Special cables save a bundle

A cabling problem solved by the use of a specially designed bundle

Problem: Cables connecting robots to their associated controllers are best kept out of harm’s way.

Laying them in conduits buried under concrete is certainly one of the best approaches. However, this can present any number of installation problems.

Peter Struwing, owner of Rapid Production Machinery, an installation company based in Ontario, complained that one big challenge was having to pull bulky cables through 76mm (3in) conduit, especially when it includes tight elbows, and duct lengths can be up to 34m long.

Struwing told us: “At one time we lost an average of 20% of our cables on installation.”

Solution: Leoni Elocab, another Ontario company, came up with a total redesign of the cable bundle and slimmed down the individual power and data cables by an average of 15%.

Its solution incorporated three new hybrid round cables with different AWG (wire diameter) sizes to provide the power to work the paint robots.

The third hybrid cable comprised 27 twisted pairs arranged in three concentric layers for signal and data transmission. This layered design reduced the cable outside diameter to 25.4mm (1in) and a special polyurethane cable sheathing provided the required mechanical and chemical durability.

Applications: Anyone installing buried cables wants to fit and forget. The extra cost of special, rugged cable bundles, capable of being pulled through ducts without damage, is small compared with the cost of digging up concrete floors, not to mention the time and goodwill lost by the installer.

Leoni specialities include the suppression of noise signals from cable movement by adding semi conducting layers between conductors and dielectrics, and the ability to produce physically foamed dielectrics.

The company manufactures at European and Canadian production plants for orders as small as 100m. TS

Author
Tom Shelley

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