pikchain®: What exactly is it? Those at igus® keep telling about intelligence, back and forth, saving time and costs, energy efficiency, no empty run … What’s behind all this?
Good question, so let’s start again from the beginning:
The pikchain® is a novel, modular conveyor. This conveyor consists of individual, linked chain links made of plastic. Due to the modular design, the pikchain® can be shortened or lengthened without much effort. At present each chain link has a pitch of 112 mm, an inner width of 80, 130, 180, 230, or 280 mm width. The inner height is 35 mm. The conveyor or the chain links glide on both sides with special gliding elements made from our iglidur® J plastic bearing material through an aluminum guide rail and thus endows the conveyor with a high stability and very low wear. The guide rollers on both ends of the conveyor are either made of plastic or aluminum. There are 4 threaded bushings in each chain link as a standard, which enable the easy mounting of workpiece carriers or actuators and/or sensors on the conveyor. The chain can travel in both directions, back and forth, stop and go, endlessly, as you wish. The pikchain® can accelerate at around 2.5m/s² up to 20 m/s² and travel 2-3 m/s in continuous operation. We specify 50 meters as the longest travel at present. Each chain link can carry a load of up to 5 kg. The novel drive system allows for a uniform stressing of the conveyor at all chain links. Jerky back and forth does not pose a problem.
The individual chain links are built similar to an energy chain®. This means that the chain links can carry cables and hoses inside. Only this design gives the pikchain® intelligence.
Mounted actuators and sensors on the pikchain® can be continually supplied with electricity, data and other media. This is done by a c-chain® and a friction wheel/rotary feedthrough, which are situated between the upper and lower run of the pikchain®. If a clever control is added, many intelligent applications are possible for the pikchain® and then just like us at igus®, you too will talk about the intelligence of the pikchain®, no back and forth, saves time and costs, energy efficiency, no empty run, etc.
In short: We might not have reinvented the conveyor, but have certainly improved it a great