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Brighton Science Blog
Topic: Product Lifecycle

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4 minute read

Surfaces Matter: Why Tracking Material Surface Quality is Critical for Aircraft Safety

The relentless pursuit of safety underpins every aspect of aerospace manufacturing. However, two significant hurdles impede this goal: verification and non-destructive testing. Destructive testing, the traditional method for assessing bond strength, is impractical for composite materials – the...

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4 minute read

Navigating the Solvent Switch: A Sustainable Future for Parts Cleaning

Manufacturers who use solvent-based industrial parts cleaning processes must find alternative methods. Solvent-based cleaning processes use chemicals that emit or release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These are coming under increased scrutiny due to their harmful effects on health and the...

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4 minute read

Sustainable Manufacturing: How to Overcome the Hidden Obstacles Using Post-Consumer Recycled Plastics (PCR)

Many businesses within the industrial sector are pushing for sustainable manufacturing initiatives, but one of the biggest challenges in sustainability is dealing with plastics and their disposal. Some leading manufacturers, including a number of automotive companies, are introducing a new...

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4 minute read

Fundamentals of Adhesion Science & Why 3 Molecular Layers Matter

Adhesion is crucial in microscopic and macroscopic worlds, yet it is an often-overlooked force. Adhesion acts as the invisible glue that unites objects, both massive and minute. Adhesion allows us to construct monumental structures like bridges, buildings, and airplanes. It enables us to glue wood...

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3 minute read

How to Control Your Adhesive Process: Find the Critical Control Points

In today's highly competitive manufacturing environment, controlling the adhesive process is vital to ensuring product quality, consistency, and efficiency. Understanding the Critical Control Points (CCPs) within the adhesive process is essential for maintaining control and achieving desired...

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4 minute read

The Thought Behind our New Brighton Academy

Over the past decade, we have been told that our science is the cornerstone of our customer relationships. Whether you’ve been with us from the beginning or just recently joined the BConnect community, during your journey with us, we’ve likely shared our scientific insights with you. This may have...

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4 minute read

How to Propel Enterprise Success through Effective Knowledge Sharing of Bonding Processes

Wind turbines have a problem: their giant blades fail more often than anticipated. Research on the issue, reported in the journal Materials, notes an average of 3,800 failures each year. Many of these result from adhesive bonding defects, which should be addressed and prevented through improved...

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3 minute read

Maximize Manufacturing Excellence: Harness the Potential of Surface Quality Verification and Certification

In manufacturing, surfaces hold immense significance, and their value can be traced back to the inception of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) during the 20th century. The establishment of the FAA emerged as a response to mounting concerns surrounding quality control and the occurrence of...

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6 minute read

Adhesive Bonding vs. Mechanical Fastening in Product Design: The Pros and Cons

When creating their next innovative product, designers, and manufacturers strive to achieve optimal performance while minimizing assembly and materials costs. In this pursuit, they often focus on optimizing material usage. In the quest to achieve optimization, it is uncommon for excess materials to...

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4 minute read

The Hidden Costs of Human Choices: Compromising Optimal Product Design and Manufacturing

In the realm of manufacturing and production, achieving strong and durable bonds is crucial for ensuring the quality and reliability of products. However, even with meticulous adherence to established processes, companies can sometimes face unexpected challenges that hinder their bonding...

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5 minute read

Identifying Adhesive Bond Failure Points in Manufacturing

One particular area that has proven to be a challenge in manufacturing is adhesion and surface quality. Research and development teams, product developers, and manufacturing operations frequently encounter difficulties with adhesion processes, such as coating or adhesion problems throughout the...

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4 minute read

How to Enhance Your Real-Time Production Monitoring of Material Surface Quality

The globalization of supply chains, diversification of team locations, outsourcing of essential organizational functions, and the digitalization of data and communication have made the world accessible to small and medium-sized manufacturers, challenging both large and small enterprises to respond...

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6 minute read

How Contact Angle Measurements Can Spectacularly Reduce Scrap Rates Today

Last Updated March 2023 Predicting production outcomes in manufacturing relies on accurate data that calculates the variables that actually affect things like reliability, performance, and longevity of the product, like the soundness of bonds. There are countless tests to examine every conceivably...

