Bratislava, High Tatras and Petra Vlhová (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 1, 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 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, and in 2005 the first SMT line was installed, increasing sales year after year. Production was becoming increasingly cramped, so that Jozef Sadlek, after careful consideration, decided to build a new plant in nearby Trebatice – also in order 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 for further growth had a visible and tangible counterpart – the basis for a real leap in sales was starting: in 2011, the company recorded a full growth of 67 percent.
High quality, high productivity, high flexibility
With continuously increasing sales within the following years, the next technology update became 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 production goes to the Slovakian market, to the Czech Republic, components for mining and explosion-protected assemblies. Other interesting customers are also located in Germany, including the Adam Hall Group for professional music equipment based in Neu-Anspach in Hesse. Wherever the components are used, high-quality standards are applied, which made it clear that only top soldering systems that are able to produce at this level could be considered. The company assembles around 700 different types of printed circuit boards– 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, the company opted for a Versaflow 3/45 selective soldering system. Previously, there were extensive tests to verify whether the Ersa soldering systems could actually deliver the desired results. This included a visit to the Enics site in Nova Dubnica, Slovakia (an Ersa customer with headquarters in Switzerland), to inspect the system. This included analyzing possible layouts and configurations in real production and developing a feeling for the best solution.
Bringing productivity leaps
At the same time, PBT Rožnov, the Czech Ersa representative for many years, who is also responsible for Slovakia, calculated how to optimally design the processes in the direction of productivity. The PCBs to be produced were 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. The company switched to 2-shift operation – which became problematic from the production organization´s point of view. The logical consequence was for management to follow the first soldering machine with a second Versaflow 3/45, in order to return to a 1-shift operation. Parallel to the first selective soldering machine, Telux also ordered a 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 has been established on the market and can be ordered ex works with integrated 100 % inspection in 3D. Last year, the company again added to its list and at the same time acquired two further 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, as well as, a full tunnel wave soldering system, Powerflow eN2, ideally suited for cost-optimized wave soldering in a nitrogen atmosphere.
Service and support
Communication between Telux and Ersa is handled by the Czech partner company. “PBT Rožnov´s service and support are on a very professional level. Their 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, the company 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 favorite customers – not only because we were able to place five machines there, but also because of the very good partnership and 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 this cooperation, PBT 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 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 program and then go on tour with the experienced 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 sums up the cooperation 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, they know how reliable and in what quality the machines perform their service – there is a very good chance that further systems will be delivered to Trebatice via PBT Rožnov.
productronica, Booth A4-162, A4-171
Telux Electronics for different environments:
- Explosion-proof equipment for the mining industry
- Dental equipment and dental chairs
- Dental and medical compressors
- Lighting engineering
Aufgrund des kontinuierlichen Wachstums war bei einem Slowakischen Hersteller elektronischer Geräte das nächste Technologie-Update fällig, wofür ein Systemlieferant mit einer Vielzahl von Löttechnologien unterstützt – darunter Selektivlöttechnik und Schablonendruck.
Suite à une croissance continue, une nouvelle mise à niveau technologique était à l‘ordre du jour chez un fabricant slovaque d‘appareils électroniques pour lesquels un fournisseur de systèmes apporte son concours à diverses technologies de brasage – y compris la technologie de brasage sélectif et la sérigraphie.
В связи с непрерывным ростом один из словацких производителей электронных устройств принял решение провести очередное технологическое обновление. Системный поставщик оказал ему значительную поддержку, предложив на выбор множество технологий пайки, включая технологии селективной пайки и трафаретной печати.