Typical applications include smartphone assembly, which involves tiny, rapid and highly precise movements. Inserting chips in phones is also a process that repeats thousands of times a day and puts huge strain on cables. Ever smaller installation spaces, ever shorter cycles and 99% availability are not only requirements for machines and systems in the semiconductor industry, but also in many other automated factories such as medical technology, the mobile device industry and sorting plants, the demand for fast and compact automation systems is increasing.
The CF98 (unshielded) and CF99 (shielded) cables are a development of Igus’s proven chainflex control cables. “And the market has received this very well,” says Justin Leonard, director of e-chains and chain products at Igus UK. “The new CF98.PLUS and CF99.PLUS are the first and only cables available on the market that are approved for use in energy chains and for which Igus can guarantee 100 million double strokes.” This means a 250% increase in service life compared to the original CF98 series.
In addition, the new cables are designed for the smallest bending radii, equivalent to three times the diameter of the cable. Users with very small operating spaces can now depend on a reliable high-end TPE cable and offer a more sustainable machine concept to their end customers.
Igus has tested and improved the new cables in its in-house 3,800m2 laboratory for over 10 years, and the test centre involves two large stations. The optimisations lie mainly in using a special alloy for the conductor material and in a new manufacturing process of the insulation material. Due to these extensive tests, Igus promises a guaranteed service life of 36-months on all its cables, not only the CF98 series. Cable durability properties can also be determined with an online service life calculation.
“Users who are looking for a CF98.PLUS or a CF99.PLUS can make a significant contribution to a company’s sustainability, because they can rely on longer-life machines,” Leonard adds.