Ideas for the future: LEONI innovation
Innovation is a core component of our corporate strategy. LEONI’s products and systems are regarded as drivers of innovation in many sectors, including the automotive industry, medical technology and telecommunications, and our customers can all experience greater success by implementing our ideas with their products.
The following solutions and processes are just some examples of our innovations.
Less weight and more automation: increased potential in medium cross-section cables
Cost and weight savings are increasingly important for our customers. LEONI has recently developed the technology for medium cross section aluminium cables to be used in vehicle wiring systems.
Saving weight is a priority. For a number of years aluminium cables have been successfully used for large cross-section cable applications. In vehicles, however, only a few large cross-sections are used. Therefore, the weight saving benefits of aluminium cables can be exploited only if medium-sized cross-sections are also considered. LEONI’s range now extends to this segment, too.
Compared with conventional copper cables, aluminium cables in the medium cross-section range of 2.5 mm² to 6 mm² require a different approach to production technology. To implement this technology, LEONI’s production processes utilise a fully-automated cutting machine, coupled with a device to detect any possible damage that might be caused during the stripping of the stranded wires. This technology is available for immediate use in all types of vehicles.
Highly flame-retardant cables for the railway market
Material competence, precise processing technology, and the highest quality: The new halogen free cable for the Indian railway market demonstrates how LEONI Studer AG uses its technological capabilities to develop optimal, market-specific products that are highly flame retardant.
The requirements of the Indian specification ELRS/SPEC/ELC/0019 Rev. 2 are extremely ambitious in regard to the electrical requirements (see figure) and fire properties. In order to satisfy these requirements, LEONI Studer AG has developed a new EPDM-based flame-retardant insulation material. This innovation in combination with an excellent flame-retardant sheath fulfils all requirements for the Indian market.
In order to ensure that the product remains competitive, the insulation and sheath must be extruded in one step. The process technology must also meet highest precision in order to adhere to narrow wall thickness tolerances in connection with the electrical properties.
All requirements are fulfilled with the new BETAtrans 4GKW-INX for the 1800 voltage rating and 120 °C/20,000h temperature class. The cable has already been approved by RDSO, the Indian governmental registration authority. Of course, the product is also available for customers outside of India. Additionally, a RDSO approved cable rated for 600 V can be offered as well.
Fiber optic laser cables – with laser technology through ultra-hard stone
Conventional drilling heads have proven their worth for hard and soft stone, but they are still no match when it comes to the challenges of ultra-hard stone. Efficient drilling is no longer possible due to high mechanical wear. The solution: Drilling with laser technology. Fiber Optics has developed a fiber-optic laser cable for the transmission of high energy densities especially for deep drilling applications. The cable can even withstand harsh environmental conditions with high temperatures and mechanical stresses.
The new laser drilling technology is currently undergoing field testing. In the process, lasers destroy the ultra-hard stone, whereas a mechanical drill insert clears away the broken stone.
From cable to casing – “Grounding bracket” provides a better connection
Electric and hybrid vehicles are on the rise and are becoming increasingly complex. To continue driving this trend forward, the vehicles now need specially tailored wiring system architectures, which in turn often necessitate the use of a power distributor. The demands placed on these power distributors are many and varied. As well as needing to fit into a limited installation space and be as lightweight as possible, one of their main functions is to create a secure connection to the cable and ensure that the contact resistance between the cable shield and the casing remains consistently low.
The grounding bracket developed by LEONI meets all of the above requirements. Not only that, it offers further advantages such as a compact design and a simple shape for easy integration into the component casing, a shield contact of nearly 360-degrees, less weight compared to similar solutions and the fact that it can be disassembled for repair work.
The scalable design makes this solution incredibly versatile and enables it to be integrated with other wiring system components.
Antimicrobial cables – the skin as a perfect example
Gaps in hygiene in hospitals and other medical facilities often lead to an increased risk of infection. LEONI aims to reduce these gaps with its innovative, antimicrobial cable. The cable’s jacket contains a special metal oxide that releases acid ions onto the cable’s surface to lower its pH level – in a very similar way to the way in which the skin’s acid protective layer works. The cell functions of the bacteria are disrupted and they die off. The decisive benefit offered by LEONI’s process is that the antimicrobial effect is not reduced through use. LEONI’s antimicrobial cables are used in x-ray, mammography, MRT and CRD devices as well as for dental equipment.
High temperature foam – for when it gets hot under the bonnet
Motors complying with the new Euro 6 standard tend to generate more heat than conventional power units, due at least in part to their improved insulation. As a result, the cables used in these motors also need to be more resistant to higher temperatures. LEONI has therefore developed a new, high temperature foam that demonstrates long-term stability at 130 °C and can even withstand temperatures of 140 °C over the short-term. In addition to this property, the cable systems’ jackets are particularly sturdy and yet flexible whilst also providing improved noise protection.
Wire on fire – A cable that withstands extremes of heat
The flame resistance of energy cables within buildings are subject to strict international standards. LEONI not only fulfils these standards, moreover with its Fireprotec product, LEONI sets new benchmarks for fire-resistant cables. Fireprotec uses new types of polymers directly under the cable jacket to create a flame-retardant layer. These polymers use intumescent substances that are particularly efficient at absorbing heat. This has improved the emergency functioning of medium voltage cables – such as those used by lifts – far above the usual limits.
LEONI are currently focusing on optimizing the laying technique of flame-resistant cables in lift shafts. The examinations are taking place in close collaboration with experts from LEONI's internationally accredited fire laboratory in Däniken, Switzerland. LEONI Studer AG develops technological solutions focused on core themes like testing synthetics, product and system testing of electrical cables or structural systems when subjected by fire.
FiberSplit – using light to provide more data
A high-performance Internet connection is now a key part of infrastructure for both industrialised countries and emerging economies. In order to simultaneously provide commercial and residential units on shared premises with the volumes of data they need, fiber optic conductors are often used in conjunction with “fiber splitters”, which split their signals.
LEONI has developed an innovative method for manufacturing these splitters based on the ‘ion exchange in glass’ method. A further particular benefit of LEONI’s design is its high flexibility, which allows the transmission properties of the cables to be adjusted for each individual purpose.
Distribution boxes – competent with components
Regardless of whether a vehicle uses a conventional or alternative drive model, both types require a complex wiring system with a large number of electrical and electronic components. Current trends show that, in the future, these components will have to deliver greater performance whilst weighing less, thereby placing high demands on them.
LEONI has worked with Continental to develop a high voltage power distributor for electric vehicles that meets the highest demands in terms of safety and electromagnetic compatibility whilst allowing auxiliary components to be operated. The invention has already been awarded a prize for innovation.
For traditional vehicles, LEONI has designed an innovative power distribution module (PDM) with a new mounting concept that makes it both lighter and considerably smaller.