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Fast, safe automation with new e-chain solution for long travels04/09/2018

The plane-chain from igus ensures a compact energy and data supply in production

Production automation is growing steadily in the wake of Industry 4.0 and is demanding more reliable and space-saving energy supply solutions. igus has now developed the plane-chain, an innovative energy chain concept for long travels and high speeds. With a side-mounted e-chain in a new specially designed guide trough, the system ensures a compact and failsafe energy and data supply.

A look at modern production reveals that it is impossible to do without robots. This is most obvious in the automotive industry. Be it as a linear, gantry or industrial robot moving on the 7th axis. In confined spaces and in long travels, they always have to work reliably and quickly. A reliable energy and data supply is required here. With the plane-chain, igus has now developed a novel energy chain system for automation that provides maximum fail-safety in applications with high speeds and cycle rates. In the new concept from the motion plastics specialist, an energy chain is mounted flat on its side in a special trough. The advantage here is that the designer saves space due to the low installation height. The convex bathtub shape of the trough allows the E6 series e-chain to travel securely in two recessed channels. The stainless steel trough with its low friction factor ensures a long service life of the chain. For additional sound insulation of the system, a special plastic insulating layer can be used on the outside of the trough. Thanks to the lightweight components, the e-chain solution can be easily mounted below the ceiling for linear robots.

Reliable protection thanks to complete enclosure
Upon customer request, completely enclosed plane-chains are also available. Thus, no objects can get in from the outside significantly increasing reliability. In addition to the application potential of the plane-chain for automation, the new concept in enclosed form is also suitable for the energy supply on cranes. Here, cables and e-chains within the corrosion-free troughs are protected from severe damage caused by wind and weather.