October 12, 2012
When Errors Can Cost Lives
Elektrometal produces quality products for the gas and mining industries.
Electronic devices used in an explosive environment must meet the highest quality standards. Therefore, Poland-based Elektrometal collaborates with the Swiss manufacturer Essemtec for its electronics production equipment and experience.
Elektrometal SA in Cieszyn (PL) has been producing mining equipment since 1948. In later years, the company, which is located at the Polish/Czech border, was privatized and continuously has expanded its product range and production capabilities.
Today, more than 300 employees work for Elektrometal, which is known as the leading manufacturer of quality products throughout the Polish, Russian and other gas and mining industries. The product range includes ex-proof lighting, valves, switches, network and automation components. These products are used in areas where any error can cost lives. Therefore, quality is most important.
Large Production Depth Ensures Quality
Elektrometal has turned a weakness into a strength: During its early years, in a socialist environment, it was difficult to get product components in the needed quality and in the required time. Therefore, Elektrometal began to produce many parts on its own. Today, this is one of the strengths of the enterprise because Elektrometal can produce with some independence of suppliers and distribution channels.
For example, Elektrometal has its own metal processing department, electro-plating, powder coating and electronic production. Due to the large production depth, the company can control nearly any step of the production chain. As a result, the company can react very quickly and flexibly on customer demands and market needs, and the product quality is excellent.
Combine Quality and Flexibility
Elektrometal's SMD production is a typical high-mix production. Two to four changeovers per day are common and batch sizes vary between a dozen up to a few thousand prints. Additionally, the development department requires prototypes and zero series in small quantities but excellent quality.
Such a demanding production requires machines that are highly flexible and that can produce high-quality prints from the first print on. This is exactly the type of machines that the Essemtec specializes in. Furthermore, Essemtec offers local support in Poland and Czech Republic. Therefore, it is ideal for Elektrometal to collaborate with Essemtec Switzerland.
The center piece of the first automatic electronics production line is Essemtec's CSM7100 flexible SMD pick-and-place. This machine features a large feeder capacity and exactly matches the requirements. The production line is completed with an SP002 manual fine-pitch printer and an RO400FC full convection reflow oven.
Due to a production volume increase, a Pantera-XV pick-and-place also was installed recently. This system offers even more feeder capacity, a larger placement area, wider component range than the CSM7100 and additionally precise optical component alignment. However, both machines are equipped with the same feeder types, use the same pick-and-place programs and the same operation software. Therefore, production can be planned and scheduled very flexibly between the two lines. With these machines from Essemtec, Elektrometal can combine quality and flexibility in the way it is required for its production.
Important Quality Management
Only a well implemented quality management system ensures that the quality level can be guaranteed over time. This is why Elektrometal SA was one of the first companies in Poland to be certified according to the ISO9001 standard. Today, the company also has an ISO14001 certification (environment) and a PN-N 18001 certification (work safety) and additional quality systems connected with the European New Approach Directives like ATEX, EMC, MD and MID.
Elektrometal's quality management in the field of the electronics production is exemplary. Due to regular machine maintenance and staff education by its partner Essemtec, the extremely high-quality standard can be guaranteed and even improved upon. Therefore, workers in the gas industry and miners working in explosion risk environments can completely rely on the safety and the quality of Elektrometalís products.
For more information visit http://www.essemtec.com
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