Exhibitor spotlight: Winnijar Kauz, Team Leader Product Management General Industry, Stäubli Electrical Connectors

Winnijar joined Stäubli in 2011 following his business engineering studies. He is an e-mobility Winnijar Kauzspecialist and the Product Management Team Leader at Stäubli Electrical Connectors. In this interview he discusses the company’s unique power connectors for the railway, automotive and e-mobility sectors, and explains why Stäubli solutions are the key to rapid charging and effective battery replacement in AGVs.


Can you briefly describe your railway Modular Power Connector (MPC) and the automotive PerforMore line?

 

Stäubli has a substantial track record in the railway industry, with more than 30 years’ experience in providing efficient and powerful solutions with fluid and electrical connection products.

The MPC is a modular power connector that is suitable for any type of power connection at various rolling stock areas. It fully meets railway rolling stock standard requirements and is characterised by its supreme quality and reliability.

Our long professional experience in the transportation industry allowed us to use our expert connection solutions know-how to create solutions for road vehicles.

Our PerforMore product innovation is designed to serve the automotive industry and road vehicles, and has been carefully designed to meet today’s market needs and trends. This includes the market need for increased driving and charging power within a limited space, along with the need for quick and easy connector installation in the automotive assembly lines necessary to achieve the most efficient processing.

The PerforMore serves as a very reliable connection between battery and inverter, providing high power transfer in a very compact and appealing design. Its unique two-step locking system guarantees the highest possible safety.

 

Why is the modular connector system CombiTac also being used by e-mobility providers?

The CombiTac modular connector solution can be 100% individually configured to meet exact technical and dimensional specifications, and is therefore suitable for many applications in various markets, including e-mobility; for example, battery charging connections on electric vehicles and also AGVs.

The CombiTac modular connector system combines various contact types, such as power up to 300A, signal, data through coaxial, fibre-optic and 10Gbit Ethernet modules, along with leakage-free fluid and pneumatic couplings, all of which are combined in a single adjustable-size frame or housing.

The CombiTac system is known for its long-lasting performance under tough mechanical and environmental conditions, and is designed to meet the highest possible safety requirements.

 

Do you see onboard electronic equipment as an important area for future product development?

Yes, because if we take diminishing fossil fuel resources into consideration, it is well known that in the future electrical and electronic equipment will become more and more important in the automotive sector. In earlier times, the focus was on control devices, whereas nowadays the main topic is power conversion. With our technology we are well prepared to fully address such requirements with our electric and fluid product lines.

High-power electronic systems used in e-mobility applications are often surpassing the capability of air cooling; the move to higher-capacity liquid cooling has already started. Our quick-release self-sealing fluid connectors can be connected and disconnected without any loss, spillage, contamination or use of special tools or equipment.

Stäubli’s range of high-performance quick-release connectors are ideal for demanding applications. They ensure that the circuits are completely sealed against contamination and prevent any loss of fluids even while disconnecting. Thus, they make the move to liquid cooling of electronics easier, faster and safer.

 

Will this be part of the portfolio that will be presented at the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo Europe?

We will be presenting connection solutions for various applications in the field of e-mobility, including electrical and fluid or gas connections.

 

Rapid charging and effective battery replacement are critical factors in effective AGV operation. Could you tell us a little more about Stäubli’s contribution in this area?

Automatic battery replacement systems and high-performance charging stations are necessary to keep the AGVs in constant motion and prevent workflow disruptions. Rapid charging with higher currents plays a major role in helping to avoid downtimes and keep costs low. Our QCC quick-charging solution ensures the safe and rapid transmission of high levels of power and makes it possible to reduce the size as well as unnecessary weight of the energy storage device. It features high angular and positioning misalignment compensation, an integrated self-cleaning mechanism, long service life and a high level of safety.

As an alternative to rapid charging, our MCS multi-connection system allows for battery swapping in order to replace a depleted battery within just a few minutes. The MCS provides automatic compensation of tolerances, high safety, high mating cycles and the possibility to combine electrical and fluid connections for charging and temperature control by cooling. At the Port Authority of Singapore, the AGVs in container logistics are being charged by the QCC solution on their routes; in case of battery exchange, the MCS is used as a maintenance system.

 

What new market trends or changes do you expect over the next five years?

Autonomous driving is becoming an important trend; therefore, the significance of automatic charging systems will increase. We are well positioned here. In the evolution of electric road vehicles, the variety of propulsion systems will grow. Vehicles driving with diesel or petrol will still exist; however, the share of battery-electric vehicles combined with fuel cells as range extenders that are refillable will increase. The question will be: do the users adapt to slightly longer charging times and to plugging in their electric vehicles whenever they are parked? This would of course require an extensive charging infrastructure. Alternatively, do they prefer to stick to their current behaviour of refilling within a few minutes, which can be achieved with fuel cell vehicles.


 

Stäubli Electrical Connectors GmbH will be exhibiting at Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo Europe 2019 at stand 314.