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Printed in 36 hours: First additively manufactured e-chain rack from igus

27 October 2023

Printed in just 36 hours: With the readychain p-rack, customers get a custom-made transport and assembly rack even faster!

Production downtime is expensive. For machine tool manufacturers, for example, it is essential that assembly work on a system is carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

For the last 10 years, igus offered the readychain rack which is a modular assembly and transport frame for assembled energy supply systems. 

Now, igus has developed an even simpler, faster solution that can be customised multiple times: the first 3D printed readychain p-rack (printed rack). And it can be adapted to specific customer requirements with millimetre precision.

Ready-to-install energy chain systems delivered quickly and safely to the machine: igus has pursued this goal with the readychain rack. Using this product saves many work steps, significantly reducing process costs and assembly time.
 “More companies are constantly looking for new ways to optimise processes to increase their efficiency and reduce costs,” says Justin Leonard, e-chain and cable director at igus UK. 

“We want to support customers by offering a fast solution for transporting and installing our ready-to-install energy supply systems, that are 100 percent tailored to their needs.” 

He adds, “So, we have now developed the first additively manufactured e-chain Rack. It’s a very flexible and simple addition for readychain customers to be able to take advantage of an individual solution even faster – because all attachments are printed within 36 hours.”

Industrial customising from a batch size of one
Additive manufacturing offers virtually unlimited possibilities in geometry. Therefore, modules that are precisely tailored to the application can be produced to the millimetre scale. "This means that customers are completely free to design their p-rack," emphasises Leonard.

“This also makes it possible to achieve an ergonomic design with round shapes, with no interfering contours or incurring risk of injury from sharp edges. Additional elements such as tool holders, containers for small parts and lettering can also be printed as required."

This not only saves users time and money, for example in the design, but also the hassle and effort of subsequent adjustments. This optimal solution pays off from a batch size of one. 

"The big advantage for customers is that they get everything from a single source – and quickly. Both design and production take place at igus in Cologne. We have our own designers and our own 3D printing department, allowing flexibility as well as short communication channels and throughput times," Leonard adds.

Lightweight design saves up to 66% installation time
The igus p-rack is not only produced much faster but is also much lighter than its metallic ancestors. The lower weight, reduced by up to 80% through printing, saves on material and makes handling much easier and safer. The smooth-running design also makes it possible to reduce installation costs by up to two-thirds.

Assembly and disassembly are carried out in full, with no need for additional tools. Due to the weight reduction and the modular design, volume and transport costs for the return shipment can also be saved.

Despite its light weight, the 3D-printed frame is strong and resilient. To ensure the stability of the p-rack, it is extensively tested in the in-house laboratory, like all igus products. Another special feature of the p-rack: all attachments can be printed from corn starch. The material is robust, rust-proof and can be 100 percent regranulated and reused.

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