A Swab for Every Job

by Barb N. on May 4, 2016

Whoever thought there could be so many different kinds of swabs, aka, tipped applicators?

Trace_Evidence_vs_Blood_EvidenceMost people only know of the kinds of swabs used to clean ears. Invented in the 1920s, Leo Gerstenzang thought to attach wads of cotton to toothpicks (Q-Tips). This little idea has since grown into a billion-dollar industry and evolved far beyond swabs for cleaning ears.

Most likely you’ve used some kind of swab or at least seen them used; for instance, swabbing the inside of someone’s mouth to get a cell sample for DNA testing.

Today, there are hundreds of different kinds of tipped applicators being used in various areas including medical, diagnostic, industrial and forensic, to name just a few. To further the point, the largest manufacturer of swabs, Puritan, presently makes 1094 different types of swabs.

A swab is not just a swab anymore.

Work-bay-2Highly specialized swabs can actually be quite complicated to make, depending on the environment in which they’ll be used. Considerations such as length, width, color, scored or not scored, flexible, foam, or polyester must be decided upon, as well as, the manufacturer’s capabilities, i.e., machinery, workforce and equipment needed to produce them.

In the electronic assembly industry, workers use a multitude of different kinds of tipped applicators every day to perform very defined jobs and sometimes critical tasks, such as those performed in cleanrooms.

What may seem like mundane actions, like applying glue or cleaning a particular area of a circuit board, suddenly become critical operations. Should the wrong kind of swab for the job be used, the consequences can be extensive and expensive. An entire cleanroom can be jeopardized by just one little swab.

The standard of all things.

critical-environments-qsource1Furthermore, using the right kind of swab can potentially determine the difference between life and death, certainly when collecting samples of life-threatening viruses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) specifically states the kind of Puritan swab that must be used during the Macrofoam Swab Procedure when sampling Bacillus anthracis –

Macrofoam swab, sterile, 3/16 inch thick medical-grade polyurethane foam head, 100 pores per inch, thermally bonded to a polypropylene stick (such as the Sterile Foam Tipped Applicators Scored with Thumb Stop [Puritan, Guilford, Maine; catalog number 25-1607 1PF SC] or equivalent)

Because of the myriad of industries needing swabs and the critical nature of some of the jobs they perform, different entities have created stringent standards to safeguard against irrevocable and possibly deadly mistakes. For instance, the kinds of swabs used in cleanrooms, where levels of all kinds of contamination must be continually controlled.

The implications of saying something as simple as, “I’ll probably need a swab for that,” become much more intricate when considering where, how and why it will be used.

puritan_foam_swabs_industrial_useWant to sample some swabs?

Receive a free sample of Puritan swabs to try on your cleanrooms and assembly applications. Log in to All-Spec and  “Claim Your Free Swabs.”

 

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Use Freeze Spray to Troubleshoot Heat-Related PCB Issues

by Michelle R. on February 23, 2016

airCanForBlogDoes the thought of troubleshooting a PCB device leave you dreading the arduous process ahead? No need to clear your calendar; cool the situation with compressed air, and diagnose the problem quickly.

When trying to pinpoint heat-related issues, freeze sprays can rapidly lower circuit board temperature, enabling technicians to diagnose and repair the problem without shutting down the system and swapping boards.

However, before you head to your local office supply store for a can of compressed air, it should be noted that not all compressed air was created equal. Specialty sprays, such as those offered by Chemtronics, are specially designed for safe use on both boards and components, even in “live” situations. In addition, these products are designed to prevent static electricity damage on sensitive components.

When circuit boards malfunction (and they will), don’t get overheated trying to fix the problem. Keep cool and trust All-Spec to carry the PCB repair parts and accessories you need to diagnose and repair any problem that arises!

 

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Hassle-free Printing— and More!

by Michelle R. on February 16, 2016

Using a reliable, high-quality printer shouldn’t require a degree in electronics. With the Brady® BBP® 30 printer, almost anyone can create superior and reliable labels faster than ever for use in manufacturing, medical, distribution and industrial facilities.

Not only is printing easier; replacing ribbon cartridges is just as painless— it’s almost impossible to install them incorrectly! The BBP30 is also compatible with Brady Workstation software and free Brady apps. This entry-level printer is designed to replace Brady’s MiniMark™ printer and is works with Brady B30 series labels.

All-Spec has this printer available for purchase right now. Simply call or visit us online today!blogBBP30

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Arm Your Business with the Best from Luxo

by Michelle R. on February 12, 2016

For precision operations that require a steady, reliable hand, industrial-strength arms are always willing and able to do the job. Whether your needs are for transporting items, illuminating areas or any of a number of other tasks, Luxo designs and manufactures arms with the unique characteristics and features that make them perfect for product applications and business solutions.

blogLuxo Each Luxo arm is tested for precise engineering and potential problems caused by friction or mechanical failure. All arms are tested by robot through cycle tests that run 25,000 movements. The Maximum arm is put through 30,000 cycles, with each cycle lasting 2 minutes and involving all possible movements of the arm. The procedure takes six weeks, running day and night.

All-Spec is your source for Luxo products and accessories. Call us or visit us online today!

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Many applications require the use of heat in order to complete a job. Plumbers, electricians, auto workers, doctors and more depend on heat to seal, fasten or take apart a variety of objects. When working with heat, it is important to take into account how much heat is required and how much heat each component can withstand before damage occurs.

blogHeatgunFor many professional and industrial applications, heat guns can be interchangeable. Industrial applications are further distinguished by the project. Construction, roofing, and other applications where durable and strong performance is required are considered industrial and require tools to match the harsh conditions surrounding the job. Many of these jobs do not require high precision or a wide range of temperatures and airflow. For professional applications, a heat gun that delivers a more precise and more controllable heat/airflow output is usually needed.

 

No matter what your heat gun needs are, stay cool with Hisco and have 24/7 access to the most trusted brands available. Call us or visit us online today!

 

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