Any wristwatch has three major components, namely,
1. Watch case, which houses the mechanism,
2. The mechanism or module with dials & hands,
3. The strap to wear the watch on hand.
Watch case is a subassembly with glass, back cover and case pipe (to guide stem meant for time adjustment using crown). This subassembly is done at the in-house watch case plant that has five major shops–
1. Press shop
2. Machine shop
3. Polishing shop
4. Plating shop
5. Watch Case assembly.
In watchcase assembly, case center, back cover, case pipe, and glass are assembled together and later tested for joint-strength and water resistance (WR). The WR test is a mandatory statutory requirement for watches and is carried out by immersing the watch case in water for 10 minutes with the pressure of 5 Kg/cm2or 7 Kg/cm2, based on specification.
Post testing, the cases are inspected for water entry with mild heating on the backside. Despite using demineralized water for WR test, we observe stain formation during the heating process. A lint-free cloth is soaked in ethyl-methyl ketone solvent (petroleum-based solvent) and then used for cleaning the stains. As this solvent has an unpleasant smell and has detrimental effects on human health, we want to eliminate the use of Ethyl Methyl Ketone from our process.
- We have tried with different solvents like Isopropyl alcohol, Mr. Clean, white petrol and water-based solvents from Amway. But the effect of cleaning is not good.
- Also, the idea of recycling the DM water after every testing to mitigate its conductivity and in turn the stain formation is in progress.
- The alternate solution can be a modification to the current Water Resistance Test or can be a replacement of the cleaning agent.
- In order to enhance the aesthetic look and feel of the watches, resulting in a positive effect during purchase, the alternate solution should facilitate 100% stain removal from the case assembly.
- The solution should be odorless, environmentally safe and pose no health hazards to operators.
- The surface should become dry within 5 seconds to make the watch case/watches ready to use.
- The solution needs to be deployed across all service centers where it can be used for cleaning / wiping watches.
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