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6 February, 2023

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System promises installation time savings of up to 70%

22 December, 2022

Murrelektonik has developed a technology that, it says, will help to avoid errors during automation installations, and deliver time savings of up to 70%. The uKonn-X system is designed to make the planning and installation of automation technologies more efficient. The company describes the development as “the first seamless, digitally and visually supported system with bidirectional communication between design, development, assembly and commissioning”.

Murrelektronik says the system solves several problems at a stroke. Machine installation, it argues, is still complex, time-consuming, tedious and error-prone. Circuit diagrams, often several hundred pages long, have to be read, understood and correctly transferred to a cabling system. Sensors, actuators, switches, power supplies and other items have to be interconnected.

As a result, it is not uncommon for troubleshooting and corrections to take longer than the actual installation and documentation. The new system cuts installation and commissioning times, allowing machines to start operating sooner. By simplifying the process, it could also help tackle the shortage of skilled personnel.

The system is based on the digitisation of physical components and communications processes. Machine installers or commissioning engineers first use a mobile scanner to read a code on the Murrelektronik connectors needed for a project. This brings up a circuit diagram and a 3D model on a touchscreen tablet display, showing which components need to be connected to each other. LEDs light up on fieldbus modules in the machine to indicate which ports to use.

Once an installation step has been completed, the installer confirms this on the touch display, which triggers an automatic documentation process.

The system also interprets the circuit diagram and creates a bill of materials (BOM). Murrelektronik assembles the required connectors and provides them with the machine-readable markings. If a customer requests it, the company can deliver connectors sorted according to their position in a machine.

So the process is: take a component or connector, scan it, identify the correct port, attach or plug it in, confirm and trigger the documentation. If changes are needed to the installation, the installer can communicate these digitally to the design department, helping to improve the machine design, while also ensuring accurate documentation.

Once a connector has been scanned, an LED indicates which port it should be plugged into. Circuit diagrams and 3D models are shown on a tablet touch display.

“Time savings of up to 70% can be achieved during installation and commissioning alone,” says Murrelektronik board member, Dr Paul Zeller. “Our system also significantly shortens troubleshooting.”

Zeller adds that the company has transferred its expertise in decentralised electrical installation technologies to the digital world “and also made it intuitive for the user with the help of visual support to ensure a new level of quality”. Murrelektronik has made electrical installations “simply seamless,” he contends.

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