Energy chain or drag chain?
Energy chain or drag chain? The term e-chain® is closely linked to the terms drag chain, energy chain and energy management or energy management chain, or even cable management systems.
e-chain® describes a product that safely transports cables or lines, as well as hoses, in a particular way. They ensure the fail-safe supply of energy, data and impulses and are constantly in motion. They are designed to guide and protect. Plastic energy chains have been developed, produced and tested by igus® since 1971. There are energy chains made of plastic, metal (steel or aluminium) and a combination of both materials, so-called hybrid chains.
Want to know more about drag chains / energy chains? Read our frequently asked questions section here.
Drag chain designs
There are different types and versions of drag chains to meet different requirements. There are completely closed variants that keep out external influences such as dirt or chips and still guarantee the function of the machine. Variants specifically for multiple directions of movement, such as on robots, are also common, as are special materials that prevent static build-up or are suitable for food areas (FDA-approved).
Diversity of energy supply
Energy chains are described as one of the most modular options for energy management. There are other options, such as festoons (cable loops), which are often seen on cranes in ports, etc. With festoons, cables “hang” freely and loosely on cranes, in all kinds of wind and weather. There are also motor cable drums, busbars or inductive transmission. Here, for example, guiding air or liquids but also light waves, is rather difficult, whereas, with an energy chain, it can simply be carried along with data and signals.
The latest generation of energy chains focus particularly on very easy assembly and filling. The focus is also on noise reduction, increased stability and lower weight.
Saving of assembly time and thus costs: an energy chain that can be opened and closed in seconds without tools plays out your advantages here.
Reduction of the noise level of the entire system or machine: smooth energy supply systems are often the first choice here.
Small installation spaces and dimensions of the machines or systems: smaller energy supply systems with the same or higher stability than their predecessors show their advantages here.
Higher dynamics of the machines or systems: fewer moving masses due to lighter energy supply are an issue here.
The latest generation of energy supply systems should always be considered for new and innovative machines and systems.