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Igus, an energy-chain and flexible-cable specialist, has developed a twistable fibre-optic cable for all 3D movements in energy chains to keep bus systems working reliably.

The Chainflex CF Robot-LWL makes high data rates possible and can be routed directly alongside high-capacity electrical power cables.

According to the company, bus system problems can occur during twisting applications in energy chains, particularly with shielded data cables, because the shields can get damaged and open up.

However, this is not the case with fibre-optic cables, which do not have a mechanically vulnerable shield braid.

Fibre-optic cables are also insensitive to EMC while transferring high-speed bus signals up to a length of 400m.

Igus’s Chainflex cable uses a twist-optimised design and the strong fibre-optic cable is robust even with rotation angles of +180 degrees, according to the company.

The fibre-optic cable has been running on a test setup in the Igus technical centre for more than a million double cycles.

There is no change to the high data-transfer rates, even at a torsion angle of 360 degrees.

The cable has a two-fibre-optic core and is resistant to oil, bio-oil and UV light, while remaining flexible in the cold.

The FOC wires with high-tensile aramid fibres and dampers are stranded firmly around a GRP core.

The pressure-extruded outer sheath is made of a halogen-free TPE mixture.

Highly dynamic in continuous movement, the cable can be used for indoor and outdoor applications at temperatures from -20C to +60C.

The Chainflex CF Robot-LWL has a fibre diameter of 50/125um and is suitable for almost all high-speed buses, according to the company.

This covers a range of uses in torsional applications, such as in energy chains on robots and machine tool handling where, for example, vision technology plays an important role.

This helps to meet the increasingly demanding requirements in areas such as quality-control monitoring and measuring.

The fibre-optic cable is a solution that is said to be suitable for industrial applications for image transmission for GigE, Firewire IEEE1394a/b and USB.

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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