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igus® Ltd.

Caswell Road

Northampton, NN4 7PW

01604 677240

Piece work with ultimate precision

17 million cycles a year – cables for circuit board mounters

You can hardly follow the speed with the naked eye. The revolver head tirelessly darts back and forth, picks up components and attaches them to the circuit board at furious speed. The name says it all: the special mounting device made by IPTE is called “Speedmounter”. Every second it pushes its way forward, at many companies from the computer and automotive industry in three-shift operations around the clock.

Using a revolver head, the “Speedmounter” can pick up as many as twelve different components simultaneously and fit these to the circuit board. This happens at furious speed: “At Fujitsu Siemens Computers, for example, we are currently achieving a real mounting output per part of 1.71 seconds,” says Klaus Bonath, Sales Manager of IPTE Germany GmbH in Heroldsberg near Nuremberg. “For SMDs that would perhaps not be particularly fast, but you must bear in mind that we have automated the mounting of exotic components using the “Speedmounter”. “

In many countries this process is still being done by hand, which is correspondingly time-consuming and also costly at times. The IPTE special mounting device works much quicker in contrast. The revolver head thus moves at a speed of 300°/s, whereby the head with twelve mounted tools moves in 30° steps in each case. The results can be seen in comparison to other systems, as Bonath goes on to explain: “The real mounting output with our process is considerably higher than with all other machines worldwide. “

Circuit board assembler Clean installation: e-chains® and “chainflex®” cables from igus® GmbH, Cologne, for 17 million components a year.

Machine availability and quality

The demands on the components carrying out their work in this special mounting device are correspondingly high. “Machine availability is a very hot topic for us,” Bonath explains. The reliability of the individual subassemblies reportedly plays a big role in this respect. But the supplier of the parts from which the machines are produced also has to face tough tests. “We are indeed an ISO-accredited company, and as such we have to check our suppliers scrupulously for quality and reliability. ” In this regard, the products of igus® GmbH in Cologne have established themselves for the area of energy and data transmission on moving machinery parts. In the past there often used to be limitations in the availability of the machines because of cable problems. Downtimes and loss of production had to be eliminated. “No customer accepts spending a whole weekend to dismantle and replace the cable harness,” says Hubert Baren, Managing Director of IPTE Germany.

“At some point we started buying our e-chains® and cables from igus® – and that largely solved the problem,” says Baren. The initial contact was made by Oliver Köhler from the igus® office in North Bavaria with Günther Gillinger, responsible at IPTE for the special mounting device technology, and with Hanns- Hasso Weber. igus® convinced them with its overall concept made up of proven e-chains®, tested cables and its interior separation concept adapted to the high number of cycles.

17 million cycles a year, 1.71 seconds per component

Today, various “chainflex®” cables and e-chains® are used in the “Speedmounter”, taken from the igus® product range that includes 70,000 items. Mechanically optimized TPE jacket materials and wire insulation for use in e-chains® enable the smallest outer diameters on the cables used. That creates room in the e-chain® and minimizes abrasion. The “chainflex®” CF9 (unshielded) and CF10 (shielded) control cables with their minimum bending radius of 5xd allow the use of tight radii in the smallest installation spaces. Thanks to their special design, with gusset-filling pressure extruded inner jacket etc., the bus and data cables retain their transmission properties even after many million double cycles.

Circuit board assembler Safety even on applications with reverse bending radius (RBR).

The halogen-free, flame-retardant and UL approved servo cables from the CF27 Series are used to supply the servo motors. The cables are used in e-chains® from the E2 mini, E2 medium and E2/000 Series. Particularly in the E2 medium, used in the Speedmounter to supply the rotary motion in the assembly version with reverse bending radius, the “chainflex®” cables are put under enormous stress. “We reach around 17 million cycles a year there,” describes Oliver Köhler from igus®. In order to prevent electrostatic charges in the sensitive area of circuit board mounting, all e-chains® are delivered in a conductive ESD version.

Maintenance intervals made much longer

The high reliability of the built-in components reveals itself particularly in the “Speedmounter”. In three-shift continuous operations, the highly stressed components are replaced every six months as a precaution in order to prevent complete production lines from coming to a standstill. The maintenance intervals have generally been made considerably longer by using the e-chain systems® and “chainflex®” cables, says ITPE Sales Manager Klaus Bonath. “That has improved quite considerably. “

Circuit board assembler Limited space requires special solutions: e-chain® from igus®, here assembled on its side.

Besides companies in the computer industry, such as Fujitsu Siemens Computers, above all IPTE supplies customers in the automotive industry and telecommunications companies from its Heroldsberg site. In total, 500 employees work in the factory automation sector, around 100 of them in Heroldsberg. The company, whose headquarters is in the Belgian town of Genk, employs around 2,500 people worldwide.

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