Twisting through three thousand degrees

New energy chain for circular movements in small spaces. Innovative “TwisterBand TB30” from igus GmbH, Cologne.
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Energy Chain


Northampton - Northamptonshire - England

Nov. 27, 2012 - PRLog -- To be able to turn lines through 3,000 degrees in a minimum space, igus has now developed an innovative compact energy chain system. The “TwisterBand TB30”, presented for the first time at the Hanover Industrial Fair, guides energy, data and media with little wear and is extremely cost effectively, according to the manufacturer. At high rotating speeds, the system stays close to the axis.

Where demanding rotary movements are required at very high loads, igus energy chains with reverse bending radii (RBR) are usually used. With these, circular movements of up to 540 degrees are possible. However, the installation spaces involved are usually large in terms of depth and width. As a medium-sized solution in the Cologne company’s circular chain range, the second possibility is the “TwisterChain” energy chain system. This sturdy, smooth-running energy chain was also designed for one and a half complete rotations coupled with high dynamics. The system’s diameter is not as wide, but much taller and comes nearer to the axis of rotation.

New: Fast lightweight micro-solutions

Where installation space is extremely limited, on the other hand, a different, compact and very easy to fill micro-solution is required. Following months of development work, the igus design engineers have presented such a solution. The new “TwisterBand TB30” makes rapid rotating movements possible up to 3,000 degrees and depends only on the belt length or design height in the axis of rotation. On account of the much smaller centrifugal forces due to the smaller masses involved, rotary speeds of up to 720 °/s are possible. Thanks to the small installation size and compact design, the energy chain system can be used safely in all installation positions (horizontal or vertical).

Compact and straighforward

The plastic energy chain is very light and easy to use. The single-component injection-moulded belt has chambers attached that are filled in a similar way to the igus patented “Easy” principle. Without the chain links needing to be opened and closed, users can simply press the lines into the chain from the outside edge. Design engineers have a comprehensive range of 950 “Chainflex” cables available for all applications, either as separate parts or pre-fitted.

Power, data and media in one system

The new system is made up of continuous lines. These can be electrical, pneumatic or even media hoses. There is space e.g. for a servo/motor cable, a control, bus or FOC cable and a hose routing fluids as well. The package design is modular and extremely flexible, “and does not have to be customised to individual customer specifications,” according to igus. One type is already available ex stock, further larger and smaller versions are planned.

From special machines to wind power

Applications for the slim design circular chain system are mainly in the field of robots (supplying axes 1 and 6) as well as in special machine construction e.g. radar and telescope systems through medical apparatus to attractions at amusement parks. Rotating movements in confined spaces also occur with handling, lifting and assembly equipment of all kinds as well as in test and trial jigs. A further possible area of application is in wind power systems, where the turbine blades have to be controlled through the support which must also be free to turn.

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