways for FDM and fueled filament fabrication (FFF) printers to utilize a broader range of more durable plastics.

 

2014: Dr. Manos M. Tentzeris and Dr. Benjamin S. Cook, working at the Georgia Institute of Technology, displayed the first use of new 3D printing software technology. This was a vertically integrated printed electronics additive manufacturing platform (VIPRE) that allowed the 3D printing of electronics with operational capacity up to 40 GHz.

 

Since 2014, software programs and 3D printing tools have been developed to even greater capabilities, and commercial consumer 3D printers have saturated the market. At MultiSource, the use of 3D printing is a key tool in the manufacturing of precision-based prototyping.

 

To learn more about our uses of additive manufacturing and prototyping capabilities, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500 today. Or request a quote or more information online to get started with us today.

 

 

Improving Safety Standards and Global Payment Card Use with Custom Manufacturing

As early as 1958—when American Express first developed what can be considered close to the credit cards we use today—charge card systems have been utilized in different ways across the U.S. Throughout the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, credit cards, debit cards, ATM cards, and other charge cards began to take their place in mainstream spending systems. By the 1990’s, payment cards with magnetic strips were almost commonplace, and today, those without credit cards or debit cards are considered social anomalies. As the cards have evolved, custom manufacturing has had to follow suit.

Despite their familiar role in our lives, payment cards require a strict system of production and secure processing to maintain their viability as a product. MultiSource Manufacturing, LLC provides custom manufacturing for parts used in financial processing.

MultiSource has provided precision manufacturing for parts and components utilized in financial processing for virtually as long as the industry has been used for mainstream consumers. For over 40 years our network of technicians and facilities has worked to improve operations in designing, building, and assembling high-quality precision-based parts, including parts for financial processing of payment cards.

We work with a wide range of clients in financial processing from identification card manufacturing specialists to card stamping and credit card manufacturing companies. More than 75% of payment cards across the globe are manufactured in part by MultiSource engineers and technicians.

Custom Manufacturing for Industry Standards

In 2006, major payment card companies established the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI). This council generates and dictates the development of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). With the PCI DSS the PCI Council outlines for all payment card brands in place today, manufacturing companies must be committed to designing and creating parts that adhere to these standards as well. The MultiSource network is capable of providing the manufacturing expertise and facilities needed to uphold security and quality in the financial processing industry. With precise CAD/CAM design and a wide range of CNC precision machining equipment, we’re able to provide unparalleled, comprehensive services for components used in financial processing.

If the parts and components used in financial processing systems don’t meet the quality and security standards set by the PCI Council and other federal government regulations, payment cards could become a serious risk for consumers. Protecting the identities and finances of those who use any form of payment card starts with quality financial processing equipment.

MultiSource Manufacturing, LLC strives to continue providing the high-quality machined parts for the financial processing industry needed to fulfill our obligation to protecting consumers. To learn more about our complete services and custom manufacturing, contact us at (952) 456-5500, request more information, or request a quote today.

 

MultiSource Clean Room Capabilities and Applications

In any manufacturing process, contaminants should be avoided. Certain manufacturing processes, however, require an avoidance of contaminants far more stringent than others. Semiconductors and semiconductor assembly fabrication, for example, cannot have exposure to common air contaminants.

To protect manufacturing processes like these and the materials involved, fabricators make use of clean rooms with varying levels of contaminant-free standards. MultiSource Manufacturing, LLC provides contract fabrication services for the semiconductor and medical industry, and because of this, our facilities have in-house Class 3/1000 clean room capabilities.

With our clean room capabilities at our Burnsville, MN location, the MultiSource network is able to provide the contaminant-free workspace our engineers and technicians need to perform operations on semiconductor components and full assemblies as well as a range of advanced medical devices.

Clean Room Principles

Clean rooms are designed to prevent the introduction of contaminants in a varying range of sizes to the manufacturing process, as well as other potentially damaging factors such as humidity, pressure, and temperature. This prevention makes use of High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters and a sealed “bubble” of a room. All the air in a clean room is passed through HEPA filters or recycled through them. The level of HEPA filtration determines the categorizing of a clean room. These categories are determined by ISO standards rating from ISO 9 (standard city air quality) to ISO 1 (less than 10 particles measuring 1µm per cubic meter).

Our Clean Room

The MultiSource clean room is rated as ISO Class 3 (Class 1 rated FED STD 209E). This means a maximum of 1,000 1µm particles per cubic meter are left unfiltered. It is one of the highest quality clean rooms utilized for semiconductor and medical parts manufacturing. Our clean room uses advanced HEPA filters to eliminate the potential of any damaging infiltrates during the manufacturing and assembly process.

