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SMT & Inspection | October 30, 2008

Automatisation in Eastern Europe: a hot topic at Komax InHouse Show

The Swiss supplier of machinery for processing cabling, Komax held an InHouse Show at its headquarters in Dierikon outside Luzern, Switzerland last week. The most notable trend is the beginning automatisation within the Eastern European markets.
Some 700 guests from 39 countries were invited to participate in the event, which is one of the biggest in cable processing each year. Customers, distributors as well as staff with family and friends were invited.

What is evident now is that the Eastern European markets are starting to show interest in automatisation. Previously, it was mainly the Western European countries that have been interested in the automatisation of their cabling processing, but with increase in wages and salaries in Eastern Europe – interest in automatisation is growing too. Josef Zumstein, VP Sales/ Marketing at Komax told evertiq that "the cost in Eastern European countries has risen so much that automatisation has now become topical again. Earlier, this was only interesting for companies operating in Western Europe".

He also notes that several small and medium-sized OEM customers in Western Europe are now looking for cable manufacturers in the West. "Interest in an Eastern European cable manufacturer is often low, when it comes to small production runs. In some instances, OEM customers themselves have started their own cable manufacturing to organise their production," says Josef Zumstein.

Some thirty machines were displayed in the exhibition halls. The new machines – shown for the first time – were the cutting and stripping machines Kappa 310, 320 and 321. These are part of the 3-series, which was launched last year with Kappa 330 and 350. The biggest advantage of the 3-series are the laser sensors which measure the exact depth of the cable and set the scissors, so the cables are stripped to the right depth – down to the copper wire. This feature increases the accuracy and eliminates the need for the operator to find the right settings. Kappa 321 also offers the possibility of stripping up to 5 inner-layer cables. Another feature in the 3-series is that they can be connected with each other to form a production network. The 3-series is able to crimp around 9000 cables per hour.

The machine is targeted especially towards the electronics industry is crimp machine Gamma 255, which has been adapted for cable processing in microelectronics. The machine is capable of mounting of connectors and tinning.

The InHouse Show has become somewhat of a tradition. It is held about every two years. This year it has produced very positive feedback, even on the automotive side despite the current business slowdown in the market. "We are very pleased that we managed to find so many, especially from the automotive side, where some visitors have paid their own travel expenses, because some automotive manufacturers have cut down on travel expenses. This demonstrates the importance of keeping up to date on developments in the hardware market, even in recession", states Josef Zumstein.

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