When it comes to modular automation concepts, usually the different system elements aren’t simply developed and produced within the company; they come from different partner companies too. The components are then assembled in the plant or in the subsequent place of use at the end customer’s premises.
Profitable combination of modular terminal and connector technologies
Weidmüller is generating added value at this point thanks to its WeiCoS connectivity system, which profitably combines modular terminal and connector technologies. Equipped with a tension spring connection on one side and holders for one or two connectors on the other, WeiCoS enables support points to be assembled over a width of 85 mm for rapid cabling. Furthermore, the terminal types are designed such that the plug direction of all four connectors is the same. This is especially beneficial during preassembly, as only the order of the connections must be observed. In different systems, it is also necessary to consider into which side of the modular terminal the connector has to be plugged later on. The pluggable modular terminals therefore make the amount of planning required more manageable from the outset.
Ready-to-assemble connection blocks for wind energy plants
With WeiCoS, pre-assembled functional units (such as lamp or door controls, mounting plates and cabinet panels) can be quickly connected to the available system in a fail-safe manner. To do this, only the connector has to be plugged into the modular terminal. An externally sprung contact and locking elements guarantee that the connector is positioned in the modular terminal in a shock-, vibration- and shakeproof fashion. WeiCoS is thus predestined for use in machine and system construction, process technology, marine vessel and rail vehicle construction, as well as wind energy, whereby constant connections guarantee permanent energy yield.
Senvion Systems SE, a company that belongs to the Suzlon Group (the international manufacturer of wind energy plants in the onshore and offshore segments), is benefiting from this. The machine construction firm develops, produces and sells wind energy plants for virtually any location - with rated power from 1.8 MW to 6.15 MW and rotor diameters from 82 m to 126 m. Senvion also offers its customers project-specific solutions from the fields of system construction, service and maintenance, transport and installation, and foundation design. With a global workforce of over 3,000, the company draws upon the experiences acquired from producing and installing more than 4,600 wind energy plants. One of the challenges encountered when assembling a wind energy plant is connecting the multitude of sensors and actuators. Here, the time-consuming process of connecting individual cable wires can be shortened using multipolar plug technology and a modular design, which allows for faster assembly and production times. Also, these technologies help to achieve failsafe operation and guarantee rapid exchange during servicing situations. All actions are devoted to ensuring high system availability in the long term, which is achieved through the use of reliable components and a high degree of automation.
Reliable, wind energy suitable connection technology
Through using WeiCoS connection blocks, Senvion was able to shorten the in-house pre-assembly process and cut the assembly time in the wind park. As part of the cable sets to the units and/or sensors, multipolar WeiCoS connectors are quickly plugged into the control cabinets’ terminal sets, which were supplied and checked completely as a block, in a fail-safe manner. Service work is just as simple and reliable. WeiCoS modular terminals featuring connectors are used both for the performance connection and for the signal/sensor connection.
As the connection blocks and plug elements are pre-assembled and completely checked at Weidmüller’s premises, the effort required in Senvion's production process can be considerably reduced. The high connection density resulting from the compact design and which reduces the amount of installation space required delivers further benefits. All in all, the Weidmüller products and the fact that tested WeiCoS connection blocks are delivered in a ready-to-assemble state provide the ideal support for Senvion's production and service concept. And at the same time, of course, they also satisfy the call for reliable connection technology that is suitable for wind energy.