Automating Warehouses; can igus® technology improve your processes?

2020 has been a testing year for everyone! But there have been some positive steps within many industries, such as the wider acceptance of the need to automate and improve production, ensure safety of staff and to get the most out of production efforts.

Some people perceive this to be negative, assuming people will lose jobs because of processes being automated, but the truth is that in many cases, this isn’t the reality.

Automation doesn’t necessarily mean replacing humans! In some cases, robots are being implemented in areas/ roles that humans might have been in before, but someone still needs to program, maintain and be responsible for these machines, that is all they are!

Large warehouses already have many processes running automatically and this year, staff safety and social distancing has forced companies to ensure that many of the processes that should have been automatic, have been implemented.

Areas such as material handling solutions and automated storage and retrieval systems, areas where automation is essential.

Which igus® products are beneficial in these applications?

There are 2 main igus® products or systems in the e-chain® range; the autoglide-5 and the guidelite ECO vertical


The autoglide-5, an alternative to a busbar system, can save up to 88% assembly time compared to traditional energy chain and trough combinations. Not only is this system quick to assemble, it is also cost-effective at approx. 40% of the cost of a standard energy chain system. It retains all the benefits of an e-chain® system though – uninterrupted end-to-end cable connections, no risk of wear or corrosion on contacts and collectors and above all, the ability to have any form of power, data, fibre-optics or fluids, together in one system.

Effectively, the design is a cable guided system which is attached to the floor, the steel cable connects to the funnel shaped cut out on the back of the crossbars on the chain. Another key feature is that you can have the autoglide-5 fully harnessed, which includes the energy chain, the cables, the hoses, steel rope and connectors. Install and run!

guidelite ECO vertical

The lightweight guidelite ECO is another method of replacing busbar systems, this time for vertical mast travels. This is an uninterrupted guide trough system which is supported by a simple console every 500mm.  As with the autoglide-5, it is quick to install, saving time on installation and assembly. Comparable to traditional steel or aluminium containment systems, the guidelite ECO is 59% lighter!

If you need convincing further…

Benefits of all igus® products and why they are ideal for application such as these:

  • Maintenance-free for 24/7 use
  • Save installation space and weight
  • Low noise and low vibration
  • Easy assembly
  • Fast delivery
  • Service life calculation

As I mentioned earlier, automation doesn’t need to mean loss of jobs for humans. It simply means making processes easier and safer FOR humans and now more than ever, we need to make our lives easier wherever we can.


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