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Igus UK has developed the rotating Igus C-Chain for applications in conveyors and handling equipment pick-and-place, fast press feeders, shelf-operating units and conveyor belts.

Rotating all the way around, the Igus C-Chain can supply grippers, sensor systems and other units with energy, data and media without superfluous start and return runs.

Each position can now be directly approached in a continual movement, where loading and unloading, adhesion, drilling and so on can then take place.

Justin Leonard of Igus UK said: ‘Whether it’s small units on robots, pick-and-place applications, fast press feeders, large shelf-operating units or classic conveyer belts, conventional handling and transport applications cannot currently manage without a wasted run.

‘Igus C-Chains are not only lightweight and reliable, with speeds of up to 8m/s they can realise extremely fast machine cycle times,’ he added.

Depending on customer specifications, travel of 30m and more is possible.

Numerous carriages can be connected to the continuously rotating chain.

These can supply rotating grippers, suction cups or electro magnets, for example, which can pick up work pieces, hold them, adjust them and set them down again.

In addition, processing tools required for turning, clamping, adhesion or drilling can be supplied.

Regulation and control technology can also be on the carriage, compactly supplied with data and power from a stable guidance system – from barcodes or colour detection readers through to RFID reading units.

In operation, the chain moves easily and with low wear in the guide housing to the first carriage station.

There, it feeds an all-round circular line, to which all the carriages are fixed.

Each carriage can be addressed individually using modern electronics and bus technology.

It receives the respective signals to enable it to work as required, for example, through pneumatic valve, electric motor or sensors.

Each carriage can be triggered individually and can perform its tasks immediately at a pre-defined position.

Alongside the central construction, transport, pick-and-place and other handling systems can now also be delivered in a slim package.

Often, very large masses need to be moved at high accelerations in order to meet the required cycle times.

Leonard said: ‘Accordingly, engineers tend to over design the systems to enable them to absorb the dynamic forces that result from backward and forward motion.

‘With the Igus C-Chain system, on the other hand, space and energy can be saved, therefore supporting the trend towards smaller, more efficient machines.

‘The C-Chain system provides sufficient filling space for a servo/motor cable, a control, bus or fibre-optic cable, and protects and routes fluid hoses too.

‘All the necessary cables and hoses for load, data and media are housed in the compactly designed guide system,’ he added.

The Igus C-Chain system can be used in different installation positions, and is delivered as a complete customised module by Igus for easy integration into the machine, conveyer belt or production system.

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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