Selecting the Industrial Right Cabling

industry-2147409_1280When it comes to selecting the appropriate cables and cable connectors within an industrial environment, it often isn’t as simple as just picking the strongest looking type or perhaps the one which offers the best value for money.

Cable properties vary, and many are designed for specific purposes and particular industries. When selecting cabling, you’ll need to consider the conditions they will be in, what types (if any) of chemicals they may become exposed to and what strains and pressures they may have to withstand over time.

Flexible Cables

Industrial factories which utilise automation and robotics will need to use flexible cabling within their machinery. Flexible cables can withstand constant motion, and won’t need to be replaced as often as a standard cable would in these conditions.

Safe Cables

Safety is a huge concern within factories, and so choosing cables which have a halogen-free or flame-retardant outer sheath can help to reduce the risk of potentially deadly fires breaking out.

Resistant Cables

Within industries where food and beverages are processed and manufactured, cables need to be specially designed to ensure that hygiene standards are met. Cables designed for the food and beverage industry are typically resistant to strong chemicals, as well as fats and oils. This means that they can be cleaned thoroughly.

Cables which are to be used outside should be designed to offer UV resistance, as well as resistance to wet and humid weather.

In areas where electromagnetic interference is fairly high, selecting cables which are made from materials which are resistant to interference ensures that the data travelling through can be transferred as seamlessly as possible.

Making the Investment

Investing in high-quality cables which are built to last in specific conditions means that they won’t have to be replaced as frequently, which also cuts down the amount of time repairing cables – not to mention the costly downtime which occurs when cables are broken or damaged.



Robotics Which Are Helping the Elderly

hospice-1821429_1280The integration of robotics into our society has been a constant theme in television, books and even in our news – producing very mixed feelings within the population.

Many are excited for the futuristic changes that are taking place, however others are a lot more wary about accepting the use of robotics for manual tasks.

If you still need convincing about the benefits of robotics, you might be interested to hear that some companies have specifically designed robots in order to help people live life with more ease, where it would otherwise be a challenge for them.

ASIMO was released by Honda last year, and if you’re not already familiar, is a humanoid robot which has been used for a variety of purposes, and especially to assist elderly people.

Affectionately known as ‘Carebots’, these robots are being developed and programmed to turn off lights and get food for elderly people who would typically struggle to do so themselves.

An alternative humanoid robot brand, known as Robobear was designed to help transfer seniors from a bed to a wheelchair. The Robobear can also carry out tasks such as helping patients to stand, as well as turning them over in bed for comfort. This is especially helpful for caregivers, who may struggle to lift their patients throughout the day.

The sales for care giving robots are set to increase exponentially over the next few years, with many countries investing significant funds into them. When it comes to caregiving robots, safety and reliability is paramount. Every part of the robot must be built to last, including all the cables within.

Robots often contain cable harnesses within them in order to keep the cabling tidy, as well as allowing more room for them to move as freely as possible. A cable harness assembly binds groups of cables together, typically with an outer sheath. An outer sheath made from a tough and durable material protects the individual cables within, offering increased reliability.

If robotics are made to be as safe and as reliable as possible, the future of robotics could certainly be a positive one.

Cable Harness UK

Lapp: Cable Harness UK Suppliers

Cable Harness UKSelecting bespoke cable harness UK supplier can make a world of difference when it comes to cable harnessing solutions.

A tailor-made cable harness will be made to fit to your specific size requirements, whilst also being crafted from materials which suit the environment they are intended for.

Cable harnesses can be customised right down to their colour, which can be very useful for making important cabling easier to identify. There is a wealth of options when it comes to cable harness design, and a good technician will guide you through the process.

With a bespoke cable harness technician, you’ll be included within the manufacturing process. You’ll be able to have input throughout the design process, prototypes and the final product, before it’s installed within a factory or similar setting.

Cable harnessing is a practical and incredibly efficient option within industrial environments which use a vast amount of cabling. Harnessing can be found within a range of both industrial and domestic applications, including car systems and televisions, right through to automation machinery.

Cable harnesses can help to make an industrial environment safer for the workers within. A large majority of workplace accidents are caused by slips and trips, and as many of us are already aware through experience, cables can be a huge risk factor when it comes to tripping over.

Cable harnesses also act to make an environment safer through protecting fragile cables. Often, cable harnesses comprise of an outer sheath made from a tough material. This material acts as a protective layer for the cables within, protecting them from abrasions, high temperatures and otherwise harmful liquids.

When cabling is tidier, it makes a factory easier to clean. Industrial environments which have to follow strict hygiene standards require regular cleaning within factories. Fewer cables make the task faster and likely a lot easier.

