Guide to Quick Couplings for Production Test Applications

Guide to Quick Couplings for Production Test Applications

 

Testing should be a natural part of all product manufacturing to secure product quality and to quantify technical data for documentation. Inaccurate tests are costly both in terms of testing costs, possible penalties for inaccurate specifications but also for the delayed time-to-market. Here are the quick coupling solutions that can help you make the test process more accurate and more efficient.

Why quick couplings for test applications?

Of course, the first and most obvious question. Why should you even use quick couplings? A hose and clamp are so much cheaper? Obviously, yes. But not if you take into account the time it takes to connect and disconnect or the high risks of leaks. Or that you will not be able to connect or disconnect while there is any pressure in the system. To achieve an efficient and reliable test environment where fluids or gases are involved, quick couplings are the only relevant choice for industrial testing purposes.

Engineered to fit your needs

No project is too big or too small for our engineers to come up with a customized quick connect solution. We have 8000 standard products in our range, but there are still chances that you need something unique to fit perfectly into your production environment. Most projects are based on standard products and you will work closely with the engineers to come up with the most profitable solution.

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Depending on the requirements, couplings can be divided into 4 different categories: Single Couplings, Couplings with electronic verification, Hand-operated multi-couplings and Auto-dock solutions: 

1. Single couplings - Suitable for few connections

Single couplings are best used when there are just a few connections for each test object. There is a wide assortment of standard products but any coupling can be adapted to fit any type of port, stem or pipe in any dimension. Couplings come in different materials, often stainless steel or hard anodized aluminum and they are generally designed without valve. Single couplings offer a lot of flexibility but the manual connection process will pose a risk for cross connection. Color coding might be available in order to prevent such mistakes.

Pros
Low cost
High flexibility
Based on a standard assortment

Cons
Risk of cross-connection
Time-consuming
Not suitable for many connections

Explore the CEJN range of Single couplings >

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2. Couplings with electronic sensors for connection verification

When there are many different connections there is a clear risk of cross-connections. Using electronic sensors to verify which coupling is connected to which nipple is a reliable solution for critical applications. The solution can be integrated on any type of coupling and the reliability of the test depends on the tool that receives the data from the connection. The software should prevent any test from starting if the connection data do not match the data in the test sequence. NFC technology is used to read connection data and send it over the network to the computer software.

Pros
Fail-safe system
High flexibility
Can be based on standard products

Cons
Software dependent
The reader on coupling requires a power supply

Learn more about the CIS 365/565 coupling with electronic identification >

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3. Hand-operated multi connectors to avoid cross connection

Multi-connectors offer a clear advantage because there can be no cross connection. They are available both as standard configurations and custom made configurations and each version consist of a male and female plate that only fit each other. The hand-operated multi-connector is especially suitable for small to medium size production volumes giving quick and efficient connections for any type of connection. Whether it is hydraulics, air, water, electric or anything else, it can be integrated into the same connection and the lever system will require minimal force to secure the connection.

Pros
Eliminates any risk of cross connection
Connects any media
Fully customizable

Cons
Manually operated
Higher cost than single couplings

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4. Automatic docking systems for a fully automated test process

For high volume automated production systems, automatic docking on a pallet transfer line is typically the preferred solution. They offer the advantages of the multi-connectors but without the need for manual connection. The connection is typically done by a pneumatic, hydraulic or electrical cylinder where guiding pins will align the plates during connection. Auto-dock solutions are fully customized and can provide connections for many different media.

Pros
Eliminates any risk of cross connection
Supports full automation
Connects any media
Fully customizable

Cons
No standard versions
More costly than hand-operated connectors

Request a customized quick coupling solution >

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