Today there is still usually a lot of manual work involved in production processes for control and panel construction. At a time when digitalisation is advancing and there is an increasing shortage of skilled workers, new production methods and engineering processes need to be faster, more precise and more cost effective. Digitalisation and automation are key factors for improving efficiency, whereby all processes, from engineering to electrical planning, production and testing are largely automated. Klippon® Automated RailLaser plays a part in this value-added process by fully automating the marking of assembled terminal strips and delivering potential time savings of up to 90%. Previously showcased as a prototype at Hannover Messe 2019, it is now used in the production processes at Weidmüller.
Integrated approach for automated panel building – consistent data
Weidmüller considers panel building to be an integrated process – from the planning stage through to installation and operation. In combination with the Weidmüller Configurator (WMC) software, the Klippon® Automated RailLaser enables the fully-automated marking of pre-assembled terminal blocks. The Weidmüller Configurator (WMC) can directly and consistently use planning data from eCAD systems, which forms the basis of the consistent value-added process. The individual marking levels are generated based on the Weidmüller Configurator.
The generated data is sent directly to the Klippon® Automated RailLaser system and controls the marking of the terminal blocks. By directly and consistently using planning data, manual production steps are omitted. It can be used to mark both automatic and manually assembled terminal blocks. The customer applies a readable code to the terminal rail according to the production order. In doing so, the order number is assigned to the terminal rail. The Klippon® Automated RailLaser scans and reads this code then automatically assigns the correct data to the order number. This step as well as a visual comparison of the terminal block in the machine considerably reduce the potential for errors. The integrated quality control function compares the inserted terminal rail with the digital model to make sure that the correct marking data are called up.
Secure handling by integrated image processing system
At the core of the Klippon® Automated RailLaser is an image processing system for measuring terminal blocks prior to the actual marking process. For each marker, it compares the theoretical position from the digital model with the actual position and automatically performs any necessary corrections. This always ensures a perfect marking result, even when there are deviations in position, such as those due to the thermal expansion of components or the tilting of blocks during manual assembly. Even if the position has moved by several millimetres, the Klippon® Automated RailLaser calculates the central point of the marker and marks it precisely. This noticeably reduces the error rate.
The colour of the marker is of no importance: no special markers are required for the Klippon® Automated RailLaser as a result of the innovative laser source. Therefore, besides the pre-assembled white markers, many other colours and materials from the Weidmüller standard portfolio can also be processed. Thanks to this option, industry-specific colour requirements and the customer’s individual colour scheme are easy to reproduce.
By using terminal blocks with pre-mounted markers, there is no need to separate, allocate and clip on individual markers. This means that you achieve time savings of up to 90% in your marking processes. The laser inscription on the terminal blocks meets the highest quality requirements for marking.
Up to 90%time savings through coordinated portfolio of automatable terminal blocks
A coordinated portfolio of automatable terminal blocks enables products to be integrated in an efficient production process. Here the focus is on the Klippon® Connect A-Series. The PUSH IN terminal blocks were designed to be “ready to robot” from the very outset. The grip-optimised outer contours mean they can be handled safely by a robot.
Pre-assembled terminal blocks with markers represent the next step towards automation. Besides the actual marking process, assembling markers on terminal blocks is also time consuming. Weidmüller takes care of this work step for its customers: By using terminal blocks from the Klippon® Connect A-Series that are already pre-assembled with Weidmüller standard markers, the full optimisation potential of the Klippon® Automated RailLaser is utilised. As the standard markers can be freely replaced, the marking process remains flexible for the user. The direct laser inscription on the marker guarantees the highest requirements in terms of resistance to smearing and scratching. Thanks to the high-resolution quality, even very small markings have clear contours and are easily legible. Time savings have been confirmed with the internal use of the Klippon® Automated RailLaser. Customers can therefore allocate this time to where they can add value, such as in engineering.
Innovative technologies and a high-quality laser source (355 nm) mean fast and precise marking results are achieved with a maximum deviation of +/- 0.2 mm on many different materials. The high version (15 mm) and low version (7 5 mm) terminal rails measuring up to 1.2 m long are precisely marked. The universal terminal rail mounting, optimal alignment and laser design mean there are virtually no limitations with regard to the component geometry of terminal blocks for marking. Besides terminal blocks, other terminal rail components with complex geometries can also be safely marked.
With its large touchscreen, the Klippon® Automated RailLaser is extremely easy to operate. The assembled terminal rail is inserted up to the fixed stop on the left, which ensures that the terminal block is positioned correctly. The variable stop on the right-hand side can flexibly accommodate blocks of varying length. The large inspection window means that the operator can observe the processing status at any time. Laser safety class 1 is ensured by various elements including a fully-automated door that the unit automatically opens at the end of the laser process.
As a partner in Industrial Connectivity, we consider panel building as an integrated process – from the planning stage all the way to installation and operation. Weidmüller supports this with the Weidmüller Configurator (WMC), Klippon® Service “Configure to Order” and the Klippon® Automated RailLaser.
For more information you can visit our information page or call us on 0845 094 2007.