Flexible Parts


Flexible parts such as bowden cables or electric cables are challenging for the manufacturer of automatic equipment producing products which use flexible components. Kiener has provided a number of automatic solutions for the assembly of complete bowden cables, electric plugs and switches.

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Function volume

The customized assembly systems for Bowden cables from the company KIENER Maschinenbau serve for the fully automatic assembly of different types of Bowden cables which for example are used as manual brake cables or for door unlocking in passenger cars. The assembly systems are based on a timing chain transport system for the orderly location of the components. The chain transports the components one after the other to the machining stations which are arranged in the chain pattern. Depending on the Bowden cable type, the assembly systems consist of approx. 18 – 24 stations. The assembly systems dispose of all required feeding and handling fixtures for the materials and parts to be assembled. Besides the long materials, rope, interior and protective hose, here smaller parts are considered which are to be mounted either at the outer or at the rope of the Bowden cables. For systems for the production of Bowden cable families with different lengths, a width adjustment for the timing chain as well as the connected machining units is provided. Besides the machining stations for the joining operations, there are stations in which the ends of long materials are prepared for the further assembly, e.g. by crimping, deburring or greasing. Furthermore, the systems also comprise various stations for 100 % control. In the cycle of the current production, these stations check the correct assembly of parts, resilience of end parts with reference to tensile forces, contour dimensions of reshaped parts as well as length and function dimensions of the Bowden cable. At the end of the assembly systems, faulty Bowden cables are automatically ejected into a separate output; good parts are labelled there with type and batch information.


Application range

The customized assembly systems for Bowden cables from the company KIENER are used for the fully automatic production of different Bowden cable types in monitored and documented quality. Typically, such assembly systems are used for large-scale production in multiple-shift operation. Usually, the user industries are the sub-suppliers of the automobile industry.


Product features

–  Customized assembly system for Bowden cables of different types

–  Fully automatic part feeding systems

–  Fully automatic production processes and 100 % tests

–  Cycle times (typical, depending on the product design): 6.9 s – 14.1 s

–  (Typical) change-over times: max. 5 min


Function principle

The Bowden outers arrive in cut to length status to the system and are placed there into a magazine. From this point, these are automatically separated and provided with a protective hose cut to suited length in a pre-assembly station. Finally, a handling unit takes the prepared outers from the pre-assembly and automatically puts these into the timing chain. There it is fixed at both ends by spring-mounted clamping elements during the complete system passage. After pushing the suitably cut inner tube into the Bowden outer, on both sides end parts (also called tube mounts) are mounted. For fixing, usually deformations at the end parts are used, e.g. caulking.

After feeding and cutting to length of rope, on both sides end parts are mounted by pressing. Depending on the Bowden cable type, the rope end parts are either thread bolts or nipples. In case of Bowden cables for door unlocking, further parts are mounted on the mutual hexagonal nipples which, after installation in the vehicle, serve for connection to the actuation and the door lock.



The customized assembly systems for Bowden cables are planned, designed and supplied as turnkey solution by KIENER. Base racks, columns and traverses are realized as stable welded constructions. For the transport of the Bowden cables and/or as linkage between the stations, specially designed timing chain transport systems are used. Assembly systems which are to produce Bowden cables of a type family with different lengths will be equipped with a width adjustment where one side of the timing chain including the connected machining units is displaceable by electric motor.

The automatic feeding systems for long materials and single parts are each directly at the stations where these components of the Bowden cables are to be assembled. The number and type of the assembly processes primarily  results from the engineering documents of the Bowden cables. Type and volume of tests as well as controls are realized according to customer’s requests