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 – e-rover for automated coupling of e-chains for RTG cranes

Energy chain specialist igus® has developed its new e-rover carrying system for Rubber Tyre Gantry (RTG) cranes. The e-rover provides a safe and secure means of switching the RTG from diesel to electrical power, helping to drastically reduce fuel costs at ports and harbours. Thanks to the innovative use of igus®’ e-chains®, the e-rover is capable of carrying up to three different types of media, including electrical power and data, fibre optic cables, and fluids.

The e-rover ensures that no manual connection is required, thanks to the automatic coupling and uncoupling of the e-rover to the energy chains. The self-aligning system also ensures a risk free connection. An internal mechanism allows the e-rover to compensate for horizontal and vertical offsets, ensuring the e-rover provides the RTG with an uninterrupted connection.

Video of the Week – igus e-chains in offshore applications

Ideal steel alternative for cable carrying in harsh environments 

 

Plastic energy chains from tribopolymer specialist igus are an ideal alternative to steel, which has been the design material of choice for many decades, for working in the harsh environments of the offshore industry. igus e-chains are tougher than steel for a given size and are, of course, much lighter. They are also inherently resistant to corrosion and weathering, and the best types are unaffected by exposure to virtually every type of chemical and petrochemical as well as by exposure to UV light from the sun.

In areas where explosive vapours or gases may be present – that is, those areas where the ATEX Directive applies, as it does to many areas of offshore installations – igus recommends e-chains made of igumid ESD (ATEX material). 

 

Available in many versions, energy chains provide mutli-directional support for cables that provide power, services and communication to moving systems. Typical applications include drilling crane carriages, rig skidders and link spans.

 

 igus offers a range of e-chains in different lengths and sizes, including the world’s largest plastic e-chain, the E4.350, with a maximum fill weight of >100kg/m. This e-chain is predominantly used for the movement of large, heavy and stiff cables, such as those used on oil platforms.

 

In addition, igus holds GL (Germanischer Lloyd) approval for many of its chainflex cables and, specifically for offshore applications, including the CF11.3D and the CF27.D cables with NEK-606 (Norsk Elektroteknisk Komitee) approval are also available, including control cable CF 170 D as well as servo cable CF270.

Video of the Week – CFV easy strain relief for cables

Secure cables in e-chains quickly and easily

Energy chain specialist igus has unveiled its latest accessory for e-chains and e-tubes, the CFV strain relief element.  This offers the chance to strain relieve cables outside of the chain cross section, even in enclosed energy tubes. The CVF ensures that cables within the moving e-chain do not move around when moving and with a stepped design to secure cables of different diameters, it ensures simple installation when strain relieving several cables.

Video of the Week - CFV easy strain relief for cablesThanks to its simple quick-clip base design, the CFV can easily be installed onto the “C” profiles of the e-chain mounting brackets, but can also be used on top-hat rails for static applications in control panels and cabinets. The CFV comes in three sizes for e-chains with inner heights of 31mm, 35-42mm or 56-80mm.

For more information on igus products and to request free product samples, please contact igus on 01604 677240. For regular updates, follow us on www.twitter.com/igusUK, watch our videos at www.igus.co.uk/youtube or connect with us at www.igus.co.uk/facebook.

Video of the Week – Second generation readycable finder

Faster searching, faster assembly and faster purchasing

Energy chain and cabling specialist igus, has launched its next generation online readycable finder  which allows users to find the right drive cable according to the manufacturer’s standard, as well as select the desired length and quantity even faster than before. Users are provided with a price comparison indicating savings and the most cost-efficient cable for the application purpose.

The readycable finder also provides technical information about cable properties such as oil-resistance, jacket material and bending radius.  The readycable interface allows users to change their product information whilst providing a running total price in the shopping cart.

For more information on igus products and to request free product samples, please contact igus on 01604 677240. For regular updates, follow us on www.twitter.com/igusUK, watch our videos at www.igus.co.uk/youtube connect with us at www.igus.co.uk/facebook.