A cable harness assembly can also save you time in a number of ways. Since cables are protected with a harness, it means they’re likely to have a longer lifespan. This reduces the amount of time taken to repair cables throughout the year.

A cable harness reduces the amount of cables going into machinery and other areas within a factory. Fewer cables means less explaining when it comes to training new employees on how and where to install each cable.

Cable assemblies also make it easier and quicker to identify faults; subsequently reducing the amount of downtime should anything happen to malfunction. Downtime can be costly, and so an initial investment within a high quality cable harness is likely to save you money in the long run.

Cable harnessing within machinery and robotics allows them to move more freely. When robotics can move as freely as possible, their efficiency is increased.


Cable Connectors For Robotics & Automation

Cable Connectors

Credit: Guinness World Records

We’ve seen countless films about robots taking over the planet, but with the ever-increasing advancements in technology, could this become a reality? Perhaps not in our near future, but there is one robot which has been taking over the game of ping pong, and have even entered the Guinness World Records for it.

The robot, named Forpheus, was created by the Omron Corporation and can hold a ping pong paddle and play against humans, as well as teach them how to play. It uses its AI to determine the ability of the opponent, and uses vision sensors to keep track of the ball across the table. It also contains a movement sensor which focuses on the movement of the human player.

Cameras are also used to keep track of the ball, at an impressive rate of 80 times a second. The robot can also speak, saying encouraging things such as “Good job!” to its opponent.

Robotics often require cable connectors in order to function. Servo motors are used within robotics to control and regulate the motion of the parts, and require connection via cable connectors.

It’s not just AI robotics which utilise servo motors in order to control their movements. Within industrial applications, servo motors are used to control robotic arms which are responsible for tasks within manufacturing and packaging industries.

Servo motors are typically quite small, yet are incredibly effective for allowing precise control of positions and movement. Robotics within manufacturing industries that carry out complex or intricate tasks benefit greatly from the use of servo motors, due to the level of motion control that they provide.

Constant motion is essential for robotics within manufacturing industries, and so therefore the cable connectors need to be of the utmost reliability to keep up with the demand. It is because of this that the Lapp Group has created the EPIC range of circular connectors, which are specifically designed for servo motor purposes.

These cables offer high chemical and corrosion resistance, as well as being able to withstand temperatures ranging from -40°C to +125°C, making them appropriate for even the harshest of industrial conditions.


Hygienic Cable and Cable Glands for the Food Industry

cherries-1517973_1280Automation within the food and beverage industry undoubtedly comes into contact with a range of liquids and chemicals on a daily basis.

Whether its strong cleaning chemicals or oils from the foods being processed, the cables connecting the machinery need to be designed and crafted to withstand these often harsh liquids.

Thankfully, there are cables that exist for this very purpose. A hygienic cable will be resistant to potentially harmful microbes and bacteria, as well as possessing a number of additional beneficial properties.

Factory contamination of food and drink products can lead to the public becoming ill, as well as expensive product recalls. Bacteria can quickly accumulate on foods in conditions which are not completely sterile, especially food products which are particularly perishable.

Some strains of bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella can be potentially life threatening, and can be found and spread from raw meats. If food processing machinery is not thoroughly disinfected, this bacteria has the chance to accumulate and be passed onto a number of product batches along an assembly line.

As well as being resistant to microbes, hygienic cables are typically resistant to harsh chemicals. This is essential for cabling within the food and beverage industry, as the machinery used within the factories requires extensive and regular cleaning.

Cables which are not resistant to strong chemicals can quickly become damaged, which can lead to costly halts in production, and well as the risk of a fire occurring. Strong bleaches and other cleaning solutions can degrade certain materials over time, and so a tough polyurethane sheath on cables offers a good resistance.

These cables are typically resistant to contact with both animal and vegetable oils and greases, making them much easier to clean. The Lapp OLFLEX range of hygienic cables also possess a good resistance to ammonia compounds and bio-gases.

Ammonia is one of the most common chemicals found within cleaning solutions, within both households and industrial environments. Bio-gases are produced from the breakdown of organic matter such as food waste and plants.

With the constant need for strong cleaning chemicals on the machinery within food processing, a cable which has chemical resistance is just as important as its hygienic properties.

The use of hygienic cable glands is also essential for the machinery within food industries. Cable glands attach to, and secure the end of cables to their corresponding equipment. These cable glands, like every other part of the machinery, also need to be regularly cleaned in order to avoid contamination occurring.

The traditional cable gland design features grooves which can easily gather dirt and grime, which can be a potential hazard for certain industries. A specially designed hygienic cable gland will typically consist of no gaps, outer threads and edges. This makes the regular cleaning process much easier, as well as quicker.


