In recent years, enormous advances have been made in the automotive industry with regard to enhanced performance, lower energy consumption, reduced emissions and improved safety. Consequently, in order to assure their function and quality, numerous automotive components now have to be manufactured according to stringent cleanliness regulations. What started in the 90’s with just a handful of components under the term of “residual contamination” has evolved since the year 2000 to become a key measure of quality in the automotive and supplier industries under the new name of “technical cleanliness”.
Completely new methods and techniques have been developed not only to assess particulate contamination that is critical to the function of components but also to implement specific cleanliness concepts in the various branches of industry involved. Fraunhofer IPA has played a leading role in the development of the relevant standard VDA Volume 19.1 »Inspection of Technical Cleanliness« and VDA Volume 19.2 »Technical Cleanliness in Assembly«.