Although Hannover Messe is not occurring this year, igus Inc. is still releasing several new innovations, including the new autoglide 5 e-chain system.
Guiding energy safely on long travels and at a low cost: this was the goal behind the development of the autoglide 5 from igus. The new energy chain system is specifically designed for horizontal use in intralogistics and on crane systems. The special feature: the energy supply is quickly installed, as it does not require a guide trough. Instead, it lies on a steel wire rope held in place by the e-chain contour.
According to Michael Blass, Global Head of Business Division e-chainsystems, “iglide is an alternative to bus bar systems, and is a maintenance-free, ready-assembled complete system for power and data and other media. The big advantage of this system is that you can save up to 88% assembly time, which means the chain can work without a guiding trough. We need only the normal steel rope fixed along the travel path, and due to newly developed crossbars in the outer radius, crossbars with grooves the chain will be guided safely on the compete travel length.”
Many users rely on busbar systems for power and data transmission in tight, compact spaces and for fast lane movements, for example, in storage and retrieval units. Their major disadvantage is that they are expensive to maintain, can only be used for power transmission as standard and must be cleaned regularly to avoid contact faults. igus has now developed the autoglide 5 to be able to safely guide horizontal cables at speeds of up to 4 m/sec and up to 80 m travel distance even without a trough. “The autoglide 5 can easily be installed in the aisle on a rope or a profile. It is above all attractive with its low price, an 88% shorter installation time compared to trough systems and its maintenance-free operation,: added Christian Strauch, Industry Manager Intralogistics at igus. “Thus the new energy supply offers a real alternative to the busbar systems.”
To install the autoglide 5, the intralogistics technician only needs the supplied metal rope, which he stretches on the aisle floor. Alternatively, guidance via a plastic rope or a profile is also possible. The e-chain can travel safely on the rope, because the igus developers have come up with a special guide concept. The underside of the chain links has a guide element in the middle, so that the energy chain can rest safely on the rope. For wear-resistant and precise gliding of the upper run of the chain on the lower run, the engineers relied on the igus autoglide elements. This system consists of comb-like injection-moulded crossbars that prevent the energy chain from sliding out. This allows the user to dispense with a guide trough completely.
Long-lasting, maintenance-free and easy to clean
Busbar systems, or the contacts of the pantograph, are very susceptible to wear and need be replaced after only one to two years. With the autoglide 5, igus has developed a durable and maintenance-free energy supply system made of high-performance polymers. igus is currently testing the long service life of the new energy chain in its own 3,800 m2 test laboratory. In the laboratory the autoglide 5 has already convinced with its quiet operation. At a speed of 2 m/sec the measured value was 63dB(A). Another advantage: “Since the autoglide 5, unlike the busbar system, has no open contacts, the aisle is easy to clean Strauch said. igus offers the energy chain system already fully harnessed as a readychain with highly flexible chainflex cables.
In addition to indoor cranes, Blass said the autoglide 5 is suited to gantry robots, and other systems that need to be assembled and disassembled, such as camera systems, theatre and film production, and more.