Robots have long been an integral part of many areas of industrial manufacturing – and their range of tasks continues to grow in the wake of digitalisation. Whether for welding, painting, soldering or palletising, industrial robots work dynamically. A flexible 3D energy chain such as the triflex R from igus makes it possible to guide robot cables safely. To detect potential chain breaks due to extreme loads in good time and to avoid unplanned machine breakdowns, igus is presenting i.Sense TR.B, the world’s first breakage monitoring system for 3D energy chains at automatica 2022.
One thing above all is essential for an industrial robot to work reliably: Safe Cable Guidance. Robot cables must withstand numerous flexing cycles as well as loads due to torsion and tension. With the triflex R, igus has developed a round energy chain with a defined bend radius specifically for industrial robots in order to protect the cables even during dynamic rotational and pivoting movements.
Smart real-time condition monitoring – also for 3D applications
With i.Sense TR.B, the proven i.Sense breakage monitoring of igus smart plastics is now also possible for dynamic, three-dimensional applications. Customers can thus increase the safety of their robot systems with an investment of just a few hundred euros. The i.Sense TR.B sensor is connected directly to the PLC customer control – without additional software costs. If a chain link breaks, the system detects the change in length of the rope installed in the chain and can accordingly send out a digital signal to the system control.
Instant breakage detection enables immediate maintenance measures and can thus avoid unplanned downtimes and total failures in the event of individual chain link breakages. “Particularly in applications such as automotive production lines with extremely high output, any downtime can cause costs of several €100,000. Real-time status monitoring of the energy supply system in industrial robots therefore offers users considerable added value,” explains Richard Habering, Head of Business Unit smart plastics at igus.