CombiTac’s modular connectors with MULTILAM technology integrate solutions and improve workplace safety

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For more than 20 years, the CombiTac modular connector system from Stäubli Electrical Connectors has enjoyed great success. As a modular and freely configurable connector system, CombiTac modular connectors can meet a full range of customer requirements. Its compact, space-saving design combined with its extreme reliability make the CombiTac modular connector able to withstand even the harshest environments.

The main contributor to CombiTac’s success is Stäubli’s extensive market experience with its proven MULTILAM contact technology. With a strong commitment to innovation, Stäubli constantly evolves its solutions to meet customer demands for efficiency, simplicity, and more.

“As a core feature of our products, our MULTILAM contact strip gives us tremendous flexibility in how we solve customer challenges,” says Adam Skare, Field Sales Engineer, Modular Connector Systems. “Whether someone needs to mate a connector a million times under normal conditions or just once under harsh conditions, we can provide different variations of our MULTILAM technology to tailor the solution to almost any customer need. “

Regardless of the configuration and model range chosen by the customer, CombiTac connector systems are delivered with pre-assembled modules. Additionally, customers can order a fully customized CombiTac solution that can be fully equipped, tested for their particular application and delivered.

Get to know Stäubli electrical connectors

  • Stäubli offers the latest generation of CombiTac modular connectors that use MULTILAM technology for manual and automatic termination up to 100,000 cycles.

  • Their new user-friendly, tool-free click and connect system allows you to assemble your modular connector systems in the easiest and fastest way.

  • The quality and long life of CombiTac modular connectors combined with MULTILAM technology ensure high productivity and low maintenance costs with maximum operator safety.

Thomas Insights (TI): How does Stäubli Electrical Connectors stand out from the competition?

David Marak, Sales Manager – Modular (DM): Stäubli has been around for over 125 years. It was originally founded as a manufacturer of textiles, but has grown into a global supplier of robotics, textiles, and electrical and fluid connectors. That being said, we have a long tradition of innovation and forward-thinking. We rely on past achievements and testing to stay ahead of the pack.

One of the main features of our products is the MULTILAM, which allows the contact to maintain a safer and lower temperature. It’s something Stäubli invented, and it’s the secret sauce of our products.

Adam Skare (AS): What we do is provide integrated connector solutions for the world’s toughest applications. We provide connectors for applications ranging from mapping the human heart to solutions for national defense or fusion reactors. We have a strong standard product portfolio with tens of thousands of products, but where we really shine is when customers present us with a challenge that requires a custom solution.

We have special abilities to be able to resolve customer issues that cannot be resolved otherwise. The reason is our MULTILAM technology, which provides a consistent and reliable connection point for applications large and small. From heart mapping to mobile robotic platforms, the MULTILAM provides that consistent pin-to-socket connection that is critical to the performance of these parts.

Beyond that, you can look at mating cycles. We have customers who plug something in once and never touch it again. We have other customers who require millions of mating cycles. We can adapt our MULTILAM tape to fit either of these situations.

TI: What might be typical questions your customers might have for you, and how might you answer them?

AS: It all boils down to one theme: how do you do it? How is it possible that you can do this? Some of the things we do defy what a test engineer or a production engineer would think was possible. Because many of them have never seen MULTILAM or have seen different versions of it, they did not know that we would have the ability to extrapolate the technology for their application. There were several situations where we were able to integrate solutions that customers simply didn’t think were possible.

Another question we answer is how does MULTILAM work? What does it do? What are its variations? What are its features, advantages and constraints? Explaining the technology can be difficult because most people don’t know it exists. Sometimes they don’t even know they had a problem until they see the solution. We spend a lot of time educating our customers on the technical aspects and helping them choose and/or design a solution for their specific needs.

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TI: Can you share a success story or case study from CombiTac’s history?

AS: A customer who manufactures control systems for electric motors found our website and called us. I went for a very small application, but when I started explaining the capabilities of our MULTILAM, it blew their hair back. What was supposed to be a 30 minute meeting turned into a three hour long conversation that involved going through every catalog I brought.

For 25 years, this customer had been testing their products the hard way, which required specialized tools, extensive training, and painstaking, time-consuming work. They constantly had to connect dozens of connectors per machine part they were testing. Because of this, their OSHA workplace safety team was falling on them.

An OSHA auditor would have to come while they were testing particular discs because they had to violate an OSHA standard to perform the tests. They had to lie on their backs and push the electrical cables from the bottom and try to bolt them together. Doing this type of repetitive motion in such a compromising position is a red flag for OSHA. In one year, we managed to eliminate all that.

We integrated our CombiTac, which is like a Lego of connectors. Instead of having to manually pair dozens of data points or small connections, the CombiTac connector allows them to establish 30 to 40 connections at the same time. It has revolutionized the way they test their system. In the whole project, we provided a few dozens of customized solutions as well as dozens of standard products. We pretty much upgraded their entire testing facility. Anything we could provide them, they agreed.

Although safety was a big factor in this particular project, many customers come to us to solve technical problems, such as mating cycles or needing more power in a smaller place while maintaining the efficiency. The great thing is that all these challenges can be solved with our MULTILAM.

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Image credit: CombiTac

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