Monthly Archives: June 2024

SHL AG uses NearFi technology to automate rotary tables

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Less maintenance effort thanks to contactless data and power transmission

SHL AG has been developing systems for automated grinding, polishing, and deburring since 1989. The company uses NearFi contactless power and real-time Ethernet solutions from Phoenix Contact for wear-free and maintenance-free communication. SHL’s systems include flexible robot cells, grinding, polishing, and deburring cells, as well as complete production cells. The company supplies users from various industries, including faucets, automotive crankshafts, and titanium and ceramic for medical applications. With 95 percent vertical integration, SHL reduces production costs through better cycle times. However, shorter cycle times and movements can lead to more wear, resulting in downtime.


Data exchange via slip ring was previously prone to interference and wear

Surface processing requires workpieces to swivel 360 degrees, and rotary tables with swivel units are used. The system consists of three areas for the various processing steps: insertion onto the carrier, ithe initial processing of the workpiece by sanding robots with coarse grit, and finally processing by sanding robots with fine grit. The rotary table rotates the workpiece to the next processing station. Bernhard Mattes, Senior Director of Engineering at the Böttingen plant, introduced contactless NearFi technology for wireless data exchange, which is mounted on each rotary axis for the three endlessly rotating swivel units.

Data exchange via slip ring was previously prone to interference and wear

Simple startup without configuration effort

NearFi enables contactless data and power transmission using base and remote couplers that can be flexibly positioned without precise alignment. It reduces maintenance costs, enhances system availability, and simplifies startup with quick, configuration-free connection via 24V and Profinet cables, communicating Ethernet protocols at 100 Mbps full duplex.

NearFi technology

Protocol-independent Ethernet communication with no appreciable latency

Industrial automation relies on Ethernet with a 100 Mbps data rate, but NearFi technology offers contactless and protocol-independent Ethernet connections with no appreciable latency. NearFi couplers transmit 50 W of power and real-time Ethernet data across an air gap of just a few centimeters, ensuring coexistence with existing wireless technologies like Bluetooth or WLAN. Phoenix Contact’s wireless products are ideal for rotating applications where slip rings for Ethernet communication are susceptible to interference.

Protocol-independent Ethernet communication with no appreciable latency

Learn more about NearFi technology.

More efficient wire processing

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Optimized processes and coordinated system solutions for greater efficiency in wire processing


Control cabinet builders face international competition, skilled worker shortages, and increasing labor and material costs. In-house production and cost structure are increasingly under spotlight. The process chain in control cabinet building offers potential for efficiency gains in engineering and production through the use of optimally coordinated systems.

Identifying time-consuming process steps

control cabinet building

The continuity of the control cabinet building process chain is vital for efficiency and competitiveness. Untapped potential in wire preparation, identification, and wiring can be exploited through the use of optimally coordinated hand tools and automatic tools, as well as manual and automated marking systems.

Automating and bundling core processes

Automatic cutting devices, such as the Cutfox 10, can cut wires precisely and with repeat accuracy at high speed, saving time and allowing for easier stripping and crimping processes. These devices also offer flexibility in production by allowing for interchangeable dies for different types of contact. Bundling individual stripping and crimping capabilities can result in time and cost savings of up to 70%. Phoenix Contact offers a wide variety of marking solutions for wire identification, including thermal transfer printing, UV LED printing, and direct laser marking. The Thermomark E Series marking system from Phoenix Contact automates and combines the printing and applying of various marking materials in a single process step, resulting in time savings of around 60% in industrial identification. This system consists of three applicators for wire and cable identification, connected to a standard thermal transfer roll printer, eliminating the need for an additional device.

Efficiency and ergonomics

 Clipx Wire Assist system

Phoenix Contact’s Clipx Wire Assist system offers a scalable, efficient, and ergonomic worker assistance system for semi-automated wire production. The system guides users through the process, controls automatic tools and printers, and displays necessary information on a monitor. The system is built around a height-adjustable workbench, allowing workers to switch between sitting and standing while working. Mounted on four industrial-grade castors, it is mobile, reducing unnecessary legwork. The modular workbench design allows users to arrange their workstation as desired, with guides attached for additional accessories.

Nothing works without data and software

 CAE programs

Furthermore, the Wire Assist worker assistance system enhances productivity by controlling devices and guiding users through wire preparation, reducing manual effort and errors. Its intuitive graphical user interface features touch capability and a clear design. The system saves time and money by exporting necessary wiring information from CAE programs and importing it into Wire Assist. Filter and sort functions ensure efficient wire processing, eliminating unnecessary material changes.

Read more about control cabinet building.