Protective Equipment

Like the rest of the outdoor and common indoor air, humans carry contaminating particulates such as dander, dirt, skin cells, pollen, bacteria, and mold spores. The technicians who work in our clean rooms are required to wear protective equipment to prevent any potentials of component damage in the manufacturing process. This protective equipment includes full-body suits, gloves, boots, and masks/respirators.

Air Flow Concepts

Acting similarly to a car air flow system set to recycle, clean rooms have a specific movement of air throughout their interior. Our clean room uses laminar air flow which pushes a continual stream of filtered air from ducts in the ceiling. This ensures any potential contaminants are pushed into the air filters immediately, instead of drifting through the clean room on an uneven current.

Our clean room capabilities give our engineers and technicians the contaminant-free space they need for specialized manufacturing processes. To learn more, contact MultiSource Manufacturing, LLC at (952) 456-5500, request more information, or request a quote to get started with us today.

Utilizing Exotic Metals with the Right Facilities for Custom Manufacturing

At MultiSource Manufacturing, LLC we’re dedicated to providing quality products with excellent customer service. For over 20 years our network of facilities and in-house engineering and fabrication capabilities has continued to expand and improve across the board. Today, we offer comprehensive quality at every step of the way, from the design and engineering process to assembly and delivery. To maintain our reliable, unparalleled quality in all the products we work with our customers to create, we believe in starting with a solid foundation. When it comes to custom manufacturing in Minnesota and Colorado, that foundation is made up of our deep understanding of the engineering process of a product, the materials we use in the fabrication of that product, and the long-term conditions a product will endure.

 

Because every part starts with raw materials, the first resource we depend on for quality engineering and production is our materials expertise. Not only do we work with materials that adhere to major industry standards and general installation requirements, we also specialize in utilizing exotic metals that are often necessary for the production of a wide range of parts.

 

The MultiSource network works with sheet metal, surgical grade, military grade, and basic stainless steels, aluminum, titanium, magnesium, high-nickel alloys, and brass. These common industrial materials play a large role in many of the high-quality precision parts we design, fabricate, and assemble, but the exotic metals we use are also critical to comprehensive production.

 

MultiSource Exotics

 

From pure gold to super alloys, the exotic metals the MultiSource network utilizes makes it possible for us to complete the production and assembly of an even greater extent of parts. The use of exotic metals breaks limits on several part specifications and the exposure and functions any given part may be put to. For example, our engineering team is able to push durability and strength with the use of super alloys, while other metals may offer a greater resistance to high temperatures and corrosive environments. Additionally, MultiSource can control electrical or thermal conductivity in a part, provide specialty coatings and finishes, machine complex components, reduce unnecessary weight, and more with the use of our rare and exotic metals.

 

The MultiSource network is committed to providing the best for our customers with comprehensive facilities suited to working with standard and exotic metals as well as basic, exotic, and Teflon™ plastics. With a strong foundational understanding and experience with these materials, we’re able to put that expertise to use with full in-house capacity for engineering, complete custom manufacturing, and assembly.

 

To learn more about the metals we use for custom manufacturing or our plastic fabrication expertise submit a request more information, or request a quote today.

 

Quality CNC Precision Machining Practices for Custom Manufacturing

Despite the changes in industrialization and global incorporation most of the world sees today, many parts of the manufacturing industry are still quite diversified. Custom manufacturing in particular is comprised of many different companies ranging from home-garages to multi-branch facilities. Because there are so many skilled custom manufacturers, the industry is highly competitive, and companies must continue to improve and update systems, equipment, and technology to hold their place.

 

MultiSource Manufacturing is committed to hold our own in this industry and strives to produce high-quality parts designed and built in-house and deliver excellent customer care at every step in the process of custom manufacturing.

 

Because CNC precision machining is an integral part involved in the process of MultiSource custom manufacturing, it’s critical that the way we perform that operation adheres to tried and true practices.

 

The MultiSource network has six locations across Minnesota and Colorado, each facility follows the same practices for quality CNC precision machining in the production of reliable custom parts.

