Energy chain systems update cable management

Image of an igus energy chain installed on a wash bay crane

An igus energy chain installed on a wash bay crane

20th October 2022


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Energy chains guide and protect data and power cables involved in the operation of cranes, securing cables within the chain while allowing for movement without damaging the cables.

Vereeniging-based crane manufacturers Stahl Cranes and Hoists has announced that it is shifting its Jib crane cable management systems from an old system of festoons and pulleys to a new chain system from specialist supplier, igus.

Manufactured from engineered polymers, the energy chain system is reliable and snag-free, says Stahl Cranes and Hoists sales manager Marius Ferreira, noting that the ease of installation on the crane and lack of rotating moving parts makes for a less complicated system with fewer structural attachments, clamps and weld points.

The 3-t monorail system is used in the company’s parts wash bay used to clean equipment from its customers across the country. The potential for dirt and ingress is particularly high and the use of abrasion-resistant polymers ensures that the cable and energy chains do not wear out.

“With the introduction of igus energy chains on our cranes there is virtually no reason to return to the old festoon systems. Data gathered from our cranes using energy chains suggest they are considerably more reliable, need almost no maintenance, do not use lubricants and most importantly keep the cables out of harm’s way.”

With fewer moving parts than a festoon trolley system and no lubrication, the risk of accidental damage of the energy chain system is significantly reduced compared to the old system.

igus MD Ian Hewat says the success of its systems lies in the engineered polymer materials used. igumid G, a high-performance plastic that has a variety of features for different environments, is particularly suited for strenuous loads and extreme temperatures. It is also abrasion-resistant and ideal for outdoor use. A host of other materials are also available for extreme or unusual applications.

“We supply our energy chains for applications as diverse as heavy port cranes, mining machines, industrial machines and even 3D printers and robotics. Whatever the size or application we are able to produce energy chains that are fit for purpose and able to outlast and outperform just about everything available in the marketplace today,” adds Hewat.






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