Complex kinetic sculpture benefits from igus e-spool guides

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A highly complex control, audio and power cable management system, at a height of 4m – these were the challenges for a new work of art. The solution: e-spool from igus ensures reliable cable feed in a confined space even under the toughest of time pressures. It was quick to install, and easy to maintain and operate.

Complex kinetic sculpture benefits from igus e-spool guidesA kinetic sculpture consisting of 168 metal spheres, each of which can be positioned individually, hangs above a water feature in the foyer of a hotel in Taiwan. But behind this delicate and graceful work of art is a great deal of technology. Kurt Hüttinger GmbH, the interactive exhibit construction company, was confronted with the following challenge: the system was to be easily accessible for maintenance, even though it had to be installed within a metre-high inaccessible false ceiling 4 metres above the ground. There was little time for installation, as the work of art had to be in place before the official opening of the hotel.

A cable lift, which can permanently accommodate the technical unit, had already been installed in the structural shell of the building. A highly complex cable management system for control, audio and power cables was needed that enabled the spheres to move in time with music. It needed to be reliable, discreet and, most importantly, quick to install.

Stephan Hessberger, head of technical design at Kurt Hüttinger GmbH explains: “For our cable problem, we found the perfect solution in the form of the igus e-spool.” The energy chain is suitable for supplying energy in a very restricted space and is routed over a roller. Integrated retraction springs ensure the correct length and tension of the cable management system at all times.

In the home position, the e-chain is completely rolled up to save space. The compact twisterband connects the roller to the shaft end block, and serves as an interface to the fixed cables, removing the need for a slip ring. The cable reel was filled with cables, mounted on the unit and tested in operation in advance of installation. Hessberger adds: “This was the only way to ensure that a work of art, made and assembled in Germany, could be flown half way round the world and installed quickly.”

For installation, the complete unit, including the e-spool, was placed on supporting wheels, attached and lifted by hand. The moving end of the e-spool was then mounted onto hidden ceiling and connected up. It was then possible to continue the installation work and set the work of art in motion.

There is a video of the “making-of” of the sculpture, and you can also watch the kinetic sculpture in action.

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