 

Best MultiSource Machining Practices

 

  1. Invent: To successfully machine a part that precisely fits customer specifications, our engineering team utilizes advanced prototype software and imaging systems to design a cutting pattern. This pattern will provide our CNC machines with the most efficient program to lathe, mill, and machine a part.
  2. Instruct: Our engineering teams will then instruct a CNC machining center to follow the design of the cutting pattern. This involves programming the designated geometry and pattern into CNC software.
  3. Select: Our facilities host a wide range of 140 CNC machines with 3-axis and 5-axis indexed milling. Selecting the appropriate tools for the machining of a part is critical to successful production. Our machinists and engineers have a deep understanding of which mills, lathes, and turning machines will offer the most efficient and reliable cutting depending on the part.
  4. Monitor: Our CNC precision machining centers may be automated but continued human monitoring of the process is an important practice that should never be disregarded. On each MultiSource floor, operations are continuously monitored for worker safety and to prevent production mishap.
  5. Record: When a machining operation is complete, our engineers, technicians, and machinists all take part in thorough recording and analyzing of the data our CNC software provides as well as quality inspection of machined parts.
  6. Communicate: Throughout the full production process our team is also communicating with customers to continue understanding their needs and provide consistent information about part design, production, and assembly.

 

The MultiSource network has developed a strong system of CNC precision machining and custom manufacturing with a set of quality practices. To learn more about our services and locations, submit a request more information, or request a quote today.

Importance of Clean Room Standards for Manufacturing and Assembly of Semiconductor Components

Certain areas of the manufacturing operations we provide in the MultiSource Manufacturing network have very specific requirements for a controlled, contained environment during the production process. Specifically, our manufacturing of high-quality precision-based semiconductor components demands a clean room meeting exact ISO standards as well as our own self-imposed standards. The MultiSource network utilizes an ISO Class 3 clean room to eliminate the potential for contamination in every stage of the production process for semiconductor components and full assemblies.

With the protection our clean room provides, MultiSource is able to offer PFA fabrication and welding, in-house electric capabilities, and reverse engineering for even the most complex semiconductor projects.

Our Clean Room

All of our locations have access to our Burnsville facility’s clean room. This clean room meets ISO level 3 classification and Class 1 Federal Standard 209E for eliminating biocontamination and other forms of particulate contamination in the production process.

ISO 3/ Class 1 clean rooms limit the presence of contaminating particles down to:

● 1,000 per cubic meter of particles sized at 0.1 micrometers
● 237 per cubic meter of particles sized at 0.2 micrometers
● 102 per cubic meter of particles sized at 0.3 micrometers
● 35 per cubic meter of particles sized at 0.5 micrometers
● 8 per cubic meter of particles sized at 1.0 micrometers
● 0 per cubic meter of particles sized at 5.0 micrometer

This filtration of microorganisms and particles is critical for the successful production of semiconductor components and assemblies because of the nature of the materials utilized in their manufacturing. Semiconductor assemblies are derived from glassy, crystalline materials such as silicon that have an electrical conductivity decreasing in resistance as temperature increases. Because of this and other properties of semiconductor materials, they are utilized to build electrical assemblies with unique allowance for amplification and energy conversion. However, the process of building semiconductor designed for integrated circuits used in most electronic assemblies requires a highly clean environment, not only during the semiconductor seed material refinement to produce chips with complete clarity, but also during all following production and assembly of semiconductor and electronic components.

Even the smallest particle present in the manufacturing environment can, at the least, alter the quality of a semiconductor assembly and, at the most, completely damage the function of a component and the system as a whole.

With access to an in-house, high-level clean room, MultiSource engineers and technicians are able to consistently produce high-quality, precision-based semiconductor components and assemblies for OEMS and other customers.

To learn more about our world class clean room and additional clean room standards for the manufacturing of semiconductor components, submit a request more information or request a quote to get started with us today.

Custom Equipment Minimizes Error and Promotes Safer Food Packing in Burnsville, MN

With reports of increases in food-borne illnesses, frequent product contaminations, and overall food industry scares, it’s becoming more important that we turn our attention to our own practices and begin to make improvements where we can. MultiSource Manufacturing, LLC offers high-quality automated equipment with our custom manufacturing services, and as a player in the food industry, we believe it’s our responsibility to continue bettering our practices and products. With our partners at Forpak, we work to promote food safety and security with innovative solutions for food packing in Burnsville, MN.

Forpak has over 25 years of experience in the design, fabrication, and assembly of high-quality food packing equipment, including conveyors, stackers, sorters, autotransfers, and more. Along with our established line of automated food packaging equipment, Forpak specializes in manufacturing custom packers for customers around the world.

No matter how high the quality standards our automated equipment meets, however, our first concern is to always meet industry and company standards for sanitization, hygiene, and overall food safety.

 

Industry Standards

Forpak strives to meet industry standards for food safety with every new project and on a daily operations basis. This includes meeting strict sanitary rules for NSF 3A Standard requirements for meat and poultry and BISSC standards for baking.