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6 minute read

The Knowing Doing Gap: How to Avoid Widespread Adhesion Issues

At Brighton Science, we talk about surface intelligence and how it can be used to optimize manufacturing processes from the earliest stages. In response, organizations often say, “Great! That’s the key to solving, preventing, and controlling bonding issues, right? But do we have surface...

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6 minute read

How Surface Intelligence Can Improve Your Return on Investment

“For every company, its competitiveness comes from its ability to assimilate knowledge and failure - which I tell my kids all the time - failure is an opportunity to learn and feedback is a gift. And if we take the 'quick fix' we take the learning off the table.” Andy Reeher, CEO, Brighton Science

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5 minute read

The Top 5 Things Product Development Teams Need to Know About Real-World Manufacturing Challenges

Roles matter. Everyone within an organization is responsible for producing the most excellent and reliable new products in manufacturing. There is one downside to this - it can lead to siloed thinking. It can even discourage a common language between design teams and technicians dealing with...

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4 minute read

Why Your Business Should Reject a Culture of 'Quick Fixes'

Quality gurus have long preached the importance of getting to the root of the problem. So why, then, when managers understand this so well, do organizations settle for the quick fix? It’s like taking a painkiller for a headache: the pain goes away for a while, but if there’s an underlying cause,...

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5 minute read

How Surface Quality Can Negatively Impact Product Launches

Manufacturing is a team effort. And as such, when an issue arises with the product (usually caught when scrap rates skyrocket and returns, recalls, and warranty claims make it clear something was missed), it can be difficult to precisely isolate the root cause of the problem.The interconnectedness...

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3 minute read

Why It's Critical to Add a Cleanliness Specification to Your Vendor Compliance Program

Supply chain control is crucial to ensuring that the time, money, and labor put into a production process don’t go to waste. Managing what comes into the production process has a massive impact on how effective and efficient the production process will ultimately be. For companies dealing with...

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4 minute read

What Does Surface Intelligence Look Like in Action?

Surface condition is a significant driver of process and product reliability. It affects every part of the product life cycle, from development to launch, and its impact continues for as long as the product remains in service.

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4 minute read

Top 6 Reasons Your Internal Organization Should Care About Surface Intelligence

Intelligence is a funny thing. On its face, it seems like the best way to gauge intelligence is to measure one's capacity for maximum knowledge intake through rote memorization of facts and figures. That sounds good, but it doesn't feel quite right. Because we all know knowledge that's just piled...

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5 minute read

Boost New Product Innovation Using Materials Science and Technology

Having the freedom to design and build to the limits of our imaginations is at the core of what makes us human. You must think outside the common practice to boost innovation and improve processes to accomplish this task.

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4 minute read

4 Critical Questions to Consider When Assessing Risks in New Product Development

There are numerous obstacles to achieving and then maintaining a clean material surface. But there is one element that carries through the entire product lifecycle and can have a massive impact on the adhesion performance of the final product: TIME.

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3 minute read

Why You Should Implement a Surface Cleanliness Specification Using Contact Angle

When cleaning invisible contaminants from a surface, you may ask yourself, "How do I know when the surface is clean, or how clean, is clean enough?" These are common questions that product development teams ask when developing new products that require surfaces to be thoroughly cleaned in order to...

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7 minute read

What is Materials Science & Why is it Crucial for New Product Development?

Many people are not familiar with the subject matter and discipline of materials science because it’s not taught in elementary or high school and only infrequently at the university level. Instead, we are often taught chemistry and physics. Chemistry teaches us how atoms and molecules interact,...

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2 minute read

Fail Early, Fail Often: How Predictive Modeling Allows Teams To Quickly Assess And Correct Adhesion Failure In Product Development

What Does 'Fail Fast, Fail Often, Fail Intelligently' Even Mean? When it comes to business and innovation, making mistakes is inevitable. But instead of shying away from failure, we should embrace it as an opportunity to learn and grow. This concept is often referred to as "fail fast, fail often,...

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4 minute read

Why Creating a Surface Intelligence Center of Excellence is Crucial for Manufacturing

As manufacturing becomes more complex and the globalization of supply chains increases, the need for a Surface Intelligence Center of Excellence grows. Such a center would compile data, training, and best practices from across the business to identify areas where further efficiency and quality...

