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Switch Cabinet Construction

Solutions for cost-effective and efficient cable processing in the construction of switch cabinets

Installing cables in switch cabinet construction is still mostly carried out without any support from automated machinery at all.

Trained specialists manually process the cable and wire it up according to an electrical diagram, with cables being individually cut to length, stripped, crimped, marked and wired in place. This takes a lot of time.

However, the cable installation work when building switch cabinets has an enormous potential for automation.

 

There are some ideal solutions, from semi-automatic assembly for individual manufactures and very small production runs through to the fully automatic production of large series of units.

Time is money – especially in switch cabinet construction

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 there is enough time available.

Automation in switch cabinet construction

Using traditional methods, it can take as long as 105 seconds per wire. If you extrapolate this to cover a 500-wire cabinet, the employee needs 14.6 hours!

Using the right automation, the time per switch cabinet can be reduced by 8.3 hours. That's over 50% of the time saved.

Thonauer provides you with 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 produces large cost savings compared to 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 manufactures require a different solution for cable processing than mass production. Many different types of machines help with your automation.

We offer the ideal solutions for the following groups:

  • Small cabinet manufacturers: up to 5 cabinets a week
  • Medium sized cabinet manufacturers: Up to 25 cabinets a week
  • Big players in cabinet construction: over 26 cabinets a week

Thinking through cabinet production

Automating the cable assembly results in ready-to-install cables that are cut to the correct length, assembled and the markings inkjet-printed.

The cable ends have been fitted with end ferrules, crimp contacts or 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 switch cabinet.

These are the wire processing steps that our machines can automate

Stripping — Pressing the sleeve — Printing the cable — Cutting — AEH crimping

Stripping the cable

Stripping the cable by hand takes 5 seconds. Our machines manage to strip, cut, mark and press the sleeve in 5 seconds. With a consistently high quality.

To an overview of our stripping machines for cables and wires

Pressing the sleeves

Pressing the cable sleeve can become very laborious after several cables. First, one end is pressed, then positioned, and only then can the second end be pressed. With our cable processing machinery, these steps are carried out at the same time. Your employee only has to lay the cable in position in the control cabinet.

To an overview of our machines for pressing the sleeve

Printing the cable

A printed cable makes a lot of sense during installation and subsequent processing. Using a device to print on the cable, this process only takes 15 seconds. With just one machine, cable processing takes only 5 seconds, including with printing, stripping and sleeve pressing.

To an overview of the machines for cable marking

Cutting

Cutting takes only a few seconds. However, this process leaves a lot of waste material that falls to the ground in a messy way. Our machines carry out this process in less time and catch the waste in a controlled manner.

To an overview of the cable cutting machines

AEH crimping

For big players in switch cabinet construction, our machines also take on the crimping of ferrules. This saves you time in cable processing and produces a consistently high quality.

To an overview of the crimping machines

We can help you with a customized automation of your switch cabinet construction

State of the art in wire 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. 

 

Process flow

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.

 

We are happy to answer your questions personally by phone or e-mail.

Tel:+43 1 804 2871-0

info.vie@thonauer.com

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