Cable and Connectivity Solutions for Automation in Chemical Industries
Mr. Marc Jarrault
Managing Director
Lapp India Pvt. Ltd .

Says Marc Jarrault - Managing Director - Lapp India Pvt. Ltd.
Chemical industries have always dealt with complex environments and hence understanding the requirements and suggesting the right technology for implementation has been far higher than before.

Flexibility and one-off production are one of the top requirements of Industry 4.0, enabling companies to achieve resource efficiency and ergonomic production, with integration of customers demand and business partners into the value chain. Industry 4.0 can be defined as the digital transformation of manufacturing. It helps in ensuring that data from production facilities is supplied directly to the material, planning and production control systems on real-time basis. Seamless automation between machines and plants will enable a selfcontrolling and self-optimizing system .

Automation of the manufacturing process has been one of the direct beneficiaries of the rapid increase in Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 brings with it the concept of Smart Factory, making the process more flexible by integrating the systems, machines, production and logistics for better productivity and efficient delivery. Trends and requirements born out of the Industry 4.0 revolution also influence the connectivity level of a machine or system for integrating the production and documentation process. The development and production processes has become more flexible, efficient and customer-centric. As customers demand customized systems and higher flexibility, industrial automation components should reflect in these demands. In today's new industrial revolution era, products are becoming 'smarter'.

Chemical industries have always dealt with complex environments and hence understanding the requirements and suggesting the right technology for implementation has been far higher than before. Growing industrialization and infrastructure expansion in the chemical industries are two major factors driving the growth for automating the factories. A step into automation is the way forward to achieve the desired growth, higher productivity, efficient use of material and better product quality.

Implementation of process automation has reduced human interference due to the hazardous factory environment that typically chemical industry deals with. While chemical industries are looking at making their factories smarter it is very important for the industries to choose right components when it comes to cabling solutions. Cable and connection technology play an important role in process automation to meet the challenges that comes along the evolution. For a highly competent automation technology, following factors are essential for cables in advanced automation applications for Industry 4.0.

Torsion resistant and reverse bending
Machines perform better with customized torsion-resistant cables instead of standard control cables. These modified cables are specially designed to withstand the torsion and repetitive motion of their particular application. The cables are manufactured in a way that it can provide the smallest bending radius possible within the machine. Specifically, designed cables for power chain, cable-track configurations and torsion applications can help overcome the challenges that are presented when designing automation machines. This can also reduce the amount of cable failure during operations .

Highly Flexible
Stud welding machines are used by robots in process automation. The machine is automatically positioned by the robot and sets the studs for wiring harness assembly in the body shells. This requires the highest levels of efficiency and precision in terms of the executed movements and system productivity. Cabling would need to be laid over all the robot's axes and would therefore need to be able to follow all of its angular movements and rotations.

Slim in construction and lightweight
To avoid restrictions to the robot's movements, various cables are usually laid over the robot axes in the smallest of spaces. This is to avoid any confusion with other cables such as the welding cable, the data network and signal cable as well as the air and protective gas conduits. The cables need to be slim in design and light in weight which would ensure that cables occupy a small crosssection, among the rest.

Chemical resistant
As the cables are subject to a lot contact with chemicals, it becomes very vital for cables to be designed in a way that they can withstand the harshest chemicals and avoid corrosion, alkaline formation, chemical reaction etc.

EMC/Loss-less transmission
A common challenge faced by cable manufacturers is to reduce electromagnetic interference (EMI) by retaining the higher flexibility and slim/ light construction. The data network and signal cables need to be protected with additional copper/aluminum screening for this. By using the right insulating it is possible to achieve both electrical and mechanical requirements. Combining all these components in complex hybrid cables shall offer loss/ less transmission, robot-compliant flexibility and torsion strength, with a durability of more than two million bending cycles.material,

Application-specific and long lasting
System component suppliers need to be able to supply high-quality standard products while also being able to primarily develop individual customized products. The use of standard ware in complex areas, in cases of doubt, leads to unwanted compromises, which in practice can lead to problems with using the machines and production systems. System cable division takes on the often-time-consuming development of individual solutions that can involve intensive consultation, and they do this in cooperation with the customer.

Plug and play/complete connectivity solution
No system is complete without connecting all the individual components and for this, a reliable partner who lives up to the high demands, is essential. Customised solutions are often required in order to implement new ideas to meet the top line growth requirements of an industry: cables and connectors that you cannot simply buy 'off the shelf'.

With the need to scale up operations and meet production requirements, the demand for customized solutions has been growing. Innovative plug and play solutions are available in the market that customises solutions to meet the topline growth of their customers which the standardized 'off-the-shelf cables and conductors generally do not.

High volume data transmission
Machines used in smart factories require data/networking for greater bandwidth with power control cable. This is one reason for installing customized and composite cable solution mix of single/multi-mode fibres with power and control conductors of different gauges and types are assembled under one sheath in these cabling solutions. Hence it takes up less space and reduces installation cost.

Essentially, in a smart factory, the manufacturing process becomes transparent from A to Z, and this transparency goes beyond the factory floor to the supply chain to the delivery process and stretches out to the user experience. Reliable networking of production across all levels is only possible with a comprehensive cabling and connection concept.

Data rates will climb with the consistent networking of company and business processes, a development that demands high-performance networks. In future, network cables will no longer only be used to connect machinery and within control cabinets, they will also be laid directly to intelligent actuators or sensors in the field. The solution lies in systemspecific field -compatible Ethernet cables and robust connectors. Ethernet cables in a production environment must be substantially more robust than LAN cables in an office environment. It is an enormous challenge to combine the requirements of flexibility, robustness and the highest data rates. In addition, it must also be possible to install network connectors in the field without special tools.

High quality and reliable cables, connectors and cable assembly solutions with international standards are currently being developed to enable machines and systems to become modular for Indian chemical industries. With customer's increasing demands that the products be customized and production be flexible, cables and connectors have to make these machine requirements a reality. Efficiency of cable and connectors will always be key to the productivity of the future of the industrial sector.