Energy chains

A small investment with a big impact

A small investment with a big impact

The smart monitoring of bus and data cables from Igus goes into the next round: In the latest generation, i.Sense CF.D monitoring sensors check the electrical condition of chainflex cables in e-chain systems - without contact and without interfering with the existing assembly. This means that real-time monitoring does not require sacrificial wires and, in combination with the new i.Cee:plus II evaluation module, enables even more efficient predictive maintenance to protect against cost-intensive system failures.

The latest generation of CF.D facilitates the entry into predictive maintenance of chainflex bus and data cables in igus e-chain systems. The smart system consists of two sensor units that are clipped onto the chainflex cable to be checked before and after the area to be monitored. Small enough to find space in energy chains in the distribution box on the carrier side and in the control cabinet on the fixed point side. During operation, the sensors continuously check the transmission properties of the cables.

High-frequency technology detects the smallest changes in condition without contact

Igus relies on high-frequency technology in the new generation of the monitoring sensor, which works without additional sacrificial cores or contacting of the existing cores. "Thanks to this technology, the sensors reliably measure even the smallest transmission deteriorations of cables and connectors," says Richard Habering, head of the smart plastics business unit at Igus. This enables effective predictive maintenance in moving industrial applications where cables and connectors are exposed to continuous mechanical stress. The new generation of CF.D sensors is compatible with most bus and data cables in the chainflex cable range from igus. "Users of machines and systems can detect and replace the corresponding cables approaching their wear limit at an early stage thanks to condition monitoring, thereby significantly increasing system safety." A small investment with a big effect. Because in some industries, downtime costs of 5,000 euros per minute and more are not uncommon.

i.Cee:plus II: Detect imminent faults on smartphone and tablet

When the data and bus cables approach the wear limit, another innovation comes into play: i.Cee:plus II - a module that connects to the CF.D sensors. A CF.D sensor is connected to the predictive i,Cee maintenance module via USB. An incipient deterioration of the transmission properties signals necessary maintenance work and adjusts the service life calculation of the components used accordingly. It outputs the measurement results of each individual sensor via a dashboard that users can access via the local network or on the road via the internet using a PC, smartphone or tablet. In this way, those responsible can keep up to date at all times and from anywhere in the world, and can react quickly to alarm messages received via SMS or e-mail.

The dashboard also provides an overview of the plant's history, including the total number of energy chain strokes, the temperature in production and the remaining time until the next scheduled maintenance. Habering: "i.Cee:plus II and the new generation of CF.D sensors put predictive maintenance on a secure footing thanks to intuitive operability and flexible integration into user IT, so that malfunctions and unexpected operational downtimes can be prevented more reliably than ever." With the new generation of CF.D monitoring modules and i.Cee:plus II, Igus is further expanding the isense environment for predictive maintenance. Under this term, the company has been developing a product family since 2016 in which sensors and monitoring modules make motion plastics such as energy chains, cables, linear guides and rotary table bearings intelligent. These smart plastics reliably predict the service life of components in numerous customer applications, including in the automotive industry.

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