The density of users and devices is enormous and continuously increasing. Ever greater volumes of data are being transferred and security is of central importance. As a consequence of all these points, the demand for antenna components is also increasing. These components consist mostly of micro-coaxial or coaxial cables. Therefore, cable assembly manufacturers are often pushed to their limits due to these increasing requirements:
- It has become practically impossible to achieve the required length tolerances manually or with semiautomatic tools.
- Therefore the cable ends have to be tested systematically. Microscopes or magnifying glasses are insufficient in this case. Furthermore, the corresponding measurements are subject to fluctuations: Two people often have a different perspective of the quality. Moreover, a person is not equally focused throughout the day.
- Transporting the cables between the individual process steps is also problematic. Even touching the cable end only slightly can bend it and render it unusable. In the worst case scenario, this can be the difference between the end device working, or not.
Schleuniger has developed the QCam 360 to meet these requirements. With the QCam 360, Schleuniger, as the sole provider of this technology, offers a solution that enables the stripped cable ends of micro-coaxial and coaxial cables to be automatically tested and measured. This camera system measures stripped cable ends with a resolution of a hundredth of a millimeter. Furthermore, the system is designed to identify uncut shield litz wires or unstripped layers, such as the isolation or the dielectricum.
The QCam 360 is an integral part of the CoaxCenter 6000, the world’s first machine system that processes coaxial and micro-coaxial cables fully automatically and with high precision. The camera system makes it possible to check the cable ends during production. Thanks to the QCam 360, faulty processes can be continuously detected and sorted out. Faulty cables are triaged, i.e. sorted out, based on the following criteria:
- Length of the strip: The QCam 360 compares the stripping length of the individual layers (sheath/braid/dielectricum/inner conductor) against the defined lengths for each. Any strip lengths that are too long or too short are sorted out.
- Diameter of the individual layers: By comparing the diameter against the defined diameters, the QCam 360 checks that the different layers are processed correctly.
- Braid residue on dielectricum: By taking a photograph in certain light characteristics, the camera system can determine whether any braid residue is on the dielectricum, which is not permitted. This check is important to ensure the crimping process can be completed correctly.
- Crimp contact: By comparing the crimp contact with a sample crimp, the QCam 360 is also able to evaluate the quality of the crimp contact and sort out faulty crimps.