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Rail-Mounted Terminal Blocks for Switchgear Production


JOKIEL GmbH designs and manufactures switchgears for various sectors. TOPJOB®S Rail-Mounted Terminal Blocks from WAGO are an important component to satisfy demands for low throughput times and high quality, qualities for which the family-owned corporation in the Upper Palatinate is known.

"The systems our customers build are used all over the world," according to Thorsten Jokiel, who serves as CEO of JOKIEL GmbH together with his brother Markus. “We collaborate with leading manufacturers, who are acknowledged as globally important and produce correspondingly certified products.” When it comes to connection technology, JOKIEL relies on WAGO; they have been equipping their control cabinets with TOPJOB®S rail-mounted terminal blocks since 2006.

From Buildings to Car Manufacturers

JOKIEL, headquartered in Amberg, around 50 kilometers east of Nuremberg, manufactures switchgears for various applications. Founded in 1982, Bernhard Jokiel initially concentrated on building technology; however, the switch to the construction of switchgears for specialized systems occurred soon after. Today, 50 employees manufacture control cabinets for companies from, among others, the filtration and refrigeration technologies, the automotive sector, various industrial sectors, including low voltage distribution boards up to 3200 A, and also, as previously, in building technology. Up to 1200 control cabinets are built in Amberg annually, with dimensions that extend from a wall cabinet, sized like an A4 sheet of paper, up to 20 meter long switch gear units. “The variety of applications that we serve offers our industrial customers an advantage: in addition to constructing the switchgears for their production, we are also involved in the construction of new production halls,” according to Thorsten Jokiel. “Our customer always has the same company contact.”

One Spring Clamp for All Applications

It is naturally also advantageous if the components used in the switchgears are also certified for all applications, like the TOPJOB®S Rail-Mounted Terminal Blocks from WAGO. Their spring pressure connection technology has the necessary certifications, so that JOKIEL can work everywhere in the world and in all applications using only this single rail-mounted terminal block system. JOKIEL has used TOPJOB®S for around ten years, and the switchgear manufacturer used other spring clamps from WAGO even earlier. “We were one of the first switchgear builders to use spring clamps,” states Thorsten as he recalls, “the conversion from screw connections to spring pressure connection technology was a real milestone. For us, the spring clamps offered such relief during wiring, since there were no more screws to be tightened. And our customers have profited since then from the freedom from maintenance.” Whereas the screws in screw clamps had to be regularly re-tightened, this labor was no longer necessary with spring pressure connection technology. “Thus, our customers could significantly reduce their maintenance expenses, while the connections remain fail-safe. In the meantime, spring pressure connection technology has been accepted by our customers and the clamps are now used in all sectors without reservations,” according to JOKIEL.

Push-In Technology Saves Time During Wiring

With the conversion to TOPJOB®S in 2006, JOKIEL was able to save even more time during wiring the switchgears, “Thanks to the push-in technology, we can insert many conductors directly using these modules,” explains Thorsten. Company wide, around 80% of the conductors have a nominal cross section of up to 2.5 square millimeters. All conductors are provided with ferrules using a fully automated conductor assembly machine. “The wiring guides are automatically generated from the circuit diagrams and technical drawings designed in EPLAN,” explains Jokiel. “Mounting plates, control cabinet doors, and housings are also bored and milled completely automatically on a CNC drilling center.” He adds after a moment of thought, “at this consistency, we have already achieved what is currently understood by the expression Industry 4.0. This allows us to achieve fast throughput times and, thanks as well to our competent employees, a very high standard of quality. After all, our systems are used by our customers for multiple decades.”

High Density Wiring in the Control Cabinet

For Jokiel, it is therefore natural to maintain the components used in their systems at state of the art levels. This was also true during the conversion from the “classic” spring clamps from WAGO to the TOPJOB®S, as Markus summarizes, “why should we stay with the old, when the new series offers only advantages, and none of the earlier disadvantages? Wiring is not only easier, thanks to the push-in technology, but the new modules also have an improved design. They are around 15 to 20% narrower, so that we can achieve a higher wiring density in the control cabinets.”

30% Faster Marking

Markus Jokiel, who is primarily responsible for development and design of the systems, lists other advantages that WAGO’s smartPRINTER offers with regard to marking: using the thermal transfer printer allows generation of multi-line marking strips, which can be applied to several rail-mounted terminal blocks at once with a single hand movement. Due to the identical profiles of all TOPJOB®S Rail-Mounted Terminal Blocks – Jokiel uses 2- and 4-conductor I/O modules with other cross sections in addition to the 1.5 mm² modules – the marking can be applied consistently. Thorsten Jokiel explains, “I can mix different modules on one carrier rail and still mark them at the same level with one strip.” Markus adds, “we use the smartPRINTER primarily for our series production. For repeating switchgears, we have at the moment 27 different rail-mounted terminal blocks in reserve. By pressing one button, we can print the necessary marking strips. The time savings in contrast with conventional marking is surely around 30 to 40%.”

Connecting a Larger Cross Section is Always Possible

He refers to yet another advantage of the TOPJOB®S Rail-Mounted Terminal Blocks: the high safety margins. All single-deck TOPJOB®S RailMounted Terminal Blocks connect solid, stranded and fine-stranded conductors one size over their rated cross-section, without requiring special handling, and can be loaded with the nominal current of these conductors. “In practice, it occurs every once in a while that conductors with a higher cross section than originally planned are required for the external connections. With TOPJOB®S, I don’t have to swap out my modules, but can simply connect, for example, a conductor with a nominal cross section of 4 mm² at a 2.5 mm² module,” explains Markus.

“The products from WAGO offer synergies that support us in implementing our fast throughput times and our high standards of quality,” is the conclusion from Thorsten Jokiel. “In addition, the delivery reliability is high and the delivery times are short, which is important to us, because we practice just in time manufacturing. WAGO is therefore basically the supplier for connection technology.”