The Benefits of Cable Harnessing

cable harnessingComplex machinery requires complex cabling. When not efficiently organised, cabling can take up more space than is required, as well as becoming untidy and jumbled. The use of extensive cabling is unavoidable within the components of complex machinery, but it can be managed effectively.

Cable harnessing not only increases space, it gives added protection to your cables against harsh elements and temperatures. It’s cost effective, and is often tailor made to your cabling requirements.

A cable harness will bind your existing cables into one larger and more efficient cable. You may have heard it being referred to as cable loom, wire assembly or wire loom – it’s all the same product.

Cables which have been harnessed are easier to manage, saving time when setting up machinery and taking it apart, which is especially important whilst performing regular safety checks on your machinery.

The tough outer sheath on cable harnessing adds protection to fragile cables which may otherwise be affected by moisture, vibrations from machinery and general abrasions.

In certain industries and their machinery, frequent exposure to chemicals, liquids and general wear and tear is unavoidable. Despite the majority of cabling being designed to withstand such conditions, an added safeguard of a cable harness should certainly be considered.

A good example of this is machinery within the food and beverage industry. Machinery within this industry requires regular deep cleaning with strong cleaning chemicals in order to maintain the strict health and safety standards which are currently in place.

When cables in machinery used for food and beverages are harnessed effectively, this reduces the potential risk of damage to cabling from harsh cleaning chemicals and liquids.

Lapp offer bespoke cable harnessing services for all cabling needs, to a range of industries. Whether you are within beverage, mechanical engineering or aerospace industries, Lapp’s custom and high quality cable harnessing will protect your cabling from harsh elements and general day-to-day wear.


How Control Cables Support Industries

rubber cableWhen think of a control cable as an isolated piece of equipment, you may not immediately be able to recognise their impact within an industry setting.  However, if you consider how they support the most advanced machinery of our time, you’ll quickly come to realise just how important control cables are.

Control cables are used to ‘control’ our electronics through delivering power and data from one module or component to another. Perhaps for a simpler household item, an advanced control cable may not be as necessary, but for industry standard machinery, only the best quality will do. In robotics in particular, control cables will be housed within past moving, components which are likely to twist and bend, thousands of times a day. With this in mind, your control cable needs to be built to tolerate such movement over a prolonged period of time helping your machinery to be as productive as they possibly can.

One of the many benefits of using a cable from an industrial supplier is that they have been specifically built and tested under industrial conditions. This means that they can offer guarantees to their reliability. Industrial cables require large data and transmission capacity in order to process communications effortlessly.

No one fits all when it comes to control cables and as you know, even in similar industries can produce products that can dramatically vary from each other, whether its automotive, food and drink or otherwise . This means that you’ll require a control cable with your needs in mind.

For the food and drink industry, you may want to choose a cable that won’t break down with exposure to vegetable fats and other raw ingredients. The OLFLEX® ROBUST for example, a high resistance to such ingredients, as well as hot and cold temperatures. Retaining its flexibility under all circumstances, OLFLEX® ROBUST is an incredibly versatile solution for many.

If it’s for automation robotics, the ÖLFLEX® FD provides an ideal solution, with unbeatable flexibility to prevent cable fatigue.  Its makeup has been entirely tailored to meet the high stresses of constant movement. They feature very fine wire conductor stranding with a high rate of twist to offer additional strength at the point of bending.

For mechanical applications the ÖLFLEX® POLYURETHANE Cables offer the highest immunity to mechanical and chemical damage. Tear, tangle and hydrolysis resistant – it is the strongest control cable of its kind.


2016 Industrial Manufacturing Trends

Production RobotsIndustrial manufacturing is finally recovering from the recession that hit the UK back in 2001 and 2008. With growth comes new technology in emerging markets. The consumer and businesses in general are demanding new technology in the process of moving forward with becoming more efficient with what each provider does. Undoubtedly, technological advances are being adopted to keep up, demanding improved automation engineering and superior automation cables for flawless results.

Some of the trends within the industry for 2016 are:

Everything is Connected – The ‘internet of things’ is certainly coming into play as more connected items are coming onto the market. From communication to automotive, we see a future of everyday objects being seamlessly connected to offer more accurate results from devices. Not only in production itself, manufacturing plans are using the internet to send and receive data, improving the efficiency of production. An example of this is the Stanley Black & Decker plant in Mexico. Through implementing WiFi integrated networks, Black & Decker were able to see ‘real-time’ results of production lines. The implementation resulted in a 25% increase of overall equipment effectiveness which demonstrates how technology can improve labour orientated production.

