Drag chains are mechanical machine elements that play an increasingly important role in Industry 4.0 automation, communication, safety and security, protecting energy, data, and signals that have to withstand the most diverse environmental influences.
These robust flexible assemblies – also called energy supply chains, or e-chains – are designed to be used in applications that are constantly moving. They ensure the fail-safe supply of energy, data, and impulses, and are engineered to guide and protect multiple layers or bundles of cabling.
Applications include guidance of sensitive bus and data cables, machine tools, packaging, process and automation machinery, cranes and mobile process machinery ranging in size right up to mining draglines.
According to Lapp Australia managing director, Simon Pullinger, cable drag chains come in an extremely large variety of sizes and types. Their expanding role has been anticipated by Lapp Australia, which has responded with Australia’s widest range of drag chain cables backed by strong local stocking of Lapp’s globally respected OLFLEX® flexible drag chain assemblies.
“The most important points to consider in selecting drag chain cables are the unique specifics of the application – one type does not fit all. Factors to consider include length of travel, the number of cables or hoses, the size and weight of the cables, the required speed and acceleration and environmental factors such as exposure to any debris, excessive heat or chemicals,” Pullinger said.
He has introduced Australian technical guidance teams to assist with issues arising in our widely diverse physical, climatic and industrial environments, which can range from super clean food, beverage, medical, electronic, manufacturing and processing plants, through to the outback extremes of mining and oil and gas processes.
Selecting the right drag chain cables
As a global leader in cabling solutions, Lapp provides drag chain cables that cover power and control, ethernet and data communications solutions. These cables can come in PVC (Polyvinyl chloride), PUR (Polyurethane), or TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer), so they can be tailored to different environments, including harsh outdoor applications and extreme temperatures. The PUR cables are also halogen-free, which reduces the risk of toxic fumes in indoor environments.
Cable types include:
OLFLEX® Power and Control cables
UNITRONIC® Bus and Data Communication cables
ETHERLINE® Industrial Internet cables
“Each of these ranges meets the highest global compliance standards, and is fully traceable back to the point of manufacture,” Pullinger noted.
Lapp Australia – the Australian branch of the German global leader in cabling and connectivity solutions, LAPP Group, has more than doubled its inventory of locally stocked product lines, from 1,500 to more than 4,000, since setting up in this country just four years ago.
“Lapp Australia has also helped major industries weather the COVID pandemic by securing their supply chains to world-best product through our online shop listings growing from 5,000 product listings to over 25,000 products.
These cables, connectors, and services are vital to industries and automation/Industry 4.0 applications including food and beverage, solar and energy, resources and materials handling, primary production and process engineering, acoustics, electrical contracting, water and wastewater, recycling, machine building and automation,” Pullinger added.