Kurtz Ersa Magazine

Siemens Austria and Ersa

Selective soldering: possibly record-breaking cycle time

For over 165 years, Siemens has been synonymous worldwide with technical performance, innovation and quality – in Austria for over 135 years. The core business concentrates on electrification, automation and digitalisation. Ersa recently installed its first plant there: a VERSAFLOW 4/55 with VERSAFLEX selective soldering module.

Ersa VERSAFLEX - NPI Award 2017
Ersa VERSAFLEX - NPI Award 2017

In Austria, the business division Siemens Industrial Manufacturing, Engineering and Applications, SIMEA, is the dynamic hub for development, engineering and manufacturing of PCBs, devices and components. One of the main points of focus at the Vienna site is industrial power supply. There, and in the Sibiu site in Rumania, Siemens produces customised power supply systems and components, such as the regulated direct power unit SITOP, which are then used worldwide in automation, drive and building technologies as well as in the wind energy and medical engineering sectors. The core competences are development and product management, industrialisation of power electronics and engineering of customer projects as well as prototyping and test engineering.

Diverse variant soldering without changeover times

For production of the new generation of power supply units, “LOGO!Power”, SIMEA realized the need for a new production line. The requirements on the remit for the machine manufacturer were therefore formulated as follows: “Soldering diverse variants without changeovers, in the required cycle time.” The challenge lay, on the one hand, in the layout of the boards – there were three different circuit board panels, all differing in terms of size and proximity of the connections. Every panel consists of six main circuit boards and six sub-circuit boards, and the panels are not in parallel. “The sub-circuit boards are set at an angle of 90° in the panels and are later soldered onto the main circuit boards. The second challenge was the required cycle time of 40 seconds,” said Harald Schmidt, process technician – soldering at SIMEA.

With this remit, SIMEA approached Ersa. Part of the tender was an application report for which test boards to be soldered were provided by SIMEA. “While it was possible to work in parallel on the six main circuit boards with a y-variable double-pot, they could not reach the sub-circuit boards. This would have required a second soldering module with a single nozzle or a dip module and would have made it impossible to meet the required cycle time,” says Ersa Area Sales Manager Mark Birl. It was therefore decided that the problem would be tackled with the VERSAFLOW 4/55 plus VERSAFLEX. The inserted pins fitted and there were no solder bridges, even with small pin interspaces!,” summarises Mark Birl. The results of the soldering test were sent off to SIMEA. “This application report was crucial for the decision in favour of Ersa,” says SIMEA process technician Harald Schmidt. And continues: “Only VERSAFLEX achieved the required cycle time per unit. The two tasks for the circuit board panes – pre-soldering of the sub-boards and soldering of the sub-boards to the motherboards – are not possible in one cycle with any other soldering system.”


Picture: Herta Hurnaus/Siemens
Picture: Herta Hurnaus/Siemens

Double pots working completely independently

VERSAFLOW 4/55, 100% geared to flexibility: Ersa Service Technician Stefan Brauner (black coat) with SIMEA process technician Harald Schmidt (centre) and Ersa Area Sales Manager Mark Birl (back)
VERSAFLOW 4/55, 100% geared to flexibility: Ersa Service Technician Stefan Brauner (black coat) with SIMEA process technician Harald Schmidt (centre) and Ersa Area Sales Manager Mark Birl (back)

The two solder pots on the double soldering module are mounted on independent axes. This allows VERSAFLEX to be used in parallel operation but also in an asynchronous mode with both pots working independently of one another – this really came into its own in the project. Because, as each pot is mounted on a separate axis system, x-, y- and z-direction can be set completely individually. A further crucial factor: the software with simple operation and programmability – the parameters for each component on the board, such as flux application, wave pressure or soldering speed can be individually adjusted. “I am no longer forced to handle the entire product with an average value. This gives me greater flexibility and reduces soldering errors,” says the THT expert. The software calculates the optimum paths for the nozzles and shares the solder between two soldering nozzles. The pots then do their jobs completely independently of one another – result: the shortest possible cycle times and increased throughput.


Smart features bring efficiency and productivity

With regard to process reliability and zero-fault production, Ersa also scores with the VERSAFLOW: A set-up verification feature ensures that the right soldering tool has been attached. Process cameras monitor soldering wave height and nozzle wetting; if required, the correction process is carried out automatically.


The conclusion from SIMEA process technician Harald Schmidt: “With Ersa, we have chosen the ideal partner: The cooperation is uncomplicated and very pleasant, reaction times extremely short, and we receive very competent advice. The plant is reliable in operation and delivers top soldering quality. The VERSAFLEX selective soldering module is the ideal solution for us: We manage without a second soldering module or a high-cost dip solutions. The ERSASOFT 5 machinery software with CAD Assistant 4 is a true highlight – making programme generation or adaptation really easy; and it even works while production is ongoing!” Positive indications that the first SIMEA machine projects will be followed by others …

Ersa VERSAFLOW 4/55 selective soldering plant with VERSAFLEX module at Siemens Österreich
Ersa VERSAFLOW 4/55 selective soldering plant with VERSAFLEX module at Siemens Österreich

Variety of Ersa in video clips

Ersa YouTube Channel

The Ersa YouTube channel sums up the unique and comprehensive range of products – from machines to soldering tools, rework and inspection the user gains an interesting insight into Ersa’s world – useful tips for soldering processors complete the picture of the video clip range. Subscribe now and miss no Ersa video!


Two NPI Awards for Ersa

Ersa VERSAFLEX - NPI Award 2017

In mid-February, Ersa was distinguished with two NPI Awards in the framework of the IPC APEX EXPO trade fare in San Diego: Awards went to Ersa in the categories “Repair & Rework” for the rework system HR 550 and “Selective Soldering”, represented by the extremely flexible VERSAFLEX selective soldering module.


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