EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Igus® Inc. unveiled its latest Energy Chain System®: micro Speed-E-Chain for storage and retrieval systems. New micro Speed-E-Chain is a space-saving, compact system for rack control devices that operates safely and silently at high speeds. It complements the company’s larger protective guide-trough offering, formerly known as LBT Flizz and now called Speed-E-Chain.
Micro Speed-E-Chain is an ideal alternative to busways, busbars, festoons and other types of electrification supplies. It offers all the benefits of a traditional Energy Chain cable carrier, including cable protection, extension of service life and elimination of maintenance and downtime. Micro Speed-E-Chain is designed for storage and retrieval systems, extendable conveyors, material handling applications and tool changers.
Micro Speed-E-Chain is comprised of a uniquely designed Energy Chain installed in an aluminum guide trough, with a rolling attachment on the underside through which the cables are fed down to the machine. The top of the trough is closed to protect against dirt, dust and contaminants.
Any type of cable or conduit can be used and various carrier widths, heights and bending radii are available. Unlike a busbar, with micro Speed-E-Chain it’s possible to combine data, copper and fiber optic cables with power cables or pneumatic hoses. This is a key feature for applications such as robots with pneumatic grippers.
Features and benefits
Micro Speed-E-Chain has a wide variety of features and benefits, including:
- compact design for tight space restrictions;
- lightweight construction;
- extremely low friction and wear;
- protection from dirt, dust and contaminants;
- low vibration and noise;
- option to combine data and power supply cables in one system;
- no extra control box required for drives; and
- ability to achieve unlimited speeds and accelerations.
Micro Speed-E-Chain has small side wings on the links of the chain that extend to keep the carrier contained in the guide trough. These wings run in a channel on both the upper and lower parts of the trough, preventing the Energy Chain from falling to the bottom of the guide trough or gliding on the lower portion of the carrier. When the Energy Chain bends, the wings retract and release the carrier to move through the radius smoothly, even in applications reaching speeds up to 20 feet per second or with extreme accelerations. Also at each link, is a small plastic spring, which first touches the bottom of the trough, cushioning the impact and thereby lowering vibration and noise.
“We initially developed the first Speed-E-Chain product many years ago, but it was designed for larger, outdoor applications such as cranes and electroplating systems,” said Joe Ciringione, Energy Chain business unit manager for igus. “We are eager to get this product into the hands of our customers with smaller, more precise horizontal applications, so they too can reap the advantages of this pioneering design. With its high quality and excellent price to performance ratio, micro Speed-E-Chain is destined to become a top choice for busbar installations.”
Micro Speed-E-Chain is made of high-quality igumid G polymer material and because it produces extremely low friction, there is little wear. Micro Speed-E-Chain is assembled easily with standard 3-T nuts and can be installed vertically, horizontally or at an angle. Initial test results confirm that micro Speed-E-Chain can operate for more than one million strokes at a speed of 13 feet per second and experience virtually no damage or wear. Travel lengths of 200 feet also have been successfully tested.