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Kinetic art meets curvy chain10/10/2018

The igus e-spool guides cables effortlessly for complicated kinetic sculpture

A highly complex control, audio and energy cable management system at a height of four metres - these were the challenges for a work of art. The solution: e-spool with compact twisterband from igus ensures reliable cable feed in a confined space even under the most difficult conditions. Quick to install, and easy to maintain and operate.

A kinetic sculpture consisting of 168 individually positionable metal spheres hangs above a water feature in the foyer of a hotel in Taiwan. But behind this delicate and graceful work of art is a great deal of technology. Kurt Hüttinger GmbH, the trade-fair construction company, was confronted with the following challenge: The system was to be easily accessible for maintenance, even though it had to be installed within a metre-high inaccessible false ceiling four metres above the ground. There was little time for installation, as the work of art had to be in place before the official opening. A cable lift, which can permanently accommodate the technical unit, had already been installed in the structural shell of the building. A highly complex cable management system for control, audio and energy cables was needed that enabled the spheres to move in time with music. It was needed to be reliable, discreet and, most importantly, quick to install.
igus e-spool: the practical cable drum system
"For our cable problem, we found the perfect solution in the form of the igus e-spool," explains Stephan Hessberger, head of technical design at Kurt Hüttinger GmbH. The energy chain is suitable for supplying energy in a very restricted space and is routed over a roller. Integrated retraction springs ensure the correct length and tension of the cable management system at all times. In the home position, the e-chain is completely rolled up to save space. The compact twisterband connects the roller to the shaft end block, which serves as an interface to the fixed cables. The cable reel was filled with cables, mounted on the unit and tested in operation in advance. "This was the only way to ensure that a work of art, made and assembled in Germany, could be flown half way round the world and installed quickly," says Stephan Hessberger enthusiastically. For installation, the complete unit, including e-spool, was placed on supporting wheels, attached and lifted by hand. The loose end of the e-spool was then mounted onto hidden ceiling and connected up. It was then possible to continue the installation work and set the work of art in motion.

Watch the kinetic sculpture in action here:

You can watch the "making-of" of the sculpture here: