One of my favorite places to go as a child was the car wash. I loved it so much that I even wanted my first date to be there. Weird, I know, but there was nothing more exciting (and more romantic, apparently) to my 6-year-old self than watching the top brushes, mitter curtains, and wraparounds smack against the car, swooshing the soap and water around.
What I didn’t realize back then is that various additional components are required for a car wash to operate properly—cables being one of them. It’s crucial for car wash manufacturers to ensure that those cables will last inside their systems, or else end users could experience major issues, like cable failure and unplanned downtime.
Read on to learn how one manufacturer learned the hard way with their cable configuration and how they were able to recover at no extra cost.
Cable Configuration Gone Wrong
The car wash industry has specific requirements for continuous moving energy and wash media. Manufacturers must route cables and hoses along the car wash structure to meet its moving parts and use a cable management system, such as a festoon reel or cable carrier, to protect the cables and hoses from damage.
Cable and hose management is a key performance requirement for the output and revenue of a car wash. If cables fail, the end user’s business suffers and the manufacturer earns a bad reputation.
One recent example is of a reputable car wash company that designed a wash system with cables they believed to be suitable for continuous flexing. The cables were placed inside of an e-chain® plastic cable carrier from igus® but were not spaced or strain relieved properly.
The cable management issues combined with poor cable design resulted in corkscrewed cables, broken/cracked cable jackets, and burst hoses, which lead to electrical cable failures and loss of water pressure.
An igus® technical sales expert worked with the company to develop a solution: a prototype equipped with an e-chain® and the following chainflex® flexible cables:
- CF6-15-25 control cable with a shield and PVC jacket
- CF30-40-04 power cable with PVC jacket
- CF5-07-18 control and power cables for lights
- CAPU hoses
igus® engineers rigorously test e-chain® and chainflex® together under real-world conditions inside of our 41,000ft2 lab in Germany. This testing guarantees that all of our cable carriers and flexible cables will last at least 36 months inside moving applications.
Still, the car wash company wasn’t ready to commit to a new cable configuration, so they decided to test the prototype against their current system.
Here’s what happened.
The chainflex® Solution
The test results were quickly realized.
A cable failed inside the company’s existing system during the first day of testing. They replaced it and ran the test for an estimated 6-month car wash cycle. During that time, it experienced two additional electrical failures and high wear on the low and high pressure water line.
The chainflex® configuration, on the other hand, did not fail, and the cables experienced very little wear. Plus, the chainflex® cables were guaranteed to last the required lifetime of the company's wash system and were the same price as the cables that had previously failed.
It was a no brainer.
The company officially switched over to the igus® configuration and are now considering chainflex® for another type of wash system they manufacture.
Compare Prices & Save
Switching to our UL Verified flexible cables with a guaranteed service life of 36 months or 10 million cycles doesn’t have to be expensive. We saw that with the example story above. In fact, switching to chainflex® can actually save you money over time by reducing maintenance costs and cable failures.
igus® offers seven different performance types for each chainflex® cable. The performance types vary by price, jacket material, bend radii and other technical advantages so you can find the right cable at the best price.
So, how can you determine if the price point of a particular chainflex® cable works for you and your business? To make it easier, we developed a service called price check.
Here’s how it works.
You fill out this form with a list of your current cables and a brief description of your application. Then, within 24 hours, one of our cable experts will send you a quote with a price comparison between your cables and our chainflex® cables.
So, what are you waiting for? Take advantage of our price check service today so you can design wash systems that earn your company a good reputation and that would make any 6 year old proud.
igus® has been providing solutions to the car wash industry for more than 25 years. Visit our webpage to learn more about the advantages of chainflex® or to use our price check service.
Photo Credit: Orcaman at English Wikipedia / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)