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Automation investment

We are pleased to officially announce the opening of our automated assembly line for readycable® at our UK facility in Northampton. Representing another significant investment for igus®, the new line uses fully-automated machines and lean manufacturing methods to streamline its manufacturing process to deliver fully-harnessed drive cables shipped within 24 hours of order placement.

“A few years ago, our sole focus was on selling plastic bearings, energy chains and cables with little assembly work,” says Matthew Aldridge, managing director, igus® Ltd. “More recently we have stepped into robotics and automation based on our component parts and are now investing in automation ourselves to enable us to move into assembly within the UK.”

Historically, we used to assemble cables manually by cutting back the outer jacket, teasing out the shielding, then stripping the jackets off each of the inner cores and adding crimps; this is a time consuming and laborious process.  Now these operations are fully automated using the new readycable line, which also gives 100% quality of assembly.

readycable automation

“We have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on machines to automate this process, cutting lead times from 6 or even 10 weeks down to 24 hours. The chainflex® cable is cut to length from our extensive stock held in Northampton and all common connector components are available ex stock.  This total package means that customers will usually receive their readycable® the next working day, fully-tested with a guaranteed service life,” adds Aldridge. “All this automation does not mean that we will be shedding jobs, this automated assembly line will enable us to grow our business, creating more jobs for the area.”

Visit the website to find out more about our ready-to-install readycable®.

Alternatively, contact the Product Manager James Harrison: jharrison@igus.co.uk for any readycable® enquiries.

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Modular hybrid chain

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

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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 to our Low Cost Automation Suite team please email: vwhiteley@igus.co.uk

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