With its latest technical innovation, Ersa offers an alternative to conventional, manual assembly soldering. The soldering robot Ersa SOLDER SMART is equipped with a high-precision and low-maintenance axis system that, in combination with a solder wire feeder and the integrated powerful 150W i-TOOL industrial soldering iron, solders electronic assemblies precisely and reproducibly. "With the soldering robot, we can do both spot and drag soldering. Thanks to the accurate and reliable wire feeder, we are thus able to create precise THT solder joints. This reproducibility makes the SOLDER SMART a real alternative to manual soldering, especially for small series, prototype constructions or tasks that cannot be completed with a selective soldering system," explains Julian Greß, Ersa Product Manager Tools and Rework.
Especially in applications where conventional selective soldering systems reach their limits, the SOLDER SMART is being used more and more often. “If, for example, cable strands are to be soldered on a board, the soldering joints may not be accessible with a spot nozzle or mini wave, or the stranded wire may not be fixed on the surface when soldering at the bottom of the PCB,” says Greß and describes the challenge, which many electronics manufacturing companies are facing.
Usually, these tasks are completed by manual soldering afterwards. "However, in some industries, such as the automotive supply industry, this is not allowed. We have many customers in these industries who use the SOLDER SMART for soldering cables to the assembly and benefit from its reproducible process," Greß continues.
In addition, major manufacturers of communication and multimedia applications in automotive manufacturing are now relying on the SOLDER SMART. Carriers and adapters customized to the assembly help to fix those and, in the case of cables or other flexible materials, to position them at the soldering point. Ersa develops these auxiliary tools together with customers, customized to their individual needs. "But there are also other applications for which the soldering robot can ideally be used, such as soldering PCBs which are connected to housings or soldering in cavities," says Greß.
The SOLDER SMART has an x-y axis system with a 500 x 400 mm working range. The soldering tip is positioned precisely at the soldering point by a dual separated z-axis. "The z-axis is not operated by a pneumatic cylinder, like it is usually the case, but works completely electrically. This allows any desired soldering position to be approached smoothly and steplessly." says Greß.
Furthermore, the soldering iron and wire feeder can approach the soldering joint from each side via a rotary axis. "To achieve the highest possible throughput, we have equipped the soldering robots with an exchangeable double drawer system. During the soldering process, the second drawer can be pulled out and loaded with the next unsoldered assembly," Greß explains. Additionally, the soldering robot comes fully equipped with a soldering tip cleaning system that uses rotating brushes to remove waste solder from the tips before they are used.
"Our soldering robot is capable of programming single soldering joints, flow soldering with pre-soldered soldering tips at contact distances, as well as soldering recurring assemblies or in a line soldering process," Greß clarifies the various soldering processes that can be covered with the soldering robot. In order to achieve a high-quality solder joint, parameters like solder wire feeder, preheating time and soldering time can be precisely adjusted to the temperature heat that each solder joint requires individually. An integrated camera monitors and automatically saves all process steps, so that they are available for traceability at any time.
The protective hood of the SOLDER SMART, including LED lighting, protects the work area from contamination, prevents the operator from reaching in during operation and ensures a reliable soldering process.