igus® is celebrating 25 years since the launch of its chainflex® range of cables developed specifically for moving applications in energy chains. With 1,040 cables available from stock, the chainflex® range includes motor, control and data cables. As provider of e-chains®, igus® tests and offers both energy chains and chainflex® cables as a system solution with a 36-month guarantee upon request. “The degree of automation in companies is continuously increasing, particularly on the journey towards Industry 4.0,” says Frank Blase, CEO, igus®. “At the same time, it is necessary to guarantee uninterrupted flow of data, media and energy. With business in this area exceeding €100 million in revenue this year for igus®, this really motivates us to invest significant resources in innovation, product reliability and fast, worldwide availability, to ensure that our customers receive the best possible ratio of price to reliability.”
Considerable investments are being made at the igus® test laboratory in Cologne. Here, there are more than 70 cable test machines performing more than two billion test cycles per year. On average, 650 cable tests are being conducted simultaneously. New test rigs enable fast acceleration speeds of 15m/s2 on a travel of 50 metres; a new cryo-chamber has been installed, which allows tests down to –40°C. Thanks to new torsion attachments and the expansion of the outdoor installation for long travel distances, cable use can be simulated under even more real conditions. The overall area of the test laboratory has increased by 1,000m2 to a current total area of 2,750m2.
Thanks to a multitude of tests, igus® is the only manufacturer able to offer a 36-month guarantee for all chainflex® cables, including torsion cables such as the world's first CAT7 cable for robotic applications. These tests also allow igus® to make exact statements in its catalogue regarding bend radii, temperature ranges and service life for special use in the e-chain, in addition to the standard norms.
The results from the test laboratory are also used in the five online configurator tools for chainflex® and three online tools for readycable® harnessed solutions. igus® has invested significantly in its online capabilities to allow customers to quickly determine the service life in moving applications and find, configure and order the most suitable cables for their particular application.
igus® has also expanded its production and storage capacity in North America, Asia and Europe — this ensures even faster delivery to its customers in local markets. With cable production on three continents and 14 storage and assembly centres worldwide, customers receive the exact cable needed for their production system from stock: single, individually cut cables, reeled cables, fabricated cables or ready-to-install energy chain systems. Complementing this offering, igus® provides an on-site system installation service.
Blase concludes: “Now and in the future, affordable pricing will not be the sole concern of customers. Their primary concern is the quality and reliability of cables when working in an energy chain. We consider ourselves the first point of contact for finding a solution for our customers and our 36-month guarantee makes it clear that chainflex® lasts.”