How support trays get the most out of your energy chains – igus Blog

How support trays get the most out of your energy chains

Marco Thull | 28. July 2021

Friction and wear drive costs. They cost German industry up to 1.7% of gross domestic product (GDP), as the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has calculated. Given a GDP of 3.34 trillion euros in 2020, that is 56.78 billion euros. The phenomenon affects thousands of components that adhere to each other or roll or slide past each other. Among them are energy chains (find out more about types of energy chains here) that guide cables and hoses in machines and systems. If e-chains run on an uneven surface, the high dynamic loads cause the lower run to wear more quickly. Nor is there any guarantee that the energy chain will fold cleanly. In the worst case, the system will come to a halt, causing production stoppages.

The good news is that there is a simple way of protecting energy chains from premature wear: support trays made of steel, stainless steel, or aluminium. They protect the lower run from wear and ensure clean, quiet, almost maintenance-free energy chain system operation for many years. As a user, you get the most out of your investment. Another piece of good news is that you can use these support trays without much planning or installation cost or effort.

Aluminium support tray

Without design cost and effort: e-chain® and support tray as a complete system from a single source

You have no design cost or effort and low procurement costs if you do everything at the same time. Just order a complete system to start with – consisting of an e-chain® and a one-piece support tray made of galvanised steel or stainless steel to go with it. You can freely choose width, height and colour and the type of connection to your machines and systems. The troughs can be equipped with connecting rails, wall brackets or customer-specific solutions. This eliminates the need for costly custom designs.

Enjoy even more flexibility: how to adapt your support trays to new energy chains at any time

A support tray that you can use for an e-chain® with other dimensions sometime in the future? Modularity makes it possible. And your solution is an igus® modular system with which you can assemble support trays as easily as playing with Lego. Trough parts made of corrosion-resistant, anodised and lightweight aluminium, glide strips that protect against lateral e-chain® abrasion, damping profiles for quiet energy chain operation, and an installation set with C-profiles, clamping shoes and screws. This set can be used to change support tray width in just a few steps.
Modular support trays not only give you flexibility, but also reduce weight. The system works without a floor. This has another advantage besides weight reduction: foreign bodies do not collect in the trough; instead, they just fall through. Cleaning effort is reduced.

If you would like more details about igus support trays, feel free to call me.

Sincerely, Dieter Reitz

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Energy chain Support trays


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