Flexible building management at Homag GmbH with SMISSLINE TP plug-in distribution system

The flexibility and reliability of ABB’s SMISSLINE TP enables Homag GmbH to reorganize production lines quickly to meet demand for their products.


Homag Group produces machines for the woodworking industry and is a worldwide market leader. At Schopfloch in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, the subsidiary Homag GmbH uses ABB's SMISSLINE TP to manage its building flexibly.

Homag GmbH, employs around 1,600 in Schopfloch and specialize in the production of  two products: 60 percent of the production is dedicated to small and large edge gluing machines used to glue veneer or PVC edges to sheet material, the rest is focused on computerize numerical control (CNC) machine tools, which enable automatic high-precision turning, milling and drilling.

"Our customers range from the carpenter's workshop with three employees to the international furniture group with thousands of employees," explains Eckhard Siegel, Manager of Industrial Engineering at Homag GmbH. "We manufacture everything from the standard design to the customized machine depending on requirements. Flexibility is our strength. Our customers choose the necessary units for their machines from a large construction kit; Homag then manufactures the components and assembles them in a modular manner.”

Minimal planning effort

Homag GmbH relies on flexible building management in order to respond to changing customer demands. Part of the flexibility is delivered by ABB's SMISSLINE TP (Touchproof), which enables rapid and easy alterations to be made to the power supply for maintenance, production and assembly at Schopfloch.

The plug-in distribution system with integrated busbars greatly simplifies the maintenance of electrical installations. As compared to conventional circuit breakers mounted horizontally on DIN rails, SMISSLINE TP can also be mounted vertically on a DIN rail or mounting plate. As the world’s only finger-safe plug-in distribution system SMISSLINE TP enables load-free insertion and disconnection of live components without additional protective equipment. The system can be extended easily and flexibly with further DIN rail devices provided a sufficient number of additional spaces have been planned during the new installation.

"The contact of the outer conductors can be easily changed by simply moving the plug-in cable on the circuit breaker. This prevents unbalanced loads," says Daniel Kubin, Product Marketing manager, Electrification Products at ABB.

This plug-in technique eliminates the need for input and cross wiring. It saves space by up to 20 percent and time for installation by around 45 percent through vertical installation.

"For us, SMISSLINE TP is the best solution. We can build new distribution boards without detailed electrical planning and we do not have to switch off existing distribution boards during a conversion," explains Eckhard Siegel. "SMISSLINE TP provides the flexible infrastructure necessary for smooth production.”

In addition to SMISSLINE TP, KNX components from ABB are also housed in the distribution cabinets at Homag: Voltage supply and switching actuators guarantee the right lighting for the buildings; Line couplers ensure a smooth flow of data between the main line and the range line, while blinds and lifting panels are conveniently controlled by the use of blind actuators.

Compatible with the old system

Since its introduction in 1988, ABB’s SMISSLINE has been continuously improved. In 2011 the system became finger-secure as signified by “TP” (touch-proof), which was added to its name. All new devices are backwards compatible and can be plugged into the old system without any problems. Homag GmbH has been using SMISSLINE TP since 1999 and is benefiting from the flexibility and high availability of the system.

"Our factory evolves,” says Eckhard Siegel. “When we need to reorganize our production, as we do from time to time, the energy supply can be guaranteed quickly and easily with SMISSLINE TP."


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