Application Review- KUKA

On visiting KUKA Roboter GmbH we were in the presence of a true pioneer in the field of robot and automation technology. The Augsburg-based company developed the FAMULUS, its first industrial robot with six electromechanically-driven axes back in 1973. In 1996, they then played a role in bringing in the era of real mechatronics with a PC-based control system. Today, KUKA Roboter produces and sells automated production solutions for the automotive, medical and solar industry as well as aviation, aerospace and machine tool sectors to name a few.

The robot can cover a larger working area thanks to the linear axis

For many years, the KUKA developers have entrusted igus® chains with the cables for their linear axes. The fact that these are highly robust and reliable, is however not what tipped the scales in their favour. Instead, Hans Brix, linear axis developer, says that it is the exceptionally long unsupported length of the igus® chains, which allows the greatest possible extent of movement by the robots.

KUKA has now laid the chain with the cables on the support structure for the first time. As a result, the trough system is no longer required and the design is far more compact, automatically saving several square metres of space.

A comparison of two systems: in the image on the left, the cables run in an external guide trough. On the right, the e-chain® has been placed on the robot’s support structure. This saves space and reduces costs

igus® generally fills its e-chains® with the cables desired by the customers and then supplies them as complete units that can be simply and quickly installed on site. To date, KUKA has always used a middle-ground option and filled the chains with its own cables. This too is possible if desired by the igus® customer.

KUKA employees and the “iglidur® on tour” team agree: igus® e-chains® last; igus® scarves provide lasting warmth

We would like to thank all the KUKA Roboter GmbH employees that we met for their friendly reception and, in particular, Hans Brix for giving us an interview.

Best regards,
igus® and the “iglidur® on tour” team

Video of the Week – Offset adjustment for energy chains with FTA

Allowing for lateral offset at the moving end, the floating tow-arm (FTA) from moving energy specialist igus® ensures smooth running of energy chains in a guide trough by floating from side-to-sideto compensate for misalignment in the system. The igus®FTA system is suitable for a variety of applications; in particular for ‘ship-to-shore’ container cranes where the system can accommodates for play in the trolley wheels and rails.

Offering stress-free movement along the entire travel distance, which can be up to 100m, the FTA system extends operational lifetime of the system and can handle speeds up to 2m/s.

Small, lightweight and cost-effective, the FTA system from igus® is compatible with the company’s “PPDS basic” unit for remote condition monitoring; this helps prevent damage and downtime on gliding applications with smaller energy chains.

igus UK Newsletter October 2014: Tribo tape up to 200°C

Dear Sir or Madam,With summer now a fading memory, it seems that I never actually see my home in daylight, and the usual October weather takes any pleasure out of travelling. It is quite normal at this time of year that after arriving home, my better half will casually mention that she has had a “tiny weeny scrape”, referring to the family car. I have learnt that this can mean anything from an alloy wheel which looks like it has been attacked by an angle grinder, to half the side of the car hanging off. I saw a car recently that seemed to have plastic air pockets along the side rather than metal panels, but I think these are really to stop impacts from shopping trolleys rather than trucks. Its a great idea though, and should help to save many relationships.The high technology plastic products made by igus® also replace traditional metal items, and can also take extremely high loads. Take for example the world’s largest plastic e-chain, which can take fill weights over 100 kg per metre! Or the iglidur® TX1 plain bearing which can take pressures up to 200 MPa! These two products can be used to replace expensive metal traditional solutions, and save you money as well. If you have moving parts on your machine, then talk to us, it is highly likely we can save you money while also increasing the life of your design. Email me with the details of your requirements and, I promise I will give it my urgent attention. This applies to bearings, linear guides, cable chains and flexible cables, the samples are free and you could save a lot of money. Simply email me at will be exhibiting at the Engineering Design Show at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, on 22nd and 23rd October, you will find igus® at stand number D20. We will be offering drinks and light refreshments, as well as the chance to see, touch and feel new igus® products, including the robolink® D.Best regards
Matthew Aldridge


Tribo polymer – more temperature, less wear
New tribo tape for applications up to 200°C
This autumn, igus® presents the highly wear-resistant tribo tape made from iglidur® V400 material. This tribo tape is now available in a new material, permanently withstands temperatures up to 200°C and is extremely media-resistant. The tribo tape is easy to install and assembled in seconds.Reduce valuable design-engineering time with “Open Space”: Specify your open space, and we will plan, design, produce, and assemble your energy supply modules.Have fun on your explorations! Tribo-Tape
Highly wear resistant tribo tape made from iglidur® V400 in applicationsOpen Space
igus® “Open Space” service


Topics in this newsletter


plastics for longer life® in applications
Reduce costs and improve technology with 1 of more than 1,200 “plastics for longer life®” examples
Smooth travel, wear-resistant, flawless operation.
Nearly twice the service life with iglidur® plain bearings
The demand for packaged beverages is increasing. In order to handle PET bottles with speed and reliability, so-called star wheels play a key role in the complex beverage bottling plants. Especially in the high-performance range, they are exposed to very high loads. Since they have been equipped with epoxy plastic rollers, their service life has nearly doubled. Read more430 additional iglidur® application examples


Brand new plastics for longer life®
Your igus® novelties*
Highly wear resistant tribo tape made from iglidur® V400 Tribo-Tape
Assembled in seconds.
The new highly wear resistant iglidur® tribo tape made from iglidur® V400 withstands upper long-term application temperatures of 200°C and is extremely media-resistant. At a tape thickness of 0.5 mm, the tribo tape is easy to install and easily and quickly assembled.More information here
Slewing ring bearing in two plastic versions iglidur® PRT
For sporadic adjustments.
The new outer plastic attachment ring reduces weight and costs. The version with plastic screws and nuts avoids metal components entirely. Very cost-effective, lubricant and maintenance-free:More information here
Easily filled, chip tight e-tube R2.75
Snap-open along the outer radius on both sides.
Cost-effective, rugged e-tube with 75 mm inner height. Snap-open and removable along the outer radius from both sides. Very tight design and rugged twin stop dogs for high additional loads and unsupported lengths. High stability due to twin stop dog system and with small bending radii.

