Cleanliness requirements and specifications play a pivotal role in manufacturing processes, ensuring product quality and reliability. To gain a comprehensive understanding of their significance and the challenges that can arise in adhering to these standards, several key aspects need to be considered:

The Cleaning Process: A thorough comprehension of the cleaning process itself is essential. This involves knowledge of the chosen cleaning methods, scrubss, and equipment to effectively remove contaminants and meet cleanliness standards

How Cleanliness Standards Work: Understanding the specific cleanliness standards, such as ISO cleanliness codes, industry regulations, or in-house quality benchmarks, is crucial. Meeting these standards is a key measure of product quality and performance.

Impact of Environment and Part Handling: The environment in which parts are cleaned and how they are handled during the cleaning process, as well as to and from the testing area, can significantly impact cleanliness levels. Factors like dust, improper handling, or contamination during transit can pose challenges.


In-depth research and materials expertise from OEM technical centers have identified residual abrasive particles as a leading cause of premature wear in assembly components. To counter this issue, cleanliness requirements are imposed to limit particle residues on parts. Particularly, particles measuring 25 microns or smaller can affect assemblies with constant metal-to-metal contact, like transmissions. These stricter cleanliness standards, reducing particle counts by a factor of 10, pose challenges for Tier 1 suppliers working with machined parts. Addressing particle contamination involves identifying its source and taking actions to minimize it, as ceramic abrasives in machining processes are often irreplaceable.


Particles are often generated by upstream processes essential for component production, like grinding, polishing, and blasting. These processes involve abrasive media harder than metal to refine surfaces by reducing roughness or preparing them for subsequent steps such as heat treatment or welding. Managing and minimizing the presence of these particles is crucial since they are inherent to manufacturing. Furthermore, particles may stem from factors like proximity to particle-producing activities, ventilation systems affecting air flow, improper part handling, and storing cleaned parts in unsanitary environments. Quality control procedures and testing environments can also influence particle contamination risks, emphasizing the need for meticulous control.

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