Kurtz Ersa Magazine

Ersa Best Practice: Kraus Hardware

Kraus Hardware relies on traceable hand soldering processes with Ersa i-CON TRACE

Kraus Hardware GmbH has been active in component development and manufacturing for more than 30 years. Today Kraus Hardware generates more than 6 million Euro in sales and employs 35 people. The EMS service provider offers a wide range of services, including development, procurement, and professional storage of sensitive components to production, testing, repair and after-sales.

Ersa i-CON TRACE IoT soldering station in use at Kraus Hardware
Quality Management Representative Jörg Brand from Kraus Hardware (front) working with a colleague on the i-CON TRACE

Kraus Hardware’s latest investment is the next step in hand soldering; the Ersa i-CON TRACE with its traceable hand soldering process. The Ersa i-CON TRACE is the world´s first fully networkable soldering station. It features integrated WLAN, Bluetooth and network card, the IoT soldering station can be integrated into MES-controlled production processes, making the entire hand soldering process traceable and documentable.


Shortly after the market launch, Jörg Brand, Quality Management Representative and Certified IPC Trainer at Kraus Hardware, expressed interest in the new soldering station. This was no coincidence, the two companies have been business partners for years. In 2011, Kraus Hardware purchased an Ersa VERSAPRINT stencil printer, followed by an ECOSELECT 1 selective soldering system in 2014. Both systems have performed well for many years, so it made sense to rely on Ersa for a hand soldering solution. “Initially, the performance of the i-TOOL TRACE soldering iron – heat transfer, handling and easy soldering tip change – were important to me,” explains Jörg Brand. “The quality of manual soldering processes is extremely crucial for us as EMS service provider.” As an electronics manufacturer, the company puts quality first – all processes are certified according to ISO 9001:2015. Managing Director Andreas Kraus sums up the future potential of the new soldering station: “With the ability to document the hand soldering process on a product-by-product basis, we´re playing in a completely different league!”

From test device to permanent fixture in Kraus hardware

Ersa i-CON TRACE: 100% Connectivity

In an evaluation, several Ersa i-CON TRACE soldering stations were put into operation; soldering jobs were defined via Ersa TRACE COCKPIT to process a customer-specific job. It was important to integrate the systems into daily business under real conditions. Workflows created by the TRACE COCKPIT were evaluated by performing real soldering tasks – the rework of two assemblies – as “jobs”. The results were successful, and the i-CON TRACE is now a permanent part of Kraus Hardware’s production.

Ersa i-CON TRACE IoT soldering station: documentation of every single soldering process
The connectivity of the i-CON TRACE allows each individual soldering process to be documented: Assemblies, tip used, temperature and soldering time

The i-CON TRACE´s seamless process data documentation is a key feature for future electronics production. It closes the gap in the hand soldering process with complete traceability. For example, TRACE COCKPIT can record and store a complete soldering task in the desired file format. Specific soldering tasks can be assigned to each soldering station via TRACE COCKPIT, controlled via an existing Manufacturing Execution System (MES) or browser-based on a desktop/PC, tablet or smartphone. With increased process reliability, each workpiece is soldered according to predefined specifications. Component, soldering tip, solder wire and flux are recorded using a hand scanner. With this process, operators can proceed knowing that all conditions for the assigned soldering task have been met, and they can focus on soldering. Smaller operations have the option to use the i-CON TRACE individually via the mobile app.


Quality factor traceability

Managing Director Andreas Kraus knows how important traceability is for high quality results in electronics manufacturing: “Our customers are both corporate groups – from automotive and aircraft construction or medical technology – and smaller companies, engineering offices and research institutes. They place high demands on us, often dealing with sophisticated electronic assemblies and systems that are ultimately responsible for important functions in their products.” Kraus Hardware´s customers should receive perfect solutions. That is why the company continuously optimizes processes, trains employees and invests in new technologies such as i-CON TRACE. Ersa is happy to provide support!

Review of the Electronica

Ersa presence at Electronica 2022 - strong appearance with innovations in the field of soldering tools

In the middle of November the Electronica took place in Munich. We look back on four incredible days at the fair, during which our booth was very well visited throughout. We received many inquiries about prototyping, rework as well as our soldering machines. The i-CON TRACE IoT soldering station was also met with enormous interest among the trade fair visitors. It was noticeable that the visitors had a great need to catch up on information due to the long time off from the trade fair. The international visitors made it clear how important the trade fair is for the industry. In addition, we already received concrete purchase intentions for several products.


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