More information here

Harness measurement system cables 30% faster chainflex®
No cutting costs.
Due to the optimised cable configuration, the CF211 and CF111.D measurement system cables can be harnessed 30 % faster. Starting immediately, 6 additional types available from stock. All types with UL/CSA and available with PVC or PUR jacket.

More information here


dry-tech® tested
Insights from the igus® lab
Plain bearings in a wear test for a customer.
Wear testing for customers
The wear on three different pre-selected iglidur® plain bearings was tested on an igus® test stand on behalf of a customer. In a first step, it was necessary to find a material similar to the customer supplied shaft. At a wear rate of 23.11 μm/km, iglidur® W300 plain bearings ultimately have the lowest wear. Read the entire test report here


the-chain tested
Insights from the igus® lab
Series E4.350 during tensile and failure testing.
Tensile and failure testing on the largest plastic e-chain®
E-Chain® series E4.350 is used when extremely high additional loads of up to 600 kg/m need to be reliably guided, while also providing convenient assembly and low weight. Of course igus® put it through its paces – the E4.350 effortlessly withstands tensile and failure loads of up to 175,400 N! Read the entire test report here


Where is igus hiding? iglidur®
Small and reliable.
iglidur® in an inspection robot
This robot inspects ventilation shafts before and after cleaning. The reliability was improved by using iglidur® W300 plain bearings. The previously used ball bearings needed to be routinely oiled, which is eliminated on iglidur® bearings. Because of their small size, the robot dimensions could be reduced, allowing even smaller ventilation shafts to be inspected. More




Video of the Week – E1 e-chain opens quickly and easily

Pop-open e-chain provides easy access for cables

Want more information? Go straight to the designated area on the igus website here:

e-chain specialist igus has developed its latest range of e-chains, the E1 modular chain. The E1 e-chain features an easy snap-open lid, which allows users to fit or access cables quickly. The modular design enables segments of the E1 e-chain to be connected to achieve the desired length. Manufactured from robust igus polymers, the E1 e-chain system can be used in a variety of applications such as the automotive and construction sector, as well as office technology and machine construction.

For more information on igus products and to request free product samples, please contact igus on 01604 677240. For regular updates, follow us on, watch our videos at, connect with us at

Video of the Week – E4.1 light chain is light and large

igus’ e-chain solution for large hoses and cables

IGUS 400-B6For more information on igus products and to request free product samples, please contact igus on 01604 677240. For regular updates, follow us on, watch our videos at or connect with us at

The new E4.1 light e-chain from energy chain specialist igus meets the engineers and designers’ need for a strong but light e-chain. It combines the benefits of the E4.1 series’ ruggedness and the E2/000 system’s easy accessibility. When used with “extender” crossbars, this e-chain has even more potential for carrying larger hoses.

A 4-piece light-weight structure, the E4.1 light chain can be fitted with snap-open “extender” crossbars on both sides along the inner and outer radius. This e-chain then offers a large interior-exterior dimension ratio and is therefore perfect for easy filling with large hoses.

Designed with igus’ customers in mind, the E4.1 light extender chain also provides a cost effective but specialised solution. Thanks to igus’ online calculator, engineers and designers can easily find the right e-chain, by entering simple application data.

To find out more about the igus E4.1 light extender chain, please watch this video:

Video of the Week – igus micro fizz 10 is even bigger

energy chain guide system enclosed for safe operation

e-chain expert, igus, has developed the micro fizz 10 aluminium guide system to meet the engineers and designer’s need for a larger cable and hose capacity, compared to the existing MF06 and MF08 systems . Thanks to its unique enclosed design, the micro fizz guide system is already proving an ideal solution for a variety of applications, ranging from sliding doors to camera and studio Equipment.

Thanks to the integrated spring element, the polymer energy chain is captive in the guide system whilst still having low friction and maintenance-free properties. Other key features include a low friction carriage and mounting brackets for easy joining and fixing of the system.

To find out more about the micro fizz 10 aluminium guide system, please watch this video:

For more information on igus products and to request free product samples, please contact igus on 01604 677240. For regular updates, follow us on, watch our videos at, connect with us at or visit our blog on

The CFRIP range is extended to over 230 cable types

“Long lengths can be stripped in half the time and the system ensures that no damage occurs to the core insulation,” says James Harrison, chainflex Product Manager at igus.

Watch CFRIP in action:

The outer jacket can be stripped to the desired length simply by pulling the special CFRIP cord, a fast and effective way of stripping cables.

Along with chainflex CF5 PVC control cables, where the CFRIP cord is in the outer jacket, and the shielded version chainflex CF6, where the cord is in the inner jacket – CFRIP is now integrated in the CF130 and CF140 control cable family, as well as the entire motor cable range.

Want more information?

Visit the igus website on

Or contact James himself on: 07971 468439