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Weidmuller Control Cabinet assembly increases efficiency

25 June 2009

Optimized sub-process increases efficiency of the overall process “control cabinet assembly”.

The typical procedure of control cabinet building focuses on the value creation chain consisting of planning and design, purchasing, storing, mounting and marking, wiring, checking and initializing, as well as service and maintenance. The same is valid for the application of components such as modular terminal blocks. For this purpose Weidmüller offers precisely concerted hardware and software tools – thus being well placed regarding its range of services. Customer surveys show, however, that this will not be sufficient for the following years.

In the future the focus will be on another perspective: less concentration on the individual products (bottom-up), but more emphasis on the cost-effective overall plan (top-down) requiring coherent interaction of products, services and software tools (networking). This will simplify the process for the customer. With the exhibits of the “Future Zone” and the presentation of the innovations, the company gives evidence of this not being a mere theory and least of all an illusory vision. With exemplary concepts and products Weidmüller shows how this process could be planned and optimized for the customer, offering genuine added value and increasing productivity. Especially the proposals presented in the “Future Zone” turn out to be real or modified forms of product concepts Weidmüller is currently realising. This means that the company is developing innovative products and services to simplify work processes for the customer, i.e. control cabinet builders, and to integrate these solutions taking into account the changing technological, economic and social conditions.

In the „Future Zone“ Weidmüller focuses on a sub-process of „function-oriented control cabinet building“ illustrating the process of selecting, identifying and fixing of components on a DIN mounting rail – shown for the application with modular terminal blocks as an example. For this purpose the “printing” has been adapted to the automation process.

Visionary product concepts and exhibits show the future: “Automated control cabinet assembly” schematically shows the potential mounting process of components in a control cabinet, performed by a robot that is given its positioning information by the RailDesigner® software with direct interface to the superordinate CAE system (Computer Aided Engineering). The components to be mounted are structurally optimized for automated assembly. This is valid, too, for the design of the modular terminal blocks, which has been optimized as “process-fitting”. The currently required high number of product variants will sensibly be reduced by the 3-pitch strategy.

The product concepts integrate the wishes and requirements for the customers’ benefit into the value creation chain. Today, concerning the purchase of products for control cabinets, the customer bases his decision on the comparison of characteristics and prices of individual components. This selection and decision-making process will be different in the future. Tomorrow, the customer will make his decision on the basis of the process cost relevant TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and he will take into consideration functional and innovative modules and the follow-up costs regarding their application inside and outside the control cabinet during their total life cycle.

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