Interview: Michael Hanke

Rehm had one of the most innovative booths at Productronica last November. Trevor Galbraith looked at some fascinating Augmented Reality software that can be used for process monitoring, machine maintenance or training.

Michael. What are the recent upgrades you have made to your larger reflow machines?

Nowadays in SMT reflow production, they’re using smaller components and these smaller components must be safely reflowed. For this additional process step, we integrated the vacuum process, which is a very stable and reliable process, which also dramatically reduces the voids using this safe process.

Are you typically getting below five percent voids?

We typically go down to less than two percent of voids. It’s dependent on the product and depends on the customer. So we can adjust it and have a stable process with these prefigured conditions. They are always the same thing.

Michael, I noticed this machine is fitted with your new VICON software interface, which is a very sophisticated and it also communicates with virtually any of the software control packages that are out there at the moment. So can you tell us a bit more about is the transparency of the data? 

We provide digital information with our newest software, the VICON software. It’s a software that acts as the base for industrial 4.0, to share the information to our upper host system. The host system is able to transfer data to, for example, a smartphone, or to an App where we can also get this information and in the future we transfer it also to Hollow Lens. Holo Lens is a technology we are demonstrating here at the show where the machine instructs the operator what to do.

I had to look at your hollow Lens glasses, and they are phenomenal. It’s not a virtual reality system. It’s a combined Mixed reality. 

Mixed reality is the right word. Why? Because it’s really the reality, you a really in front of this machine and you also have the information on a head-up display where you will be an informed about actual temperatures, actual process specifications, actual data that you get very quick and easily. And also the system guides you in the case of service warranties, how to remove a filters or components – how to do it.

It literally takes you step-by-step through the process of changing filters and doing the maintenance. 

Yes, this is a, also a safety instrument, guiding the engineers how to do it the right way at the same time. If not, then you will get a signal that this was wrong.

It’s going to save a lot of time and money in training as well.

Yes, also in education. Nowadays you have people that are not as well trained. This is simply the reality. Secondly, you do not have so many guys available to do this work. So you learn to train quickly and in an, efficient way. This is an easy way to do it everywhere in the world, independent from the language, because you have symbols, they are very easy to understand and this is our target, to reduce time, save money, and to train them the best way.

So the other really cool thing you have is similar to a 3d printing process that creates screened off areas, like cans almost, where you can then dam and fill, or even use for protecting and hiding the devices and components underneath. Can you explain a little bit about that, and how it works?

The basis is built around our coating machine where we also have the possibility to create a 3D form. A 3D form which you can dam and fill around a surface area and you can fill up this surface with a different material later on. You can also protect your product that you could secure also the copy of the product. In certain markets this is very, very important. And last but not least, the system is very flexible because nowadays you need a plastic mold that you fill and put a cover on it. With our process, you can do it individually by your own and be very flexible without the need to create a mold. So cost-wise this is very cheap and very flexible.

It’s just superb system. For protecting IP, for military use, where you don’t want to see the electronics, it really is a fantastic idea.

Yes, it’s also idea in case of the electronic vehicles or individual drivers. No one knows if its a man or a women driving the car, so all electronics should be safe and this is one method to protect the controls and this helps the industry to do it using the Protecto system.

Do you have a name for the process? 

3D coating is our name for that? We are not a like a 3D printer because we have more knowledge about Dam and Fill and how to use special material and this is very flexible like the rapid prototyping. So we can also use this in production, so it’s not only prototype, it’s a real production tool.

Michael, thank you very much for talking to us today.



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