Power Brand

Minutes instead of days: Reduced assembly time of machining centres

In its robotic machining centres, many companies use fully harnessed energy chain systems from igus. This cuts out many process steps for the manufacturer, reducing assembly time from several weeks to just half a day.

In very few industries, the throughput time is as important as in the machine tool industry. Cutting out individual work steps means achieving considerable savings in process costs. In developing CNC equipment industry, precision and reliability are critical factors. Therefore, it is important to have a reliable means of energy supply from the switch cabinet to the moving parts, which include spindles and motors. At the same time, all the information regarding axis position and dynamics must be passed back to the control system without any interruption. All this happens at accelerations of up to 0.5 g and a maximum travel speed of up to 60 m/min.

Reliable complete solution from a single source
igus develops energy chains that are configurable and predictable online, as well as specially designed, highly flexible chainflex cables tested for two billion cycles per year in a 2,750-square-metre test laboratory. As a complete system from one source, these so-called ‘readychains’ are harnessed to customers’ requirements and then delivered as ready-to-install products. The advantage in using igus energy chains is that the amount of installation space needed can be reduced considerably. One reason for this is that all chainflex cables on the machine have an oil-resistant PUR outer jacket. As additional protective hoses are superfluous because of this feature, the amount of space needed for the cables, and therefore the size of the chains, are reduced. The absence of these protective hoses reduces cost and helps ease maintenance too. 3D drawing of the readychain with assembly frame can be created in order to simulate the assembly procedure. The benefit could be seen straight away: The first energy chain fitted with all electrical cables was installed on the machine in an hour. The second chain with hydraulic hoses was installed even faster, taking just 40 minutes.

Work steps cut out for significantly greater productivity
Normally, machine tool manufacturers try to avoid too much different work steps being carried out on a system at the same time. A lot of manual work done by different employees does not necessarily enhance efficiency; on the contrary, it increases the probability that errors can occur. By using igus readychains, all four e-chains from igus can be fully installed in half a day. Readychain is able to cut out some work steps, reduce process cost and, at the same time, greatly improve productivity.

igus energy chains, including cables and mounting frame, are delivered as fully-assembled readychains. The energy supply systems are then fitted within half a day instead of several weeks. (Source: igus GmbH) Robotic machining systems, energy chains from igus ensure a safe and reliable energy supply. (Source: igus GmbH)

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