Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Increasing Quality of Life One Solution at a Time
Jay Wimer, Valtronic USA president, with the company's new JUKI systems.

Engineering, industrialization, and manufacturing of high-quality medical devices and related high reliability microelectronics are goals for Valtronic, a company headedquarterd in Valley de Joux, Switzerland and with facilities in the United States and Morocco. Customers include leading global suppliers of medical implants and devices, diagnostic imaging equipment, and sensitive aerospace and industrial assemblies. For more than 30 years, Valtronic has helped hundreds of companies develop and produce Class II and III medical devices and advanced miniaturized electronic assemblies in its worldwide facilities.

The company aligns itself with forward-thinking, experienced, reliable partners with a goal of becoming a world-recognized partner for innovative personal healthcare devices. For example, when the US facility, based in Solon, OH, expanded from 25,000 sq. ft. to 68,000 sq. ft., JUKI Automation Systems (www.jukiamericas.com) partnered with Valtronic to provide assistance in its commitment to manufacturing innovations. According to Valtronic President, Jay Wimer, "We analyzed several competitors and it became apparent that JUKI provided the equipment with the placement rate and quality to support the current and future growing business needs while keeping us ahead of our competition."

New Juki Equipment
This is Valtronic's first purchase of JUKI equipment, even though the firm has had a relationship with JUKI's independent sales representative, David Trail of Horizon Sales, for more than 20 years. Valtronic purchased two production lines in support of its surface mount technology (SMT), both installed at the end of April 2014. Each line includes a precision JUKI K3 fully automatic screen printer, a JUKI high-speed flexible parts placer KE-3020 VLN, and a JUKI RS800 eco-friendly reflow oven.

The K3 screen printer uses patented mathematical calculating algorithms to achieve 01-005 (0402 metric) printing accuracy. The printer was designed to handle requirements of different pressures on the front and rear squeegees and of the squeegee's leveling stability, helping to prevent solder paste leakage. In addition, the K3 screen printer offers a two-dimensional (2D) solder paste inspection system that immediately identifies any solder paste deposition defects at critical locations.
The Valtronic USA facility is 68,000 sq. ft. powered by innovative technologies.

The KE-3020 VLN high-speed parts placer is a flexible system for high-density parts placement. From placing a wide range of components such as 01005s (0402) and integrated circuits (ICs) to odd-form devices, the system achieves high accuracy and speed. Placement speeds range up to 17,100 chips per hour (CPH) (vision centering/effective tact). The multiple-nozzle laser head includes six nozzles plus one high-resolution head. Component sizes range from 01005 to 47 x 47mm components.

The eco-friendly RS series reflow oven includes an independent air velocity controlling system that allows for flexible processing control. The efficiency of this machine provides energy savings while lowering carbon emissions. By filtering air or nitrogen gas (N2) back to its oven chamber, the reflow oven reduces thermal loss while getting better flux reclamation.

Valtronic purchased the line to help accomplish three goals:

  • Quality: The line will enable the company to keep its core competency in miniaturization, offering quality-driven products from a state-of-the-art line of equipment.
  • Repeatability: The line will allow Valtronic to recognize cost savings compared to its current equipment.
  • Support of the light-emitting-diode (LED) lighting business: The line will provide the capability to handle the parts size requirements necessary to enter the LED lighting business. Wimer added: "The LED lighting market is an emerging market with only around 2 percent of the market being covered in the United States and, therefore, providing high growth potential."

Flexibility to Change
Valtronic attempts to be flexible and change as necessary to meet the needs of the industry, so exploring the LED lighting segment is par for the company. Throughout its history, the firm has experienced a great deal of success when entering new markets. For example, in 1999, Valtronic re-examined its market positions at that time and began looking for different opportunities. Before moving to medical electronics markets, Valtronic USA had established a strong history in telecommunications. After researching medical electronics opportunities, it became clear that Valtronic needed to establish itself in the growing medical field. The company shifted marketing and sales focus to drive medical sales, specifically electronic device miniaturization as a core competency.

Because few manufacturers deal with bare die technology in efforts to achieve miniaturized electronic solutions, Valtronic recognized the increased demand and changes in requirements for some medical implants and embarked on installing a cleanroom within the company. The cleanroom is a particulate-controlled environment and a great aid to the design and manufacture of electronic devices for medical applications. It is yet another reason that the company has done well since entering the medical electronics market.

In addition to this cleanroom, in 2013 Valtronic added a BioBurden ISO Class 8 cleanroom to handle demands for specific customers' products. The cutting-edge 288 sq. ft. facility qualifies temperature, humidity, and contamination controls. It provides Valtronic with the capability to package electronic and mechanical assemblies in a pouch ready for ethylene oxide (EtO) sterilization. This completes the production chain for customers' products, and allows Valtronic to provide a complete contract manufacturing solution for active implants. The company's Morocco facility also has an ISO7/ISO8 cleanroom.

According to Wimer, "Our success has been achieved by organic growth due to our presence and performance as a valued supplier over the years." The company's product quality, capabilities with miniaturization and FDA registration have contributed to its success. Wimer expects an increase in the integration of the supply chain as customers continue to demand more service from contract manufacturers, including quality management of suppliers (regulatory compliance from suppliers). Wimer also expects LED lighting to become a significant addition to the product portfolio, as the company continues down the path of personal healthcare devices in the medical market.

In any case, Valtronic's customers come to the firm to receive world-class standards in product design and development, industrialization and production. They are global customers and expect effective solutions. As Wimer notes: "Failure is not an option." The JUKI lines will help Valtronic continue exceeding its customers' needs while enhancing quality of life through its technologically-leading solutions.

Contact: Valtronic USA, 29200 Fountain Pkwy., Solon, OH 44139 440-349-1239 E-mail: jwimer@valtronic.com Web:

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