Metal cable-guidance systems are typically difficult to assemble, heavy, and prone to corrosion. igus, with U.S. headquarters in East Providence, R.I., developed the guidelite guide trough for plastic energy chains in 2015 to offer an alternative that was lightweight, easy to assemble, and cost-effective.
“This year, we have further improved the system with a new, extremely chemical-resistant material for the guide trough, and matching e-chains,” explained Michael Blass, Vice President and Head of Business for e-chain systems at igus. “A new closing mechanism and flexible expansion joints adapt to different ambient and temperature conditions.”
The updated system is made from igumid EG+ plastic, a tribologically optimized, lightweight material that offers an alternative to steel and aluminum carriers. The material is characterized by extremely low moisture absorption, which offers an increased resistance to aggressive chemicals such as those used in electroplating and fertilizer production. The trough material, along with most series of e-chains, can be used in temperatures ranging from 32° to 212° F. It is also halogen and silicone free, RoHS compliant and easily recognizable by its blue color.
Combined with e-chains made of igumid EG+ and highly flexible chainflex cables with a TPE outer jacket, the modular complete system is reportedly an ideal solution for long travels with low speeds in harsh environments. Because both the e-chain and the trough in the system consist of the chemical-resistant material, they are very compatible when gliding next to each other.
The guidance system is light and quick to install. During a test installation conducted by igus, users were able to install a 98-foot long trough in less than three minutes due to the practical modular assembly method. Side plates are connected by manual clipping and locking without tools. The clamping mechanism, specially designed for the system, keeps it secure and durable. Modular in design, the guidelite plus EG+ can be individually adapted to the respective task and, therefore, has wide-ranging suitability in many applications. And thanks to fast assembly, working time and costs can be significantly reduced.