igus commissions new automated test facility for energy chains

Motion plastics specialist igus has recently
commissioned a new automated test facility in Cologne Porz-Lind to test their
energy chains and cables at high speeds and long travels.

igus operates the largest test laboratory in the
industry on more than 3,800 square metres, where 10 billion cycles are covered
every year for energy chains and cables alone. Now the company has commissioned
a new automated test facility for long distances where polymer energy chains
and cables are tested for a travel speed of up to 8 m/s over a travel of 400
metres.

Operators of sewage plants, waste incineration plants,
cranes, power plants or mines often find it challenging to guide data, energy
and media safely on long travels. High speeds combined with a high fill weight
often pose problems for energy supply systems such as motor cable drums,
busbars or festoons. igus energy chain systems available from Treotham are
tested in igus’ own test laboratory. In order to give the customer the assurance
that the energy supply system will always work reliably over long distances,
igus has now put into operation a new automated test facility.

New
test rig for long distances

Energy chains and cables are tested at the igus
outdoor location in the south of Cologne at a speed of up to 8 m/s on a track
of 200 metres, which corresponds to a 400-metre-long travel. With additional
units, travels up to 1000 metres can be simulated in the future. The fully
automatic system accounts for a wide range of applications in terms of
acceleration and speed.

In addition to the mechanical load caused by the
movement of the transfer vehicle, environmental influences act unimpeded on the
tested energy chains and cables. The test rig is part of the industry’s largest
experimental laboratory. More than 10 billion test cycles are carried out per
year with e-chains and chainflex cables at a total of 180 testing stations;
4,100 energy chain system tests are performed annually on 180 systems such as
the climate chamber or on robots.

Roller energy chains are continuously tested

Energy
chain systems from Treotham can be moved effortlessly over distances of up to
one kilometre or more with a fill weight of 50 kg/m. As guidance for highly
flexible chainflex cables and hoses, they can be guided smoothly and with low
friction in long travels through guide troughs and enclosures. Roller energy
chains of the P4 series are tested in outdoor facilities. This series has
already proven its worth in more than 1,000 crane and gantry applications
worldwide, with travels of up to 800 metres, high speeds of more than 5 m/s and
several million cycles with low vibration and traversing noise. 

Rollers
integrated in the chain link reduce friction to a minimum and increase service
life. Due to the offset between upper run and lower run, the plastic rollers
are not rolled over, but roll past each other to allow very smooth running. As
a result, the coefficient of friction decreases and the drive power is reduced
by 57 per cent. At the same time, igus uses its knowledge of polymers to
further increase the service life of the e-chains. For example, in the P41.56
for long distances, lubrication-free and maintenance-free tribo-polymers are
integrated in the bearing for pivoting motion, which doubles the service life
of the e-chain. This new development is also an outcome of the numerous real
experiments carried out in the igus test laboratory.

For
more information, please visit the Treotham website www.treotham.com.au or call 1300 65 75 64.

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