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In their study "Switch Cabinet Construction 4.0" by the Institute for Control Engineering of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Units, researchers at the University of Stuttgart found that in classic switch cabinet construction, the planning and installation phases take up a large part of the working time. To be more precise, the steps of project planning and circuit diagram construction tie up more than 50 percent of the working time in planning. In installation, the many manual activities even take up more than 70 percent of the working time.

Optimized processes in control cabinet construction

With its Workplace Solutions, WEIDMÜLLER, a specialist for electrical connection technology based in Detmold, Germany, is therefore dedicated to optimizing processes in control cabinet construction with perfectly coordinated solutions for every station in the production chain. This essentially includes the assembly of the mounting rail, the cable assembly and the labeling of the components and the control cabinet. For the latter, WEIDMÜLLER has long had fast, reliable and consistent marking systems in its range under the designation MultiMark and MultiCard. For example, the modularly designed thermal transfer printers of the MultiMark series and the M-Print PRO configuration software can be used to quickly and individually mark insert plates, labels or shrink sleeves. Whether large print volumes or even one-offs, the devices are always expected to deliver cost-effective results that are also easy to read and resistant to environmental influences. Additional simplification is provided by receptacles in many mounting rail components, into which markers or signs are simply clicked or snapped.

When will the fiddling be over?

Nevertheless, no control cabinet builder can do without self-adhesive markers. For these cases, WEIDMÜLLER has its THM printers on offer. They can be used to easily create self-adhesive labels for clear, structured, unambiguous and legible marking. However, one problem always remained unsolved: Unlike snap-on markers, each individual label must be manually detached from the backing film and applied to the component. Ideally, a special pair of tweezers is available for this purpose, but in most cases, a screwdriver or similar tool that has been misused for other purposes will suffice. In any case, however, this work remains laborious and time-consuming - and in the end, often not even the result is convincing. Sometimes the label is crooked, sometimes it wrinkles, sometimes it protrudes beyond the edge of the device. In any case, it doesn't make a professional impression.

Suddenly everything happens very quickly

But that's all about to change. WEIDMÜLLER has now developed the THM MultiMark LPC (Labeling Processing Center) for automatic component labeling as the final solution to this old nuisance. Thanks to this hitherto unique system, equipment labels are now correctly positioned, printed and applied. The new high-performance applicator independently lifts the label from the liner and reliably attaches it to components up to 120 millimeters high. This means that even larger parts can be labeled without any problems. The labeling process itself is kept very simple. To ensure correct positioning of the label, a laser integrated as standard first projects the label outline onto the product surface without distortion. While the user holds the component in position by hand, a step on the foot switch starts the printing and application process. The process is just as ergonomic as it sounds - and it's fast, too. Unlike applying a label manually, which usually takes 15-20 seconds, the labeling process with the THM MultiMark LPC takes just three to five seconds. And with identical components, the time savings are even somewhat greater thanks to adjustable stops on the base plate.

And how does the colorful get onto the square?

In addition, the new THM MultiMark LPC, like all printers in the WEIDMÜLLER MultiMark series, can be configured using the M-Print PRO software. This in turn is compatible with various data formats and interfaces to E-CAD systems and has a practical import function. The software's graphical user interface is designed for ease of use, allowing graphics, barcodes and symbols to be easily combined with text. More complex project tasks can also be clearly managed in a project file.

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