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Accounting for around 50 percent of processing time, wiring is one of the biggest "time wasters" in control and switchgear manufacturing. But how can companies speed up the assembly and wiring process and save costs while maintaining the same high quality? How can machine operation and production processes be simplified even further? And how can system manufacturers lay the foundations today for a technology that will still meet all requirements in ten years' time - and beyond! - still meet all requirements?

The answer comes from Central Hesse

The answer is provided by the Hessian system provider Rittal with its new fully automatic wire terminals: Wire Terminal WT C5 and C10. According to Rittal, wires with individual wire printing (black, white and light blue) and picking can be assembled ten times faster than by hand. The main advantages of the machines lie in the variety of combinations, the different ways in which wires can be dispensed and the support of downstream, digitally integrated and automated processes such as labeling, sorting and transport options. The technical basis of the all-rounders is a modular system structure that can be individually adapted and expanded in terms of both hardware and software depending on requirements. This means that users should also be ideally positioned for future requirements. According to Rittal, the amortization period is just 2.5 years from 300 enclosures per year.

Flexible expansion stages

Rittal offers the Wire Terminal WT in two different versions, plus flexible expansion stages. As an introduction to wire assembly, Rittal offers the WT C5 variant with five feed pots for wire end ferrules and wire end treatment for wire cross-sections from 0.5 to 2.5 square millimetres, including cutting to length, marking and crimping. The WT C10 variant has ten feed pots as standard for wire end ferrules up to a wire cross-section of six square millimetres. Both models can be upgraded to the full range of functions for the respective wire application.

Quick-change system for wires

The fully automatic machines, which are easy to operate via a 24-inch touch display, offer numerous improvements and new options, for example for feeding and dispensing the wires. Reliable wire feeding and simple, fast changeover to other wires is achieved via a new wire guide system with three feed blocks for a maximum of 36 wires - with 12 wire types per feed block. The feed blocks can be flexibly set up and changed using a quick-change system. An RFID transponder automatically secures the wire set-up. This makes it easy to change complete wire storage systems.

Process reliability with the highest quality

With up to ten feed bowls for the reliable feeding of loose wire end ferrules and easy refilling, the Wire Terminal WT C10 offers maximum flexibility and less set-up time for wire end processing. The use of a new technology crimper enables the processing of different ferrule lengths from eight to 18 millimetres. When stripping the wires, there is a choice between stepless partial and full stripping up to 20 millimetres. This new servo-motor technology crimper is designed to ensure the highest quality at all times.

Three ways of wire output

Depending on the requirements, the wires can be dispensed in a machine in three different ways: by ejection, optionally by rail system or by chain bundler. The patented rail system can hold up to 2,100 wires. Wire sorting is not necessary, as the prefabricated wires are produced in wire rails in series according to order. This enables fast and efficient processing of the lined-up wires - ideal in conjunction with the Wire Cart wire rail trolley for improved workplace picking. To support wiring even more efficiently, it is also possible to produce chain bundles: wires are arranged sequentially in the selected order.

This also gives companies the opportunity to act as a service provider in line with demand. The three flexible output options can be implemented in a wire terminal. In combination with the "Eplan Smart Wiring" software, this leads to effective added value in the further process step of enclosure wiring.

Digitally supported process chain

In addition to the labeling, sorting and transport options, Rittal supports downstream processes through data consistency. The new software architecture ensures seamless integration into the data workflow of the RiPanel Processing Center job management software. This increases efficiency in production, not only due to the higher working speed. Production thus becomes an even stronger part of the entire digitally supported process chain, centrally planned and controlled with data directly from the engineering and manufacturing ecosystem of Eplan and Rittal.