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Treotham launches world’s first continuous rotating chain

Starting, stopping, starting up again, stopping, moving back again at the end – whether it ’s small units on robots, pick-and-place applications, fast press feeders, large shelf-operating units or classic conveyer belts: conventional handling and transport applications cannot currently operate without a “wasted run” or non-productive return run.

For such applications, igus has developed the first continually rotating energy chain in the world- a complete ready-to-install module that opens up completely new directions for machine construction.
Without superfluous start and return runs, the next position can now be directly approached in a continual movement, where loading and unloading, adhesion, drilling etc. can then take place.

The chains are lightweight and reliable, with speeds of up to 8 m/s allowing extremely fast machine cycle times to be realised. The new “C-Chain” is made up of a low friction plastic energy chain with rotary table guidance connections.

This moves easily and without vibration, with a supported upper run where necessary. The new system provides sufficient filling space, e.g. for a servo/motor cable, a control, bus or fibre optic cable and protects and fluids as well.

The carriages are supplied with data, energy and information by an energy chain with connected rotary table guidance. The chain moves lightly and with low wear in the guide housing to the first carriage station. There, it feeds an all-round circular line, to which all the carriages are fixed.

Each carriage can be addressed individually using modern electronics and bus technology. It receives the respective signals to enable it to work as required, e.g. through a pneumatic valve, electric motor or sensors.

Each carriage can be triggered individually and can perform its tasks immediately at a pre-defined position.

Numerous different carriages can be connected to the continuously rotating chain. These can supply rotating grippers, suction cups or electro magnets, for example, which can pick up workpieces, hold them, adjust them and set them down again.

Regulation and control technology can also be on the carriage, supplied with data and power from a stable guidance system – designed for barcode or colour detection readers through to RFID reading units.

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