A panel will have been optimally planned, installed and commissioned if the end user is virtually unaware it is there. What was precisely connected, isolated, fused and checked from the outset will ensure the equipment continues to run in the long term. To achieve this goal, Weidmüller starts out at the very beginning of the process chain, since planning and design form the basis for all further panel building steps. An important component is electromechanics, with the terminal block being today’s leading connection solution.
“Throughout the entire engineering process chain, we promote the end-to-end connection of two important engineering disciplines: mechanics and electrical design. Only when these areas are harmoniously tailored to each other can a panel be implemented
Products and process-support solutions from Weidmüller provide benefits at all stages of the cabinet building
efficiently from planning through to the final set-up,” explains Dr Timo Berger, Head of the Factory Automation Industrial Division. “Particularly in the case of terminal blocks, panel structures often have to be configured individually and redesigned several times over as part of a time-consuming process, due to the absence of simple, pre-configured solutions. Such redundant work steps can be avoided through tailor-made application products, which will increasingly dominate our portfolio in future.”
“What recurs can also be solved once and for all”
While panels may vary considerably according to their use, several recurring applications within their set-up are an integral component in virtually all industries. These include signal wiring and control voltage distribution, but also more specific tasks such as DCS marshalling in process control technology. Mr Berger is certain: “What recurs can be solved once and for all.” It was with this aspiration that Weidmüller for instance developed the first marshalling terminal block with PUSH IN connection and unique application-optimised design in 2010, which is geared specifically to the needs of process control technology. Other sophisticated application solutions for defined panel applications are now following this example.
Weidmüller terminal blocks with new offering structure
Based on wiring using terminal blocks, Weidmüller is adding the necessary ingredients for value-added, economic solution approaches. The integration of electronic components, for instance, is further pushing forward the merger of passive and active functions. Terminal blocks are no longer used just as a connection element in this respect, but also fulfil functional tasks within the panel. In this way, Weidmüller is meeting in particular the challenge of increasing functional density in automation. Wiring using standardised, modular components still offers enormous savings potential in the form of reduced installation space or shorter wiring times. Plant designers and developers face the challenge of harmonising the external appearance and the complex functionality inside the machinery. An aspiration that spans the entire process chain right through to the last component in the panel, which Weidmüller supports holistically – starting right from planning.
Trends and prospects in engineering
“We are already setting the course for tomorrow’s planning process today by not limiting our product data to technical performance characteristics. Instead, we are focusing on configuration, installation and service processes, which are just as significant cost drivers as the physical components themselves,” Berger explains. “End-to-end product data in CAE libraries enable our customers to access complete solution structures in just a few steps. This also includes the accessories assigned to products by way of object dependencies. Equally, we are integrating product-specific data that supports the production automation, ordering, logistics and documentation processes. With system-oriented marking software such as our M-Print® PRO, which features an eCAD interface, we are also making engineering easier.”
Substantial rationalisation potential in the wiring process
Purely physical product details also support the productivity aspiration, starting with connection technology. “Direct, tool-free assembly via PUSH IN connection is already the way to leverage substantial rationalisation potential in the wiring process, and will remain so in future,” says Mr Berger. The low plugging forces make the components much easier to handle and, in turn, substantially reduce wiring times compared with screw-based technologies. Users instantly notice that the intuitive connection system is self-explanatory. Wiring errors by incorrectly positioning the conductor are excluded and an optimum contact is ensured at all times, thus decisively increasing operating safety and equipment availability.
Value-added driver in the field of commissioning
The testing process is a critical success factor in commissioning. The more complex the equipment, the more time customers invest in test set-up and operation. New software functions and standardised test points, supported by
Dr. Timo Berger, Head of the Factory Automation Industrial Division
convenient testing accessories, will make the testing process much faster in future and at the same time increase its reliability.
During live operation in particular, the advantages of a well thought-out set-up come into their own. Fault-free functions as well as standard-compliant marking then not only make a high-quality impression and reinforce the image factor. Particularly with equipment requiring maintenance, a fully structured set-up is also a safety and efficiency factor that must not be underestimated.
“We support a sophisticated overall concept with our range of products – from product data right through to the final installation of the product in line with applicable standards,” summarises Berger. “In order to achieve this, we provide an innovative product line based on practical experience, process-support tools and services, and last but not least, just the right amount of pioneering spirit that distinguishes us as a partner to our customers both today and in the future.”
Klippon® Connect: a name with pedigree – a range with a future
The name “Klippon®” has a long tradition for Weidmüller. Derived from the term “clip-on terminal”, the first international group company – Klippon Electricals Ltd – began trading under this name in England in 1959. From the late 1970s, Weidmüller’s plastic-insulated terminals were being marketed worldwide under the name. Most recently, Klippon® was used for the Weidmüller enclosure system, which together with the assembled terminal blocks and other components ensure top quality in the field of industrial enclosure technology.
With “Klippon Connect®”, Weidmüller is now once again associating the name with its origin and offering it to customers via the newly created, future-oriented range of terminal blocks. With tailor-made application products, universal terminal blocks and process-support services, this offers the right solution whatever the panel concept. Under the name “Klippon® Protect”, the flexible Weidmüller enclosure system provides the perfect complement for applications in the field.
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Extra efficiency in planning, installation and operation – Klippon® Connect terminal blocks
Published in May 2016
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