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Kurtz Ersa Magazine

 
 
 
Phoenix Contact and Ersa

Inspiring System Partners

By opening its electronics innovation center in 2007, Phoenix Contact, the leading supplier of components, systems and solutions in electrical engineering, electronics and automation, concentrated all activities of its business areas automation systems and interface technology at one location. And just as long the company relies on the support of Ersa for all standard soldering processes.

Technical discussion between experts: Phoenix Contact production engineer Heinz Krantz (rear) and Ersa Area Sales Manager Stefan Wurster (front)
Technical discussion between experts: Phoenix Contact production engineer Heinz Krantz (rear) and Ersa Area Sales Manager Stefan Wurster (front)

Phoenix Contact was approaching technical boundaries in their production of the Contactron. A group of engineers started to look for a supplier who could offer efficient wave soldering systems meeting the demands of Phoenix Contact. Equipment evaluations picked up speed, an intensive market analysis was conducted, and finally the other business units of Phoenix Contact were queried for their standard soldering processes needs. “This represented a substantial effort, yet it is standard procedure for us. After all, the issue we were dealing with was no longer the purchase of a single system. We also investigated to what extend a supplier for wave and selective soldering systems could cover all our demands for standard soldering processes”, states Dietmar Dux, Senior Specialist Process Engineering Interface Components of Phoenix Contact.

 

System Partners for Standard Soldering Processes
At the end of the evaluation, Phoenix Contact selected Ersa’s full-tunnel POWERFLOW N2 wave soldering system. Since its installation, the POWERFLOW N2 has been soldering the thermally demanding assemblies of the Contactron hybrid motor starter. Aside from the wave soldering system with split conveyor segment, Ersa could further score with its innovative range of products and services – all in all a coherent package, where Ersa’s international worldwide sales and service network proved to be perfect. Of equal importance to Phoenix Contact: standardized, identical processes, since there are production facilities in Germany, China, the USA, India and Brazil. “Having recourse to a modularized system is of extreme importance for us, since such equipment can be duplicated far more easily. The flexibility in configuring Ersa equipment has met our demands for standard soldering processes to nearly 100 percent”, says Georg Beretitsch, Director Strategic Production Industrial Electronics of Phoenix Contact.

At the beginning of the relationship between Ersa and Phoenix Contact stood the POWERFLOW N2 full-tunnel wave soldering system
At the beginning of the relationship between Ersa and Phoenix Contact stood the POWERFLOW N2 full-tunnel wave soldering system
After having purchased two POWERFLOW wave soldering systems, Phoenix Contact ordered a number of selective soldering systems like the ECOSELECT 2
After having purchased two POWERFLOW wave soldering systems, Phoenix Contact ordered a number of selective soldering systems like the ECOSELECT 2

ECOSELECT follows POWERFLOW
In 2012 the first POWERFLOW N2 was followed by a second system, which was installed in the Chinese facility of Phoenix Contact. Selective soldering systems for a number of Phoenix Contact facilities followed: four ECOSELECT units and one VERSAFLOW. The system partnership, which had started with a wave soldering system, grew and started to take shape. For the first two ECOSELECT units, the demands were for equipment suitable to manufacture Interface Modules with a large number of different versions. The ECOSELECT, with its superior flexibility and short retooling time, proved to be the ideal system for this application.

Ersa dual pot systems offer high throughput and superior flexibility in very confined spaces
Ersa dual pot systems offer high throughput and superior flexibility in very confined spaces

A third ECOSELECT system followed: Dedicated to one production line, a value system design representing a fully automatic inline concept was requested, in which all processes, starting with the SMD-populated assemblies, should be executed in a production island. Due to the line speed, it was necessary to solder two assemblies simultaneously, and through the installation of a second solder bath and a second flux head it was possible to achieve the required cycle time for the soldering process. In the case of the VERSAFLOW, installed in 2012, Ersa proved that they are willing to go beyond the usual demands by designing customized conveyor and material handling features. Here again a variety of special demands were placed on the equipment, for which Ersa was able to supply optimal solutions. Whether POWERFLOW, ECOSELECT or VERSAFLOW – over the last years, Ersa was always able to provide leading-edge technical solutions. 

New Roads to Innovative Solutions
In 2014 another project with a selective soldering system for an in-line product has been finished. The starting point: an existing system functioning with certain limitations – yet it no longer conformed to today’s technological level. In close dialogue, both companies found a solution: “For dip-soldering we entered new venues in regard to nozzle technology, since this product contains extremely fine structures. The possibility existed that components could be desoldered from the board with the standard soldering process”, says Stefan Wurster, Area Sales Manager of Ersa GmbH. Ersa and Phoenix Contact have found a solution to produce the required quantities and to ensure the desired solder result for this difficult layout: components requiring high soldering temperatures embedded in a thermally limited plastic material. Another win-win situation for both sides, out of which further innovative solutions will surely arise.  

Facts and figures

  • Founded 1923 in Essen
  • Headquarters: Blomberg (Nordrhein-Westfalen) and Bad Pyrmont (Niedersachsen)
  • Turnover 2013: 1.64 Milliarden Euro
  • Employees worldwide: 13,000 employees
  • Sales network: 50 subsidiaries, 30 sales partners
 
 
 

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