November 4, 2015
Robotics and Industry 4.0: productronica shows the future of component mount technology in the SMT cluster
Increasingly smaller and more affordable: Smartphones, tablets and other devices have taken our communication by storm. This development was made possible by surface mount technology (SMT) and the resulting miniaturization potential and reductions in costs and weight. So what is next? Answers can be found in the SMT cluster in Halls A1 through A4. productronica takes place in Munich from November 10 to 13, 2015.
The SMT industry is in a state of flux. Manufacturers must be able to supply their customers around the world with constantly changing products including multiple variants in short periods of time—and they are passing this pressure on to electronics manufacturers. New production concepts are needed to continue meeting requirements. Günter Lauber, CEO, ASM SMT Solutions Segment, says: “There is a clear trend toward intelligent manufacturing—the catchword here is Industry 4.0. It is the only way that electronics manufacturers can produce with optimum flexibility and efficiency.” However, topics such as networked systems, automation, process integration and material flow optimization are all very demanding in their own right. “The task for us suppliers and partners is to transform electronics manufacturing in a concrete manner, one step at a time,” explains Lauber. “As an international trade fair, productronica is an important gathering for visitors, particularly in times of radical change. After all, this is where they orient themselves to strong suppliers.” At this year's productronica, under the motto ‚Smart #1 SMT Factory‘, ASM is presenting new placement modules, feeders without belts, new stencil printers and the first expert system that automatically optimizes the SMT process, among other things.
Hand in hand with “coworker robot”
To continue meeting manufacturers' growing requirements, manufacturing and small-part assembly in the electronics sector must take a new approach in the future. Robotics plays a significant role in that process. (Small-part) Assembly in particular calls for extremely flexible and self-configuring automation that is safe and easy to use alongside people. Which is why productronica 2015 will focus on robotics: For the first time ever, well-known robot manufacturers will present robot systems that can be integrated into production lines in the SMT cluster. For example, Kurtz Ersa, a system supplier for selective soldering systems, is introducing the new Ersa ROBOPLACE collaborative robot with flexible two-arm technology that can be used in front of selective and wave soldering systems. Ersa ROBOPLACE performs placement tasks that used to be performed manually in the feed section of the selective soldering system for THT components for technically demanding flat assemblies that are used in industry and the automotive sector, for example. Rainer Kurtz, Chairman of Kurtz Ersa, says: “Our solution allows employees to focus on more important tasks. It makes it possible to consistently implement lean concepts in conjunction with the SMART factory and paves the way for Factory 4.0.”
The Robotics exhibition sector is being organized by the VDMA's Productronics Association and includes first-rate lectures at the SMT Speakers Corner (Hall A1).
In addition to component mount technology, the SMT cluster also includes measuring and testing technology, quality assurance, production logistics and material-flow technology, soldering and joining technology for PCBs and product finishing.
Please keep in mind that journalists may have themselves accredited online: productronica.com/trade-fair/for-the-press/accreditation/