Down to the Wire
By Rob Boyd
Another consideration for applicators is compatibility with crimp force monitors. Many customers who are not familiar with crimp monitors overlook applicator quality. If an applicator or the tooling is not in good condition, the result may be excessive variation in the crimp force curves. Therefore, the monitor might give erroneous good/bad signals to the machine based on a worn applicator and not on the quality of the crimp. A dedicated tooling area could also evaluate the condition of each applicator and the tooling after it came off the production floor. Just this tip alone can save countless hours of down time when working with crimp force monitors.
There are always exceptions to the rule and some barreled wire can be very curly. This can happen depending on the insulation type and wire quality. If the barreled wire is curly, speak with the vendor to determine if the quality can be improved.
If the company is investing considerable amounts of money on a new machine to improve productivity, in some cases, it may be necessary to invest a little more for higher quality materials so that the new machine can reach maximum productivity and the ROI is maximized as well.
PM programs can be purchased from most manufacturers. Periodic reviews and calibrations by qualified technicians will keep a machine in top performance and make potential problems known before major problems occur. The additional expense of a good vendor PM program can save a lot of money in the future.
Service training is also crucial. Sending technicians for higher level training can increase machine uptime considerably over time. Ideally, the technicians would be autonomous so they could troubleshoot machine problems without the manufacturer's technicians.
For additional information on the technologies and products discussed in this article, see MDT online at www.mdtmag.com or Schleuniger Inc. at www.schleuniger-na.com.
Rob Boyd is a 15-year veteran of the wire processing industry and currently works for Schleuniger Inc. as the crimping product manager. He can be reached toll free at 877-902-1470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.