What happens in our test laboratory?
Andreas Muckes | 13. May 2020
We at igus are very proud to have the largest test laboratory for moving cables with an area of 3,800 m². It is not only our customers who benefit from this. We, too, appreciate this opportunity and can therefore draw on the full potential. Today we want to show what exactly happens in our test laboratory and why it is so important to us.
Why do you need such a laboratory?
The established standards contain a great many tests on cables and wires. These are also prescribed in the electrical field and must be fulfilled by every cable manufacturer. However, the standards do not consider applications in the energy chain. But this is our core business. Consequently, igus was “forced” to do research in order to be able to offer customers a durable product for the chain. This began with the consideration of the machines.
Our test laboratory today
What exactly happens in the test laboratory? The task of a test laboratory is apparent from its name. And yet it is now so much more than that. More than 25 years of experience have been invested in our test laboratory with approx. 125 installations, most of which were developed in-house. 800 cable tests are running in parallel in 58 test facilities. This involves 700,000 electrical measurements per year.
The chainflex cables are tested in energy chains on the entire 3,800m² area of the laboratory.
However, the test phase often begins much earlier than the insertion of the cables. Because our machines cannot simply be bought off the shelf. And so our tests often begin with the design of the appropriate machine. These can be, for example, particularly long travels or torsion applications.
In addition to our indoor area, we use an outdoor area of 2,000m² for long travels and a climate chamber with -40°C, which we are particularly proud of. Here we simulate environments in which they are to be used, for example, on a crane in Siberia. The travel of 120m clearly shows where chain applications and cables need to be optimised for these travels. Every test and every machine has always been focused on simulating real applications in the best possible way.
How do customers benefit in terms of safety in their application?
We always go all the way for recreating everything as realistically as possible and consider all eventualities. Today, many years later, this has resulted in a comprehensive guarantee for cables. Therefore, we offer the customer good planning reliability. Due to the many tests, it is even possible for us to make online predictions about service life.