Cutting and Stripping Coax
The latest technology for stripping coaxial cable gives engineers unprecedented control
Stripping coaxial cables places high demands on processing equipment. Several thin, concentric layers must be carefully removed within a single cycle: insulation, metal braiding, foil and dielectric. The strip length must be exceptionally accurate, since the tolerance ranges of coaxial connectors are narrow.
Fortunately, a wealth of new technology is available to help assemblers prepare coax. Here’s a look at some of the latest equipment.
Mira 440 from Komax
The Mira 440 from Komax Corp. automatically strips coaxial and triaxial cable. It is particularly suitable for small- and medium-sized production runs.
The machine offers a wide processing range for its class, covering outer diameters of up to 9 millimeters and strip lengths of 40 millimeters. It can also strip single-conductor wire and multi-core cable in sizes ranging from 0.02 to 13 square millimeters and 36 to 6 AWG. The machine can process most insulations, such as cross-linked plastics, PVC and Teflon.
Rotary flat blades ensure highly precise stripping, which is required for attaching coaxial connectors. The rotary incision unit is equipped with centralizers that keep the wire centered during the stripping process. The smooth cutting surface of the blades is directed towards the dielectric to ensure perfect cutting quality. The strip length and incision diameter can be adjusted in 0.01-millimeter increments.
When the wire is inserted, the trigger sensor starts each process automatically. Versatile functions, such as trimming, offset pull-off, stripping in several steps and twisting the strands, increase quality and productivity. The sequence function saves time when processing multi-coaxial and hybrid cables, which consist of a combination of coaxial cables and single-conductor or multi-core cables. This function enables each component to be processed one after the other.
The machine stores settings for specific cables in a library, so cables can be processed with reproducible quality. Intelligent search and filter functions enable operators to find the articles quickly, or the operator can simply scan a bar code for even faster results. Password protection prevents unintentional modifications to settings.
A high-resolution touch screen in smartphone-style provides quick access to all the machine’s features. Supported by a dial and help texts, the intuitive user interface is easy to use and simplifies training. The user interface, including hint texts, is provided in a variety of languages, so operators with different preferred languages can use the same machine. A comfortable wrist cushion enables a relaxed working posture. Since the safety cover can be quickly removed without tools, cleaning and maintenance is fast and easy. An ergonomic handle makes the compact wire strippers highly portable.
A variant, the Mira 440 SF, is designed to strip semiflex cables. These coaxial cables usually have a dip-tinned outer conductor. This outer conductor behaves differently during cutting than braided or foil shielding layers. The blades of the Mira 440 SF are designed with an optimized geometry to cleanly cut this layer.
For more information, call Komax at 888-465-6629 or visit www.komaxgroup.com/en/Products-and-Solutions/Products/Stripper.
Schleuniger CoaxStrip 6380
The CoaxStrip 6380 from Schleuniger Inc. is a fully programmable multistep stripping machine for coaxial, triaxial and multiconductor cable, as well as single conductor wire. Features include fast cycle times, multiple processing steps with freely selectable stripping sequence, cable diameter verification, cable end detection, and automated cable retraction.
With Schleuniger’s standardized S.ON user interface for simple programming, a sample programming library and 1,000-program memory, this machine is ideal for low-volume, quick-changeover applications, as well as high-volume production runs.
Engineers can program the following parameters: clamping force, stripping position, incising diameter, centering jaw diameter, incising speed, rotational speed of the stripping head, rotational direction of the stripping head, incising pause, pull-off diameter, stripping lengths (partial strip or full strip), pull-off speed, and pull-off with or without rotation of the stripping head.
The machine can process a variety of insulation materials, including Kapton, polyester, polyurethane, PVC, rubber, silicone, Teflon and Tefzel. It can handle wire and cable ranging from 0.6 to 8 millimeters in diameter. Processing diameters can be set in increments 0.01 millimeter. Maximum strip length is 40 millimeters, and strip length can be set in increments of 0.01 millimeter.
Engineers can set up to six stripping steps. Depending on the cable and the programming, cycle time can be as short as 3 seconds, and the production rate can be 400 to 800 pieces per hour.
For more information, call Schleuniger at 603-668-8117 or visit www.schleuniger.com/na/en-us/products/strip/coax-stripping.
The ST730 from Schaefer Technologies LLC can strip coaxial, triaxial, multiconductor cable or single-conductor wire. It can also twist the stripped ends of stranded-conductor wires.
The machine processes cables with a maximum OD of 7 millimeters. Using a two-blade rotary cutting head, the machine can handle a variety of insulation, including Teflon, PVC, Kynar and Kapton. It can also handle a variety of shielding materials, including copper and stainless steel. The cutting head can turn in either direction.
The machine can perform complete, partial and incremental strips. Maximum stripping length is 30 millimeters, and stripping can be done at up to nine levels. A three-step stripping process can be accomplished in 4 seconds.
The resolution for diameter cuts is 0.01 millimeter. The resolution for length cuts is 0.1 millimeter.
For more information, call Schaefer at 630-406-9377 or visit www.schaefer.biz.
Eraser’s Portable Stripper
Designed for portability and weighing only 2 pounds, the Model 824 portable coaxial cable stripper from The Eraser Co. Inc. is battery-operated and can be used to strip a variety of coaxial cables, including RGU, plenum, semirigid and Heliax.
It can process cables ranging from 0.76 to 10.9 millimeters in diameter. Strip length can range from 1.27 to 24.5 millimeters. (Larger diameter cables and longer strip lengths can be accommodated with custom tooling.)
The standard nickel-cadmium battery pack provides approximately 200 strips per charge.
For more information, call The Eraser Co. at 800-724-0594 or visit www.www.eraser.com
Compu-Strip from Carpenter
The Model 75 Compu-Strip from Carpenter Manufacturing Co. Inc. is a fully programmable benchtop stripping machine for coaxial and triaxial cable. Orbiting blade technology greatly increases blade life and ensures clean, square strips. The precision high-speed steel stripping blade is coated with titanium nitride for strength and durability.
This versatile machine is simple to operate and can perform a precision, three-step coaxial strip in as little as 7 seconds.
Interchangeable guide bushings are used for cable centering. Each machine comes standard with a 60-piece guide bushing kit; a 120-piece kit is optional.
The machine can process cables as wide as 0.275 inch. Maximum strip length is 1.5 inches, and the maximum pull length is 1.5 inches.
All stripping parameters, including cable clamping pressure, are programmable, and engineers can program up to five stripping steps. The machine can store 999 programs in memory.
For more information, call Carpenter at 315-682-9176 or visit http://carpentermfg.com/products/coax-cable-strippers.