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3 minute read

How Surface Intelligence Enables Data-Driven Decision-Making & Advances Business Growth

Formula 1 teams know that you must incorporate a tried-and-true process into your workflow to perform at the highest level. They practice a defined, repeatable, measured, tested, and continuously improve their processes to ensure that their level of performance is constantly increasing. This can be...

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3 minute read

What Is the Role of Surface Chemistry in Industry?

Manufacturing has become increasingly complex with the fusion of technologies that are blurring distinctions between the digital, physical, and biological worlds. Physical products and services have transformed significantly due to enhancements made possible by digital capabilities. New...

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3 minute read

How to Bring Reliability to Complex Aspects of Material Engineering

Materials science and engineering influence our lives daily and open the door to new innovations in manufacturing. Each time you wear pair of shoes, scroll on your smart device or use a golf club, you are interacting with a product that was produced using materials, adhesives, and coatings that...

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3 minute read

The Benefits of Benchmarking Surface Quality in Manufacturing

Certainty is the goal of every manufacturing process. Manufacturers need to have total confidence that every aspect of their production process will go according to plan. The adhesion process needs to be controlled just like any other production operation, with accuracy and ongoing monitoring....

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4 minute read

Does Your Organization Take A Holistic Approach to Innovation?

Innovation can be a scary thing. For companies built on order, predictability, and success, innovation can be unsettling. It can be messy, unpredictable, and prone to failure before producing a demonstrable payback. But innovation is vital. Without it, there can be no evolutionary growth or...

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3 minute read

How to Conceptualize and Design Products Using New Materials and Substrates with Confidence

Materials as technology is one of the most important fields in developmental science. As new materials are created and perfected, they proliferate and quickly spread to manufacturing centers around the world, spurring innovative product design. The rapid development of ceramic, sustainable...

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3 minute read

How to Get Help Finding the Root Cause of Adhesion Failure in Manufacturing

Adhesion, coating, and bonding problems have a tendency to be persistent and resilient, causing frustration and can lead to costly rework, recalls, scrap, production delays, and reputation loss, at worst. These problems often require more than manufacturers are currently equipped to handle on their...

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2 minute read

The Surface Analyst™ Instantly Measures Contact Angle to Determine the Potential Adhesive Strength of Bonds

A Handheld Solution for Verifying Surface Cleanliness The Surface Analyst™ is an innovative handheld solution for use in the lab and on the factory floor. It reduces waste, rework, and recalls when poorly prepared substrate surfaces lead to bonding, coating, sealing, painting, or printing failure.

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3 minute read

Top Challenges Product Development Teams Experience When Bringing a Product Concept to Manufacturing

Modern product development is fraught with challenges due in large part to the sophistication and complexity of the various elements that go into a final product – everything from materials and surface geometries to coatings, bonding, and even staff skills and competencies. Pitfalls await even the...

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1 minute read

BTG Labs evolves capabilities, leadership and name to become Brighton Science—bringing unmatched expertise to the emerging field of Surface Intelligence.

BTG Labs, a company that has spent the past 20 years solving critical adhesion issues and developing the world’s first surface inspection technology for leading manufacturers, has evolved its capabilities, leadership and name to become Brighton Science.

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8 minute read

Leveraging the Variability in Contact Angle Measurements to Improve Surface Quality and Process Control

Determining whether your material surface has been adequately cleaned or prepared for bonding, coating, sealing, painting, or printing requires the ability to objectively quantify the chemical and physical characteristics of the top few molecular layers: this is where all the action is. Water...

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6 minute read

Eliminate Surface Engineering Challenges & Design with Freedom

Oftentimes, to boost innovation and improve processes, you have to think outside the common practice. You have to take the restraints off of creativity. Freedom to design and build to the limits of our imaginations is at the core of what makes us human.

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4 minute read

How Manufacturers Can Optimize the Effectiveness of Plasma Activation

In last week’s blog post, Using Plasma for Surface Cleaning and Activation, Rose Roberts, Ph.D., Brighton Science's (formerly BTG Labs) Senior Custom Applications and Materials Engineer, discussed how to use plasma for the dual purposes of cleaning critical surfaces and activating critical surfaces...

