Igus' Energy Chain Systems Receives Award

Industrial components specialist Treotham Automation has seen one of its major suppliers, igus of Germany, recognised in a top level design award competition.

When 2,393 products from 35 countries were assessed by a judging panel in Hanover, Germany, to decide the winners in this year’s iF Product Design Award, the Cologne-based igus received recognition for two of its energy chain systems.

The prizes, awarded in the industry category, were given to igus’ multi-axis energy chain Triflex R light, for complex 3D movements and the new profile roller chain series P4 designed for long distances of up to 800m while remaining extremely quiet at speeds of up to 10m/s.

Using a ball and socket joint, the Triflex R light, easy-to-use modular energy chain, forms a smooth connection once locked in place.

The joint, which combines movements in all axes, guarantees a high tensile strength with movement in the longitudinal axis of up to +/- 380° per metre is possible.

Due to the integrated stop system, the lightweight energy chain provides a minimum-bending radius that protects the cables in both radial and longitudinal axes.

With the EasyChain principle, cables and hoses are simply pushed into the energy chain to allow quick filling.

The individual elements do not need to be connected to one another by steel ropes or spring elements, which are complicated to separate and join together again, especially on site.

Even with more than 1,000 different systems with conventional roller energy chains in permanent use all over the world, industry, especially crane construction, is still making even greater demands for longer travel lengths, higher fill weights and higher travel speeds.

The built-in profile rollers, of the new P4 series, enable the energy chain to roll quietly with reduced vibration onto one another, rather than sliding. This achieves a significant reduction in drive power, thus making even longer lengths of travel and higher speeds possible.

The P4’s additional sliding guide elements guide the upper run of the energy chain on the lower run, reducing the need for guide troughs, and making it perfect for use in crane technology, automated storage units, plant engineering and gantry systems. An extra heavy-duty version is available for a high fill weights.

igus’ energy chain systems have been a favourite with the iF judging panel in the past. In 2004, both the model series versions, closed and EasyChain, of the Triflex R light’s bigger sibling, Triflex R for robot applications in tough industrial environments, were awarded iF Product Design Award.

The Triflex R product family serves the complete spectrum of robot equipment, from large welding robots to small palletising robots. The range comprises more than 100 different parts including various shapes and installation dimensions, various accessory parts and special robot cables from the Chainflex range; including 750 cables especially for such constantly moving applications.

Complementing this mammoth range of energy chain components, igus has now developed its new light mounting bracket and FlexBar sprung-loaded modules for the award-winning Triflex R light energy chain, both are smaller, simpler and lighter than those previously available.

The light mounting bracket is made up of two half-shells which are easy to open and close, and allow quick assembly of the energy chain.

The brackets are fitted with teeth to allow cable strain relief with cable ties, and for extreme robot applications with variable programmes, igus has also developed a new universal assembly set called FlexBar.


The multi-axis mounting is adjustable and designed for robot mounted or freestanding applications. The FlexBar sprung-loaded bar is made of high-performance composite material that can be move freely, while the high return force prevents loops forming in the working area.