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Heater 2023

Have Wires Assembled Fully Automatically

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Have Wires Assembled Fully Automatically
Have Wires Assembled Fully Automatically

Video: Have Wires Assembled Fully Automatically

Video: Have Wires Assembled Fully Automatically
Video: Robotic Assembly System for Electrical Wire Harnesses - Clear Automation 2023, June

A large and tidy workshop in which numerous control cabinets and mounting plates are waiting for further processing. Few employees are concentrated on the assembly and wiring. What also immediately catches the eye: there is no paper - neither a folder with circuit diagrams nor an order slip. Is this what the future of control and switchgear construction looks like? At Ripploh Elektrotechnik & Engineering in Ostbevern, this future is already a reality.

The company has developed from a small contract manufacturer with four employees to a full-service provider who, in addition to the production of control and switchgear, also offers complete engineering. "Today we have numerous customers from mechanical engineering, for example, who concentrate on the construction of their machines and only specify the type of components used and the IOs," reports Andreas Ripploh. "We then plan the entire control and switchgear from the start and then manufacture it in our own workshop."

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Picture gallery with 5 pictures

Control cabinet configurator Unit-E

All processes at Ripploh are highly automated. That starts in the offer phase. "An offer is already a bit of 'pre-engineering' in which we also have to invest part of our know-how," explains Ripploh. For pre-planned and configurable modules, the company therefore provides the "Unit-E" control cabinet configurator, with which the customer receives an offer based on the information he has provided. The Eplan Engineering Center (EEC) is located downstream of the configurator. Detailed planning is started there after a plausibility check. The customer then receives the completed circuit diagram within 24 hours, which contains all the information.

SPS 2019

Intelligent solutions for cabling and control cabinet planning

"Our ERP system is closely linked to Eplan for the preparation of the offer," explains Ripploh: "We maintain all component data in the database of our ERP system and then write it directly into the Eplan database." The quality of the data and Data format with a uniform standard are the most important challenges for the entrepreneur, which will have to be worked on in the future: "Clean data records are more important for control and switchgear construction than many think."

3D planning in Eplan Pro Panel

The data generated in engineering is used seamlessly at Ripploh to control the processes in the workshop. "The 3D planning in Eplan Pro Panel provides the data for the CNC machine for flat part machining and for fully automatic wire assembly." The wire terminal from Rittal Automation Systems takes care of cutting, stripping, crimping and labeling the cables. The new machine can assemble up to 1500 wires in an 8-hour shift. And since no operator intervention is required after an order has been started, the wire terminal produces the same amount again overnight. "The employee can remove the wires from the machine in the morning and start wiring immediately," explains Ripploh. Compared to the old solution, productivity in wire assembly increases fourfold.

switch cabinet

Busbar system for control cabinet VX25

Regulate work processes on an order-specific basis

The wire terminal has another advantage for the company boss: "We can now specify the sequence - in other words, the order in which the wires are assembled and placed in the rails." the sequence must be chosen so that the employee wired the same wire in all cabinets one after the other. Since he knows the process after the first control cabinet, work with the other control cabinets is faster. If, on the other hand, a connector with five lines is connected, it may make more sense to first wire the five lines in each control cabinet before proceeding to the next control cabinet.


In Rittal's fully automated wire assembly machine Wire Terminal WT, up to 24 or 36 different wires in cross-sections from 0.5 mm² to 2.5 mm² can be produced fully automatically, depending on the type. The work steps of cutting, stripping and crimping are carried out without any intervention by an employee. The optionally available printing system can print the wires in black or white. The wires are transferred to the downstream process steps using the controlled organization system. The organization system consists of a 13-fold storage system with wire rail magazines and can hold up to 1800 wires.

Process switchgear construction paperless

In addition, operational orders at Ripploh are not in the form of order slips on paper, but each employee has an I-Pad that provides them with the orders and all the necessary information. Control cabinets, commissioned components and now also the magazines with the wires assembled via the wire terminal are provided with QR codes. The employee scans the QR code with his I-Pad and can then process the order. "In this way, the connection to the ERP system and engineering is always up to date," explains Ripploh. "The employee can only start wiring, for example, only if the approved plans are available on the server." Among other things, the routing routes for the wiring are displayed on his screen. This not only ensures high efficiency and speed,but at the same time the probability of errors is greatly reduced.

Event tip

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Changes that can always occur despite careful planning can be entered directly into the PDF file of the circuit diagram on the I-Pad using a pen. This method corresponds to classic redlining, in which changes in the printed circuit diagram are marked. Thanks to digitization, it is now possible for the changes to find their way back into engineering. This guarantees that the finished control cabinet and the then updated circuit diagram match exactly.

Vision: automate wiring

With these measures, the control and switchgear manufacturer has already achieved a lot, says the company boss: "Today we can process significantly more orders with the same number of employees than a few years ago." Automation in control and switchgear construction is in the opinion of Andreas Ripploh is far from being finished: "The next step will probably be the automated wiring."

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