Winning the Crane Cable Management Race with Less Pit Stops

James Weston

If you have ever watched formula one, you know that the car’s sleek designs and expertly tuned engines offer very impressive speeds and agility. However, if you look closer, pit stops and their crews are just as much a part of an F1 podium finish as the design of the car and the skill of the driver. Now, let’s imagine one of the cars only had to stop once briefly at the beginning of the race and never again. That car would undoubtedly win the race. There are many innovations over the decades that have allowed F1 drivers to stay out on the track longer and perform better. This blog post will bring that type of maintenance fighting technology to your crane systems.  

Keep your crane out of the pit

Festoon systems have a couple inherent flaws—they are time consuming to install, and like F1 cars, must be maintained. Festoons are designed with parts marked for wear and a technician must perform regular maintenance operations to lubricate the cable trolleys. This is all standard operating procedure and accepted practice at many facilities. However, the costs in time and money must be included in a crane’s total cost of ownership (TCO).

I would like to present the igus® guidefast system as a maintenance -free alternative, particularly for EOT cranes. The guidefast system is a girder-mounted energy chain held in place by a trough that takes the place of drooping festoons.

Save time on the initial install

On average, an igus® guidefast system can be installed in one third the time it takes to install alternative cable management systems such as a festoon system or conductor bar system. The major installation time savings are derived from a lack of need for any additional supports to be fabricated and mounted beyond the guidefast clips that attach straight to the web of a girder.


Set it and forget it

Many EOT Crane OEMs, MROs, and end users are reaping the economic benefits from using the igus® guidefast system. They are saving on labor hours, material costs and the other standard savings that an igus® e-chain® cable carrier provides. E-chain® cable carrier systems have no parts marked for wear, no need to grease, or replace worn out components. As these benefits add up, your crane system TCO keeps shrinking.
 

Guidefast is designed to be used on cranes with relatively simple cable needs. A simple cable package that consists of a limited amount of power, control, and data cables is a good example of a perfect guidefast fill package. Below is an illustration of the three sizes of guidefast that igus offers (all dimensions are in millimeters).

 

 

The igus® guidefast system is comparable on all accounts with that of a standard energy chain system except for the price. On average, (not including cables) the igus® guidefast system is around $22.00 per foot. Couple this with the savings that come from the reduction of labor and materials that are needed to install alternative systems and the savings grow. Now let’s add in what is likely the biggest cost saver over the system’s lifetime: the dramatic reduction in regular maintenance. This will vary by site, but if you want to learn more about the true cost of cable management in the EOT Crane Industry please check out this blog post called “The Hidden Cost of Maintaining your EOT Crane Cable Management System”.

Contact us if you are curious about how you can get into the fast lane with the igus® guidefast system or if you want to know which guidefast series is right for your system. We can run calculations to determine which system is best suited for your application. 

If you would like to know more about how igus® energy chains can save you and your company money or would like us to consult with your company, please reach out to me today to schedule a visit

To learn more about all of igus® cable management for EOT cranes, please visit our website: http://igus.com/indoorcranes. Or feel free to email me directly at jweston@igus.net.

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