Cable Monitoring with Smart Plastics: What It Is & How It Works

February 15, 2021 Richard Habering

What Is "Smart Plastics CF.Q?"

Cable monitoring with the help of the isense CF.Q module is used for the early detection of changes in electrical properties of chainflex® cables due to mechanical loads during operation in an igus® e-chain® system.

How Does CF.Q Work?

The isense CF.Q line monitoring system measures the electrical resistance of a dedicated conductor loop during operation. If the system detects a permanent change in the electrical properties, the system recommends that the customer replace the cable as soon as possible by switching a potential-free contact (OUT1). This slight warning in acoustic or optical form is only the first warning of the system. If the wire breaks completely, the next step is to switch off the system.

At the beginning of the installation, the reference resistance and the threshold resistance are determined in a 60-minute calibration process during commissioning. The internal algorithms evaluate exceeding the threshold value resistance in the temporal context to trigger the potential-free contact (OUT1). In addition to the potential-free contact, the status is indicated by a red/yellow LED on the front panel of the CF.Q module and serves as an indicator for assessing the cable status.

 

The Two Variants To Use CF.Q

In the case of the variants, it is important to decide with which cable the changes will be measured.

Variant 1:
Here you use unused resources within the already installed cables. It happens that some cables have wires that are not used. A series connection can be created from these wires within a cable and CF.Q can be connected there. Another positive aspect of this variant is that you use previously unused resources and increase the safety of the system.

Variant 2:
With the second option, you simply take a completely new cable instead of unchecked wires and connect the CF.Q module there.

In both cases, the wires actually used are not monitored, so the information from the potential-free contact (OUT1) is only to be interpreted as an indicator for a recommended replacement.
igus® does not guarantee the correctness of the information or the follow-up costs derived from it.

What Are the Advantages of CF.Q?

  • Avoid unplanned system downtime due to cable failures when using chainflex® cables outside the chainflex® guarantee conditions
  • Detect mechanical stress on chainflex® cables at an early stage under extreme operating conditions
  • Plan maintenance work in advance cost-effectively

Possible Uses of CF.Q

Bread packaging machine

In theory, cable monitoring with the CF.Q system can be used on any chainflex® cable that is installed in an e-chain® cable carrier. Ultimately, you just have to choose between one of the two options outlined above. In order to not only shed light on the theoretical behind this technology, there is also a user report here. This shows the CF.Q in a bread packing machine from GHD Hartmann.

To learn more about smart plastics, visit our webpage, contact us here or call us at 800-521-2747.

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