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2 minute read

Using Plasma for Surface Cleaning and Activation

This blog post is the first of a two-part series focusing on plasma. With the help of Rose Roberts, Ph.D., Senior Custom Applications and Materials Engineer, we will review plasma basics and discuss how plasma can be used for both cleaning and surface activation. We will also touch upon the...

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4 minute read

Harnessing the Power of Water to Achieve Precise Results

Nature is miraculous. Living entities, be they plants, animals, marine life, or humans, can perform an amazing array of complex tasks. As scientists, inventors, and engineers, we take inspiration from any source that provides a good idea.

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6 minute read

Why You Should Rethink Your Manufacturing Cleaning Process

In manufacturing, a final assembly is only as reliable as its constituent parts, the bonding or joining method used to hold them together, or the coating method used for corrosion protection and/or the final aesthetic touch. In order to guarantee the strength and successful performance of a...

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7 minute read

The Best Method of Measuring Contact Angles for Reliable Manufacturing Processes

"Materials Science" sounds niche and even a little peculiar, but no manufacturer is a stranger to the implications of material science principles for building reliable products. Materials react with one another. Material properties impact how these interactions occur. Accurately anticipating and...

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6 minute read

Why Knowing Water Contact Angle is Important for Successful Adhesive Performance

Adhesives are an integral part of modern manufacturing, but choosing the right adhesive is only one part of the equation. It’s well known that you won’t get a reliable bond with an adhesive if you just slap the adhesive onto your material without doing anything to prepare that surface. What ISN’T...

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4 minute read

Maintaining Consistent Adhesion Quality for Shoe Manufacturers even with Material Changes

There are a lot of reasons why sneakerheads love the shoes they covet. Athletic shoes have become one of the most sought-after clothing items due to their aesthetic appeal but also because of the ever-evolving material innovations of shoe manufacturers.

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4 minute read

How to Reduce Medical Device Surface Testing Time and Subjectivity

Time is always of the essence for medical device manufacturers. When a medical breakthrough needs to make it to market, there is no time to waste. There is also no margin for error. Medical device manufacturers are always working with doctors and scientists to experiment with profound new...

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7 minute read

Better Consumer Electronics Reliability: Coatings and Adhesives

In a recent study conducted by Instrumental, the top ten most common manufacturing defects were examined. The number one defect that manufacturers fight against is a deficiency in glue.

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9 minute read

What is the Best Surface Quality Inspection for Smart Manufacturing?

Manufacturing processes can, on the surface, appear to be an amorphous web of convoluted conveyors and machinating machinery. But taking a closer look through the eyes of a quality engineer reveals that the process that leads to reliable products is, in fact, itself a series of decisions, each...

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9 minute read

Where to Look to Achieve Operational Visibility in Manufacturing

Enterprise manufacturing operations comprise interlocking, overlapping, and critically interdependent processes. Each process in this symbiotic web consists of a series of steps that are only successful when the invisible details are unshrouded and subject to quantitative quality parameters.

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7 minute read

Effective Strategies for Efficient and Reliable Manufacturing That Can’t Wait

Today, manufacturing requires a paradigm shift from reactionary whack-a-mole problem correction to taking a holistic approach. The mutually reliant elements of manufacturing are interwoven in both obvious and invisible ways. From supply chain communication to equipment dependability and from ...

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6 minute read

Ensuring the Durability of Oleophobic Coatings on Consumer Tech

We’re all thinking a lot more about the surfaces we touch and the invisible things that might be on those surfaces. Manufacturers have been thinking about how surfaces interact with our skin and the environment long before COVID-19 made us all much more cognizant of what we can get from touching...

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4 minute read

Using Data to Improve Ink Adhesion to Polymer Film

One of the most frustrating aspects of experiencing a problem in manufacturing isn't necessarily the issue itself, but rather, it's the difficulty of accurately determining and communicating what the problem actually is.

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5 minute read

Surface Quality in Aircraft Sealing and Bonding for Repairs

When an aircraft is manufactured, every single portion of the plane or jet is designed to be able to be serviced and repaired for the next 20-30 years. Aircraft manufacturing OEMs are building aircraft with the expectation that extensive repairs will have to be done later down the road. This is an...

