A modular distributor system for initiators and actuators

Mechanical and plant engineering company Hymmen is benefiting from having the all-purpose ZIA series modular terminal system in the terminal boxes mounted on its transport and vacuum tables

In the detailed engineering of automatic control systems, the coordination and interaction of initiators, actuators and the terminal boxes used for distribution is an essential factor. Space problems need to be taken into account here amongst other things, as there is generally only a little room available for the electrical installation. Indeed, it is often situated in hard-to-reach spaces. Weidmüller is creating practical solutions with the space-saving initiator and actuator terminals of the ZIA series.
Thanks to their modular design, the terminals can be matched to the relevant application on-site. Dimensions of just 5 mm wide and 46 mm high also contribute to this. Terminal boxes can thus be kept very compact.
Michael Meier from Hymmen, commissioning a digital printing system

Last but not least, the connection system with TOP connection and tension clamp technology facilitate assembly with very short cable duct distances, thus promoting the use of a thin, low housing.

Distribution strips as the core of the modular system
“Our ZIA series is testament to the fact that we consistently design our modular terminals to suit the needs of practitioners, as they can also be used and handled under cramped and complex installation conditions,” sums up Product Manager Martin Adamczyk.
“To connect an initiator or actuator, our clients only need the basic modular terminal ZIA 1.5 featuring the connections for the signal line and the ZVL distribution strip to supply the initiators. These distribution strips form the actual core of the modular system. The cross-connections to the neighbouring plus/minus and functional earth elements are already integrated in them.”
The socket is on one side of the connection element, and the male pin contact is on the other. The individual distributor elements are automatically connected to one another during the patching process – there is no need for laborious cross-connecting, and it also means that it’s impossible to leave out any cross-connections. In this way, the modular design effectively contributes to preventing errors during customisation.

Integrated into standardised distribution boxes at the machines, the ZIA modular terminals enable Hymmen to save time during assembly and modification work

What’s more, modifications can be made with ease. A ten-pin distribution block, for instance, can be turned into an eleven-pin version – or vice versa – in no time at all. If a control signal needs to be multiplied, that’s not a problem either. In this case, a ZQV bridge is simply plugged between the signal paths. The plus/minus distributor involved in the application is already included in the product.
Use in terminal boxes underneath transport and vacuum tables
Mechanical and plant engineering company Hymmen, which is primarily involved in industrial production technology for large-scale production of sheet materials or the surface refinement of sheet or reel products, is benefiting from these advantages delivered by the modular distributor system. “We are using the ZIA modular terminals from Weidmüller as part of our transport or vacuum tables, where we use a very large number of sensors and actuators,” explains Harald Herold from Hymmen.


The sensor signals in these applications come from light barriers, limit switches or pressure monitors; hydraulic and pneumatic valves are controlled. As the tables are usually assembled in a similar way, Hymmen uses pretables assembled distribution boxes for these system parts, which should be kept as standardised as possible. With a proven universal solution in the modular terminals segment, Hymmen is able to act quickly where necessary.

“Where we previously used Weidmüller’s modular terminals with screw connections, we are now relying on variants featuring a tension-clamp system. The ZIA modular terminals mean that we can save time during assembly and modification work – which is also due to the system’s clear colour coding,” explains Herold.


“The distribution strips in red/brown, blue and yellow/green create a clear assignment between the conductor and terminal point. The precise marking options provide an additional overview. We can attach up to eight designations for the modular terminals and signal connections on two marker tag holders arranged at an incline.”

Reliable contact security

Installed in standardised distribution boxes on the machine, the ZIA modular terminals help save time during assembly and modification work

In addition to simple handling, the tension clamp technology also offers excellent contact security. Hymmen’s housing solution mounted directly underneath the tables is also proving itself in the presence of vibrations. The vacuum arms running across the etables involve constant movement. However, using the ZIA modular terminals, Hymen has not experienced any contact interruptions in spite of these influences.


“The latest projects we implemented were for customers in Belgium and Thailand. Especially with our solutions being used on a global scale, we are delighted to know that we are building on reliable components with the ZIA modular terminals,” smiles Herold.
»We consistently design our modular terminals to suit the needs of users.«

Martin Adamczyk, Weidmüller Product Manager

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Published in November 2013