More than ever, panel building is in a state of fundamental change. A host of new technical possibilities, fast-moving customer requirements, high cost and price pressure with tighter deadlines: these challenges can be mastered by those who succeed in transferring the new potentials of automation and digitalisation into a perfect interplay of product, process and means of production. BAH Industrial Solutions GmbH has successfully taken on this task. Yet how does an innovative company strike a balance between high quality standards and increasingly flexible production?
As a medium-sized company, BAH Industrial Solutions has been a reliable partner to countless industrial companies for years – from SMEs to global players. With more than 120 employees, BAH Industrial Solutions stands for fast and flexible solutions with high-quality results in the areas of panel building, quality control/testing, industrial assembly, engineering and service in data centres. In the summer of 2020, BAH was able to move into the new production hall in Bösingen. This marks another step towards securing the future and achieving growth, underpinning the company's claim: “Even faster, even more reliable, even more individual”.
At BAH Industrial Solutions, the focus on the future is not only reflected in the move into a new building, but also in the orientation towards digitalised, standardised and integrated manufacturing processes. To this end, BAH gathered information on the market at an early stage and intensively studied various solutions. At the Smart Production Solutions 2019 trade fair, attention fell on Weidmüller's Klippon® Automated RailLaser, which became the starting point for intensive discussions. “In addition to the innovative technology, we were impressed by Weidmüller's comprehensive support and advice,” confirms Andreas Bek, Managing Director of BAH Industrial Solutions. With a team of different experts, Weidmüller supports its customers in implementing their individual digitalisation strategy. Thus, not only the two machines Klippon® Automated RailAssembler and Klippon® Automated RailLaser were discussed, but also points such as production structuring, factory layout, material flow and even assistance systems were addressed. With its use of RailAssembler and RailLaser from Weidmüller, BAH is opening up digital production processes and creating continuous manufacturing processes with a consistently high level of quality. Andreas Bek also confirms this: “With state-of-the-art production technologies, innovative processes and an experienced, well-coordinated team, we have made a name for ourselves in the field of panel building. With RailAssembler and RailLaser, we are also securing our position for the future.”
An important component of automated processes is the seamless connection of planning and production data, because only then can a continuous value-added process be achieved. BAH already relies on the direct integration of CAD programs in the planning and production process, thus ensuring a highly automated process with the highest level of quality. Another component of this continuous process chain is the use of RailAssembler for fully automated assembly of terminal blocks and the use of RailLaser for fully automated identification of terminal blocks. The “Weidmüller Configurator” (WMC) ensures continuity in the process. The software creates a digital twin of the terminal block for automatic assembly and the individual marking levels for automated marking of the terminal blocks. By means of corresponding interfaces, planning data from eCAD programs can be used consistently. In addition, the consistent software-based process control supports the user during all work steps and enables transparency regarding the order status.
Automatic terminal block assembly
Using the data obtained from the planning process, RailAssembler controls the manufacturing process of complete terminal blocks. Manual picking, assigning, positioning, mounting and checking of individual terminal blocks are a thing of the past. By eliminating the manual production steps, not only are potential errors minimised, but the automated process enables time savings of up to 60% compared with manual terminal block assembly.
Automatic terminal block marking
“Planning and design, production, wiring and final assembly are carried out in several precisely coordinated steps,” explains Bek. So, after the terminal blocks have been accurately assembled, the next step in production can take place – the marking of the terminal blocks. The individual marking levels are generated based on the Weidmüller Configurator. The generated data are sent directly to the RailLaser system and control the marking of the terminal blocks. By directly and consistently using planning data, manual production steps are omitted. It can be used to mark both automatic and manually assembled terminal blocks. The integrated quality control function compares the inserted terminal rail with the digital model to make sure that the correct marking data are called up.
The discussions with Weidmüller convinced us right from the start. Thanks to state-of-the-art working methods and the digitally guided work steps, such as with RailAssembler and the RailLaser, we can better plan resources, workflows and the deployment of skilled labour and make individual production processes much more efficient. In this regard, Weidmüller has stood by us as a partner with comprehensive advice.
Flexible production planning
“Individuality is a top priority at BAH. That's why we focus exactly on our customers' wishes: no matter whether small or large, individual or series production is required. We can also do justice to this claim through the use of RailAssembler and RailLaser,” Bek emphasises. Both devices are designed for series production as well as for one-off production. Thanks to the automated processes, changeovers are also easy. Another plus point from BAH's point of view is the consistently high quality. No matter at which point in time, the quality of the work results can be kept consistently high throughout the entire working day and in all production steps. Even “unmanned operation” is covered by the two systems when producing large quantities. Areas of BAH are already making use of service in multi-shift operation, which will also be transferred to panel building. “The discussions with Weidmüller convinced us right from the start. Thanks to state-of-the-art working methods and the digitally guided work steps, such as with RailAssembler and the RailLaser, we can better plan resources, workflows and the deployment of skilled labour and make individual production processes much more efficient,” Bek confirms, “In this regard, Weidmüller has stood by us as a partner with comprehensive advice.” “The cooperation with BAH has been shaped by a great sense of team spirit and open exchange right from the start. In the process, we also involved other partners from the Smart Cabinet Building Initiative so that we could offer our customers a comprehensive solution for digitalisation and automation in the long term,” confirms Dr. Christian Dülme, Team Leader Product Management Automated Panel Building at Weidmüller.
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