In a video from igus, e-chain director Justin Leonard outlines the common issues around cable management in theatres and on stages and movie sets.
Leonard says: “With the increasingly advanced technology for modern lighting, sound and effects, the complexity and required flexibility grows. So does the number of moving cables needed for power, data and control systems. Conventional cable reelers are often used for these applications; they are reliable and have served the industry very well but they do have their limitations. These are becoming more and more obvious as we enter this multimedia age with high speed data and digital services.”
According to Leonard, the biggest issue is that slip rings can limit the number of services that can be managed. It also becomes quite complicated when trying to move bus systems and power systems together; this either requires the use of separate reelers or a composite cable, which will invariably be very expensive and nearly always be of a bespoke design.
Taking a new approach to solve some of these problems, the e-spool system dispenses with the slip ring by using a rotating conical energy chain – called twisterband – that enables a continuous end-to-end connection. Also, instead of using a bespoke composite cable, which is expensive, e-spool can accommodate multiple cables, as well as provide physical guidance and protection.