Surface mounted device (SMD) electronics storage

Optimization of electronic component production

Zollner Elektronik AG is a leading EMS provider in Germany that develops and manufactures electronic components and mechatronic systems. The company employs more than 8,000 people at 16 sites worldwide.

Efficiency, flexibility and the finest quality are the hallmarks of production at Zollner, where SMDs (Surface Mounted Devices) are manufactured on five assembly lines at the company's facilities in Untergeschwandt, Germany. The product range includes electronic components, small modules and controllers for industrial, aerospace and security applications.

Material and parts must be available at all times to ensure that manual and automated manufacturing processes run smoothly and without interruption. When Zollner merged two of its facilities, more space was needed to store the extensive range of items needed for production. Thanks to space-saving Hänel storage systems, Zollner was able to reorganize its storage area for SMD production and extend capacity considerably.

When material is put into the storage systems, a photoelectric light beam measures the height of the items. This enables the systems to automatically determine the best storage position for each item – up to 60 percent of the space normally required can thus be saved. 

Almost all of the 7,000 diverse items needed for assembly are roll products which are stored on reels in the Hänel systems. The SAP host system prints out parts lists for every new job.

Based on this information, the items are retrieved from four Hänel Lean-Lifts® and delivered in batches to the five assembly lines.

When employees scan the barcodes on the lists, or enter article numbers using the touch screen on the Hänel control terminal, the systems quickly transport the correct containers to the access points. The simultaneous operation of several Lean-Lifts® considerably improves picking performance.

What's more, a complete inventory status report is always available thanks to the microprocessor controllers that communicate with the SAP host system through a specially programmed interface.

All containers have an antistatic finish to prevent ESD damage. Containers can be easily pulled out of the systems at each retrieval point for convenient access to the reels in storage. Even the plastic sliders for the containers have a resistance of less than 10.6 ohms. The folding rails at both sides of the retrieval area are used to hold the carrier when pulled out of the lift system – they are equipped with antistatic plastic rollers.

All Lean-Lifts® are connected to the earthing system at the Zollner facility. This system is inspected at regular intervals. In addition to ESD protection, all sensitive electronic items stored in the Hänel systems are shielded from light and dust.