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Hybrid cable for the energy chain


Hybrid cables on drive units constitute a relatively new trend and generally involve a combination of energy cores, supply cores for brakes and temperature sensors and a bus system. The bus system serves to transmit digital information from the encoder integrated in the motor back to the frequency converter. This eliminates the need for an additional encoder cable and the associated costs and room for cable and connector.


Overview image

Manufacturer differences

Hybrid technology is the biggest trend in the cable industry in the last few years. Key terms here are One Cable Connection (Siemens) and One Cable Technology (Beckhoff). This technology usually combines four power cores (L1, L2, L3 and PE), one pair for functions such as temperature monitoring, and cores for a bus system in a cable. Every large drive manufacturer uses its own bus system. Beckhoff, for example, uses SICK's Hiperface DSL, and Siemens uses an Ethernet derivative. We at igus have joined this technological trend and optimised the mechanical cable design for energy chains. Our CF220.UL.H and CF280.UL.H hybrid cables can be connected to drive systems from the major OEMs without any problem.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of hybrid cables

Each drive requires two cables – the motor cable and the encoder cable. The combination in a single cable creates room in the energy chain and the motor connection area, since half of the components can be dispensed with. Disruptions caused by proximity of sensitive data cores to energy cores are avoided if possible. The EMC properties of the shielding in the cables and a good plug concept help out here. We achieve good shielding effects by high coverage of necessary elements and a flat braid angle that ensures that the properties are retained for a long time, even in moving applications.

Hybrid cables

Woodworking machine tools

Hybrid cables in woodworking

A major manufacturer of woodworking machines converted its drive technology to the new Beckhoff hybrid technology, capitalising on the advantages of the more compact design. The challenge was with the cables, which in their machines have to perform a great many movements with very tight radii. This is where igus entered the race with a challenging service life test. It was challenging because the requirement was to also measure the Hiperface DSL bus data transmission over its use. That is why we worked very closely with our customer to achieve reliable results for both of us. Feel free to send us a query when you need to test cable solution durability.



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The terms "igus", "Apiro", "CFRIP", "chainflex", "conprotect", "CTD", "drygear", "drylin", "dryspin", "dry-tech", "easy chain", "e-chain", "e-chain systems", "e-loop", "e-ketten", "e-kettensysteme", "e-spool", "e-skin", "flizz", "ibow", "igear", "iglidur", "igubal", "kineKIT", "manus", "motion plastics", "pikchain", "plastics for longer life", "print2mold", "readycable", "readychain", "ReBeL", "robolink", "speedigus", "tribofilament", "triflex", "xirodur" and "xiros" are legally protected trademarks of the igus® GmbH/Cologne in the Federal Republic of Germany, and, where applicable, in some foreign countries.
igus® GmbH points out that it does not sell any products of the companies Allen Bradley, B&R, Baumüller, Beckhoff, Lahr, Control Techniques, Danaher Motion, ELAU, FAGOR, FANUC, Festo, Heidenhain, Jetter, Lenze, LinMot, LTi DRiVES, Mitsubishi, NUM, Parker, Bosh Rexroth, SEW, Siemens, Stöber and all other drive manufacturers mentioned on this website. The products offered by igus® are those of igus® GmbH.