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5 minute read

Why Surface Cleanliness is Crucial for Electronic PCBs

Defining “clean” is actually more complicated than it sounds. Cleanliness can be in the eye of the beholder (I mean, we all had a college roommate who swore they were tidy, but let’s be honest…), and it can also be calculated and precisely managed to the nth degree. In regard to PCB cleanliness for

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6 minute read

Formed In Place Gasket (FIPG) Reliability Starts with the Surface

Form-in-place-gaskets (FIPG) have been a revolutionary advancement in industries that bank on high-reliability sealing applications. FIPG is a versatile sealing technique that deploys a mostly silicone (they can sometimes be blended with metals like silver, aluminum, and nickel for conductivity...

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5 minute read

Importance of Adhesion & Composites in Lightweighting Cars

One of the most pressing questions on the minds of manufacturing engineers is how to take a load off. Lightweighting, or shedding pounds on assembled vehicles and machinery, is a critical puzzle in aerospace, marine, and, most acutely, automotive industries. In fact, with the pressure to optimize...

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3 minute read

New Solutions to Address Adhesion Failures in Manufacturing

In order to create predictable adhesion outcomes in manufacturing, precision is key. When thinking about the success of a bonding, printing, coating, sealing, painting or cleaning application, manufacturers need a new perspective. Manufacturers need an approach that considers the entire adhesion...

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4 minute read

How Surface Quality Devices Can Validate Adhesion Specs

Regulatory specifications in manufacturing exist to ensure that the highest quality, safest, and most useful products are created. These are devised internally through research and development testing to meet customer demands and through external regulatory bodies to protect consumers and public...

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3 minute read

How to Transfer a Lab Surface Treatment Process to Production

Production processes don’t just materialize fully formed on the manufacturing floor. Procedures and operations go through a full research and development cycle, which can take years before they are integrated into the production line. This pre-production work includes strength, reliability, and...

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5 minute read

4 Manufacturing Process Gaps that Create Adhesion Problems

Process gaps emerge in production processes any time manufacturers do not have all the information they need to make decisions that will prevent or solve adhesion problems. Often these gaps are the result of oversights; however, sometimes they can exist and be difficult to detect because they only...

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4 minute read

Can a Surface Science Lab Ensure Adhesion in Manufacturing?

Manufacturers utilize research and design laboratories all the time. To scale new products up to the production line, years of toiling in testing labs are done to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch once production starts.

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4 minute read

Secrets to Predicting Adhesion Failures in Production

When adhesion failure becomes apparent in manufacturing processes, it can seem to come out of nowhere. Very often, there is no problem until suddenly there is. It feels unpredictable, unavoidable, and like the best solution is to either eat the loss it brings or just hope it goes away as quickly...

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3 minute read

Easy Ways to Find Manufacturing Adhesion Failure Sources

When adhesion failure plagues a manufacturing process, it can be particularly disruptive. A production process may be humming along just fine, and then it suddenly becomes clear that a coating is uneven, or paint is chipping (when it wasn’t before), joints are weaker than they had been, or film is...

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2 minute read

How To Keep Up With the Changing Landscape of Advanced Materials

There's a logical fallacy akin to a "what's good for one is good for all" mindset that is devastating when applied to surface treatment in adhesion processes. Polymers are rapidly being developed and synthesized for niche applications to push the limits of the current physical properties of...

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1 minute read

Gage Reproducibility and Repeatability (R&R) of the Surface Analyst™

Obtaining Quality and Consistency with the Surface Analyst Brighton Science's Surface Analyst™ uses a micro-liter of highly purified water to quantifiably measure contact angle. This objective measurement enables any user to obtain accurate results in either a pass/fail rating or a contact angle...

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1 minute read

The Surface Analyst's™ Unique Method of Measuring Water Contact Angle

Fluid Deposition Style of Contact Angle Measurements Measuring the contact angle of a fluid on a surface provides a sensitive and accurate reading of surface energy. However, methods of depositing the droplet and measuring the contact angle vary. Common surface measurement instruments, such as...

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3 minute read

Automotive Applications Series: Ensuring Success for Formed-In-Place Gasket (FIPG) Applications

Controlling Surface Condition in FIPG Application Increasingly, FIPG processes are replacing traditional gaskets for a variety of automotive applications, such as air filters, oil filters, door panels, and external engine parts. The advantages include cheaper material cost, higher throughput...

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