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From the Robot Dress Pack Revolution to Abrasion-Free Cleanroom Chains to Heavy-Duty Chains with Extended Service Life

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2 Today, e-chain ® cable carriers are a standard machine part throughout automation technology. Their application spectrum is similarly broad–from semiconductor manufacture in cleanrooms to container cranes. As varied as chains are, there are technology trends and customer preferences that remain the same across industries. Industry standard If a machine moves–think robot arms, linear systems, linear robot axes, or crane bridges–it uses e-chain cable carriers. Today, this is the proven state of the art, and design engineers are generally familiar with their use. From the point of view of igus ® as a global leader in energy supply system manufacture, this means that there is less and less market potential in established areas of application–that is, less and less replacement of other systems with e-chain cable carriers. The advantages of guiding cables in chains are simply obvious and have been well-known for a long time. The trends The reason why there is a suitable system for almost any application is that the market is large. The foundation is therefore laid, but now is the time to refine and expand in different directions. For example, e-chain cable carriers offer new degrees of freedom. Their use is becoming simpler. Travel speed and service life is increasing in heavy-duty applications. There are new solutions for challenging areas of application such as the semiconductor industry, and customized energy supply systems are being developed for niche applications such as oil extraction and shore power supply. These trends are illustrated here briefly with current examples of igus trade show innovations. New degrees of freedom: 3D chain with integrated retraction system Until now, a separate retraction system was needed for the 3D energy supply on the robot arm, which creates a length compensation in the movement. This was because the length of the energy supply has, until now, been fixed. Now the triflex ® TRX provides a chain that can move in three dimensions and adapt its length to the robot arm reach. The chain element design and integrated retraction band allow the chain to extend automatically by up to 40% and retract again, without a space-intensive, expensive retraction system on the robot. It also ensures high tensile strength (up to 1,000N), easy filling from the exterior, and position stability for the cables in the chain. Revolution in robot energy supply: igus ® telescopic triflex TRX Source: igus ® GmbH

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