Robotics Industry News
Cable carriers eliminate costly maintenance
igus Inc. Posted 04/08/2009
Weldon Solutions uses plastic cable carriers and continuous-flex cables from igus on its automated storage and retrieval systems for the baking industry. They replace festoon systems that required more space and frequent and costly maintenance.
Weldon’s automated systems are used in many bakeries to facilitate pan storage and retrieval. The cable carrier systems from igus eliminate space and clearance issues and significantly reduced installation time and maintenance requirements.
The festoon systems used previously involved cables dangling from above, which meant any dust or dirt caught in the system fell on top of exposed food and containers. The cable carrier system eliminated this potential health risk because it can be mounted below the storage and retrieval system, keeping any contaminants on the floor.
Charles Gales, Automation Sales Manager for Weldon Solutions said, “The reliability of the igus cable carrier is a big plus for our customers and the open design of the Energy Chain also works well. The carrier can easily be blown out with an air hose, helping our bakery customers maintain a sanitary environment.”
Weldon uses System E4 Energy Chains, which are well suited for long travels and demanding applications. They can withstand heavy loads and have easy-to-remove crossbars so cables and hoses can be replaced quickly. System E4 houses and protects Chainflex power and control cables that deliver longer life and can be used on all types of automated machinery.
Since 2000, the storage and retrieval systems have been equipped with an Energy Chain feature called AUTO-GLIDE. AUTO-GLIDE incorporates a ribbed design along the cable carrier’s inner radius that interlocks to create integrated channels for the carrier to glide along. AUTO-GLIDE can also be equipped with a positioning guide and floor bumpers that prevent the top of the chain from derailing or misaligning.
By using AUTO-GLIDE, Weldon is able to eliminate the need for a trough even with travels up to 125 feet of cable carrier.
“We have been using AUTO-GLIDE cable carriers for more than eight years now and none of them have been replaced yet,” said Gales. “I’m happy to report we’re using igus products throughout our company and finding new applications all the time.”
To read more application stories, visit igus’ Application Corner at www.igus.com/applicationcorner. To request a quote or free samples, call 1-800-521-2747.