chainflex® Flexible Cables in Stage Technology

March 22, 2021 Sascha Mais

Failure of stage technology, such as the cables and cable reels, is not an option. “The show must go on,” as they say. And more importantly, the safety of the actors and audience depends on reliable and fail-safe technology. So, "how cables in stage technology contribute to success" is the subject of today’s article.

Stage Technology

Apart from fail-safe operation, inconspicuousness is the second requirement that must be met. The components used must work silently and invisibly so they don't disturb the performance. After all, the audience should concentrate on the stage and not on the technical details.

Every stage and every show is unique. That is what makes this industry so exciting for us. At the same time, stage technology always presents us and our products with great challenges. Besides high load, noise is also an issue.

Why Do We Need Cables in Stage Technology?

Do you remember your last concert? How many lights turned back and forth, how the stage set changed? How the singer disappeared into the ground or flew above the audience? This is exactly why we need cables in stage technology.

There is no standard product here. We constantly adapt to new challenges, demands and designs of our customers. For this reason no special cable can be recommended for all cases. The applications in the industry are too versatile.

These include, for example:

  • Moving stage sets
  • Mobile spotlights
  • Movable stage elements
  • Extendable stage parts
  • Moving cameras
  • Transmission of the loudspeaker signals

Which Cables Are Used in Stage Technology?

There are various factors to consider when choosing cables: Where exactly is the cable being used, what load does it have to withstand, and what are the exact customer requirements?

Moving stage sets require motors with wire rope hoists. These are often reliably supplied with power by our chainflex® motor cables. In addition, our control cables are often used to supply power to the lighting.

For data transmission, however, our high-quality bus cables can be found in a wide variety of applications. As there is often a lot of data to be transmitted, CAT7 bus cables are often used, for example, the CFBUS.PVC.052.

Advantages of chainflex® Cables

In stage technology, there is often a lack of space. The possibilities and applications of our cables are versatile and often very individual. In the following, we would like to discuss a selection of possibilities for the use of chainflex® cables in stage technology.

To save installation space, we use zig-zag energy chains. This enables us to efficiently transport our chainflex® cables in vertical hanging applications. This makes the energy supply system not only cost-effective, but also space-saving and unobtrusive.

Zig-Zag e-chains®

As the name zig-zag suggests, the cable carrier (pictured right) makes an alternating bend here. This means the maximum stress for the routed cables. Our chainflex® cables enable the smallest bend radii and contribute considerably to space-saving overall.

e-spool as a Cost Saver for Stage and Theater Technology

The solution of an igus® e-spool is also often used. It serves as an alternative to the cable reel in order to guide many different cables in very confined spaces. They can be used, for example, to move an entire stage podium. Here too, the cables must be able to withstand extreme demands -- so this solution is not only space-saving but also quiet. It is compact but capable of carrying a large number of cables at once. 

Strictly speaking, the e-spools are made up of e-chains® and twisterbands.

Both components together provide their services in the podium pit of the Cologne Opera House. There they ensure the movement of the stage podium by providing energy, data and hydraulics.

All chainflex® cables are extensively tested in our laboratory at our headquarters in Cologne, Germany and were specially developed for such applications.

The requirements of the industry are varied and exciting. Check out our stage and theater industry brochure to find your solution today. If you need help implementing new projects or planning new elements, contact an igus® expert here

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