Where are cables used?
chainflex cables in storage and retrieval units

Sascha Mais | 6. July 2020

Our contribution to the use of chainflex cables at great heights already showed how differently cables are used. Today we dedicate ourselves to the use of our cables in storage and retrieval units. Storage and retrieval units, or SRUs for short, have become indispensable in modern high-bay warehouses. The requirements are thereby becoming increasingly complex as the degree of automation increases. High dynamics and partially extreme temperature conditions demand a lot from the components used. A reliable and fail-safe energy supply system is therefore particularly important. The chainflex cables easily meet all these requirements and have already proven themselves millions of times in various SRU applications. Be it at extremely low temperatures in cold stores or particularly dynamic applications. Thanks to more than 1,350 different cable types, it is always possible to select the best and at the same time most cost-effective cable.

What is important when selecting cables for storage and retrieval units?

The applications in which they are used are as varied as the SRUs. Several factors must therefore be considered when selecting the right cable. Does the system move horizontally or vertically? Are the e-chains used unsupported or gliding? What speeds and accelerations must the cables withstand? At what ambient temperature is the system operated? How many movements are expected during the service life of the device? All these aspects must be taken into account when selecting the cables. Only then can we find the ideal solution for chainflex cables in storage and retrieval units. This not only applies to the price of the cable, but also to its service life. Because nothing is more expensive than a system failure that could have been prevented by choosing the right cable. One way to determine the service life of a cable in advance is our service life calculator.

What are the differences between the chainflex cables?

With more than 1,350 different cable types, chainflex offers the most diverse range of cables for moving applications on the market. Let’s take the family of servo cables. It is used in almost every SRU. The user can choose between four different outer jacket materials: PVC, iguPUR, PUR and TPE.

Examples of cables in storage and retrieval units?

If the SRU has a travel of nine metres, travels at a speed of 5m/s and is operated in a normal ambient temperature of, for example, 15° – 20°C, a CF210.UL can be used in this case without any problems. The cable has a PVC outer jacket and has no inner jacket. This cable is ideally suited for moderate applications and – like all chainflex cables – has a guaranteed service life of 10 million double strokes or 36 months.

However, if the same storage and retrieval unit is used in an application that covers a long travel of e.g. 50m, a cable must be selected that is equipped with an inner jacket. Due to the higher stress caused by the long travel, a cable with an inner jacket offers more protection for the cores. Thus the dreaded corkscrew can be prevented.

If the same SRU is used in a cold store, the ambient temperature will naturally also change. In order to select a fail-safe and low-maintenance cable, a different jacket material should be used in these applications. The jacket materials PUR and TPE have proven themselves millions of times over. Both in our in-house test laboratory and in various customer applications. The TPE servo cable CF29.D is used, among other things, in SRUs that are operated in an ambient temperature of down to -35°C.


Cables in storage and retrieval units must meet a number of requirements. It is important to match the cable perfectly to the respective application. No matter whether long or short travel, very high or very low temperatures. The chainflex cable range always offers the right solution for your storage and retrieval unit. The cables have been optimally developed for use in energy chains and are already being used in countless SRUs. In addition to the chainflex cable range, igus offers you complete systems for your storage and retrieval unit. Here you can learn more about our material handling systems. Talk to us. We help you to find the perfect solution for your application.

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cables Storage and retrieval units


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