No sooner said than done. As soon as Benjamin Rentschler was back in the office, he spoke to his colleague Daniel Müller, who is responsible for development at LAPP. “Daniel, come with me…” The two grabbed their coffee cups – black coffee with one sugar for Daniel Müller, black with two sugars for Benjamin Rentschler. And so the brainstorming on the whiteboard began. A year later, the round SKINTOP® MULTI-M was completed. The Rentschler-Müller duo have now been awarded the Eddie LAPP Award, the internal LAPP prize for innovation.
The SKINTOP® MULTI-M multi-cable entry system with metric connection thread is currently the most innovative cable entry system available on the market worldwide. It looks a bit like a twisted, perforated pot, only much smaller. But it is the right answer to the market’s requirements for greater digitalisation and miniaturisation: An increasing number of cables with a small diameter need to be inserted in tight spaces.
The round multi-cable entry system enables more cables to be fed through than comparable cable gland solutions. Depending on the size, up to 30 non-assembled cables and media hoses can be inserted into a space saving housing. The innovation is based on special gel technology, which is already used in the rectangular SKINTOP® MULTI.
These kinds of special gels are used today in products including bicycle seats and sports shoes. The elastic and simultaneously high-strength gel cushions are the ideal initial material for multi-cable entry systems, as they can be adapted to a wide range of shapes. And after extensive testing of the material properties of various gel types, such as their Shore hardness, the most suitable material was identified.
The cables are simply pushed through the elastic gel insert and are held securely in place by the static friction on the cable insulation. Foreign bodies such as water cannot get through. The patented hopper stage geometry of the individual entry points also enables the maximum clamping ranges to be increased with up to 4 mm variance per cable diameter.
Another advantage is the compact design of the SKINTOP® MULTI-M, which enables a space saving cable configuration. The sizes are designed for metric threads (DIN EN 62444). “Our round multi-cable entry system is unique in the market in this form and is therefore patented. It enables the customer to insert a variety of cables or hoses in a tight space. Unused lead-through points remain permanently sealed”, explains Benjamin Rentschler. UL certification for the North American market is already in place.
One of the new round multi-cable entry system’s greatest advantages is its high packing density. With the gel insert, more cables can be fed through the housing wall than is possible using conventional methods. There are also benefits for installation. No individual inserts need to be removed to install the cables. In addition, no separate pre-stamping of the feed-through points is necessary – pushing through the cable is sufficient to push through the elastic gel.
Video: SKINTOP® MULTI-M | Winner of the Eddie LAPP Award 2020