e-spool – a space saving cable guide for flexible stage designs

Kira Weller | 24. April 2019

A stage setting like this in a theatre or opera house is an impressive view every time you see it. There are a lot of lights and hidden technology, which require a certain degree of cable management to achieve. As it is with most stages, the available space which can be used to guide and move the cables is very limited, be it above or below. There are only a few available options which are capable to achieve this feat. One might believe a cable drum will do the trick, but they can only supply one line. igus® can offer a space saving solution which guides more cables safely to where it is needed – we call it the e-spool.

What exactly can the e-spool do?

The e-spool, available in different sizes, accommodates with ease cables of all sizes as well as pneumatic hoses to wherever they are needed. For example: Changing or realigning the ceiling lights of a stage can be quite the challenge. The e-spool allows you to easily lower the fixture to modify the ceiling lights. The use of the different sizes allows the e-spool to adapt to all kinds of situations.

The e-spool is a drum which uses the twisterband, a cable guide twisted in itself to reel the drum in and out. The cables are protected either by an e-chain on the spool or by the twisterband in the rotating section. Thus, there is no need for a slip ring.

Depending on the required use, the e-spool can be either attached at the top or the bottom of a room. The cables can then be pulled in the desired direction to move the connected parts to a more accessible location. If needed, the e-chain can even be pulled across the floor. The inbuilt spring in the e-spool allows the cables to be quietly returned to the original location while keeping the cables under constant tension.

Standard Product or Individual Solution

igus® offers a variety of e-spools in standardised sizes. It starts with the mini e-spool for short distances up to 2m, then there are e-spools which can be pulled out manually and go up to the standard e-spool with 1 or 2 twisterbands. Each e-spool can be delivered with different strengths of springs adjusted to the required usage.

If the standardised solutions don’t meet your requirements, igus® is always open to customised solutions. Below is an example of a stage setting, in which the e-spool was powered by a motor. The challenge of this setting was, that the movement of the e-chain wasn’t allowed to be louder than 54dB. We tested this and here are the results:

Test report of stage e-spool project:

Noise measurement Motor e-spool 1 meter distance at 0,3m/s velocity

So, if you require a cable drum for any reason, take a look at igus® – maybe an e-spool is an elegant and mechanically perfect solution for you! (It doesn’t have to be a stage setting)

e-spool application examples

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