Video of the Week – igus plastics in 3D printers

Lightweight, versatile and easy to assemble 

Designers of 3D printers are increasingly turning to plastics expert igus forlinear bearings, lead screw units, plain bearings, energy chains and flexible cables in order to provide self-lubricating, abrasion and wear resistant components for the latest 3D printers.

Many digital printing machines now integrate drylin linear bearing and drive technology from igus. In addition, e-chains and chainflex cables are used to supply reliable moving power and data.

Smooth and quiet operation can be enhanced further by using igus plastic ball bearings; this is especially highlighted when compared to metallic or ceramic bearings.

Using plastic components, as opposed to metallic ones, also helps ensure a versatile and relatively light-weight printer, which can be built at a fraction of the price and in a fraction of the time. The flexible design options available by using plastic components from igus also allow for printers to be incorporated into even the most compact of spaces.

Video of the Week – igus plastics in 3D printers

To find out more about the use of igus plastics in 3D printers, watch the 3D printing video here: www.igus.co.uk/igusPartsIn3DPrinting

 

 

Video of the Week – E2 micro e-chains

small, light and even stronger

E2 micro e-chains have been carefully developed by plastics expert, igus, to be the smallest, lightest and most stable of the e-chain range. Available in seven widths, these e-chains feature improved strength and, with small inner heights and bending radii, are ideal for a wide range of applications horizontal, sideways, vertical and rotating applications anywhere where space is critical.

In order to allow cables and hoses to be quickly and easily fitted, E2 micro e-chains feature snap open cross bars along the outer or inner radii. They can be quickly and easily opened with the opener tool, which is provided with every order.   

Take a look at the designation section on the igus website for more information on the E2 micro chain: http://bit.ly/1g89XRJ.

Who better to install your Energy Chain System than us, the people who make them?!

In today’s technologically advanced society, machine downtime can have huge cost repercussions in lost process time that could have been avoided. energy chain systems from igus have been implemented across a wide spectrum of industry applications due to their increasing recognition of being highly reliable with a long overall service life and very low maintenance.

Extensive and specialist energy chain system knowledge is evident in our full turnkey installation & project service that we offer at igus, which consists of a full technical analysis from our dedicated UK based projects team, prior to submitting a detailed proposal on where we can make improvements within your application. Full turnkey retrofits can also be carried out on old festoon systems, cable reels and BusBars all complete with the igus guarantee.

Who better to install your Energy Chain System than us, the people who make them Who better to install your Energy Chain System than us, the people who make them.2

Mark Smith, the igus installation & projects manager, explains the advantages of the igus service:

‘Here at igus, we have a vast knowledge of energy chain systems.  Between us, we have many decades of experience and can take a look at your application and advise of any improvements, whether they be minor adjustments or a complete reconfiguration.  Our focus is simple: Machine reliability, so involving us early in the design stage or maintenance programme can reap rich rewards in the future.  With this extensive knowledge, we have now developed a calculation tool to give a fixed installation price, with 11 simple questions.  This enables us to react quickly, so we can offer a fault free, professional maintenance and installation service by highly qualified and specially trained personnel.’

11 Simple Questions to generate your igus installation price:

  1. e-chain type?
  2. e-chain length?
  3. Old guide trough to be removed?
  4. New guide trough to be fitted?
  5. Trough length (m)
  6. Guide trough mounting
  7. Working height
  8. Cables to be fitted?
  9. No of cables?
  10. Total number of cores to be terminated?
  11. Site induction required?

You place one order, totally project managed by us.  We manufacture the energy chain, chainflex cables & guide troughs, including detailed 3D CAD drawings and for full installations, we would also include for instance any special steelwork or cable connectors, to enable us to return your machine back into your hands, fully commissioned.

We also offer full maintenance inspections, so we can regularly check your Energy Chain System in order to prolong the service life and produce a detailed report for your technical file.

Who better to install your Energy Chain System than us, the people who make them.3

Of course, at igus, we like to offer our customers that little bit more. For every concrete enquiry for our installation & project service, you will receive a free keg of Toad & Fiddler ale from the Frog Brewing Co!

If you think we may be able to help, please contact Mark directly on 01604 677240, or send an email to msmith@igus.co.uk

Alternatively, you can find information on this service when you visit our website:  http://bit.ly/1hNttUT