igus has added an ESD variant specifically for highly sensitive cleanrooms to its e-skin flat series. The modular ribbon cable’s new material prevents the chain from becoming electrostatically charged while ensuring it generates no particles, even during fast movements. The modular design with individual pods also allows quick energy supply system filling.
In addition to particle-free cleanrooms, electronics, and semiconductor industry production also requires electrostatically dissipative machine components. Even the smallest current surge from an electrostatic charge can easily destroy the product. So, igus has added an ESD variant to its e-skin flat series. The new black e-skin flat is made of an electrostatically dissipative material.
“The new material combines ESD approval, which is frequently required, with the proven e-skin flat’s low particle emissions. The chain produces almost no particles and dissipates electronic charges directly,” said Kira Weller, e-chain Product Manager at igus. “The new e-skin flat ESD gives us just the product our customers need to produce sensitive electronic components.”
The new cable is used by companies such as Weiss, in its high-speed HP70 pick-and-place unit, which comes into play in applications such as material handling in the medical and pharmaceutical industries.
Weiss engineers are enthusiastic about the advantages of the e-skin flat ESD. The igus ribbon cable is much stronger, quieter, and less susceptible to wear in quick movement than classic corrugated hoses. The e-skin flat also features a modular design, unlike laminated ribbon cables made of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). In the igus in-house cleanroom laboratory, developed with the Fraunhofer Institute, the new e-skin flat has already proven itself in the highest cleanroom class.
“Single pod” profiles ensure quick, easy e-skin flat installation so the energy supply system can be easily expanded. A zip-lock system allows easy cable replacement.
“This is a big advantage over the widely-used PTFE ribbon cables, in which the stranded cores are welded in a continuous ribbon and cannot be separated. If a single wire breaks, users have to replace the entire system. That takes time and money,” says Weller. “For our e-skin flat, we offer the CFCLEAN cable cores for transmitting energy, motor control, bus, and Ethernet signals. This way, the user gets a ready-to-connect energy supply system directly from a single source.”
If longer travel distances (up to five meters) are needed, a support chain can be simply integrated into the pods. Spacers, connection elements from the e-skin flat series, and the smart i.Cee EC.S ultrasonic condition monitoring sensors are also compatible with the new ESD chain.