igus' roller links
igus, the motion plastics specialist, has now expanded its standard modular E4.1 e-chain system by adding new roller links. This makes it especially easy for users to change over from gliding to rolling energy chain systems. The roller links are completely compatible with the entire E4.1 modular system. For e.g., e-chains for linear robots in the machine tool industry can be easily modified to cope with greater dynamics and, at the same time, reduce the drive energy needed by up to 57 per cent.
For travels between 10 and 50 m, energy chains that glide are usually used. However, more demanding requirements are being placed on these systems. The required dynamics of the systems and the loads that have to be moved by them are continuously increasing, sometimes for existing systems as well. If for example, the cycle rates of machines are increased retrospectively and energy chains are moved faster as a result, gliding systems can reach their physical limits. For this reason igus has now expanded the standard modular system of the E4.1 e-chain series by adding new roller links.
"The newly developed roller links are separated, so that the roller sits in the middle of the link", explains Michael Blaß, Vice President, Head of Business Division e-chainsystems at igus. "This means that all links effectively have the same pitch, a feature that ensures quieter operation of the system," he added.
The main contribution to this is made by the new hollow rollers, which produce considerable less vibration and noise when they roll over each other due to a combination of new geometry and material. In many tests lasting several years, igus engineers found the ideal solution with which safe and reliable applications involving speeds of 6 m/s can be implemented.
In order to reduce noise further during movement, the roller links have small ramps in front of and behind the rollers, as a result of which hard impacts are avoided when the upper run of the chains is unrolled onto the lower run. The rollers are not additional components that can be lost but are securely integrated into the links in a manner that is also space-saving.