E-reon BV located in Rhoon (NL) is a world class leader in design & development of High Power RF/Microwave hardware (modules and systems) for industrial, commercial, aerospace and defense markets. Many of their clients are world renowned companies that rely on E-reon to help the further innovation of this market segment.
Photo: Essemtec Fox Pick & Place and IBL Vapor Phase Soldering machines at E-reon
The applications that E-reon is focusing on are very wide, ranging from passive modules for aerospace and defense, RF heating solutions for industrial and medical applications, to fully customized turn key solutions. All with one thing in common: highest quality and reliable electronics.
Also in high end quality demanding markets such as these, the time to market and fast response to changing requirements is of the essence. In order to make sure that the company stays on top of the game, it has recently invested in the Essemtec Fox Pick & Place with integrated dispenser and the IBL Vapor phase soldering system BLC.
“Before this investment we were dependent on external companies to produce our prototypes” says Andreas Koroulis, Owner at E-reon. “This was adding logistical effort and was prohibiting us from optimizing our DFM practices. An additional challenge was the complexity of our assemblies that requires placement of components into cavities like in cases of metal back PCB’s.”
Tri band quad channel coherent exciter for Industrial heating (850 components double side placement)
L-band (radar) amplifier module. The Fox has dispensed paste in the transistor cavity as also performed the placement
In addition to the placement challenges, also the soldering process required a solution for soldering high mass components into cavities and DBC solid copper backplates to PCB's. A challenge that led the company to the IBL vapor phase machine that from the very first test made a perfect soldering result.
Since the implementation of the rapid prototyping center, the company has been able to drastically reduce the time to market, increase its process engineering knowledge which helps the quality of their future designs and innovations. The company’s customers now have the unique possibility to have both their development and production at the same supplier.
2.4GHz 250W power amplifier module. Metal back pcb. Fox: Performed the application of solder paste in transistor cavities and leads, as also on components pads, and performed the placement. IBL: sweat soldering and components soldering
320W 2.4GHz power amplifier pallet. Same as above. Solder dispense in two cavities and leads.
“Thanks to our production machines, we have managed to bring the assembly time down to 2 days while outsourcing of complex PCB assemblies would require a turnaround time of more than 30-45 days; and this for “every design respin”, according to Andreas. “The flexibility in programming the Essemtec FOX and its capabilities in operating in a 2.5D placement and dispensing environment, have driven us to almost abandon any manual soldering of even small and simple PCB protos. At the same time the machine can be configured for serial production and generate revenue for the Company, something we were hesitant to offer in our portfolio of services, but now has become a significant part of our business.”
“A company such as E-reon makes me proud to be part of this industry.”, says Tom Van Tongelen, CEO at smd-tec. “It once again demonstrates that with the choice of the right machine and hard work, the local realization of innovative products is achievable, and paves the way for a prosperous future of electronics design and production in our region.”