Tech Talks

Busbars vs. energy chains for crane electrification

Tech Talks by igus helping solve design engineering problems with motion plastics

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tech talk Learn more at While busbars are comprised of many different components, e-chains ® are simply made up of parallel side links that are connected with crossbars along the top and bottom of the carrier. The design is modular and can be adapted to a wide range of applications. Specialized designs and materials are available for various types of motion and environmental factors, such as extremely high speeds or chemical resistance. Unlike steel systems, plastic cable carriers are designed to resist abrasion and corrosion. Plastic also reduces weight and offers vibration-dampening properties. e-chain ® cable carriers are truly maintenance-free. The systems can run for years without problems and only require basic visual inspections to ensure the system is in good working order. The energy chains can carry all types of cables and hoses in a single system, including power, data, fiber optic, media and hydraulics. They are typically populated with jacketed multi-conductor cables designed for continuous flexing applications. Cable terminations are typically made in environmentally-sealed junction boxes, eliminating any safety concerns or corrosion issues with exposed conductors. Cables are secured to the energy chain with strain relief clamps installed at each end. If a cable needs to be replaced or upgraded, the existing cable can be released from the ends and used to pull in a new or different cable, with little to no adjustments of the cable management system required. Spare space can be left in the e-chain ® during the design phase, and pull wires can even be installed to pull in cables needed for future advancements or machine upgrades. Due to the clean and durable design, the e-chain ® is proven to withstand the most demanding environments. The carriers remain stable even when subjected to high loads. For additional protection, the chains are available with integrated rollers for extremely long travel distances. They are safe for many environments and are particularly resistant to moisture, heat, dirt and debris. To learn more about igus ® energy chains, visit, or call 1-800-521-2747 to speak with an expert.

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