- Register


Home>MACHINE BUILDING & ENGINEERING>Connectors>Multi-Coupling connectors save time

Editor's Pick


Multi-Coupling connectors save time

01 December 2014

Assembling an array of quick release connectors onto a single multi-coupling plate provides quick and simultaneous connection of all services including air, water, hydraulics, electrics and data.

According to specialist in quick release connection solutions, Stäubli, this can often produce the most significant single improvement in changeover times for applications as diverse as automotive engine test beds, railway rolling stock bogies, robot tool changers as well as injection moulding machines.

Stäubli manufactures a comprehensive range of connectors for pneumatic, hydraulic and electrical applications; any selection of these can be located on the same multi-coupling plate as required by each specific application. This is the Stäubli MCS range of tailor made multi-couplings.

Experienced Stäubli engineers review the requirements of the specific application to determine the precise specification for the multi-coupling plate. This will take into account the following parameters:

  • Type of fluid, pressure, temperature
  • Type of valving (single shut-off, double shut-off or unvalved)
  • Type of fitting
  • Non-spill requirements
  • Method of connection – manual or automatic; Consideration for automatic connection, ie Misalignment, Driving/Locking mechanism
  • Electrical connector requirements, ie Amperage, Voltage, Number of pins
  • Environmental constraints, ie Temperature, Climatic conditions, Marine environment
  • Frequency of connection/disconnection
  • Space envelope available

From this data Stäubli will design and manufacture a specific multi-coupling solution based on their standard range of connectors. This will include modular quick release couplings and electrical connectors, guiding and centring components as well as connection and locking systems.

The use of multi-couplings dramatically improves safety. Connection can only be made in one position, eliminating any risk of circuit inversion and mis-connection. Connection of the plates can be either manual or automatic as required and seals will be selected to suit the fluids involved.

Examples of the benefits to be achieved through the use of multi-coupling plates can be found across a wide spread of industry. At Triumph Motorcycles in Hinckley mould change times in the injection moulding shop were reduced by 30% using Stäubli multi-coupling plates. A target time of 20 minutes for the tool change was set, which with tools weighing up to 8 tonnes, a rapid automatic multi-coupling system was needed. Stäubli multi-coupling plates removed any danger of mis-connection and shaved at least 10 minutes off the tool change time.

At Perkins, Peterborough, for example, multi-coupling plates were essential in their new engine test facilities, automating all the connections required by each engine, removing any chance of poor or incorrect connections and eliminating any leaks. The new cells were also able to test and monitor the electrical systems increasingly being used on diesel engines and provide data sets for each engine that could be accessed, analysed and supplied to the customer when required. Over 500,000 engines have now been through the test beds and Stäubli’s multi-coupling plates have performed faultlessly.

Many companies are now realising the benefits in terms of speed, safety and security that multi-coupling systems offer. Stäubli Connectors team of experienced engineers are on hand to analyse requirements and recommend a solution that will perform efficiently and reliably over numerous connection cycles.