Stencil Printing

Selective Soldering


All on Automation!

Slovak Electronics Manufacturer Telux pushes production with Ersa Technology

Shortly after its foundation in 1994 in Pieštany, Slovakia, Telux started with the production of electrical ballasts with power ratings from 9 to 72 W. Eleven years later, the company started SMT production by upgrading its machinery and moved to a new location in Trebatice in 2010. Due to continuous growth, the next technology update was due five years ago – at that time system supplier Ersa came into play, who since then has supported the Telux business with all types of soldering technology – including selective soldering technology (VERSAFLOW 3/45) and stencil printing (VERSAPRINT 1).

Bratislava, High Tatras and Petra Vlhová, her sign of the 2019 Giant Slalom World Champion – Slovakia could be reduced to this triad. But this would not do justice to the Central European landlocked state with its approximately 5.5 million inhabitants, created on January 01, 1993 after the peaceful division of Czechoslovakia. After the end of the socialist ČSSR, the young Slovakia quickly acquired an excellent economic reputation, which was politically accompanied by membership in the European Union and NATO (2004), the abolition of border controls with EU states in accordance with the Schengen Agreement (2007) and entry into the Eurozone in 2009. Industrial focal points of Slovakia, which is strongly export-oriented, include the broadly diversified automotive industry, mechanical engineering, metal processing and electronics.

In the period of upheaval in the 1990s, Jozef Sadlek founded his electronics manufacturing company TE-VEV in 1994 with initially fifteen employees. The engineer, who had studied radio and television technology at the Technical University of Bratislava, found premises in an industrial area in Pieštany, 90 km from the metropolis of Bratislava. Initially, the business consisted of manual soldering and assembly. After five years, the company was so well established as an EMS service provider that it became more visible to potential customers – it changed its name to the handier Telux. With the acquisition of the first Pick & Place machine, business picked up considerably, in 2005 the first SMT line was installed, and year after year sales increased. Production was becoming increasingly cramped, so that Telux boss Jozef Sadlek, after careful consideration, decided to build a new plant in nearby Trebatice – also in order to be able to process the incoming orders on time and in the required quality. The move to the new location with a production area of 1,260 m2 was completed in 2010, the will to further growth had a visible and tangible counterpart – the basis for a real leap in sales was to become: in 2011 Telux recorded a full growth of 67 percent!

High quality, high productivity, high flexibility

And with continuously increasing sales it continued in the following years, so that the next technology update was imperative five years ago – in 2014 Ersa system supplier came to the fore. With 40 employees, Telux mainly produces customer-specific industrial electronics, while its customers come from the railway technology, mining, dental and medical technology sectors. 60 percent of Telux production goes to the Slovakian market, to the Czech Republic components for mining and explosion-protected assemblies – other interesting customers are located in Germany, such as the Adam Hall Group for professional music equipment based in Neu-Anspach in Hesse. Wherever the components are used, extremely high quality standards are applied. So it was clear that only top soldering systems could be considered which produce reproducibly at this level. At Telux, around 700 different types of printed circuit boards are assembled – with individual lot sizes from 50 to 2,000 pieces. On some days, the production program has to be changed twice a day – unlike with some big players who run a product 24/7 on one line for 365 days. “We were looking for soldering machines that combine high quality with high productivity and high flexibility – we had a good feeling about the Ersa systems right from the start, so they ended up right on our benchmarking list,” says Jozef Sadlek. After extensive market observation, Telux opted for an Ersa VERSAFLOW 3/45 selective soldering system. Previously, there were extensive tests to verify whether the Ersa soldering systems could actually deliver the desired results – including a visit to the Enics site in Nova Dubnica, Slovakia (a good Ersa customer with headquarters in Switzerland) some 60 km away, to inspect the system including possible layouts and configurations in real production and to develop a feel for which solution was the best.

VERSAFLOW 3/45 brings productivity leaps

At the same time, PBT Rožnov, the Czech Ersa representative for many years and also responsible for Slovakia, calculated how to optimally design the processes in the direction of productivity. The PCBs to be produced were also examined in detail to determine what the ideal soldering process should look like. Shortly after installation of the VERSAFLOW 3/45, the orders went through the ceiling in such a way that one shift was no longer sufficient and the company switched to 2-shift operation – which was problematic from the production organization´s point of view. The logical consequence was that the Telux management made nails on the head and followed the first Ersa soldering machine with a second VERSAFLOW 3/45 and was able to return to 1-shift operation. Parallel to the first selective soldering machine, Telux also ordered an Ersa VERSAPRINT B1 stencil printer “on the side”, which the Ersa technicians subsequently gave a 3D-SPI – a feature that did not yet exist at the time as an integrated function in a stencil printer. In the meantime, the second VERSAPRINT generation is established on the market and can be ordered ex works with integrated 100% inspection in 3D. Last year, Telux again added to its list and at the same time acquired two further Ersa systems for its electronics production – a reflow soldering system HOTFLOW 3/14e for energy-efficient, resource-saving reflow soldering with maximum soldering quality and performance and a full tunnel wave soldering system POWERFLOW eN2, ideally suited for cost-optimized wave soldering in a nitrogen atmosphere.

Service and support from PBT Rožnov

Communication between Telux and Ersa is handled by the Czech partner company PBT Rožnov. “PBT Rožnov´s service and support are on a very professional level. PBT technicians are well trained and the response to our questions takes place within 24 hours. The installation and commissioning of the new equipment was also carried out absolutely professionally and smoothly. There have been no significant incidents during the five years that we have Ersa systems in operation,” praises Managing Director Jozef Sadlek. From today´s point of view, Telux can even say that five years ago they chose the VERSAFLOW selective soldering technology for the perfectly fitting system – especially in view of the urgently needed flexibility. “We have made great efforts to find the best solution. Telux is one of my favourite customers – not only because we were able to place five machines there, but also because of the really very good partnership and the close relationship between the companies involved,” says Michal Duda, PBT Rožnov´s sales manager, who has been friendly with the company for 15 years. As a recipe for success for the Telux/Ersa/PBT cooperation, the PBT man sees the downstream support by the dynamic service team in addition to the advisory support on the way to the installation of powerful systems. “If there should be a problem, one of our colleagues is on site within a few hours to solve it – often we solve things via a TeamViewer call,” adds Michael Duda. Every year, the PBT team carries out 20 new installations in the region – in addition to the existing machines in the field. The increasing market share in Slovakia and the Czech Republic is probably due not least to the first-class support provided by PBT´s service technicians all over the country. New service colleagues are trained directly through the Ersa qualification programme and then go on tour with the experienced Ersa/PBT service technicians until they can be self-sufficient themselves.

Strong demand for top quality

“First: With the Ersa systems, we have succeeded in automating production to a greater extent – an important step, since it is not easy to find qualified specialist personnel. And secondly: the soldering quality and the overall quality of the placement have increased dramatically. Important prerequisites for our industrial electronics production with a pronounced need for very high quality,” is how Telux Managing Director Jozef Sadlek sums up the cooperation with Ersa systems over the past five years. Telux has a production facility that is as pretty as it is efficient. Product planning is always one year into the future, and the demand for hardware and machines is determined accordingly. Should there be a gap here, Telux knows how reliable and in what quality the Ersa machines perform their service – there is a very good chance that further systems will be delivered to Trebatice via PBT Rožnov …

Telux Electronics for different environments:

– Explosion-proof equipment for the mining industry
– Railroads
– Dental equipment and dental chairs
– Dental and medical compressors
– Automation
– Lighting engineering

Article Author

Radek Lauer Area Sales Manager, Ersa GmbH

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