What is a hybrid servo cable? – Part 2

This is blog number 2 from our “different types of cables” range. To read the first instalment, “what is a control cable?”  please click here

This week we are asking, “what is a hybrid servo cable?“. Worldwide we have seen an increase in the demand for hybrid cables for servo drives, what is driving this increase and also, what is a hybrid servo cable?

What does the term hybrid mean and where does it originate from?


The term “hybrid” comes from Latin and literally translates to “of two origins”.  In regard to how this is reflected in cables, when we refer to hybrid we are referring to the combination of two different drive principles or energy sources. These different technologies are already considered independent to each other so when combined, this results in a new specification. It becomes its own entity entirely.

What is a hybrid servo cable?

hybrid servo cable

A hybrid servo cable is a cable consisting of both a servo cable and an encoder cable. Hence the term “hybrid”. This type of cable tends to be lower cost and space efficient and with the “one-cable” technology this might be one of the reasons for the increased popularity. Consumers are a fan of the all-in-one product.  

Until recently, the servo motor and the converter were connected to two cables, the servo cable for the power supply and an encoder cable for the data re-transmission. This combination provided information to the control system about varying elements of the power source such as; the speed and position of the motor.

With this increased popularity, more and more drive manufacturers have been offering servo motors with this one-cable solution. The ability to have an energy supply and data transmission running on a single cable eliminates the need for cabling with a separate encoder cable, it is all integrated.  

Why would you use a hybrid servo cable?

As previously mentioned, each drive requires two cables – the motor cable and the encoder cable. By creating a hybrid servo cable, this combination in a single cable creates room in the energy chain and the motor connection area, as half of the components are not required.  This cable arrangement can save space and money as it effectively allows the double cable to become a single one. Due to the combination of two cables, you not only save on material but also space and installation time. The hybrid cables are ideally used wherever servo motors are used.

A good example of the use of our hybrid servo cables is in machines working at high speed. By using the latest servo technology, high dynamics in combination with positional accuracy and fast feedback can be implemented.

We achieve good shielding effects by strong coverage of necessary elements and a flat braid angle that ensures that the properties are retained for a long service life, especially in moving applications.

What hybrid servo cables do igus® do?

With the igus® range of chainflex® cables being so vast, it is not surprising that we have various options when it comes to hybrid cables.

For the hybrid servo cables, we have examples such as the CF280.UL.H cable, ideal for the packaging industry and handling equipment applications. The wide operational temperature range means they can be used for both indoor and outdoor environments, which when combined with its almost unlimited oil resistance, opens many doors in terms of applications these cables can be used for.

We also have hybrid robot cables which can withstand torsional stress, are resistant to oil and are flame retardant.

Do igus® stock hybrid servo cables?

We absolutely do. We have over 200km of cables in stock in the UK and among them are various hybrid cables. So, if you have a requirement, please contact us to help.


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