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Switch Cabinet Construction

Reduction of manufacturing costs and improved quality through customized levels of automation

The assembly of cables in switch cabinet construction is still mostly carried out completely without any support from automated machinery. Skilled specialists manually process the cable and wire the cabinet according to an electrical diagram, with cables being individually cut to length, stripped, crimped, marked and wired. This takes a lot of time. However, the assembly of cables in the construction of switch cabinets has an enormous potential for automation. Optimum solutions do exist, from semi-automatic assembly for the production of one-off units and small series to fully automated production in large-scale manufacturing.

> Find out more about switch cabinet construction automation in our video

Time is money – Consideration of timings

The conventional method of wiring a switch cabinet involves the use of pliers and tags and the reading of electrical diagrams. Of course this is a flexible way of working – if you have enough time!
 

With the traditional mode of operating you would need 105 seconds per cable. If the switch cabinet requires 500 cables, the employee would need 14.6 hours!

With suitable automation, the time per cable can be halved. Thonauer brings you the solutions you need. The prerequisite for this is that the wire lengths are known and inkjet printing is acceptable.

Depending on the solution approach and the type of production, automated cable processing can save up to 50 % compared to the current methods of operation. However, not only can a lot of time and money be saved in cable processing, but also in the wiring activity itself. 

 

Thonauer offers automation solutions for all sizes and quantities

 

Individual solutions

All of our automation solutions are ideal for both one-off and series production of control cabinets.

 

The result

Automating cable assembly results in ready-to-install cables that are cut to the correct length, assembled and inkjet-printed. The cable ends have been fitted with end ferrules, crimp contacts, MIL crimps or processed using ultrasonic compaction methods. Individual marking not only fulfills the marking requirements, but also makes it easier to wire the strands in the control cabinet.

 


 

For the small switch cabinet builder


The first step in automation is machine cutting, stripping and crimping. As an option, even the marking process can be automated here.

 

Cutting / stripping / printing

Komax Kappa family 
for cutting and stripping. An inkjet printer prints during the same working step.

 

Ferrules

Zoller + Fröhlich 
Up to five different ferrules can be clamped at the same time, and are ready to process. 

 

Cable lugs

 
WDT table press
Any kind of cable lug can be crimped with a WDT table press.

 


 

For the medium-sized switch cabinet builder


Higher volumes require either more staff or a higher degree of automation. The first option can be excluded for cost reasons, so Thonauer offers the right machinery that allows output to increase significantly with a level of investment that is manageable.

 

Cutting / stripping / printing / ferrule crimping

The Komax Alpha 355S automated cutting, stripping, crimping and printing all in one operation. Special processes such as compacting and tinning are also available as an option.

Komax Alpha 355S

 

Cutting / stripping / printing / ferrule crimping,

wire change without retooling

On the Zeta 630, up to 36 wires and up to five different ferrules are ready for processing at the same time. The processing has been made even more accurate by bundling the cut cables. The cables are prepared for processing.

Komax Zeta 630


 

For big players in switch cabinet construction


The highest degree of automation is achieved with the Komax Omega 740 / 750. Up to eight processing stations process up to 36 different wires in a range of cross-sections from 0.13 to 6 mm². Finally, the machine independently wires the terminal blocks.

 

The strands that have been fitted with ferrules or compacted are automatically inserted into the terminal block in the block-loader.

 

> Further solutions are available on request from Thonauer.

 

State of the art cable processing

The basis for the optimized automation of cable assembly within control cabinets is the availability of electronic data such as cable length, marking and the processing of the cable ends. These data are converted from a wiring list to a cutting job, or even generated directly via an ECAD system. If the data are not available in electronic form, they can usually be conveniently programmed using machine software.


Data transfer from the ECAD to the machine

 

Sequence of the automatic production of complete wire harnesses

› Elimination of human input errors
› Changes can be made in a single system - the ECAD
› The cable marking always matches the definition in the diagram

 

 

The future of switchgear construction

Engineering | Procurement | Production | Commissioning

 

CONNECTED 4 PRODUCTIVITY is an initiative by a number of companies in the control and switchgear sector. They are positioned in different areas of the development process and thus able to offer a range of solutions, from design to production. Starting from an initiative at WEIDMÜLLER, a global manufacturer of components for electronics and electrical connection technology, WEIDMÜLLER, Thonauer, EPLAN, RITTAL, and SONEPAR are working together to optimize the processes in the manufacture of control equipment and switchgear.

 

 

Thonauer’S CONTRIBUTION

The assembly of cables in the construction of switch cabinets still largely takes place without any support from automated machinery, and so there is an enormous potential for automation. Optimum solutions do exist, from semi-automatic assembly for the production of one-off units and small series to fully automated production in large-scale manufacturing.

The basis for the optimized automation of cable assemblies within control cabinets is the availability of electronic data such as cable length, marking and the processing of the cable ends. These data are converted from a wiring list to a cutting job, or even generated directly via an ECAD system such as EPLAN Pro Panel.

Automating cable assembly results in ready-to-install cables that are cut to the correct length, inkjet-printed and sorted and bundled in the right order for wiring. The cable ends have been fitted with end ferrules, crimp contacts, MIL crimps or processed using ultrasonic compaction methods.

Depending on the solution approach and the type of production, automated cable processing can save up to 50 % compared to the current methods of operation. However, not only can a lot of time and money be saved in cable processing, but also in the wiring activity itself. 

 

Processes

An integrated flow of data from design to installation means that switchgear can be produced according to demand, just-in-time and with repeatable results. The time savings and inventory reductions can bring down overall process costs significantly.

 

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