Nowadays, robots can be seen working alongside their human counterparts in almost all branches of industry, often taking on the work that is too difficult, too dangerous or that poses a health risk to humans. They can be seen lifting heavy loads, accurately applying paint into each little nook and cranny and repeating the same production steps millions of times with the same exact precision. When people think of robotics today, they still often think of large robots working behind fences in car factories. But the robots of the future will be smaller, lighter, and more flexible. They will be part of limitless production networks linked by fast data connections over the course of Industry 4.0, working hand-in-hand with their human colleagues. This means that the requirements of certain robotics components are also changing, above all the cable systems.
What special requirements do cables and wires need to meet in the field of robotics?
Industrial machinery is increasingly expected to deliver more power, process more data and operate continuously. Although they work in some very harsh environments, their connections need to be durable and reliable to meet modern requirements. LAPP's extensive range of cables, cable accessories, industrial connectors and cable glands have been developed to offer the high performance, robustness and flexibility required in complex industrial environments. Not only do they withstand the strains of harsh environments, they also comply with the standards and protocols applicable throughout the factory.
Cables and wires for machinery and systems from LAPP reliably meet the requirements of mechanical engineers and designers, such as withstanding temperature fluctuations, corrosive chemicals, EMI and RFI interference, bending and extreme mechanical loads, and even several interconnected processes sharing a common control center. This means they can supply power and data from and to their machines via reliable, durable cables and connectors.
Requirements for cabling solutions in robotics applications:
- Extreme bending and rotational movements
- Highest levels of flexibility, stability and longevity
- Limited space available for cabling
- Individual assemblies
- Fast delivery of important replacement parts
- Versatile cable systems – every robot type features different motion sequences
- Hazard: Failure of just one component can risk bringing the entire production line to a standstill, causing losses running into the millions.
What should you bear in mind for your product selection?
Each robot type carries out different movement sequences and is constructed in a different way, meaning the cable systems face all manner of challenges too. In terms of exceptionally challenging applications, which are frequently requested, off-the-shelf products often simply cannot deliver the perfect solution. For example, one of our special robot cables is certified for over 15 million cycles and, with 720°/m, allows two turns about its own axis per meter (3.28 ft). Together with the robotics specialist, LAPP Muller, LAPP has been active and successful in the field of robotics for over three decades and produces control and data cables, special cables and the corresponding assemblies.
Why use LAPP products in the field of robotics?
The Robotics division at LAPP ensures that customer needs are met in the best possible way. This division takes on the often time-consuming development of individual solutions that can involve intensive consultation in cooperation with the customer. If the customer requirements cannot be met by a product from the standard range, this division consults with the customer personally and develops special solutions. 'Exotic' special cables such as these are also made available in small quantities. In order to ensure that these requirements can be met, LAPP performs tests in one of the most cutting-edge cable testing facilities in the world. Here, it is possible to simulate all kinds of motion sequences and determine the service life of the cables.
LAPP can draw on its extensive experience in over 50 years of development and manufacturing, and has built on this experience to develop various innovations and a high standard of production quality and reliability.
Can't find the right product for your needs? Together, we can develop individual solutions, customized for you. Our experts would be delighted to advise you.