The lifelines of technology

Cables are a vital part of modern technology. They are an essential component when it comes to transferring electrical energy in a wide range of applications. A plastic insulating sleeve protects the conductive copper heart and prevents short-circuiting on external contact. The designs of the insulating sleeves are as varied as the cables themselves.

However, a specific length of the insulating sleeve needs to be removed when the cable is connected. Small, compact stripping machines with a range of different settings provide users with a wide spectrum of adjustment options for their cable design. Thanks to different blade sets and a precision controlled microdrive, cables can be configured for various applications, e.g. data transfer or heavy current supply.

Cables have become the “lifelines“ of technology. Like veins, they come in all shapes and sizes, from the dimensions of a single strand of hair to several milli-meters thick. Schleuniger AG from Thun in Switzerland is geared up to dealing with this level of variety and offers clever stripping machines for a wide range of cable types and diameters. In order to allow precision cutting through‚ thick and thin‘, their machines come with drives from FAULHABER‘S Swiss affiliate MINIMOTOR. The compact micromotors from the drive specialists provide the power required to cut through thick insulation as well as the precision needed to expose even the finest of wires.

Precision and diversity

Designing a stripping machine to meet the demands of high-end automation engineering applications requires experience and expertise. The method applied not only has to consider the format of the different cable types but also the thickness of the conductors to be processed. Depending on user requirements, the Swiss engineering experts can provide programmable units for cables from double-insulated cables to coaxial cables.
The CoaxStrip 5300 model can handle up to 650 coax ends per hour, depending on the cable type. The UniStrip 2600 model can strip off 20 mm of insulation every 0.6 seconds. The clamping force can be motor adjusted in both models. The units come with a list of 1000 cables or 100 cable lists, so the cable type can quickly be adjusted to suit changes in production. Replaceable stripping blades, an insulation extraction system and other practical functions allow seamless integration into the existing automation environment.

Compact drive with encoder

The sophisticated cutting and pulling mechanism in the stripping devices requires a drive system that is equally sophisticated. After all, the best knife only cuts as accurately as the hand guid-ing it. This is why the developers opted for FAULHABER systems. They found the perfect drive system for this application from the company‘s extensive product range. Both stripping machines are equipped with three DC-Micromotors. One drive is responsible for clamping the cables while another moves the blades up and down in the cutting unit. The third member of the team takes care of the controlled removal of the insulating sleeve. As these drives are only used for the purpose of adjusting to new cable types or merely for specific tasks, e.g. for the withdrawal movement, using them is most cost-effective for diameters from 2 to 9 mm upward. The larger options can even handle flat ribbon cables of up to 11 mm in width. Depending on the area of application, the machine can remove all or just some of the insulation. Even multiple stripping, stripping of mains cables with different internal conductor lengths or gradual stripping of affordable brush motors is no problem. They guarantee many years of trouble-free operation. The CoaxStrip 5300 model also has a brushless DC-Servomotor for the constant rotational movement of the cutting unit, which is vital in this appli-cation. As this motor has no mechanical wearing parts apart from the rotor bear-ing, it is perfect for the continuous op-eration required. Its service life is in excess of 10,000 hours, so it can meet even the exacting demands of three-shift round-the-clock operation. All DC-Motors are fitted with built-in encoders. These provide pulses to the controller in the device through pre-finished flat ribbon cables. There is also a light barrier aligned on each axis to define the start point and initialize the individual drives. This information allows the controller to use the motors to drive the individual axes to the required position precisely and with a high level of repeat accuracy.