Cable Assem­bly, Pro­cess­ing and Handling

Pick­ing, guid­ing and insert­ing cables, wires or con­nec­tors using robots

Vari­ances, i.e. devi­at­ing geome­tries or posi­tions of com­po­nents or chang­ing prod­ucts on the lines, make it dif­fi­cult to auto­mate cer­tain pro­duc­tion steps. There­fore, the assem­bly and han­dling of flex­i­ble and limp com­po­nents such as cables, wires or con­nec­tors could not be auto­mated eco­nom­i­cally with con­ven­tional automa­tion until now. With ArtiMinds RPS soft­ware, robots can now pre­cisely detect, grip and insert flex­i­ble and sen­si­tive com­po­nents such as cables, con­nec­tors or contacts.
Forces and devi­a­tions can be ana­lyzed with ArtiMinds LAR in order to opti­mally adapt move­ments and join­ing processes to the require­ments of the work­piece and given frame con­di­tions, to shorten cycle times and thus opti­miz­ing production.

Automa­tion as a challenge

Labour short­age, ris­ing wage costs, the demand for more dig­i­tal­iza­tion and trace­abil­ity, as well as top­ics such as reshoring and geopo­lit­i­cal chal­lenges pose major chal­lenges for many indus­tries. The solu­tion appears to be the increas­ing automa­tion of pro­duc­tion steps and processes.
The auto­mo­tive indus­try in par­tic­u­lar faces a high pres­sure to auto­mate, as there are also wire har­ness-spe­cific chal­lenges such as the minia­tur­iza­tion of cables, plugs and con­nec­tors as well as a high num­ber of vari­ants due to cus­tomer-spe­cific cable har­nesses com­bined with high qual­ity require­ments set by OEMs.

Robots offer greater flex­i­bil­ity in terms of pos­si­ble appli­ca­tions and changeover than large spe­cial machines, and also offer the advan­tage of man­age­able acqui­si­tion costs and smaller space require­ments. By par­al­leliz­ing processes with sev­eral robot cells, the desired quan­ti­ties and cycle times can also be eas­ily achieved. By means of force con­trol, robots achieve the required sen­si­tiv­ity with high process sta­bil­ity, as they are able to always join or insert pieces with a con­stant desired force, so that even sen­si­tive con­tacts are not damaged.

In addi­tion to the actual pro­cess­ing and assem­bly process, robots can also pro­vide opti­mum sup­port dur­ing cable or wire feed­ing and relieve the strain on humans, e.g. when feed­ing heavy high-volt­age cables.

ArtiMinds Robotics – assembling flexible cables, plugs & tubes

Smart cable pro­cess­ing and wire har­ness assembly

Auto­mated han­dling, manip­u­la­tion, and assem­bly of flex­i­ble work­pieces such as cables, wires, con­nec­tors or fabrics/coverings pose a num­ber of chal­lenges in pro­duc­tion. Con­ven­tional robotic processes often lack the dex­ter­ity to han­dle these sen­si­tive mate­ri­als. Local­iz­ing the posi­tion and iden­ti­fy­ing the the shape of parts are a major chal­lenge in clas­sic robot pro­gram­ming. The lia­bil­ity and form insta­bil­ity of the mate­r­ial leads to con­stantly chang­ing dynam­ics of the part tol­er­ances, shape, and local­iza­tion through­out the entire han­dling or assem­bly process. How­ever, robot-based, pre­cise cable assem­bly can be pro­grammed and imple­mented robustly and effi­ciently, and there­fore eco­nom­i­cally, using ArtiMinds RPS. The com­plex­ity of pro­gram­ming automa­tion processes with tol­er­ances becomes man­age­able with ArtiMinds.
Find out in our cur­rent webi­nar spe­cial “Robot-based automa­tion – cables com­pletely under con­trol” which solu­tions are already avail­able for the han­dling and assem­bly of cables, wires and con­nec­tors and how you can flex­i­bly com­pen­sate for vari­ances and tol­er­ances (>reg­is­ter now free of charge).

You need sup­port in automat­ing the han­dling and assem­bly of cables? At ArtiMinds you get soft­ware & project sup­port from a sin­gle source!

You would like to imple­ment a robotics project? Use our free robotics check­list to select the right hard­ware & soft­ware and to orga­nize the most impor­tant project steps!

Appli­ca­tion Exam­ple: Laser-based Cable Assembly

Dur­ing wire har­ness assem­bly or cable har­ness pro­duc­tion, flex­i­ble cables must be gripped, processed and plugged into a con­nec­tor hous­ing, for exam­ple. Automat­ing this plug­ging process with robots is not pos­si­ble with­out sen­sor tech­nol­ogy or force con­trol and fur­ther­more is very com­plex and usu­ally not robust with con­ven­tional pro­gram­ming. If the cables or wires hang freely in the room, even the first step, pick­ing the parts, is a major challenge.

The smart robotic approach devel­oped by ArtiMinds for this com­plex cable han­dling appli­ca­tion is based on a unique com­bi­na­tion of laser line scan­ners, 2D cam­era tech­nol­ogy and force-torque mea­sure­ment, as well as inter­faces and intel­li­gent func­tion blocks in the ArtiMinds Robot Pro­gram­ming Suite (RPS), which were newly devel­oped for this purpose.
The soft­ware processes the scan result in real time and syn­chro­nizes it with the robot motion to deter­mine the exact pickup point. It then per­forms a force-con­trolled join­ing oper­a­tion that enables pre­cise and safe inser­tion of the cables into the con­nec­tor hous­ing. Dur­ing the final pull test, the robot checks whether the cable end is cor­rectly engaged in the housing.

