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Manual coating of electronics is a thing of the past at Rommtech. The automated coating process is now completed with the installation of the PVA Infra Red curing oven by Smans. Rommtech produces electronics for customers and ascertained there was an increase in the demand for the coating of electronics. Stricter regulations and guidelines for electronic application in harsh environments is an important cause for the growing demand. The new process makes sure that the coating is of better quality, that the process is reproducible, working conditions are improved and more printed circuit boards are coated in the same time.
The old coating process
With the old coating process nothing was automated. The printed circuit boards were coated manually and placed in a dryer afterwards. This process had three major disadvantages.
The first disadvantage is quality. The quality of the automated process is much higher, and the quality is therefore more consistent. The old process was not reproducible which means the quality of the coating was not consistent.
The second disadvantage had to do with harmful substances, which were released during the process. By doing everything in-line and automatically, the employees are much less in contact with these substances. This improved the working conditions dramatically.
The third disadvantage was speed. The old process was more time consuming. By using two PVA coating machines and the PVA Infra Red curing oven, more printed circuit boards are coated in the same amount of time.
The automated coating process fits Rommtech’s client portfolio extremely well. In almost every market segment that Rommtech participates in, there is an increasing demand for coated printed circuit boards. However, an automated coating process is a big investment. A specific project has accelerated the decision to invest. The electronics of a client had to be applied in an ATEX environment. This means the coating was important to preclude whisker formation. The old coating procedures were not able to meet the specific demands the client had set for the electronics. If the investment had not been made, the project would have fallen through because of the inability to meet the requirements of the client. Now that the machines are installed, other clients will benefit from the perfect and consistent quality of the coatings.
Set up and installation of the coating process
The new coating process consists of two inline PVA coating machines and a PVA Infra Red Curing oven. Board handling was also needed to make the machines interact with each other. Smans was asked to advise and has supplied and installed the PVA machines in the end. Rommtech is very satisfied with the cooperation between Smans and themselves. Other machines have naturally been taken into account in the evaluation for this investment. However, the price of the PVA was most advantageous and Smans was able to supply the coating machine as well as the oven. Rommtech wishes only one supplier as point of contact for the operation of the complete coating process. Rommtech wants perfect quality coatings and has found a partner in Smans that garantuees that quality.
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