igus, the global manufacturer of energy chain systems and polymer plain bearings, was asked for a control panel cable management system by the team from robotics company ARAGON.
Iryna Geike, Manager at ARAGON, explained: "Innovative solutions and our customers’ safety is at the heart of all we do, but until recently we had the challenge of cables running along floors – too easy to damage or trip over. That is why we approached igus. We needed cable management for industrial robots that would be quick to fit, easy to use and that put safety first.”
The solution from igus was their e-spool flex, complete with cable and a pre-assembled panel mount.
Justin Leonard, e-chain director of igus, which has its UK headquarters in Northampton, said: “A robot's brain is its control panel and for this to be in the right place at the right time it needs a cable that is long, flexible, and stored safely. We are delighted to have been able to provide ARAGON with a solution and look forward to supporting this global company with its designs and solutions for decades to come.”
Iryna added: “This igus product instantly won us over. Unlike other cable reels it does not use a slip ring. This means media, data power and signal supply to the emergency stop button can be integrated into the system. Our customers now receive a pre-assembled set consisting of the e-spool flex, ARAGON panel mount, cable, and a robot control cabinet mounting bracket for the control panels.”
Rolling and unrolling cables: manually or automatically
igus offers the e-spool flex in different specifications:
A low-cost version with a manual handle or cordless screwdriver to wind up the cable.
An automatic solution with a spring-driven return mechanism, a locking mechanism, and an optional retraction brake.
ARAGON decided on the second type, complete with a retaining spring. The cable roller is available in three sizes for cables with diameters of 5 to 15 millimetres and extension lengths of 5 to 15 metres. Cables can be replaced quickly at any time. In addition to subsequent integration of the e-spool flex into an existing cable system, igus offers this cable management solution fully harnessed with chainflex cables specifically designed for moving applications.
Cable durability in the e-spool flex is currently being extensively tested in the in-house 3,800 square metre igus test laboratory.