How an automated production plant uses igus e-chains

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The winner of the Bronze vector award in 2016 was EBAWE Anlagentechnik GmbH based in Eilenburg, Germany. The company designs, engineers and installs complete production plants for the manufacture of precast concrete panels. For a project in Thailand, the concrete spreader could only reach its washing station along a branch line, whereby the hopper travels 13.5m in the working chamber and then another 55m to the cleaning point once or twice a day. Over these distances EBAWE needed an energy supply system that would endure the harsh working environment of the concrete production facility while, at the same time, be completely reliable.

How an automated production plant uses igus e-chainsEBAWE’s engineers solved this problem by using an igus e-chain in the main working chamber that is supported by a guide trough. For the long branch line and travel to the cleaning point, a second system comprising another e-chain and guide trough is used. The energy chain in the shorter mobile channel is locked, and the chain moves together with the channel on wheels above the lower system until the chain has been completely extended. The remaining distance to the cleaning point is then covered by the upper system again.

The automated system for changing from moving in day-to-day operation and moving to the cleaning point works reliably and will be used again where a similar problem has to be solved. To watch the video of the production plant in action, please follow this link:

Don’t forget, applications for this year’s vector awards can be submitted online (, by filling in a simple form with a design brief and description of the energy chain application. Supporting photos and videos can also be uploaded.

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