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Best Practice: Cofidur EMS

Engaged Electronics for the Future!

As one of the most important EMS service providers in the French market, Cofidur EMS implements demanding projects in electronics production with 400 employees – for example for industry & commerce, aerospace/rail transport & defense, telecommunications and lighting. To this end, the company maintains a 43,000 m2 production area with high-performance soldering systems, and 2022 sales amounted to 55.8 million Euro. Recently, an Ersa vacuum reflow soldering system type EXOS 10/26 was added to the Cofidur machinery at the Laval site.

April 18, 2023, test bay 6, Ersa Manufacturing, today reserved for Cofidur EMS from France. It is 8:30 a.m. and Ersa service and application engineer Oleg Besarab is putting the finishing touches to the EXOS 10/26 so that customer acceptance for the vacuum reflow soldering machine can take place within one day. Only when all points have been successfully processed according to protocol is the 7,875-mm-long, 5,000-kg machine loaded in order to start the 900-km journey to Laval in northwestern France. Oleg has been with the company since October 2019, his first project back then: EXOS 10/26, 22 heating chambers, four cooling zones, vacuum chamber after the peak zone to reduce the void rate by 99% (!), the customer´s name was Cofidur EMS, as it is today. In the meantime, the EXOS project clock stands at well over 100 machines.

09:00, the customer arrives: Gregory Metz, Process Engineering Manager, and Gaétan Machard, Process Engineering Technician, accompanied by Remy Lutz, Manager Kurtz Ersa France, and Sylvain Chevrier, Ersa Service and Application Engineer in France. After a quick cup of coffee, it´s down to the nitty-gritty, all ordered functions are checked, test soldering is to take place and a temperature profile is to be kept. Maintenance and service are left out today, as the Cofidur team is already familiar with the EXOS 10/26 and knows the strengths and special features of its vacuum reflow soldering system.

 

Kick-off customer acceptance of EXOS 10/26 going to Cofidur EMS in Laval, northwest France
Kick-off customer acceptance of EXOS 10/26 going to Cofidur EMS in Laval, northwest France
Everything ready in the test bay for customer acceptance of the EXOS 10/26 reflow soldering system
Everything ready in the test bay for customer acceptance of the EXOS 10/26 reflow soldering system
Hand in hand: Cofidur and Ersa systematically work through all relevant machine functions during the machine acceptance test
Hand in hand: Cofidur and Ersa systematically work through all relevant machine functions during the machine acceptance test
Ersa application technicians in dialog: Sylvain Chevrier from Kurtz Ersa France (left) and Oleg Besarab from Ersa headquarters in Wertheim, Germany
Ersa application technicians in dialog: Sylvain Chevrier from Kurtz Ersa France (left) and Oleg Besarab from Ersa headquarters in Wertheim, Germany

Just a few weeks later, the second Cofidur EXOS replaced an existing reflow oven that had processed close to six million PCBs in recent years. The Kurtz Ersa France team had just three days to commission the new machine, on the fourth day things got serious and the freshly installed EXOS took over the part of its predecessor – 3-shift operation, 5-day week, trimmed for mass production. “For our second EXOS, we were able to draw on the experience of our first reflow soldering system – that was quite an adventure, since the EXOS 10/26 installed at the beginning of 2020 was one of the very first machines of this type to be delivered. Our new one will have an exciting application in the field of lighting – for this we need a cleanly balanced temperature profile,” says Grégory Metz, who has been working for Cofidur EMS for over 23 years. In addition to the vacuum chamber, which enables pore-free solder joints for power electronics and high-reliability technology, Cofidur was particularly convinced by the fact that the maintenance-friendly, lubricant-free roller transport system familiar from the selective world is also used there.

Excellent advice from Kurtz Ersa France

Cofidur EMS is not only in contact with Ersa through reflow soldering technology – the two companies have known each other for ten years and the exchange became more intensive until the concrete project with a VERSAFLOW 3/45 took place in 2016. The selective soldering machine is installed at the Cofidur site in Périgueux, where 150 employees carry out electronics production on 8,000 m2 of production space in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. “On the one hand, Ersa´s reputation as a leading supplier of selective soldering systems precedes us, and on the other hand, the excellent advice provided by Rémy Lutz and his team at Kurtz Ersa France,” says Grégory Metz, who greatly appreciates the direct contact with the manufacturer.

As does the fact that the responsible service technician can be on site in 30 minutes if necessary. For the second selective soldering system of the same type ordered for Laval, Cofidur EMS dispensed with an on-site acceptance test: “We already knew the VERSAFLOW 3/45 and what the selective system was capable of – so we only carried out a video acceptance test,” says Gaetan Machard. The Laval VERSAFLOW is also operated in three shifts and can be used for numerous applications thanks to its flexibility and quick changeover capability – the selective soldering system covers almost all Cofidur business areas and processes both lead-free and leaded applications. Cofidur´s machinery is very well utilized at the two sites in Laval and Périgueux – in 3-shift operation, both the reflow machines and the selective systems are fully loaded. It is quite possible that after the EXOS, another soldering machine project will soon appear on the horizon …

 
 

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