Gliding e-chain cable carriers from igus Inc., East Providence, R.I., are typically used for travel lengths between 33 and 164 feet. However, these e-chain systems are facing more demanding requirements from many customers. The dynamics of the systems are intensifying, and the loads that the chains must handle are increasing. This can cause gliding systems to reach their physical limits. For example, if the cycle rates of machines increase, energy chains must move faster.
Therefore, igus has expanded the standard modular system of the E4.1 e-chain series by adding new roller links. “The newly developed roller links are separated so that the roller sits in the middle of the link,” explained Michael Blass, vice president and head of igus’s e-chain systems business. “This means that all links effectively have the same pitch, a feature that ensures quieter operation of the system.” This is made possible by the geometry and material of the new hollow rollers, which now produce considerably less vibration and noise when they roll over each other.
The roller links have small ramps in front of and behind the rollers, which further reduce noise during movement and help avoid hard impacts when the upper run of the chains is unrolled onto the lower run. The rollers are not additional components that could potentially be lost; they are securely integrated into the links in a space-saving manner.
The new roller links in the comprehensive modular E4.1 system make it easy for users to switch from gliding to rolling energy chain systems, thus saving drive energy. Moreover, users can to continue using the same trough systems, interior separation and mounting brackets as before. Due to the modular nature of the series, a wide range of different sizes and types are possible. No adapter links are needed, and the roller links can be fitted on the left and right side of the chain, making for easy assembly.
All the E4.1 series links have smooth interior contours, and the crossbars and lids are slightly rounded, which creates less wear on the cables during operation. The E4.1 chains are also durable and are designed for demanding requirements, including extremely high loads, allowing for use in a wide range of applications and industries, from machine tools to cranes in sea ports. Coupled with company’s isense products made for plannable maintenance, users can also avoid unscheduled machine shutdowns.