 

MultiSource Standards

Forpak and the MultiSource network as a whole works to meet our own standards in manufacturing for food safety, hygiene, and sanitization. In addition to in-house regulations for workers, fabrication practices, and overall rules in support of long-term food safety, we focus on another key component of maintaining healthy food packing outside of our own facilities: automation.

Forpak specializes in designing and building fully-automated food packing for baked goods, pizza products, meat products, and poultry products. Automation of a wide variety of packing equipment allows companies using our equipment across the world to eliminate human error in the sorting, stacking, and packing process. This alone reduces the risk of food contamination from human error at every step of the packaging process where Forpak equipment is utilized.

The role of food packaging in the industry is a critical one but is also a role notorious for compromising food security and safety. Our goal as manufacturers of the equipment used in food packing is to continue innovating and improving ways of automating the process. Our line of custom equipment is built with food safety and security at the forefront of design. When you choose to partner with Forpak and the MultiSource network for high quality food packing equipment, you get the benefits of well-designed, flawlessly-built machines as well as the promise of food safety in the packaging process.

To learn more about our expertise and experience with food packing submit a request more information. For more information about MultiSource Manufacturing, LLC, please submit a request more information, or request a quote to learn about our full network services.

Work with MultiSource to Reduce Cost & Lead Time with Best Practice Design

Design Tip #1 – Key Features & Tolerances – Watch the Corners!

Reducing time to market in new product development is a top priority for all our customers.  Working together to make best practice decisions on key feature tolerances in the prototype phase will enhance manufacturability and dramatically reduce machining time and cost.

Common issues that drive cost in machining include sharp corners and/or small inside corner radii.

Why is this problematic?  A tight, small corner radius (e.g. 0.005) will require EDM machining rather than conventional CNC milling.  Providing a larger inside radius (0.032+), when applicable, allows a continuous mill path which significantly reduces cycle time.

Square corners also add additional process steps and machining operations, driving cost and lead time.

For inside corners, plan to use radii 10% or larger than depth of cut, (i.e., .060” radii should not machine deeper than .600” etc.)   Providing this tolerance “relief” in a design will allow a machining partner to use multiple available milling work cells and speed machining operations through the shop.

prototype 

 

Watch our Blog for more “Best Practice Design” suggestions.

MultiSource can provide prototype components in multiple materials:

  • Aluminum, steel, stainless steel, titanium
  • Plastics including Delrin, Polyethylene, Polypropylene, PVC, Acetal, PEEK, Polycarbonate & Ultem

MultiSource partners with our customers beyond prototype development, to support production launch and life of project production requirements.   We have the scale to succeed in the most demanding production environments while maintaining the customer focus to provide individual support.  Ask us to show you how machined prototypes will reduce your development time and costs.

Machined Prototypes Reduce Time to Market and Production Risk for New Product Development

As a full-service partner to leaders in the aerospace, medical device, and other high-precision industries, MultiSource offers a seamless transfer from prototype to the production floor. With dedicated 3D printing, multi-axis CNC milling and live turning capacity, MultiSource will generate production-ready components from your CAD files or prints in a matter of days or for more complex parts a few weeks.

All prototype parts are engineered and manufactured to be ready to move to production with complete machining programs and qualification processes. MultiSource can provide prototypes in the full range of materials and with all surface treatments required for your production.

The scope of our experience and the resources of our network of six locations give us the ability to support prototype CNC milling, but also special requirements for wire EDM and surface grinding. Prototype customers can leverage our resources to demonstrate desired production surface finishing at the prototype stage.

Prototype processing will yield production intent quality and support the rapid validation and qualification of new products. When speed to the market matters, we help you reduce the risk at production launch.
MultiSource can provide prototype components in multiple materials:

⦁ Aluminum, steel, stainless steel, titanium
Plastics including Delrin, Polyethylene, Polypropylene, PVC, Acetal, PEEK, Polycarbonate & Ultem

Response time is critical, and our focus is on supporting the most common part profiles. “Best fit” projects will be in the range of 20”W by 40”L.
MultiSource can achieve your demanding production tolerances for prototype components, achieving key dimension tolerances of +/- .002” or greater and hole diameter of r +/- .0002” or greater.

MultiSource partners with our customers beyond prototype development, to support production launch and life of project production requirements. We have the scale to succeed in the most demanding production environments while maintaining the customer focus to provide individual support. Submit a prototype inquiry and ask us to show you how machined prototypes will reduce your development time and costs today.