Electrical Power & Protection


Five reasons to use energy chains

September 2023 Electrical Power & Protection

Polymer energy chains provide improved low-maintenance protection for cables, hoses and pneumatics in industrial equipment wherever power, data, control, fibre and optic cables are required.

Global polymer manufacturer, igus is steadily making inroads into cable management on machines where repetitive linear movements are required. The energy chains usually replace festoon systems on equipment like gantry cranes and tripper cars, and can even replace cable reel drums on heavy-duty mining machines such as stackers and reclaimers.

igus managing director, Ian Hewat, says its e-chain cable carriers are increasingly being designed into new systems or retrofitted in festoons and cable reel systems in many industries. Rather than looping cables or winding them onto a drum, the e-chains simply act as a moving conduit or a sort of spine that keeps the cable neat and always protected.

These are the five reasons to choose igus energy chains over festoons:

1. Increased reliability: igus energy chains are designed to provide reliable performance, which reduces downtime through protecting the minimum bending radius. Unlike festoons, which can be prone to snagging and wear, energy chains offer a more robust and controlled cable management solution. Among these solutions are their chainflex cable that is specially designed to run inside the e-chains.

2. Reduced maintenance: Energy chains require minimal maintenance compared to festoon systems. igus energy chains have a self-lubricating polymer, reducing the need for constant maintenance, whereas rollers on festoons need regular lubrication. The e-chain also allows you to add cables and hoses should you wish to do so.

3. Better cable protection: Through the design of the energy chains, the minimum bending radius that shields cables and hoses is controlled, which reduces the risk of damage or electrical failures caused by external elements. Festoons, on the other hand, have their radius exposed and uncontrolled, with added stress and tension on the hanging parts.

4. Space efficiency: igus energy chains are designed to be compact and space-efficient, making them suitable for applications with limited space, whereas with festoons you need to allow space for the cables depending on the length of travel and number of trolleys used.

5. Safety: Energy chains contribute to a safer work environment by preventing cables from hanging loose. The e-chain can be installed at a lower level due to its compactness, making any sort of maintenance easier and safer. Festoons need to be at a much higher level, impacting health and safety.

Effective cable management systems should complement an operations’ objectives and result in better productivity, increased reliability, improved safety and reduced costs. Polymer energy chains from igus tick all these boxes and more.

For more information contact Ian Hewat, igus South Africa, +27 11 312 1848, ihewat@igus.net, www.igus.co.za




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