One of the first machines Rapport bought when we started in the cable/wire harness assemblies business in 1993 was an Artos CS-1 electrical wire cutting and stripping machine that was built in 1935. While we haven’t used it in over a decade, you can still see it at our office. We’ve kept it as a reminder of how far our industry has come and how much our company has evolved.
The machine is still functional. It operates with an electric motor. Through a series of cams and adjustments to the various arms, the cut lengths of the wire can be customized. The wire stripping operation is controlled by a set of dies and blocks that space the cutting blades appropriately to get the desired strip length of the insulation. The Artos machine was very consistent and fast when processing wire. The downside was that it could take 90 minutes or more to reset the dies and cams between jobs.
New Technology for Electrical Wire Cutting
When we retired the Artos CS-1, we replaced it with a more advanced electrical wire cutting machine. That unit was more recently supplemented with an even newer Komax machine. Both of the more modern units have electronic controls, which enables us to set them up in less than five minutes. We also have the ability to store presets for jobs and call them up whenever they are needed.
The newest machine is now our workhorse. The older unit, which still does an excellent job, serves as a backup for overflow or when the newest machine is down for maintenance. This “redundancy” helps ensure that any projects involving electrical wire stay on track.
The Drivers for Purchasing New Electrical Wire Cutting/Stripping Machines
Most new purchases of electrical wire cutting/stripping machines are the result of our desire to increase our production operation volume and/or our efficiency. However, in some cases a purchase is driven by a special need.
For example, another Komax machine was acquired specifically for a customer application that required a 4.5” strip of a multi-conductor cable that had a specialized outer jacket. Previously, the cable was stripped by hand with an X-Acto knife, and very few operators were able to perform this operation. Due to project volumes, a machine was needed to increase productivity and to free up the operators for other tasks. It took some effort to find a machine that was capable of performing the task for this specialized cable, but the Komax unit works well.
New Welding Machines for Producing Battery Packs
Electrical wire cutting and stripping isn’t the only operation where advanced technology helps Rapport increase volume and control costs. Our most recent machine purchases have been battery welders, which we needed because of increased volume in our battery pack business.
Battery welding machines have a limitation on their output due to the heat generated. Consequently, no matter how fast an operator is, there is a lag (however slight) between welding operations in order for the unit to recharge/cool. There is also a fair amount of setup between different jobs, as the amount of power directed to the welding heads has to be precise to avoid under-welds (which cause the weld to fail) or over-welds (which can pierce and destroy the battery). For higher volume and consistent customer jobs, the purchases mean we have dedicated welding machines that do not have to be changed continuously, which promotes consistency and quality.
Staying Informed About New Technology for Electrical Wire Cutting and Battery Pack Welding
How does Rapport stay up-to-date on the latest technology for everything from electrical wire cutting/stripping to battery pack welding? First, we have a great deal of experience with various manufacturers of quality equipment. Sales reps for these manufacturers help us determine the right equipment for the job and keep us informed about new products.
Rapport management also attends trade shows on a regular basis, and brings wire samples to test new machines directly. In fact, this is how we found the Komax machine we purchased for stripping the specialized cable.
Why do we invest the research time and capital to keep our technology current? The answer is that lower-quality or older machines can cause a loss of consistency and efficiency in the production process, and any variance in consistency drastically affects product quality. So, ensuring that we are always using high-quality, well-functioning equipment is one of our top priorities at Rapport.
Our full-service facility in Colorado uses the most advanced equipment for electrical wire stripping and battery pack production to complete jobs quickly and cost-effectively. Contact Rapport, Inc. today to learn more about our services!