Robotic cables: Cable carrier handles 6-axis robots

Less-is-more approach may help robot dress packs preserve cables for a longer period of time. Smooth, uninterrupted cable movement is key. (See photo.)
By Control Engineering Staff July 3, 2008

East Providence, RIigus Inc . takes a less-is-more approach when specifying its robot dress packs, which it says is the underlying key to longer lasting cables; customized dress packs use only the necessary amount of cable protection to ensure smooth, uninterrupted cable movement.

The igus Triflex RS is a pre-engineered compact cable management system for robotics.
The igus Triflex RS is a pre-engineered compact cable management system combining the benefits of fiber rod modules and universal assembly kit.

Following that philosophy for articulated robots , igus Triflex RS (photo) is a pre-engineered unit combining the benefits of fiber rod modules and a universal assembly kit. The compact module is said to complement igus’ flexible Triflex R cable carriers, designed to reduce downtime due to cable failure while extending cable service life. Triflex RS uses igus’ integrated fiber-rod mechanism to support any excess cable carrier and cable slack parallel to the robot arm, keeping it away from the robot’s work area. Optimal cable performance is ensured, igus says, because the unit does not allow cables to move outside a minimum bend radii. This helps maintain an uninterrupted production flow and increases throughput.
Modular design facilitates on-the-floor adjustments , easy access to cables and hoses for scheduled maintenance, 380 degree rotation to move within the full work envelope of the robot, and proven performance in tests more than 1 million cycles. Applications include welding, materials handling, or deburring robots. Universal module includes a sheet metal mounting plate, three integrated mounting brackets, two protection links and a predetermined fiber-rod assembly. It is shipped and installed as one unit and has an integral fiber rod that springs the system to a home position after it completes one movement.
Triflex R cable carriers move freely through all axes and can be taken apart, shortened or lengthened. Round-shaped design glides around the outer contour of a robot without becoming hooked in and jammed. The fully enclosed design offers protection against welding spray, dirt and filth and has a smooth inner contour to extend the life of cables. E-Z Triflex R has a push-through design for easy cable access, while Triflex R light is a low-cost alternative for those robotic applications that do not require complete cable protection, igus says.

– Edited by  Mark T. Hoske , editor in chief
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