Stäubli Electrical Connectors AG (formerly Multi-Contact)
Stockbrunnenrain 8
4123 Allschwil

New concepts for efficiency and reliability - Stäubli Electrical Connectors AG (formerly Multi-Contact)

Particularly in the automation industry it is important not only to simplify production processes but also to reduce installation, setting-up and maintenance costs. Long down times and time- and labour-consuming repairs are a cost factor that should not be underestimated. An example: dresspacks for welding robots. The connecting leads for the robots run from the control cabinet to the robot base; from there a dresspack runs along the robot arm to the welding transformer. Dresspacks must meet exacting demands with regard to functionality and quality. There is limited space for mounting them on the robot, and maintenance work must be carried out within a very short time. The materials have to meet extremely high specifications: The cables have to be robust as well as flexible, and must also be provided with an adequate strain relief. All the employed components must resist welding vapours and sparks, and must also be watertight. At the same time the purchase costs need to be kept low. Tried and tested: The use of plug connectors. To keep repair costs low, there is a growing tendency to divide the dresspack into a number of sections. These sections are connected by plug connectors. In the event of a fault it is not necessary to replace the complete dresspack but only the affected section. This saves both material costs and time. Drawbacks of conventional plug connectors are their large dimensions and the complexity of assembly, for which special tools are often needed. Damaged leads cannot always be quickly replaced. A need for new concept. Robotics needs a robust solution with compact dimensions which is quick and simple to assemble. This must meet high quality and safety requirements at the same or a lower cost than existing types. To meet this challenge, Multi-Contact Deutschland GmbH has collaborated with well-known robot manufacturers to develop and market a new primary circuit plug connector generation: RobiFix provides a complete and cost-effective solution from the robot base to the welding transformer. Substantially shorter assembly times. The new RobiFix concept is based on a design with single-wire, double-insulated cables and offers a whole range of advantages: the number of assembly components and dimensions has halved, while the reduced cable diameter permits smaller bend radii. In the event of damage, only the defective cable has to be replaced. No special tools are needed for assembly, a hexagonal socket screwdriver is sufficient. After assembly the cables can be quickly and simply installed by hand. The plug connector itself is screwed flat on to the robot or on the mounting plate. There is no longer any need for a perforated flange. Compared with conventional plug connectors, the time saving for mounting on axis 3 is more than 50%. As a result of its compact, flat design, RobiFix can be fitted in even a very limited space. It is designed for 690 V AC / 150 A, and for cable cross-sections of 25, 35 and 50 mm². It incorporates a cable strain relief for single wires with an outside diameter of 11 to 17 mm, and there is no need for cable glands. The housings in protection class IP67 are coded and reverse polarity protected. Adaptable mounting on the robot base. On axis 1, the robot base, the transition from a round, multi-core cable to three stranded single wires is made by standardised RobiFix plug connectors. There are two mounting alternatives. In flange mounting the plug connector is mounted on the front panel in the robot base, and the connecting lead comes from outside. In the case of flat mounting the complete plug connector is screwed on to the robot base or the robot pedestal. Flat mounting on a mounting bracket is also possible. RobiFix can thus be easily adapted to local conditions. Simple plug connection on the welding transformer.