Bee tech

Hon­ey­comb sys­tem pro­vides in­no­va­tive strain re­lief de­sign for ca­bles

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - Source: Igus

Honey, i fexed the ca­ble

THERE’S NO END OF LESSONS to be learnt from the in­sect world, it seems. One of the lat­est is a new take on ca­ble strain re­lief. Ca­ble car­ri­ers (also known as ca­ble track or e-chain) are the um­bil­i­cal cord of mod­ern ma­chines. In­di­vid­ual ca­bles have to be fixed to th­ese tracks, a time-con­sum­ing job. Ca­ble tiewraps are typ­i­cally used to se­cure ca­bles, but can of­ten only be used once. That’s why there’s in­tense in­ter­est in a revo- lu­tion­ary new de­sign based on bees’ fa­mil­iar hexag­o­nal hon­ey­comb.

For its en­ergy sup­ply sys­tems, mo­tion plas­tics spe­cial­ist Igus has de­vel­oped a unique strain re­lief sys­tem with a hon­ey­comb struc­ture. Ca­bles and hoses can sim­ply and gen­tly be pressed into the hon­ey­comb. The struc­ture is then closed, caus­ing the outer walls of the hon­ey­comb cav­i­ties to be pushed gen­tly, but ex­tremely tightly, around the ca­bles. In this way, the struc­ture sim­ply adapts to the ca­ble di­am­e­ters. The hon­ey­comb can be mounted in sec­onds; com­pared with tiewraps or other strain re­lief so­lu­tions, the user saves about 80 per cent assem­bly time. The new sys­tem also saves space and pro­tects the ca­bles in the e-chain and is much more flex­i­ble, as the sys­tem is easy to open, to in­sert new ca­bles or to re­place them. The univer­sal strain re­lief sys­tem is avail­able in hor­i­zon­tal or ver­ti­cal ver­sions.

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