Rittal Blog

Flexible, Efficient Wire Assembly and Wiring Work – The Ideal Wiring Workstation for Panel Building and Switchgear Manufacturing

June 27 2022 by Rittal North America LLC

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Panel builders and switchgear manufacturers are under increasing pressure to reduce the amount of time it takes to wire an enclosure. While some parts of the process can be automated, the time-consuming task of installing the wires inside an enclosure is still required. Additionally, larger cross sections and assembling connectors require more manual work.

This can be a daunting and challenging task depending on how the shop floor is set up – how much space is available, where the tools are located, ease of access to the enclosure and more. This can leave technicians moving throughout the shop floor, workbench, and enclosure to locate the needed items – extending the total time to complete the task.

The constant movement throughout the shop floor and lack of dedicated workspace can leave technicians frustrated trying to meet deadlines, but also at risk of injury. If technicians are working in confined spaces and do not have all the required tools and parts within reach or are working at an inconvenient height, the risk of injury is increased. It’s time for a more efficient and ergonomic solution that helps to improve productivity while working safer and smarter.

Streamline the manual wiring process

Work more methodically and streamline the manual process of wiring by using the Wire Station 540 which can help to improve productivity and increase the efficiency of manual activities. Bringing all the needed tools, accessories, and assembly parts to the technician will provide a safer and more seamless installation process.

The foundation of the Wire Station WS 540 is a durable worktop with a built-in scale for quick measurements, a pullout drawer for storing tools, and a built-in seven-way socket strip with a rocker switch. The worktop is electronically adjustable from 28 to 49 in. for the optimum working height, allowing for the creation of a personalized ergonomic workspace.

The modular design of the wiring workstation allows the technician to adapt the wiring table to fit their needs and the needs of the wire assembly process. The worktable can be adjusted to fit individual users and all needed tools such as cable reels, wire packs, storage trays, and more can be kept within reach. The optional accessory modules allow technicians to design the worktable to fit the requirements for the task at hand.

Additionally, the standard castords enable the Wire Station 540 to be used as a mobile device – technicians can bring all their tools to the enclosure. This mobility streamlines the manual process by having all tools and wires within reach throughout the shop floor.

Enhance automation, improve productivity

The combined capabilities of EPLAN and Rittal Automation Systems helps to further optimize the production process. Productivity is improved through the use of automated tools such as Smart Wiring, the C8+ cutting machine, and the Wire Terminal WT. These solutions help to enable technicians to complete the manual wiring process more efficiently.

EPLAN Smart Wiring is the virtual assistant for manual wiring in panel building. From the connection point to exact wire routing, the electrical engineering software provides the technician with all the necessary information in digital form including a 3D Digital Twin, when required. The data from the Digital Twin can be used to streamline the wiring process through the use of wire lists with filter function, cable route visualization, and wire plan revision management. Added benefits include:

  • Receive detailed, step-by-step instructions for easy implementation of electrical design projects
  • Display wire routing through individual connections or in a fixed sequence
  • Wiring status can be noted following a red / yellow / green traffic light principle
  • Automatic project comparison helps technicians to see revisions and avoid errors

The C8+ semi-automatic cutting machine provides technicians an easy-to-use solution to cut wires to customized dimensions. Accelerate length-cutting and enhance productivity through wire management, stocking, and production. C8+ key features are:

  • Easy insertion of wires and simple opening of feed rollers
  • Length-cutting with interface to CAE data supported
  • Display connection points for the cable marking process
  • Effortless transfer of projects and orders

Take automation one step further and fully automate wire processing with the Wire Terminal WT. Machining of up to 24 or 36 different wires with cross-sections ranging from 0.5 mm2 to 6 mm2 (.02 in2 to .24 in2.) can be produced in a fully automated process without manual intervention. Stocking of the pre-produced wires from the Wire Terminal can be easily managed at the wiring workstation. With the Wire Terminal WT:

  • Wire assembly manufacturing process can operate 8X faster
  • Reliable, repeatable, and consistent quality
  • Seamless integration with EPLAN to pass through each stage in the wiring process

Do more with added accessories

With the complete modular system surrounding the Wire Station 540, the workstation can be functionally adapted to suit individual panel building and switchgear manufacturing requirements. For maximum efficiency, we recommend adding a cutting machine and a crimping machine then customizing with desired accessories from there. Universal accessories that are tailored to the application can be added to enhance the technician’s experience including:

  • Monitor support attachment – fits screen up to 32”
  • LED work light via clamping device – provides bright, glare- and flicker-free lighting
  • Vertical mounting braces – for optional attachment of accessories including wire pack holders, open-front storage boxes, and shelves
  • Storage box holder – fastens to the vertical mounting braces to store small parts
  • Universal utility shelf – for small tools and parts storage
  • Left or Right component support – fits crimping machine
  • Wire routing – targeted routing for up to 8 different wires
  • Integral shadow board to fit Rittal tools including screwdrivers, side cutters, crimping tools, and more
  • Tool or drink holder – for safe storage of hand-held devices or drinks
  • Adaptor bracket – individual configuration and enlargement of the wiring workstation
  • And more – mini-PC holder, wire coil holder, integral socket strip, stripping machine console

The Wire Station 540 is a truly modular design that provides the needed flexibility for technicians to customize the workstation for their needs. This modularity enables them to work more efficiently while having all tools within reach and the option to move the workstation throughout the shop floor. The Wire Station 540 is the ideal workstation for panel builders and switchgear manufacturers to work more efficiently and increase productivity.

For process-optimized project handling, EPLAN Smart Wiring and Rittal Automation Systems can boost efficiency in modern panel building and switchgear manufacturing. These solutions can further automate the wiring process. One especially useful accessory is the monitor attachment, which makes it easy to leverage EPLAN Smart Wiring while working at the wire station. EPLAN Smart Wiring puts data from the control panel’s digital twin at the panel builder’s fingertips. Wire lists, visualization of cable routes, and wiring plan revisions are all easy to call up and view while working.

To learn more about the Wire Station 540, download this brochure

Categories: Rittal Automation Systems