Compact cable guide for slewing gear on indoor cranes - igus Blog

Compact cable guide for slewing gear on indoor cranes

Jens Göbel | 31. March 2020

A slewing gear on the trolley enables the load to rotate under the crane girder. However, such a movement, though quite simple, can become a constructive challenge. Limited space in particular restricts the choice of possible systems here.

Cable trolley:

With the classic cable trolley, the cable loops are usually suspended on the outside of the slewing gear. Here the cables are guided over a curved T-beam with the aid of trolleys. The size of the rotation angle determines the number of cable loops required. A low installation height on site can become an exclusion criterion here.

Example cable trolley system for slewing gears

Energy chain:

The energy chain offers a space-saving alternative. Installed around the hoist, the chain system requires remarkably little space. By means of a round guide trough the chain is guided, mounted on its side. In this way, rotation angles of up to 540° and rotation speeds of up to 360°/s can be achieved. Even larger cable packages can be guided in a space-saving manner. For example, the cable package is distributed over two energy chains mounted in the guide trough in reverse. However, such a rotational movement using an energy chain places very special demands on the cables used in the chain. The cables are guided in the chain, but are also bent quite tightly in the chain radius. Cables suitable for the energy chain such as chainflex are therefore absolutely necessary for a long service life inside the chain and low downtime of the application. On the subject of cable laying for rotary applications, it is worth taking a look at the concerned blog entry: Laying cables correctly during pivoting movements

3D configurator:

Since the design of the slewing gear and the trolley is made according to the conditions on site and the requirements of the end customer, individually adapted energy chain systems are required. With the help of a freely accessible online CAD configurator, a 3D model of the guide trough with energy chain can be quickly created according to individual requirements. The design of circular movements in the CAD configurator can be found under product groups/e-chains/configurators for circular movements. However, the 3D data is not suitable for manufacturing the guide trough.

Design of guide trough:

Different applications and conditions on site require an individual design of the guide trough. For this reason, we have put together a modular system with different guide troughs that can be used. Here we can provide advice and support with our experience. On our website you will also find 10 tips for a long-lived rotating energy supply.


In addition to the low clearance height, there are other aspects that speak for the use of a chain system. It is not uncommon for the maintenance effort and the associated maintenance costs of individual cable guidance systems to be underestimated. Among other things, ball bearing skate wheels are used for the cable trolley. These require regular lubrication. The application must be taken out of operation for maintenance work. In comparison, the energy chain system is almost maintenance-free. There are no components on the energy chain itself that require lubrication.

On our website, you will find further examples and solutions for cable guidance on indoor cranes. You will also find our brochure for free download.

Do you still have questions or an application you would like to discuss with us? Arrange a virtual consultation appointment now

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