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Energy chains for a transformer test rig for autonomous vehicles

TDK RF Solutions makes temperature-resistant cable guidance with e-chains and spring cable drums from the e-spool series

silver vector award
Winner of the silver vector award 2024: What about the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) of vehicles with driver assistance systems? The answer is provided by a roller test rig for vehicle-in-the-loop (VIL) tests. In order to position its numerous antenna assemblies for interference resistance tests, the US company TDK RF Solutions relies on energy chains made of high-performance plastic and slip-ring-free spring cable drums from the igus e-spool series to guide the high-performance frequency cables.


  • What was needed:  Energy chains of the 1400 series and spring cable drums of the e-spool series
  • Requirements: The components operate in an environment with high levels of high power frequency energy and in some cases electric arcs to. The HF cables themselves may also have increased temperatures.
  • Industry:  Automotive industry
  • Success for the customer: Thanks to e-chains and spring cable drums from the e-spool series, TDK RF Solutions has increased the system's reliability. 


TDK RF Solutions dedicates its engineering expertise to vehicles with driver assistance systems. In order to test their susceptibility to interference and electromagnetic compatibility, the US company is developing a test bench for vehicle-in-the-loop (VIL) tests. To enable the vehicle to drive as if it were on a road, the designers have realised a turntable with rollers. It is surrounded by a series of test antennas that radiate the vehicle with high electric field strengths. Five axes of movement allow each antenna assembly to be positioned freely. The challenge now was to find an adaptable and at the same time temperature-resistant cable guidance system for high-performance frequency cables, control cables and compressed air hoses.


To guide the high-performance frequency cables, control cables and compressed air hoses of the antenna assemblies, the engineers at TDK RF Solutions rely on energy chains made of high-performance plastic from the 1400 series. Slip ring-free spring cable drums from the e-spool series are also used. The combination is not only temperature-resistant, fail-safe and durable. e-spool also offers the following advantage: The suspended masts of the test rig move along two axes and rotate around a third, so that the engineers did not have to synchronise a fourth motor with the other three due to the spring-loaded design of the cable drum. Thanks to the elimination of slip rings, maintenance times have also been reduced.

"The team was very pleasant to work with! They were very quick with the design work and the communication was professional and prompt."
TDK RF Solutions 
Energy chains
Energy chains
Energy chains

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