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Ersa#02nd line

Ersa opens second production line

For over ten years now, the machines at Ersa are being built in a synchronised flow production process. Due to the enormous growth of recent years, the capacity of assembly line 01 was no longer sufficient. After the ground-breaking ceremony in July 2018, it took  less than a year for construction phase 01 to be completed and machine production to start on assembly line 02 in July 2019. The new  location with a production area of 1,000 m2 directly opposite the Ersa headquarters is a considerable expansion of production capacity and answers the continuing high demand for Ersa soldering systems. Over the next few months, a third assembly line and a machine  laboratory will be built here.

The maiden voyage in the new twelve-stroke production facility was reserved for the VERSAFLOW 3 bread and butter machine – the selective soldering system has now been successfully installed more than 1,111 times on the customer side. A specially defined process team had one week from 03 June to run through the previously theoretically defined processes cycle by cycle on the first machine and to check whether they had actually planned optimally. “We had identified a potential of around 40 percent in advance, which impressed even experienced Ersa experts – but everything really has to fit together: design, process, tools, aids and, last but not least, the will to implement on the part of everyone involved,” says Hammer Consultant Alfred Elsdörfer, who completely accompanied the construction of the new line.


One line for basic and multi-module machine

The timing was and is a challenge of a special kind. After all, in addition to the VERSAFLOW 3, the standard variants of the VERSAFLOW 4, ECOSELECT and POWERFLOW should also run over the same line in the same cycle and with maximum variance. In order to counter this variance, a system had to be developed that could handle both the basic machine and a fully equipped multi-module machine. “The result is a sophisticated tool and material supply system that allows us to distribute work contents over a maximum of two cycles. This allows us to react flexibly, but still in a standardized environment, to variant-related fluctuations in work content,” says Elsdörfer.


New Ersa cycle production: from the pure basic machine to the fully equipped multi-module machine
New Ersa cycle production: from the pure basic machine to the fully equipped multi-module machine

More output, optimized ergonomics

In addition to increased output, the Ersa management attached great importance to efficient, ergonomic workstations, which optimally support the employees in the line, of course also digitally. Drawings on paper are obsolete, the electricians call up the circuit diagrams digitally via tablets that can be attached to suitable brackets in the control cabinet in order to implement them 1:1. In future, lifting aids will help to integrate a fluxer portal into the machine frame – where up to four fitters were previously required, only one worker will then be needed. The assembly of panes and control panels is also considerably simplified – they are already completely pre-assembled outside the machine and will soon be positioned and fastened using a lifting aid.

The pre-assembly will initially remain at the old location – at least until the completion of construction phase 02 directly next to the new production facility, where further production and office space will be created by the end of 2019. The workstations for pre-assembly at the old location, however, are already being set up in line with the new line and with improved ergonomic aspects, for example with support from height-adjustable assembly devices (lifts) or standardised provision of material and tools. Those responsible for the project therefore expect the commissioning time for the move to be considerably shortened.

The first machine to be produced on the new line has long been in use at the customer´s, and shortly afterwards the stress test was also successfully passed – from now on production will be ramped up step by step. With the completion of construction section 02, the stencil printer VERSAPRINT 2 and line capable rework systems will also be produced at a new location. “We have invested a lot of effort and energy to meet the demand of our customers – a fantastic result for which I would like to thank all Ersa employees. Knowing full well that during the transition period a lot of patience, flexibility and perseverance was required from all involved. But it has been worth it and is an expression of the great ambition of the Ersa team to jointly produce a highly modern production facility – that will bring us a great leap forward as a company,” says Ersa Managing Director Ralph Knecht.


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