We’ve all been there: You are sitting on the plane and want to relax with music. You plug in your headphones and play your favorite song. You reposition your head to get comfortable and the music stops. This is caused by a break in the headphone cord. While a break in connectivity is simply annoying in this scenario, it is a real problem in industrial environments where downtime can be costly. In this blog post, we discuss five industrial applications and the Pepperl+Fuchs cables best suited to provide reliable connectivity for each one.
1) Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems
When goods must be transported quickly from one location to the next, reliable warehouse and material handling is essential for a smooth and efficient material flow. In high-bay warehouses, automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) can quickly and abruptly change direction. In this environment, installed cables must withstand high mechanical forces for long periods of time—PUR-quality cables are ideal for these applications.
PUR U cables: PUR cables that are UL-certified are available under the PUR-U cable designation. Designed for challenging operating conditions, cables with a PUR sheath withstand a high level of mechanical stress, and have effective resistance to chemicals and oil. Shielded versions are available.
2) Food Production and Packaging
Hygienic safety is paramount in the food and beverage industry, and food and packaging must never be contaminated. The automated production and packaging of food places high demands on machines and systems that must also withstand aggressive cleaning agents and procedures.
PP cable: PP, or polypropylene, cables offer high mechanical strength, are still suitable for drag chains at -30 °C, and are Ecolab certified, odorless, and non-irritating. Pepperl+Fuchs also offers wash-down connectors with a stainless steel screw connection and a smooth surface. The smooth surface prevents liquid and solid food from building up and contaminating food during production changeovers.
3) Car Manufacturing
In the highly automated auto industry, robots are used wherever work is too dangerous for humans. Every day, they carry out hundreds of repetitive bending and rotating movements. Strong torsional forces and welding sparks stress the cables, especially in welding areas.
PUR-A cable: PUR-A cables are suitable for these applications. They possess the properties of normal PUR cables but are also resistant to welding beads, chemicals, and oil. As an alternative, PUR-A1 cables are equipped with a cable sheath that is 2 mm thicker than standard Pepperl+Fuchs PUR-A cables.
POC cable: Pepperl+Fuchs also offers POC-quality cables for direct welding applications. Their rugged design allows them to withstand weld beads, temperatures up to 150 °C for continuous use, and temperatures up to 200 °C for eight-hour periods.
4) Mining Mobile Equipment
In raw material mining, like coal mining, large dump trucks are used to transport tons of ore, coal, and rubble. The tires alone can reach heights of 4.05 meters and have to carry loads of up to 1260 tons per trip. Loading and unloading trucks with 450 tons of cargo, and refueling up to 5600 liters of diesel fuel, places high mechanical and chemical stress on the cables used.
PUR-O cables: PUR-O cables have been specially developed for outdoor applications with constant exposure to high mechanical loads and heavy soiling. PUR-O cables are based on extremely rugged PUR quality and have an incredibly durable cable sheath. This means they can be used in temperatures ranging from -50 °C to +105 °C. PUR-O cables are also resistant to ultraviolet radiation, saltwater, oil, and diesel fuel to meet outdoor requirements.
5) Production Line Robots
Gripper arms are used to move components on production lines in almost all areas of production. This results in millions of fast, repetitive motions that subject the installed cables to heavy bending and rotating movements.
PUR-R cables: Extremely rugged PUR-R cables from Pepperl+Fuchs are suitable for demanding applications like these and significantly reduce the risk of plant and machine failures. PUR-R cables can be used in the drag chain for up to ten million cycles and can be twisted up to ten million times ± 360° per meter. The -25 °C to +80 °C extended temperature range also enables use in challenging environments.