Pressrelease EPP - STG-Beikirch and Ersa
Ideas in Industrial Electronics
In the old Hanseatic town of Lemgo, STG-Beikirch employs a total of around 200 people. With a team of 90 people, the Industrial Electronics division produces electronic components for in-house and external production. These are used in numerous products of the Essmann Group. Most of the circuit boards are used in control units of motors and switch cabinets, for example for the automatic control of skylights and facades.
One innovation from STG-Beikirch is the MZ3 module centre for integration into building automation, which provides architects and facade planners with future-oriented control technology for smoke and heat extraction systems (SHE) and ventilation technology. Via an integrated software configuration, the various drives, operating elements, sensors and signals required for the MZ3 can be assigned to individual areas via drag & drop. This enables complete system planning with a compact control cabinet size, including subsequent extensions and adaptations.
1.5 Million assemblies in all batch sizes
In addition to the MZ3, the company's product portfolio offers much more: In 2015, a total of 30.7 million euros was generated on 2,000 square meters of production space - with 600 different products; North Rhine-Westphalia produces 1.5 million assemblies in a wide variety of batch sizes. From five to 500,000 printed circuit boards, almost everything is represented. As per the company's claim "We see the big picture", the range of services covers all aspects of the entire production process, from consulting, development, prototype construction, SMD and THT assembly through to component assembly. Another important element of the range of services is the Test Engineering department, in which six development engineers can react quickly and flexibly to customer requirements and develop and produce the necessary test systems. The heart of the company is the hardware and software development for building automation, for which nine engineers work. A separate EMC cabin for accompanying development measurements is also available. This deep understanding of hardware and software is also probably what facilitated the successful development of the company in recent years.
The machinery fleet grows with future-oriented soldering systems
Created in 1999 from the merger of STG Sicherheitstechnik GmbH and Beikirch Industrieelektronik GmbH (Minden), the electronics production at STG-Beikirch had a solid foundation. However, the development leaps in electronics production were noticeably faster. The first capacity limits became apparent in Lemgo. The production manager, Rainer Spanier, reacted in good time and in 2013, he made first contact with the systems supplier Ersa at SMT Hybrid packaging, the Nuremberg trade fair for system integration in microelectronics. "Of course, we knew Ersa and the entire portfolio before. The concrete interest in Ersa arose about six or seven years ago, when it was clear that as an EMS service provider it was necessary to offer selective soldering - because pins on the bottom of the board could no longer be soldered with the shaft due to the design," says Rainer Spanier. The technology leader in selective soldering was quickly discovered.
New wave at the turn of the year
It would not stay at that, because even before the selective soldering system STG-Beikirch und Ersa were already in contact with regard to a wave-soldering system. The turn of the year 2015/16 and the production break in Lemgo were used to install the new wave from Wertheim am Main, a controlled full tunnel soldering system with nitrogen gassing - It was about time, because the old wave soldering machine of a market leader had long since reached its technical and capacity limits.
"The Powerflow N2 full tunnel soldering system is exactly the system we were looking for - the corresponding tests have convinced us all along the line," says Production Manager Rainer Spanier. For the peripherals, a special handling solution was developed for the Inlet and outlet. The engineers involved from both companies exhausted all creative scope in the technical implementation. Traceability was a compelling necessity for STG-Beikirch, which was demanded by the market and finally solved in close cooperation of both companies via RFID tags. In production, the Powerflow N2 full tunnel soldering system now generates the corresponding data, which can be used at any time to trace the production parameters under which the printed circuit board was manufactured, from which batch it originates, including all process data. This means that the entire article is virtually made of glass - from component parameters and test results of component and circuit board to the production data of the shaft.
"STG-Beikirch and Ersa complement each other perfectly at this point: The developers from Lemgo wrote exactly the right software that was tailored to customer requirements and runs directly on the Powerflow N2," says Ersa sales engineer Ulrich Dosch. Safety technology in particular sets the highest standards that have to be met - and yet the spectrum at STG-Beikirch is broad. For example: Boards for emergency release buttons must have a white RAL colour before and after soldering. This only works if the appropriate temperature is applied; this must be done quickly and at a low temperature, otherwise the printed circuit board would turn yellow. Other boards have to be soldered at high temperatures, where a lot of energy is needed. The system manufacturer also offered functional solutions for the diametrically opposed requirements. In the end, STG-Beikirch decided on an almost fully equipped Powerflow machine in order to be able to realise as wide a spectrum as possible - today and in the medium term, considering the prospect of an increasingly international business.
"The contact that has been slowly initiated and established over the past few years has now become much more intensive over the past year - also as far as the technical area is concerned. As a technician, I appreciate that the conversation with Ersa takes place directly at the technician level. Here we have a very deep understanding of the topic and the necessary processes, from which both sides benefit and what our installed solutions prove every day. With Ersa we get what we need: good products, good advice," said Rainer Spanier. The automation of the building process may be a niche, but it works very well - so well that the next project is already within reach for the two business partners.
Text: Ulrich Dosch, Area Sales Manager Lötanlagen, Ersa GmbH