Igus is launching a system called Guidelok that is designed to keep energy chains inside a guide trough, even at heights of 80m. Guidelok is suitable for energy chains supplying power and data vertically, such as to lifts, escalators, or materials handling equipment. The system is compact and easy to install, either to new equipment or as a retrofit on existing installations. It can be used to transfer power reliably in factories, crane systems or even wind power plants.
Modern energy chains are required to reach ever greater heights, speeds and accelerations, which can result in vertical energy chains swinging out to the side, especially where strong transverse accelerations are involved. If the chain then hits metal brackets or pallets in a shelving system, for example, damage to the chain is inevitable due to the dynamics involved. Previously, the suspended energy chain would have to be completely enclosed; but now the chain can be confined inside the Guidelok system.
The chain is suspended in a stainless steel or galvanised steel guide trough. Then a push button and catch button, both automatically triggered by the radius, fix the chain into place. The two buttons are part of the same rocking mechanism, which forms a positive offset locking device: if the lower run of the energy chain is not in the groove, the mechanism remains in an idle position. If, however, the lower run moves over the push button inside the groove, the catch button is activated. This then extends and holds the energy chain in place so that it cannot swing out to the side.
Each part of the energy chain is automatically fixed in place by the rocking mechanism as it runs through the groove. This not only ensures operational safety, but it also greatly reduces noise due to the chain's smooth operation.
The new Guidelok system is available ex-stock.