Automatic transformer winding machines offer electrical component and industrial electronics manufacturers various production and quality advantages, not least:
- Lower failure rates, both during and after assembly.
- Precise conductor blending and spacing.
- Lower production costs than with a manual machine or by hand.
As a secondary benefit, automated winding machines tend to deliver results that are much more consistent than manual processes. In turn, this uniformity produces greater standardisation in the dimensions of insulation materials. As a result, optimisation in material storage and purchasing arrangements could give rise to cost savings.
In contrast, although manual techniques do offer an enhanced level of control, their disadvantages include:
- A relatively high incidence of failure of the transformer windings.
- Less accuracy in coil positioning, thus leading to variations in electrical characteristics and performance.
- Higher expenditure on manual labour.
To discover more about the advantages of automatic transformer winding, read on. Below, we discuss how electrical manufacturers can ensure consistent quality, optimise production and minimise overall costs in the medium to long term.
Semi-automatic transformer winding machines
Offering the best of both the above worlds, semi-automatic transformer production machines feature increased operator control. In effect, they bridge the gap between manual and fully automated systems. While maintaining accurate positioning with precise start and end positions, their control systems prompt operator(s) for confirmatory inputs during manufacturing.
In comparison to manual methods and imprecise winding, the automatic calculation of winding start and endpoints maximises production efficiency. Specifically, semi-automatic machines can calculate precise turning and stopping positions, thereby reducing task initialisation by up to a half. In short, semi-automatic vertical winding machines improve winding processes and the quality of the results. Thanks to microprocessor control, their inherent uniformity and reliability also reduce costly errors, material wastage and unproductive working time.
Features of transformer winding machines
Typically, today’s generation of transformer winding machinery boasts the following options:
- Touch screen functionality and ease of operation.
- Intuitive interface software.
- Reduced noise levels during operation.
- Customizable processes, thanks to the increasing adaptability of PLCs (programmable logic controllers).
- A high level of precision in linear positioning during their winding motion.
- Flexibility: Able to wind either round or rectangular wire.
- Consistency in the flexing and bending of conductor material.
- High filling factor, due to built-in flattening units that compress round wires.
Depending on the machine, flattening units can roll even enamel-insulated round wires to an adjustable height. Flattened wires lead to a higher coil filling density and, overall, smaller dimensions for the same electrical performance. Furthermore, less conductor core material is necessary and tank volume is lower, thus reducing manufacturing costs. Notably, levels of specification vary according to the model.
What to look for
Given the advantages of transformer winding machines, you may be wondering how to choose the best model for your business. Below, we set out the various factors to consider before making your purchase decision. Firstly, during their winding cycle, high-quality motor-driven machines expose the coil conductor wire to constant tension and uniform torque. In the same way, they keep insulation strips under steady pressure.
Additionally, dancer-controlled brake rollers minimise or do away with variations when working on different core shapes. Importantly, the above uniformity ensures consistently high quality, both in product appearance and – crucially – in operation. It ought to be easy to wind both rectangular and round wires, whether high or low voltage. A robust and high-performing machine will ensure tightly, evenly-wound coils which, in turn, help to reduce magnetic flux leakage.
In machines that have wire guiding and dancer-regulated brake systems, the pre-selectable wire tension remains uniform. Even with rectangular or oval transformer coils, or high winding speeds, the layers of coil wire will be level. It is also possible to adjust the wire tension from the control panel, usually without mechanical intervention. When conductors have a large cross-sectional area, good manufacturing practice requires inserting end filler strips.
To address this, machines insert the additional insulating strip via a separate guiding mechanism. This is done in parallel with the two standard insulation strips. Notably, the computerised mechanism calculates the appropriate end filler height and automatically cuts the precise length of strip required. WH type machines are able to insert filler automatically at the ends of conical layers. Apart from significant time savings, this capability also standardises the appearance of the end product.
When purchasing, machine specifications and performance capacity are of primary importance. It is advisable to check the speed of operation, taking envisaged production targets into account.
Other essential considerations include the:
- Manufacturer warranty, reputation and perceived machine reliability.
- Ability to use the desired gauge (diameter) of wire, taking into account the product and coil dimensions
- Automated calculation of winding stop points to accommodate cooling ducts, taps, etc.
- Installation and commissioning costs and timescales.
- Availability of remote technical support to resolve queries.
- Possibility of on-site engineering visits and call-out if necessary, to minimise downtime.
- Total cost of ownership, including periodic safety inspections.
- Running costs including operator(s), electrical supply and insurance.
- Anticipated return on investment.
- Capital allowances and other tax incentives available.
Here at Tuboly-Astronic AG, we have been developing and producing electrical transformer winding and manufacturing machines for three decades. Business customers can count on our depth of knowledge and experience within the industry. We guarantee the highest design, functionality and performance standards of our products. From hardware and software to system integration and service provision, we achieve the highest possible quality and efficiency.
Built for lengthy service, our transformer winding machines feature ergonomic designs, state-of-the-art software and quick, intuitive set-up. Programming is straightforward, while operator guidance is via touch screens. Are you a decision-maker in the coil winding, core manufacturing or industrial manufacturing sector? Engineering firms and manufacturers can count on an enhanced degree of reliability with Swiss quality. To discover more or discuss your requirements, please contact us today.
*Footnote: To prevent further unwanted power losses, transformer cores often feature thin steel laminations, which minimise eddy currents.