ArtiMinds Robotics force-controlled cable and wire hareness assembly
ArtiMinds Robotics Laser-based cable detection and assembly

Which mod­ules were used to pro­gram this applications?

>> ArtiMinds RPS Basic Mod­ule |more

>> ArtiMinds RPS +Force Mod­ule |more

>> ArtiMinds RPS +Vision Mod­ule |more

Appli­ca­tion Exam­ple: Rib­bon Cable Assembly

Flat rib­bon cables are used for sig­nal trans­mis­sion in mod­ules in elec­tron­ics man­u­fac­tur­ing as they save space, time and thus money. How­ever, han­dling the dimen­sion­ally unsta­ble and sen­si­tive cables is dif­fi­cult due to their low stiff­ness and requires a great deal of dex­ter­ity. By means of force-torque con­trol, new areas of appli­ca­tion can be opened up for indus­trial robots that can­not be imple­mented with real­is­tic effort using con­ven­tional programming.
The “Spike Search” func­tion tem­plate of ArtiMinds RPS auto­mat­i­cally com­pen­sates for tol­er­ances dur­ing the inser­tion process. That is, in order to find the cor­rect inser­tion posi­tion, the robot per­forms a force-con­trolled search move­ment and attempts to insert the cable into the socket. As soon as a defined inser­tion depth is reg­is­tered by the robot, it knows that it has found the socket and robustly inserts the flex­i­ble com­po­nent at this posi­tion. A ten­sile test then ensures that the cable is cor­rectly seated.

ArtiMinds Robotics - automating the plugging of cables with ArtiMinds RPS with robots

Fur­ther appli­ca­tion examples:

  • Assem­bly of high-volt­age plugs and heavy high-volt­age cables
  • End-of-Line test­ing and ten­sile tests
  • Cov­er­ing of car seats
  • Wire har­ness pro­duc­tion and assembly
  • Wiring of switch cabinets
  • Grip­ping and plac­ing cables in cable trays
  • Crimp­ing
  • Rout­ing
ArtiMinds-Robotics_Implement robot-supported automation projects efficiently

You want more? We sup­port you in the robot-based automa­tion of your cable assembly

You want more? We sup­port you in the robot-based automa­tion of your cable assembly

You want to inte­grate new and flex­i­ble automa­tion processes into your work­flows and need e.g. sup­port in automat­ing cable han­dling and assem­bly processes or cable pro­duc­tion? Our Automa­tion Engi­neer­ing team of engi­neers and robotics experts will be happy to advise you and take over tasks such as the pro­to­typ­ing.

ArtiMinds is a leader in the devel­op­ment of inno­v­a­tive and sophis­ti­cated robot automa­tion solu­tions, whether as a par­tial or over­all con­cept. Our experts will be happy to pro­vide you with advice and sup­port from con­cep­tual design to implementation.
Get in touch – our spe­cial­ists will pro­vide you with com­pre­hen­sive advice and develop an ini­tial con­cept or carry out a fea­si­bil­ity study in close coop­er­a­tion with you.

Indus­trial exam­ples – short videos of real cus­tomer applications

Why ArtiMinds Robotics?

The tem­plate library of ArtiMinds RPS with over 60 tem­plates cov­ers all con­ceiv­able move­ments, processes and oper­a­tions. Thanks to the intel­li­gent algo­rithms, force-con­trolled appli­ca­tions, for exam­ple, can be pro­grammed with­out any prob­lems. With ArtiMinds you are one step ahead. Talk to our robotics experts about your automa­tion project and smart solu­tions for the han­dling and assem­bly of cables, con­nec­tors and con­tacts – we will be happy to sup­port you!

>>BLOG ARTI­CLE: ArtiMinds RPS & LAR at a glance

High­lights of ArtiMinds RPS for han­dling and assem­bling cables & connectors:

  • Easy inte­gra­tion of force-torque sen­sors, grip­pers, vision sys­tems and laser scanners
  • Force-con­trolled, pre­cise grip­ping and inser­tion of flex­i­ble mate­ri­als such as cables, wires or connectors
  • Auto­matic com­pen­sa­tion of vari­ances and shape instabilities
  • Fast changeover and flex­i­bil­ity with dif­fer­ent variants
  • Robust and eco­nom­i­cal assem­bly of con­nec­tors and cables

Choose a robot-based flex­i­ble automa­tion solu­tion – choose ArtiMinds. See for your­self in an online demo!

ArtiMinds Robotics - Force-controlled assembly and handling of cables



Just get in touch. Our appli­ca­tion experts will be happy to advise you on your indi­vid­ual auto­mated robot appli­ca­tion. Make an appoint­ment right now for an online demo and learn how ArtiMinds can help you to imple­ment a flex­i­ble robotic automa­tion project.


Browse through our Robotics Blog or FAQ sec­tion and learn inter­est­ing facts about ArtiMinds RPS & LAR. Our Down­load & Press area pro­vides fur­ther infor­ma­tion. Or sign up to our newslet­ter for reg­u­lar news and ongo­ing updates.


In just a few min­utes, we will show you how to plan, pro­gram, oper­ate, ana­lyze and opti­mize robot appli­ca­tions cost-effi­ciently, intu­itively and eas­ily with ArtiMinds RPS.

The non-bind­ing free online demo is the per­fect way to get a first impres­sion of the soft­ware, the appli­ca­tion port­fo­lio and if it suits your needs.

ArtiMinds Robotics - Learn more about electronics assembly robot applications