Semiautomatic benchtop stripping and terminal press machine certainly are a staple of each and every harness assembly shop. They’re great for high-mix, low-volume wire processing applications. But, if you want to produce a huge number of identical crimped wires in a shift, you require a fully automatic cutting, stripping and crimping system.
Fully automatic machines are much faster and a lot more consistent than semiautomatic equipment. They are able to combine multiple operations in just one setup and automatically separate rejected leads.
Automatic equipment removes a persons element from high-volume wire processing applications, while improving quality and reducing costs. As an illustration, state-of-the-art automatic crimping machines can process wires at rates above 4,000 pieces an hour with absolute precision as well as in-process inspections.
However, manual crimping is vunerable to variations with the operator, for example prematurely positioning a wire in a terminal before crimping, causing mistakes and poor quality. Automatic machines eliminate this variation.
“Fully automatic machines need fewer operators to carry out the identical tasks,” says Erich Moeri, manager of applications engineering at Komax Corp. “Therefore, they are more effective. Generally, you may save money on floor space. There’s less equipment and you will eliminate some intermediate storage, for example the must store precut wires.
“Fully automatic machines will also supply a higher quality product, because of the integrated quality checks,” adds Moeri. “In addition, they provide a much higher output.”
“Wire harness shops can do more utilizing the same volume of human resources,” notes Rich Schwartz, v . p . of engineering at Schaefer Megomat USA Inc. “Fully automatic machines also allow shops to visit after more and larger jobs. Sometimes, a unit could buy itself in just a year.”
That’s important, because going from semi- to completely automatic equipment demands a big investment. While semiautomatic wire processing equipment can run $15,000 to $30,000, fully automated machines average $50,000 to $75,000. Engineers ought to avoid falling in the trap between machine capability and actual use around the plant floor.
Since today’s machines are engineered with quick change-overs at heart, most experts believe you will discover a area for fully automatic equipment in high-mix, low-volume wire processing applications.
As an example, Komax provides a machine especially for that. “The Zeta 633 crimping machine includes a wire sequencer option where one can have 36 different wires ready at the heavy duty cable strip cut machine at all times,” Moeri highlights. “Changing wire is completed with the click of your mouse.”
Engineers at many equipment suppliers have designed a number of quick-change features into their machines to significantly lower set-up time. Artos Engineering Co. recently unveiled the Cr.22, that may tackle a wide array of applications, for example weather sealing, crimping, twisting and tinning. Whilst the machine can handle low-volume runs requiring multiple change outs during production, in addition, it can accommodate high-volume runs.
“Diversity in production is essential,” says John Olsen, president of Artos Engineering. “Today, customers want options and suppleness.
“The factor to justifying a smart investment within an automatic method is to hold the equipment producing parts as efficiently as possible with minimal downtime,” explains Olsen. “Older automatic machines might take as much as 20 minutes to setup and alter in one job to a different one.
“This was acceptable when the machine could process 1000s of wire at a time and run for a long time from your initial set-up,” adds Olsen. “However, if a customer wish to operate a few hundred pieces and change to another one job, that amount of change-over time negates productivity.”
With quick-change carts, sensors that track wire core size, and all servo-driven technology, fully automatic machines could be create within seconds vs. minutes. Most new-generation machines also provide built-in quality checking features, which is essential for wire harness shops doing automotive-related applications.
“These varieties of customers are seeking machines that offer the very best amount of fully integrated quality checks,” says Moeri. “We offer equipment where operators begin by downloading ‘jobs’ from an enterprise resource planning system and check material in the machine utilizing a bar code scanner for process verification.
“Product quality concerns can be addressed by automatic crimp height measurements, crimp height adjustments, pull-force monitors and seal position analyzers,” Moeri highlights. “Afterwards, they may search for feedback in the product produced by automatically uploading critical information returning to the ERP system. That addresses traceability issues.”
User-friendly controls and software help make all of that possible. As an example, Schleuniger Inc.’s new CrimpCenter 36 S boasts efficient motor programming and internal Ethernet communication in addition to a maximum feed rate of 8 meters per second. In addition, it comes with a touch-screen monitor and intuitive operating software.
“The combination makes programming simple enough to ensure even novice operators quickly feel at ease,” says Gustavo Garcia-Cota, crimping product manager. “Standard TCP/IP protocol enables easy machine networking. The optional EASY ProductionServer software helps optimize order processing and allows engineers to check and gather valuable production data from practically around the globe.”
As wire gets smaller and smaller, it might be more challenging to deal with. Which will undoubtedly spur more investment in fully automatic equipment that will easily grip thin wire.
“Machines built with powerful servo motors and optimized programming from the process axes look after precise and fast motion sequences,” says Schwartz.
His company recently unveiled coax cable stripper that that will process wire as small as .08 millimeter squared.
“The Megomat 1000 comes with an unusually large array of wire cross sections that may be processed,” claims Schwartz. “It are equipped for approximately AWG 8 wire. And, the arrangement of your cutting blades dexjpky35 for very short wire overhangs.”
An application-controlled, adjustable wire guide system eliminates using tubes in the gripper. The programmable gripper jaw openings are automatically adjusted. “A large, two-side enabled swing radius of both gripper arms provides flexibility in realizing different applications,” says Schwartz.
However, regardless how much they embrace fully automatic equipment, most wire harness shops will need to have a few manual and semiautomatic machines accessible. Applications involving cables, large-gauge wire, twisted-pair leads and shielded wires consistently demand a few of these tools.