Optimised supply interface for tunnel boring machines implemented


The customer had originally only asked for a product for the Ethernet interface. During a visit on site, the Weidmüller team, however, spotted that the processes of the manufacturer of tunnel boring machines can be designed much more efficiently with suitable connection solutions.

Powerful and at the same time flexible connections for data, signal and power transmissions were required between the machines and the control container. Up until that point, the company had been assembling the cables with four connectors itself. During the building processes these connections had to be reconnected about every 60 meters. For tunnel projects of many kilometres, these retooling times quickly add up to substantial sums.

The solution

After a careful analysis of the requirements, the suggestion from Weidmüller was to integrate the previous four connectors into a single solution. The final product was developed, planned, and implemented together with the customer. The result is a supply interface based on the system of the modular heavy-duty RockStar® Moduplug connector . The supply interface makes the installation on the machine easier by transferring data, signals and power at the same time. Adapted to the working conditions in tunnel construction, the cable solution was designed according to the IP65 degree of protection.

The connection convinced the customer and proved its robustness, reliability and more efficiency in equal measure compared to the previous connections. Further solutions are already being developed for different plant sizes.