Machine design for bundling cables with synchronised motion

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A manufacturer wanted to produce a new machine design for bundling cables and the challenges for Yaskawa were many-fold. They needed synchronised motion between axes to eliminate push-bar skewing, binding and smooth transition from position control to force control. They also required replacement of a pneumatic system but without high cost and had to be scalable and easy to commission.

This OEM makes a variety of equipment mainly serving the material-handling industry. This application required 5 axes of servomotors fitted to linear actuators which bundled wires together to be wrapped into a cable harness. Through a simple I/O interface, the operator selects one of several closed position targets based on the number of wires in the bundle and then selects a force set-point through additional digital inputs. During the move to the closed position the 5 axes are geared together to smoothly position the 7.5m-long bundling bar across the work surface without skew or binding. After reaching the target position the MP2300Siec controller switches to torque control mode for all 5 axes to generate a final, specific force on the captured bundle of wires. After the manual operation to create the bundle, the controller switches back to a geared position mode and returns the bundling bar to the start position.

The system achieved performance of positioning accuracy of +/- 0.025mm and force accuracy of +/- 0.25kg. The differentiating solution features included an auto-tuning servo amplifier, gearing and torque control modes, and most importantly IEC 61131-3 programming environment.

This resulted in a simple and familiar environment which eases implementation time, substantially reduces project risk and has successfully improved performance. This has resulted in a saving of commissioning time, an improved system response, an improvement in throughput, reduced product damage and in addition it has prevented mechanism skew and binding.

Micromech is the UK distributor and systems integrator for Yaskawa motion products; for more information email or visit the website at

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