Kolb – Batch vs Inline

FACT OR FICTION: Which is better, Inline or Batch PCB cleaning?

Today one of the biggest production challenges are to increase capacity by reducing operational costs.

FACT: One production process that can make a big difference in cost reductions is PCB cleaning. Suitable PCB cleaning is a combination of Time + Pressure + Chemistry. When the parameters are properly set, cleaning PCBs in a batch mode vs inline, will ensure excellent results while saving operational costs in respect to power, water, and detergent consumption.

At A Glance feature compares Inline cleaning vs Batch cleaning.

Issue Inline Batch Explanation / Argument
Handling time in transferring assemblies from the soldering line to the cleaning system Magazines


Cleaning Tray The handling time is exactly the same. However with Kolb cleaning systems, a secondary basket can be purchased so the operator can load the basket will the machine is in operation.
Capacity Inline cleaners have long since been considered as high volume/capacity. When comparing to Kolb machines that can have up to 5 cleaning baskets (depending upon customer configuration), this is no longer true.


Cycle time: 90 minutes

PCB size: 100 x 160mm

Capacity comparison: Inline – 555 vs. PSB500 H90 – 830

Tact time comparison: Inline – 9.7 secs vs PSB500 H90 – 6.5 secs

Kolb PSB500 H90 has approximately 1.5X capacity!

Investment Costs An inline cleaner (with 6m process line) investment – $200,000

Kolb PSB500 H90 investment – $105,000

Kolb PSB500 H90 is half the investment cost of inline systems and has a higher capacity!

Water consumption On average, an inline cleaner consumes 2,100L of water (3.8 ml per PCB) in comparison to 180L per cycle (220ml per PCB)

Kolb PSB500 H90 uses 18X less water per cycle!

Detergent consumption On average, an inline cleaner consumes 4,500 ml of detergent per cycle (8ml per PCB) compared to 600ml per cycle (.7ml per PCB)

with the Kolb PSB500 H90

Kolb PSB500 H90 consumes 10X less detergent per cycle!

Power consumption An inline cleaning machine has a rated average power consumption of 50 kW versus the PSB500 H90 which only requires 12.5 kW.

Kolb PSB500 H90 consumes less power and can reduce operational costs by more than 4X!

Factory floor space On average, an inline cleaner will require 10m2 of factory floor space. The Kolb PSB500 H90 will only require 2.9m2.

Kolb PSB500 H90 saves on valuable factory real estate by more than 3X!