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Bearings specialist igus has launched two variants of its compact e-spool energy chain. The heavy-duty (HD) and motor flange versions are more powerful, enabling users to more easily retract and guide cables, while the e-spool range as a whole allows engineers to save space thanks to its small footprint. Quick and easy to install, the e-spool is flexible, providing cables reliably in any direction for travel up to 14m.


e-spool heavy duty for vertical applications: a strong retraction spring spools up the chain up to 14m
e-spool heavy duty for vertical applications: a strong retraction spring spools up the chain up to 14m

The company now offers three different e-spool solutions, depending on the pull-out direction and load. The standard e-spool features a simple spring mechanism for retracting the chain and is suitable for most applications and for any direction.

However, vertical applications require a higher retraction force, and so the HD version has been designed with an extra-tough spring providing stronger retraction.

Finally, the motor version with motor flange is available for use with a motor to allow higher filling loads and movements in any direction.

All three e-spool versions are available in different extension lengths (0–4m, 4–7m and 7–14m) and with one or two twisterbands depending on the cable capacity required. The maximum spooling speed is approximately 1m/sec and the twisterband enables cables with up to 17mm to be housed.

They are suitable for many lifting applications where users are looking for space-saving energy chains, such as lifting platforms, cherry pickers, sorting lines, mobile cranes, platform applications, assembly or process cranes with grippers or lighting rigs in the theatre industry. In addition, users can save space associated with storing the chain, as it has a smaller footprint than traditional zigzag chains used in such applications.

Key features and benefits

  • e-spool guides all media types such as data, compressed air and liquids, flexibly and with minimum space in one system.
  • It combines two different energy chains: a standard igus e-chain is routed via a spool and an igus twisterband connects the spool with the shaft bracket, which serves as the interface to the permanently installed cables.
  • Instead of featuring costly sliding contacts, which are typically featured in classic cable drums, the cables can be connected without interruption and can be replaced or modified at any time.
  • The maximum spooling speed is approximately 1m/sec.
  • The twisterband enables cables with up to 17mm to be housed.
  • The energy chain is said to be easy to install and use: users simply press the cables into the chain from the outside, without the chain links being opened and closed.

Igus

Igus is the largest producer of reinforced plastic energy chains and injection-moulded polymer bearings. The range of polymer bearings includes Iglidur plain, Igubal spherical and Drylin linear bearings. They offer an excellent price-to-life relationship and are developed under the toughest conditions. They are oil, maintenance and lubrication free, low wear, resistant to dirt and dust, corrosion free and simple to fit. Igus also has the data to precisely predict the lifetime of these bearings within a specific application.

Igus is the largest producer of reinforced plastic energy chains and injection-moulded polymer bearings. The range of polymer bearings includes Iglidur plain, Igubal spherical and Drylin linear bearings. They offer an excellent price-to-life relationship and are developed under the toughest conditions. They are oil, maintenance and lubrication free, low wear, resistant to dirt and dust, corrosion free and simple to fit. Igus also has the data to precisely predict the lifetime of these bearings within a specific application.

Energy chains are the umbilical cord of modern machines. They minimise downtime and protect, support and extend the service life of cables and hoses. The broad range incorporates more than 30,000 innovative, low-cost products. From the smallest ‘micro’ chain to the largest chain in the world, the E4.350, Igus energy chains are capable of long and short travel distances at high speeds in all axes.

Igus also has its own cable series, Chainflex, specially designed with energy chains in mind. They are highly flexible cables, offering a long service life and very small bending radii. A wide range is available, from small signal cables to large power cables, high-speed data cables and glass fibre-optic cables.

The company’s energy chains and Chainlflex cables can be delivered as a fully harnessed and pre-assembled Readychain system, cutting purchasing, warehousing and installation costs.

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