Chips stay outside
2012-11-22 15:21:44 - 25 years folding energy tubes from igus
In 1987 igus introduced the first folding “energy tube” with the series R 68. With it energy and signals could be transported to moving machine components under difficult conditions. On the occasion of the 25-year anniversary, the plastic experts from igus are looking back to the development of this innovation because the idea was and is well received – notably
for manufacturers and users of machine tools.
“The reason for this success is, that the flexible plastic tube keeps chips away from the cable package, that it can be opened any time and for this reason increases the failure safety for example of machining centres,” says Markus Fuchs, igus branch manager for machining centres. The logical consequence was to develop the successful principle and the next large step of development followed five years after the R 68: The product line Triflex was moveable in three instead of two dimensions – a tremendous constructive achievement, particularly because features such as density, ease of installation and high lifetime weren’t affected.
Milestones of development
The following further developments opened additional applications. Energy tubes made of the high temperature material igumid HT for example, resisted the “bombardment” of glowing and up to 850° C hot chips without damaging the plastic.
A real development leap was made in 2010 with the introduction of the RX tube with improved density. It resists almost every typical contamination such as metal chips and metal abrasion, also oil and cooling lubricants (IP40 tested). The chip-repellent contour lets the chips simply fall off – independent of their shape. Also the flexibility of the energy tubes have been improved: not only short free-supporting distances are possible, but also tight and rear bending radii. Despite of the almost absolute density, the energy tube can be opened easily.
The RX tube has conquered the market within the past two years even faster than the series R68 in 1987. A good reason to remind to the 25-year energy tube history now, especially because energy tubes have become an important part of the igus energy chain program within this scope of time.
Comprehensive program with excellent design
Along with the series RX, almost all series of the comprehensive energy chain construction kit from igus are available for users - as closed version with plastic caps that can be opened any time. Also the accessories program permanently grows. For the “round birthday” there are chip-prove connecting elements with integrated C rails and aluminium caps for almost every energy tube series, that have been developed for the use at design-oriented machines. Apart from that the energy tubes are certainly available as pre-harnessed “readychain”. An offer from igus, appreciated by more and more machine tool manufacturers.