Electrical clamping technology

04 August 2015

Working together, Murrelektronik and Univer are offering energy-saving electrical clamp solutions to help car factories move a step closer to the utopian 'green factory'

In the body shop, many metal sheets and parts are attached to the frame. Before parts can be welded they must be fixed in their exact position, which requires many individual clamps.

Markus Oerder, MD of Univer GmbH, comments: "An electrical drive with an efficiency rating of over 80% is considered to be more efficient than pneumatic drivers. However, when cost factors are added into the equation, electrical components only make sense when pneumatics are no longer needed for assembly. This is why electrical clamps are an interesting choice when welding tongs, cutters and lifting units are already electrically driven.” 


But electrical clamps are still not universally accepted, according to Oerder. "The price is higher at the moment because of the quantities being used and also from the investment costs caused by switching over to electrical components,” he says. 

"If you compared the prices based on the same quantities and calculated this against necessary, new installations, the prices would be similar. Moreover, engineers often assume electrical solutions can only be designed with expensive, special constructions and many accommodations for the power supply.” 

It became obvious that electrical clamps (operating a 24V voltage) require a relatively high current when starting up and during the actual clamping process. Therefore, it is important to produce and distribute energy that can operate up to 5000 clamps per system. This is where Murrelektronik components come into their own. 

"The discussions with Univer showed that Murrelektronik could drive the electrical clamp using standard components,” says Peter Ohr, Key Account Manager Automotive at Murrelektronik. "We immediately started endurance testing that proved successful.” 

"To control the clamps, they can use a standard MvK Metal module that is already installed in high quantities in many automotive plants. This also means they can use a proven technology. They don’t have to get familiar with new technology and no new spare parts are required for maintenance. With Emparro67, Murrelektronik provides the appropriate solution for an intelligent power supply.” 

Together with Univer, Murrelektronik built a prototype to demonstrate how easy this procedure really is and now use this to present the concept to engineers in automotive plants.