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Why do you need robotic cables for robotic applications?

Robotic applications are growing exponentially worldwide. A pandemic will do that. It crushes and feeds different industries, and the robotic industry is thriving. Companies want more production output for less money. They want more automation and less human interaction, and they want it to work. This growing trend is one that igus® is already invested in with our robotic cables, robotic energy chains and dress packs. We already have the facility to configure dress packs for robots, which you can read about in this blog: https://blog.igus.co.uk/robot-configuration/

We offer robotic cables as part of the chainflex® cable range. But why do you need specific robotic cables for robotic applications?

Special cables for robotic applications

robotic cables in robot application

igus® is a market leader in the field of cables for the various energy chains that we offer, but due to the special movement of robots, we also offer a range of specific cables for robot applications, our CFROBOT range.

The high demands of the robot industry mean the need for appropriate robotic components that are robust and long lasting are essential.

These include the robotic cables running through the energy chain systems which supply the robots with power. These robot cables must meet the high requirements and withstand the rapid and rotational movements. Our chainflex® robotic cables are designed and developed to do exactly that.

All our chainflex® cables are tested several times in our laboratory to assess their durability. The cable is pushed to its technical limits to determine durability and maximum load.

Limits for cables for robotic applications

The CFROBOT is only granted part in the chainflex® cable range after the service life of the cable has completed 5 million cycles with ± 180°/m.

The movements of the robots mean the mechanical stress of the cables can be extreme and can put pressure on the cables. The cables in robotic applications must be able to withstand the constant torsional movements that occur during operation within production lines.

Ensuring the cables compatibility to the high demands is essential as failure of such a cable often means that the entire production comes to a standstill, costing thousands of pounds.

High quality is therefore indispensable in situations such as these. To read more about “Quality over quantity” in the robotic industry have a read of https://blog.igus.co.uk/quality-and-quantity-is-it-worth-paying-extra/

The limits for robot cables are different to those in linear energy chain applications as mechanical stress only occurs in one direction, normally horizontally. In robots, these are multi-axis movements, so they need high flexibility in both the cables and the chains protecting the cables.

What robotic cables do igus® offer?

The igus® portfolio of robotic cables for robot applications is varied, ranging from control cables, data cables, measuring system cables, fibre optic cables, motor cables, single cores, bus cables and even hybrid cables.

The chainflex® range expands and develops every year in order to meet the constantly growing market.

As already mentioned, the cables for robotic applications have to withstand higher stresses so for this, torsion-optimised shield structures are required. These can carry out the necessary compensatory movements due to special PTFE liners.

The chainflex® robotic range offers customers planning reliability in the selection of the right cable, and also offers a guaranteed service life of up to 36 months for the robot cables.

Protecting the robotic cables in robotic applications

There are a multitude of ways to protect cables on industrial robots, however, what gives you the best protection?

Corrugated hoses offer limited durability, however, they are cheap, so customers tend to opt for this and then see failures down the line.

To optimise the robots’ capabilities and ensure that the production line doesn’t stop, many customers choose to protect their cables using the triflex® R series.  These energy chains have been specifically developed for robotic applications and offer high flexibility with clear radius stop-dogs and high tensile force absorption. Compared to a cable protection hose, triflex® energy chains offer a defined bend radius, which greatly increases the service life of cables and hoses, ensuring a long- lasting productive robot.

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