3D Printing – Still in its very early stages of implementation, manufacturers are adopting 3D printing as a means of building product prototypes quickly as one single piece of material. In the new stages of product development the time to create a product (and each of its structured parts) has been known to be a lengthy process in the past. Now, manufacturers can build multiple product examples in a fraction of the time it would take to build moulds, source suitable materials, etc. It has proved to be a solution to manufacturers who need specialised parts. BAE Systems for example, have used 3D printing to create a critical plastic part for a regional jetliner in the past.

Robotics – Robotics are increasingly being employed to support labour workers. Particularly in the automotive industry, robots are able to carry out what might be considered too strenuous for normal labour production with intricate detail. It assists well in production that required a very high standard of quality control or during production that might impact the health and safety of workers.

Augmented Reality – As computer vision and IT becomes more intelligent, it has been harnessed to make manufacturing environment more intelligent with it. Real-time data can easily be used to make all processes more efficient. Complicated machinery is able to provide its own operational training and breakdown recovery to the user through video clips. It allows for less physical demand and intervention by the user and encourages a safer working environment.


What does your cable gland do and why do you need it?

cable glands

Cable glands are a type of mechanical entry device that will ensure that two connections are securely joined to create a fully functioning application. An example of this would be a connection between a generator and a pump, which is known worldwide for aptitude and affordable conduits.

When it comes to cable glands, it’s important to outline just how long it needs to last and what purpose it serves. Long lasting glands see you through the distance, ensuring that you are looking into the strongest materials. Should you need a temporary solution, smaller, easy to attach types are available, ensuring you are working perfectly.

The protections of your connections are important for moisture protection, along with dust defence that can have influence on connections quality. Cable glands will ensure that your application is working at its full holding force that will allow you to regulate pull.

Two of the most commonly used materials to make these cable glands include stainless steel, nickel plate among a host of other heavier weight materials. Different cable glands are suited to different applications, dependant on the weight and force of your process’ workload. It’s important that you use a gland that has good connection, able to withstand requires pressures as well as internal interference.

A quality supplier of cable glands can ensure that you meet your requirements even down to the smallest detail, adjusting your needs with particular regards to housings, inserts, contact and cable glands.

Extremely helpful when it comes to ensuring health, hygiene and safety, they can be a huge asset to electrical power, telecommunication and control cables. Versatile and robust products will ensure a single gland would last for many years, even under strenuous conditions.

Lapp UK are a firm that can provide you with the perfect cable glands for your application, ensuring that you are ready to go within your connection needs.


The difference between circular and rectangular cable connectors

cable connectorsWhen it comes to cables, everything can be a bit overwhelming. Thankfully when you look for it, there is a whole range of information available at your fingertips. While there is much available for your personal reading, sometimes things are best left to the experts, so depending on the difficulty and your ability, you’ll have to decide what’s best. Here we will address the common difficulty in understanding the difference between different types of cable connectors available for your use.

Having the wrong connector in operation is not only a time consuming and costly problem for you, but also incredibly disadvantageous to business.

Circular Connectors

The most widely used cable connect is of course the circular one. While it is hugely common, the rectangle type is also, making it sometimes difficult to understand why there is a need for these two different types.

The circular connector head is especially useful when it comes to an application that uses servo motors and harnessing. While dependent on your working environment, you should use a supplier that will be able to assist you with any information or requirements, as they are in the position to give you accurate advice on all things cable.

Before purchasing a circular connect, you should understand its durability quality and decide if it is fitting with the application it is about to be deployed into.

Rectangular Connectors

Considered for slightly more heavyweight applications than the circle version, the obvious distinguishing feature is of course the shape. You will primarily find the rectangular versions in processes where there is a greater danger threat to the cable. This could be through human error, hazardous interference or elemental conditions having an effect.

The fact that rectangular head connectors are less commonly seen is due to the fact that they are used in more industrial environments, whereas the circular connector is used across many household appliances.

Before plunging into the world of cabling and connecting up your applications, it is always advisable to consult the cable experts at organisations such as Lapp, as they are able to offer sound advice that keeps things efficient and moreover, safe.

Solar Connectors

A relatively new addition to the cable connector scene, the solar connectors are set to grow significantly with the embracing of solar energy. Somewhat once seen as a gimmick, the solar energy demand is growing significantly, and expects to reach the point where at least a house on every road will be seen to have a solar panel on their roof.

To achieve the best performance from your solar energy, the most effective transmission of the power is necessary. If your applications are constantly exposed to heat as many are, it will be totally worthwhile to engage in some preventative and protective strategies in the form of suitable connectors.



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