We would like to introduce the world’s first modular energy chain made of steel and plastic

We have developed our first plastic-steel hybrid energy chain for telescopic applications, such as cherry pickers, telehandlers and boom lifts. Compared to conventional steel energy chains which are sometimes used in these applications, the new YE.42 e-chain is half the weight. It also provides up to 10m unsupported travel, which is 50% more than for plastic energy chains.

“Previously, mobile machine builders relied on rigid steel chains, which are very difficult to assemble and must often be completely replaced if maintenance or repair work is required,” says Justin Leonard, director, the‑chain division, igus. “For machine operators and rental companies, servicing can therefore be costly – the YE.42 e-chain solves these problems.”

The hybrid e-chain is easy to install and maintain thanks to its modular design. It is easy to assemble without using screws, rivets or bolts – a clear advantage over steel energy chains, which may loosen under vibration. The load‑bearing links are made of steel to ensure high rigidity, while the pin-bore connections, outer plates and crossbars are made of high-performance plastic, which reduces the overall weight. The hinged crossbars enable cables and hoses to be installed and replaced quickly, without having to be dismantled.

We also offer a wide range of interior separators to protect the cables and hoses, prolonging service life. Currently available from stock with an internal height of 42mm and a width of 50-400mm and a bending radius of 100mm, the e-chain is available in other sizes upon request. It is also available as a preassembled readychain system with chainflex cables suitable for energy chains and tested, hydraulic components as well as hoses and hose fittings.

For more information about the new YE hybrid e-chain, please visit: www.igus.co.uk/YE.42echain

or call igus directly on: 01604 677240

Future Robotics 2019

We were at the Future Robotics Conference last week showing our latest innovations and applications for the robotics industry.

Our Automation Business Development Engineer, Vanessa Whiteley, gave a presentation on our igus® delta robot.

The presentation outlined key features of the igus® Low Cost Automation team, focusing on our newest product: the drylin® delta robot.

Vanessa presented ways in which our ‘LCA’ team can reduce costs, increase production and deliver bespoke solutions to many different applications across a wide range of industries – including but not limited to: automotive, food and beverage, packaging, OEM, research, education and medical. With our aim to be as flexible as possible to solve as many not-yet-automated applications as well.

Vanessa also delved into the 3 steps we employ to ensure companies adopt and embrace robotics and automation, whether by small or large means: contact, learn and develop.

Throughout our time at the Future Robotics conference we saw how robotics and automation can enhance the productivity of employers and employees. Whilst also delivering our message that automation doesn’t just exist for the large and established machine builders but also for start-ups, small engineering companies and companies at the development stage.

If you’d like a FREE visit from our Low Cost Automation team please email: Vwhiteley@igus.co.uk

The Internet of everything

The Internet of Things (IoT) is now pretty much mainstream in manufacturing plants across the UK. The application, in many of these cases, is maintenance. The availability of much smaller, powerful sensors along with ever-lasting connectivity, means that data can be obtained from a range of factory equipment and then analysed to identify performance patterns and trends.

This capability is the foundation for the implementation of a truly predictive maintenance operation, reducing downtime and cost. This digital transformation isn’t just restricted to manufacturing environments. IoT is starting to play a big part in an array of other vertical sectors such as agriculture and utilities which often have more distributed assets. For example, in smart farming, IoT infrastructure is being used in several imaginative ways, the sensors act as a way of monitoring weather conditions, soil quality and crop growth and even grazing livestock.

It is also being used as a means of overseeing the condition of agricultural equipment such as tractors, which frequently operate in harsh weather conditions, and are often not maintained as well as they should be. These vehicles can now be fitted with intelligent, lubrication-free polymer bearings, which can detect wear in high load applications thus giving a warning in advance for potential failures. By doing this, maintenance can then be planned in good time, around key periods, such as harvest.

In the water sector, IoT is also being used to allow for better visibility of distribution assets out in the field. Sensors can be installed at various parts of the water network, providing an insight into the performance and infrastructure. This technology is now being applied at the consumer level, with IoT being a key enabler in the roll-out of smart meters.

­­­­These are just some examples of how IoT is finding its way into new markets, and this is only likely to increase over time. With the arrival of the next generation of communication technologies such as 5G, it will soon be possible to transmit higher levels of data thus resulting in a new wave of IoT-enabled business cases that haven’t yet been possible.

We are currently undergoing a rapid period of digital transformation with connectivity across multiple sectors. So, it is time to welcome the Internet of Everything.

RS STEMfest 2019

Last week we attended the RS STEMfest 2019 three day event.

Over the first two days, the igus® team welcomed groups of local school children and their teachers to the event and to the igus® stand. With over 500 students from primary and secondary education visiting the event RS Components did a fantastic job at engaging the kids. We welcomed the students into the exhibition area where we had our stand and everyone got to see the igus® robots in action as well as having a go on our NEW Virtual Reality headset where they got instantly transported to our head office in Cologne.

On the final day (Saturday 6th July) the event was open to the public and attracted over 800 visitors, with an amazing festival atmosphere, street food, and the RS Titan II truck taking centre stage in the exhibition area parents and guardians brought their children along and enjoyed seeing our robots, and finding out about igus® products.