SMD technology is the standard for electronic circuits. The main recipients for the produced circuit boards are car electronics, industrial electronics and telecommunications. The required components are applied with the greatest precision in just a few millimetres. The production lines this requires are somewhat larger. Moving them is one of the core activities of HARDER logistics from Neu-Ulm.
The business relocation specialist is a partner of renowned manufacturers in the industry, such as ACD-Elektronik, Liebherr Elektrotechnik, Rafi, Seho and IFM, to name but a few.
The trigger for moving these SMD production lines is almost always the optimisation or modernisation of the production process. The projects are generally planned so specifically two to three months in advance that a transport specialist is brought in. HARDER logistics discusses the SMD-specific challenges with the decision makers well in advance.
The challenges include
- Production in the tightest space, often on several floors,
- Bulky plants, e.g. soldering ovens up to nine metres long,
- Coordinating the various manufacturers within one line,
- The production lines are aligned using lasers,
- Relocation while the process keeps running,
- Special transport equipment for working in clean/ultra-clean rooms,
- Moving on the outside of the building
Production lines between 12 and 40 m long are typical for production. One component is arranged precisely behind the other. There may be up to 40 machines. For a relocation this means: a deviation of just one centimetre at the start can become up to half a metre at the end. That’s why “alignment must always be exact” is a very common saying at HARDER logistics.
The soldering ovens are the heart of the SMD process – not just in production, where temperatures of up to 260 °C are reached in this process. This component also gets special attention in terms of project logistics. If such a plant has to be replaced or moved, there are often spectacular scenes, in the the experience of HARDER logistics. This is due to the dimensions alone: up to 9 m in length. It is not unusual for such an oven to be on the third or fourth floor, and for it to be moved on the outside of the building. The highest precision and special equipment are the order of the day. HARDER logistics combines both professionally.
Working in a trio has proven successful for the dismantling and reassembly work, comprising at least one electronics technician, one mechanical engineering mechanic and one transport specialist. The team may grow to up to 20 staff depending on the size of the project.
HARDER logistics technical equipment
- 30 to 40 systems that are used specifically for this industry,
- Long lift trucks with high load-bearing capacity for internal transport,
- Switch cabinet transport trolley, suitable for high loads,
- ESD-protected rollers on transportation aids,
- Antistatic packaging material.
Replacing individual components on an operational production line is particularly challenging. The key factor here is to coordinate all parties involved so as to minimise production downtime. This means very tight time frames for the various participants. A successive process is possible for larger relocations. It is usual on such projects for the manufacturer to keep producing on the old lines, while work is undertaken on the production lines being restructured.
A recommendation from HARDER logistics:
the time frames should not be too tight. The individual machines often come from different manufacturers. It takes time to coordinate them during dismantling and set-up, including the acceptance certificate, before recommissioning can take place. The actual transport of such a line is comparatively quick at one to two working days.