Cable reels for teach pendant cables on robots are not only a convenience for the storage of the cable but will usually pay for themselves in a short time period and provide an added safety benefit. Most robots with teach pendant capability incorporate a cable, usually between 10 meters and 30 meters in length, between the control panel and the teach pendant box. The pendant control allows the robot to be programmed from the point of best visibility. Under ideal conditions, once the programming is completed, the pendant cable is coiled and hung on a bracket close to the control box with the pendant control on the end of the cable hung in the same area. Unfortunately the cable is often not coiled and hung up even if the pendant control is returned to its proper hanger. Not only does the cable on the floor present a definite safety hazard for tripping and falling but leaves the cable vulnerable to damage from dropped materials, fork lift trucks, etc. Most of these cables, with high quality circular or other configurations of electrical connectors on each end, are not inexpensive to replace and can cost from a few hundred dollars up to $1,500.00 or more. Saving one cable can easily pay for the cost of the cable reel required to coil the cable up and off the floor. Only a light tug on the cable is required to release the latch mechanism as the pendant control is walked back to its correct hanger making the correct storage of the cable easy and convenient.
The cables supplied by most robot manufacturers are very rugged but also designed to be very flexible and in most cases are suitable for use on a cable reel. The simplest method of adapting a cable reel for a teach pendant application is normally to take an existing pendant control cable, cut it and use the reel as a 'splice’ between the shorter stationary cable which plugs into the control box and the longer, pendant control box end of the cable. The cable reel is built with the correct number of correctly rated slip ring circuits to match the number of circuits being used in the cable. As a slip ring manufacturer, United Equipment Accessories can provide the exact number and rating of circuits required by each brand of cable and is confident in the slip ring assembly’s ability to handle a wide variety of environments. UEA has supplied cable reels with customer supplied cables attached as above, with customer specified cables and plugs installed and as a 'bare’ reel with the slip ring installed, which allows the customer to attach their own cable.
In summary, United Equipment Accessories can build a teach pendant cable reel, with or without the cable, which is easy and convenient to operate but also provides for increased safety as well as the potential to pay for itself very quickly.