igus® Blog Relaunch

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

maybe you were upset about the availability of our blog in past few months. Thanks to the renewal of our web server and the optimization of our applications this should not happen again. The new blog offers among other things, a better usability on mobile devices and more networking with the social networks.
We thank you for your loyalty and wish you much fun with the igus ® blog.

PS: You are welcome to make suggestions via comments.


Rotating bearing support

 An important, easily underestimated detail in the design of the pikchain® is the interface between the c-chain® and the slewing ring, or the rotary union. The c-chain® must be secured in such a manner that it does not bend or collapse at the point of directional rotation. igus® has designed a special component to address this issue. On the one hand, it gently guides the energy chain in the radius, and on the other, facilitates nearly friction-free rotation by using a PRT bearing from igus®, without generating significant torque. A hollow shaft then connects the slewing ring or the rotary union with this rotating bearing support.

 As I already wrote in one of my earlier papers, the devil is truly in the details.




 Back view PRT bearing

Would you like more …?

… to want more, achieve more, get better. That’s the drive of progress.
We will face the challenge and help you to reach your goal more quickly.

So far we were able to offer you the following components for your complete pikchain®:

  • pikchain®
  • c-chain®
  • Guide rails

Optionally also:

  • Guide wheels
  • Cables and hoses
  • Rotary feedthrough or friction wheel

Earlier you had to take care of the assembly, the drive, the control, the actuators, etc., yourself. 

In case you require more prefabricated modules for want of time to construct your own pikchain®, we will gladly study your project and deliberate how far we can expand our delivery, if necessary up to a ready-to-use pikchain®.

You can find a planning form on the following web page

In case you have neither the time nor the desire to do even that, just call me:
02203 96 49 7208. 

Want of time shouldn’t be a reason for your pikchain® project to fall by the wayside.
We take you to your goal.

The pikchain is a conveyor! … but what kind of conveyor!

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

pikchain basics.pdf (49,69 kb)

The other day at the restaurant … or how to use your energy better!

Does this sound familiar? You are sitting in a moderately occupied restaurant. There is one waiter. You would like to order and try to get eye contact with him. But he doesn’t look at you. You watch as he takes the orders from other customers, runs to the kitchen, returns, serves drinks, goes back to the kitchen, comes back, this time empty, and then turns to the next guest to take a new order. And the whole thing starts all over again, until it is your turn.

In the meantime you have observed his “empty runs,” i.e. how many times he went back without taking something (order, dishes, glasses, etc). You think, “What a waste of energy and time.”

It is the same thing that happens in most pick and place robots or portal robots. They travel one way and return “empty”. To achieve a desired output per hour, the handling machines have to be very fast and so they use a lot of energy.

The pikchain® knows no empty runs and therefore requires less time and energy for the same output. The pikchain® transports continually back and forth in both directions endlessly. This means a very efficient use of energy.

If the waiter of the aforesaid example had done the same thing, you would have received your drink and food faster and the table would have been available to another guest or open for more sales much quicker. A classic win-win situation. But the tragic part is: the waiter hasn’t read my blog yet, he doesn’t know the pikchain® “principle” and just continues as before! Poor waiter!

But he can find all information at:

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