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Trima Triebeser Maschinenbau, a manufacturer of bespoke CNC machining centres for the production of windows, staircases, interiors, doors, furniture, arc work, engravings, toys and more, uses heavy-duty plastic energy chains supplied by igus UK for cable guidance.

igus extender chain

Michael Schell, chief designer at Trima Triebeser Maschinenbau, said: ‘Since we do not make off-the-shelf products and do not have any fixed assemblies, expert advice during the design phase is particularly important to us. In special-purpose machine construction, it is absolutely necessary that the machines run smoothly under all conditions first time. This also applies to the components used, such as the energy chains.’

One of the company’s five-axis machines has been tailor-made for a limited workspace. The machining centre has an overall height of 3m and a component or passage height of 500mm. The distance travelled is 4.1m in the X axis, 2.6m in the Y axis and 1m in the Z axis. During this movement, speeds of up to 1m/sec and accelerations of 5m/sec² are achieved. Vacuum-clamping jigs are used on the machine table, guaranteeing flexibility necessary during part machining. Woodworking is involved in this application, which means extraction plays an important role.

According to Schell, it is not wood chips that are the problem in this environment; it is wood dust. To ensure the hose is guided safely and cleanly, it has been enclosed in an ‘extended crossbar’ version of the E4/light series energy chain from igus. The large-volume extraction hose has a length of more than 6m and a diameter of 0.3m.

Key benefits of product application 

  • The igus E4/light series chain gently and safely guides the hose. The clamps are mounted directly on the sides and guarantee optimum hose and cable guidance. 
  • The crossbars of the chain are rigid and are said to guarantee safe guiding over the whole travel distance even under heavy loads, without additional design elements being required.
  • The safe guidance of the exhaust hose inside the energy chain means constant extraction is possible in every travel position. The machine table can also be accessed from above, which means a crane can be used for loading and unloading. 
  • The light version of the E4 energy chain also provides a weight advantage. The sides and crossbars are extremely sturdy but slimmer than the standard version, which means more space inside and reduces costs. 
  • Design features of the energy chain include a tongue-and-groove design for high stability, high shear forces on long travels and large unsupported lengths. In addition, outer and inner brackets ensure quick installation.
  • The chain is dirt repellent and has a smooth, wear-resistant surface.
  • One special design feature on the Y axis is that the energy chain carrying electrical cables runs inside the extender chain. This is so sturdy that it can safely bear the weight of the E2/000 cable carrier, as well as the bulky exhaust hose.

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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