Bus malfunction in cables paralyses production

The energy chain is considered the umbilical cord of moving machines, whereby data and bus cables act as the nerve pathways. The cable quality must meet the demanding requirements of the constant movement. Also, the energy chain and cables must be matched together. What happens if this is not the case? Let’s see….

Effects of a defective line

“It works!”

Right. Until one day that suddenly changes; this can be because cable failures often have more impact than it appears at first glance. In addition to hours of production downtime and the resulting stress, cable failures always mean immense costs for a company. Costs that can be avoided with the right cable.

Common cable defects in moving applications

In addition to broken strands and the “corkscrewing” of the cable cores, the most common defects in cables also include core insulation damage, broken outer jackets or defective shields. The reasons for this are diverse and range from mechanical overload and fatigue to incorrect material selection and unfavourable construction.

Due to the diversity of causes, it is important to always look at cables in their entirety and to select them according to the specific application

Experience with broken wires

“It works!” We said.

That was also true. Until that one day: the day when this suddenly changed.

As professionals in the field of energy chains and cables, we too had experiences with failing bus cables and learned from them. We would never have expected that we would find ourselves in this position.

When installing a fully automated warehouse, igus® energy chains were used, but initially not with our own cables.

The Profibus cable used did not meet the requirements of the constant movement in an energy chain. Instead, there were strand wire breakages, which initially led to failures and ultimately to a standstill of the entire machine. The compete production in one product area was paralysed by this bus disruption incident. It was a nightmare.

Save costs with the right line

The result of this failure was that numerous products could not leave the warehouse. These products were valued at €148,000. Troubleshooting, personnel costs and damage to reputation due to delays in delivery mean the true figure would have been far higher.

The correct line was installed after a fault analysis – the machine was put back into operation immediately. The learning effect remains and we can now say more positively than ever:

A durable cable is essential for saving costs.

Learn from our mishaps. Incidentally, the chainflex® price check offers an overview of possible savings when selecting cables.

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