Conductix-Wampfler has introduced a new cable and hose carrying system for robotic equipment that is expected to save significant downtime for manufacturers.
The 'Robotrax' system from Kabelschlepp offers savings, safety, and efficiency because it solves three fundamental weaknesses of existing corrugated conduits.
First, instead of requiring cables to be threaded through the conduit, Robotrax allows the cables to be pressed into the 'vertebrae' links of the spine through small gaps, making it easier and faster to load or replace cables.
Second, the openness of these links allows spot-checks of the entire cabling without having to remove the cables beforehand.
Third, a braided steel rope through the core of the spine provides strength to the system and protects it from the wear and tear on a corrugated conduit often encountered from rapid movements of the robot.
Robotrax can move in any direction, so only one carrier system is required to cover all swivelling and rotating movements.
The cable-carrying space around the core is divided into thirds, helping to partition cables and hoses as desired. Each link can both rotate and swivel. Within the length of a metre, it can rotate 90 degrees, and within just half that can swivel to turn cables 180 degrees.
Mating connectors allow the Robotrax to be connected to the robot at any point, because the connectors can be placed around any link and bolted onto the robot's housing. They release within seconds to allow the cabling system to be removed or replaced.
Special guiding channels and connectors make the system easy to install, operate and collect or deliver cables as a robot swivels, opens or contracts.
Conductix-Wampfler managing director, Derek Lockett, said existing sites suggested Robotrax would provide significant savings through reduced downtime and faster and easier cable changes or carrier changes.
“The system is very much a world innovation that will add directly and measurably to the efficiencies of automated production units. Not only does it blend the best qualities of both the flexible conduit and the stronger nylon/steel systems, but in fact out-performs them both.”