“Throw a wrench” and “debugging” reference the impact that a small object can have on a large operation. A small metal burr can stop gears from turning. One bad line of code can wreak havoc on a program. When building a manufacturing facility, it is important to think about events that might occur and design an operation that can make sure a small issue does not turn into a big problem. This means that even the smallest component used in an operation must be thoughtfully selected.
As one example, modern manufacturers sometimes use a paint booth equipped with a robot to spray product. Paint is corrosive and presents a health hazard to the factory workers, so to ensure their safety this booth is completely enclosed. Many of the components, such as electrical wiring, can be destroyed over time because of these chemicals. The breakdown of these components has the potential to shut down production, so it is imperative to design a system to operate within this environment.
To supply power and communications to the robot sprayer an engineer must run various types of cables in this corrosive environment. In many cases, the robot controller will sit outside the booth to offer quick access to engineers. So how do engineers design a process that can operate in two completely different environments without compromising the integrity of that system?
One of the solutions is to house the controller in an enclosure outside the paint booth and run power and Ethernet cables through or underneath the wall. If a hole is punched into the booth, large grommets are used to seal the environment.
At the robot itself, power must be connected in a manner that blocks out paint, water and other hazards. Similarly, the Ethernet cable must be terminated. Robust round connectors are the ideal solution because of their ability to maintain the integrity of the wires.
Even back at the control panel, it is important to protect the enclosure from dust entry. Cable glands are a simple way to seal out the environment and are commonly available on MISUMI’s website. Inside the panel itself, the controlled environment provides the opportunity to use inexpensive connectors such as standard RJ45 for Ethernet. Crimped terminals also make attaching power to terminals much faster and ensures a proper connection.
MISUMI provides engineers with fast access to the various wiring components they need to solve these problems. Other products offered on the website include cable ties and clips, protective electrical tubes, cable raceways and ducts, and a variety of other components necessary to ensure the process runs uninterrupted. MISUMI knows engineers and the challenges they face on a daily basis, which is why we are proud to offer solutions down to the terminal block.