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Igus has developed a compact energy chain system that is suitable for applications in the field of robots as well as in special machine construction, medical apparatus and rides at amusement parks.

Staying close to the axis, the Twisterband TB30 is a cost-effective system that can guide energy, data and other media safely through 3,000deg at high rotating speeds with little wear.

Rotating movements in confined spaces also occur with handling, lifting and assembly equipment, as well as in test and trial jigs.

A further possible area of application is in wind power systems, where the turbine blades have to be controlled through the main support, which must also be free to turn.

Previously, where demanding rotary movements were required at very high loads, energy chains with reverse bending radii (RBR) were commonly used.

Justin Leonard of Igus UK said: ‘With RBR systems, circular movements of up to 540deg are possible.

‘Unfortunately, the installation space required is usually quite large in terms of depth and width.

‘A medium-sized alternative, which we developed a few years ago, is the Twisterchain energy chain system.

‘Also designed for one-and-a-half complete rotations coupled with high dynamics, this system’s diameter is not as wide but much taller and comes nearer to the axis of rotation,’ he added.

Where installation space is extremely limited, however, a more compact solution was required.

Following months of development work, Igus launched the Twisterband TB30, which achieves rapid circular movements of up to 3,000deg.

It depends only on the chain length or the design height in the axis of rotation and, because of the much smaller centrifugal forces owing to the smaller masses involved, rotary speeds of up to 720deg/sec are possible.

Thanks to the small installation size and compact design, the energy chain system can be used safely in all installation positions (horizontal or vertical).

As with all E-Chains from Igus, the plastic energy chain is said to be very light and simple to use.

The single-component injection-moulded belt has chambers attached that are filled in a similar way to the company’s patented Easy principle.

Without the chain links needing to be opened and closed, users can press the lines into the chain from the outside edge.

To complement the Igus Twisterband TB30 system, a range of 950 Chainflex cables is available, either as separate parts or pre-fitted.

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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