Semiautomatic benchtop stripping and terminal press machine can be a staple of each harness assembly shop. They’re ideal for high-mix, low-volume wire processing applications. But, if you need to produce thousands of identical crimped wires in a shift, you want a fully automatic cutting, stripping and crimping system.
Fully automatic machines are generally faster and a lot more consistent than semiautomatic equipment. They may combine multiple operations in a setup and automatically separate rejected leads.
Automatic equipment removes a persons element from high-volume wire processing applications, while improving quality and reducing costs. For instance, state-of-the-art automatic crimping machines can process wires at rates above 4,000 pieces each hour with absolute precision and in-process inspections.
However, manual crimping is vulnerable to variations through the operator, for example prematurely positioning a wire in to a terminal before crimping, leading to mistakes and low quality. Automatic machines eliminate this variation.
“Fully automatic machines need fewer operators to execute a similar tasks,” says Erich Moeri, manager of applications engineering at Komax Corp. “Therefore, they may be more effective. Generally, you are going to spend less on floor area. There’s less equipment and you could eliminate some intermediate storage, like the must store precut wires.
“Fully automatic machines may also supply a higher quality product, as a result of integrated quality checks,” adds Moeri. “In addition, they provide a significantly higher output.”
“Wire harness shops are capable of doing more utilizing the same amount of human resources,” notes Rich Schwartz, v . p . of engineering at Schaefer Megomat USA Inc. “Fully automatic machines also allow shops to go after more and larger jobs. In some cases, a machine could pay for itself in a year.”
That’s important, because going from semi- to totally 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 must avoid falling within the trap between machine capability and actual use about the plant floor.
Since today’s machines are engineered with quick change-overs at heart, most professionals believe you will discover a place for fully automatic equipment in high-mix, low-volume wire processing applications.
For instance, Komax offers a machine specifically that. “The Zeta 633 crimping machine includes a wire sequencer option where you may have 36 different wires ready at the wire cutter 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, which could tackle a variety of applications, such as weather sealing, crimping, twisting and tinning. Even though the machine are equipped for low-volume runs requiring multiple change outs during production, additionally, it can accommodate high-volume runs.
“Diversity in production is vital,” says John Olsen, president of Artos Engineering. “Today, customers want options and flexibility.
“The step to justifying a great investment in a automatic method is to help keep the appliance producing parts as efficiently as possible with minimal downtime,” explains Olsen. “Older automatic machines could take approximately twenty minutes to set up and alter from one job to a different one.
“This was acceptable in the event the machine could process thousands of wire at one time and run for hours from the initial set-up,” adds Olsen. “However, when a customer would want to run a few hundred pieces and alter to a different job, that volume of change-after a while negates productivity.”
With quick-change carts, sensors that track wire core size, and all servo-driven technology, fully automatic machines might be set up in a matter of seconds vs. minutes. Most new-generation machines in addition provide built-in quality checking features, which is necessary for wire harness shops doing automotive-related applications.
“These kinds of customers are searching for machines that provide the best variety of fully integrated quality checks,” says Moeri. “We offer equipment where operators begin with downloading ‘jobs’ from a business resource planning system and view material with the machine by using a bar code scanner for process verification.
“Product quality concerns could be addressed by automatic crimp height measurements, crimp height adjustments, pull-force monitors and seal position analyzers,” Moeri highlights. “Afterwards, they can search for feedback in the product created by automatically uploading critical information back to the ERP system. That addresses traceability issues.”
User-friendly controls and software help to make everything that possible. As an illustration, 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. Additionally, it incorporates a touch-screen monitor and intuitive operating software.
“The combination makes programming simple enough to ensure that even novice operators quickly feel comfortable,” 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 monitor and gather valuable production data from practically anywhere in the world.”
As wire gets smaller and smaller, it will become harder to take care of. That may undoubtedly spur more investment in fully automatic equipment that could easily grip thin wire.
“Machines equipped 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 could process wire no more than .08 millimeter squared.
“The Megomat 1000 has a unusually large array of wire cross sections which can be processed,” claims Schwartz. “It are prepared for up to AWG 8 wire. And, the arrangement of your cutting blades dexjpky35 for very short wire overhangs.”
A software-controlled, adjustable wire guide system eliminates the usage of tubes at 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 must have a few manual and semiautomatic machines accessible. Applications involving cables, large-gauge wire, twisted-pair leads and shielded wires still demand a few of those tools.