15/10/2021 – Customised automation solutions by Wafios

Modular system for the production of ready-to-install busbars

Two years ago, Wafios presented the “BMF 60” – a new machine for the production of shaped parts and busbars. In the meantime, various versions of the BMF 60 have been established on the market. The success of the new generation of machines is based on the reliable and economical production of busbars in one pass.


Overview of machinery system with robots. © Wafios


Screenshot of Main Control System. © Wafios

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Due to numerous patent-pending and also patented production techniques, not only conventional process steps, like straightening, bending and cutting-off can be integrated into the machinery system but also additional operations, like insulation stripping and twisting which is required to produce busbars with different connection levels.

System solutions for the automated production of busbarsBusbars are particularly suitable for connecting the rechargeable batteries used in hybrid and electric vehicles. Compared to flexible cable connections, rigid busbars are better suited for automated assembly processes because they can be connected with battery packages more easily and more safely within robot assembly lines.

From the very beginning, the biggest challenge the production of busbars was facing was the limited installation space of busbars. This is due to the fact that busbars are adjusted to the final geometry of the battery package at a very late stage in the development process. Inevitably, busbars with contortions, angles and twists are the result. Naturally, these geometries have to be produced with a high degree of accuracy.

After the presentation of the “BMF 60”, Wafios considered the automation of all process steps and additional operations to be the next logical step in the production of busbars.

The modular system presented, offers a great choice of standard processes and conventional, mechanical operations, especially when it comes to the processing of polyamide-coated flat wire, the punching of holes into busbars or the contour cutting of busbar ends. A combination of process steps is also possible. A round hole, for example, can be punched into one end of the busbar to hold the contact element which can automatically inserted in a subsequent step. Depending on the application, busbars can be provided with elongated holes or they can be trimmed to compensate assembly tolerances in longitudinal or transverse direction.

Solutions for marking the busbar with product-related information required for tracking and quality assurance can be integrated into the production process by default. The last processing step then includes the marking of the finish-bent busbar with a QR or data matrix code by means of a marking laser while it is simultaneously checked for readability. Other production steps can be included anytime.

Everything at a glance - Central MCS (main control station) for controlling and monitoring all process parameters
Forces required for punching, variation of processes, readability of the production code or communication with higher-level systems - all information is available at a glance and controlled on the Wafios “MCS”.

The MCS serves for controlling all components of the machinery system. It constitutes a central interface where the individual machines, components and production stations are bundled into a machinery system. This ensures that all machine statuses, signals, messages and process-specific parameters are efficiently monitored.

As usual, the central control is divided into two areas: standardised functions and application-specific process steps.

Standardised functions include the control for processing and visualising all signals and machine statuses, like, for example, process and safety signals. Other examples are the control and management of statuses and messages of the machinery system.

Any number of different functions can be integrated into the application-specific process steps, for example, the laser marking and verification function. The punching of the busbars or downstream welding operations can also be integrated. The integration of functions requires interfaces for adjusting the customer-specific control, like SCADA, MES and Hydra, which have all been integrated by default.

The modular automation system developed by Wafios specifically for the BMF 60 allows the user to compile a machinery system for the reliable and economical production of ready-to-install busbars from a variety of process automation modules. All from one source.

2nd “Reutlingen E-Mobility Days” (RED), 18 to 29 October 2021, Wafios Reutlingen, Germany https://emobility-days.wafios.com

Wafios AG
Silberburgstrasse 5
72764 Reutlingen/Germany
Tel.: +49 7121 146-0