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igus cables for robotics

chainflex Ethernet cable for robots stays intact even after 22 million torsional motions
 Robots have already become an indispensable element in industrial production. Because of them, the demand is steadily increasing for Ethernet cables that secure data transfer from machine to machine, even with multi-dimensional movements. Belonging to the igus robotic cable range, the chainflex CFROBOT8.045 cable has withstood more than 22 million torsional motions in the igus standard test.
In the intelligent production system, automation continues to rise. About three million industrial robots control and monitor the manufacturing processes, whereby the autonomous machine-to-machine communication and with it the need for special torsionable data cables also increase. Since these robotic cables must successfully carry out multidimensional movements, special materials, design and manufacturing processes are necessary. But the main decisive factor consists of the final tests, because only a long series of tests reveal in practice what materials and which structures really withstand the high demands of the robot. The cable and energy supply specialist, igus GmbH, has almost 25 years of experience in developing, manufacturing and testing cables for moving applications under the name of chainflex. The company has been constructing copper-based Ethernet cables for permanently moving energy chains for the industry for a decade.
Service life of robotic cables predictable through standard test“From the beginning it was clear to us that a secure communication of the machines can only take place if the most sensitive Ethernet signals are transmitted smoothly without disturbances even in the presence of high mechanical stress,” says Rainer Rössel, head of chainflex cables division at igus. igus has developed its own test standards for torsion and operates its own test facility for the standardised test series, in addition to carrying out tests on robots of various manufacturers in its own test laboratory. “We mount the robotic cables on both sides with a rotary and fixed-point distance of one metre and twist them at an angle of ±180 degree in our triflex R e-chain series that are particularly designed for the torsion,” says Rainer Rössel. “In the process, the chainflex cable CFROBOT8.045 withstood 22 million torsional motions.” All test results are stored in a database and made freely available online for the calculation of service life. igus is the only manufacturer who can conduct a transparent and reliable calculation of the service life of torsionable robotic cables.
Compensating elements and special liners for balancing the torsionCores, stranded structures, shields and jacket materials are constantly exposed to highly fluctuating loads with torsions. In order to keep the cables stable and ensure data safety, igus relies on a combination of very glidable and simultaneously highly stable films and special filler elements that function like shock absorbers in cars and thus systematically absorb the occurring forces. Different shielding concepts are followed depending on the electrical requirements, and thus for the chainflex CFROBOT Ethernet cable, the concept with shields braided in pairs and special liners has proven to be the best in the test series. Thus igus is the only supplier to offer a robotic cable range from stock with a service life that can be predicted online.

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