Case Study: Machining Accessories Cable carriers for automated press lines

Editor: Steffen Donath

Strothmann — a provider of automated press line solutions — is using cable carriers from Tsubaki Kabelschlepp. A high degree of individuality is needed for Strothmann's products.

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Wherever an axis moves, a cable carrier is installed — this is the only way to move products without coming into contact with lubricants.
Wherever an axis moves, a cable carrier is installed — this is the only way to move products without coming into contact with lubricants.
(Source: Tsubaki Kabelschlepp)

The automation solutions for press lines from Strothmann are individually tailored to each customer and their application. In any case, a high level of availability and a long service life are guaranteed — requirements that the installed cable carriers also have to meet. With Tsubaki Kabelschlepp, Strothmann is on the safe side

Cable carriers ensure functionality

The Press-Room-Automation division from Strothmann comprises the development and integration of complete automation solutions for press lines. “We equip the entire press line, from front of line and the actual press line to end of line,” explains Eduard Siegle, Project Manager Development Engineering at Strothmann Machines & Handling GmbH. “All machines used in this system are equipped with cable carriers.” Wherever an axis moves, a cable carrier is installed — this is the only way to move products without coming into contact with lubricants. For each movement, power and signal cables, pneumatic hoses and lubrication lines have to be guided and protected. One example for this is the PCB loader in the front of line, where cable carriers are installed on all three axes. On the horizontal crossbeam, the cable carrier glides across the entire travel length. A long unsupported length has to be ensured on the vertical axis and the traversing axis.


Robust design — a necessity

The press lines are used in the automotive industry, for example. These customers demand fast cycle times — accordingly, high requirements are also placed on cable carrier systems regarding cycle times and travel times. They also have to be easy to install while maintaining a high cycle time. Due to sometimes extreme environmental conditions, a robust design is also very important. This particularly applies to systems for hot forming: Here, the PCBs pass through an oven and are heated to approx. 800 - 950 °C. In this case, the environment is extremely contaminated, as the metal scale in the air settles on all machine parts, including on the cable carrier which has to compensate for this contamination. Excessive wear has to be prevented, because a high level of availability and long service life must be ensured for the system, the company explains.

Strothmann selects the respective cable carriers based on the application and the technology used. “In the case of the hot forming described, we usually choose the particularly robust cable carriers from the M series, more specifically the ME0950 model. This cable carrier type ensures longer unsupported lengths in the upper run,” says Eduard Siegle. “For less strenuous operating conditions, we generally use the Uniflex Advanced 1665,” Siegle explains.

Standard models are selected to be able to guarantee fast spare parts deliveries for end customers — Strothmann only orders customised solutions in very special individual cases. In addition to cable carriers, the company also purchases Traxline cables and pre-configured cables for servo motors from Tsubaki Kabelschlepp.

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