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'Active retraction' now available on Robotrax 3D cable carrier

24 May 2010

The rapid movements and long travel lengths of robotic systems in production require a flexible cable carrier. In conventional designs the length of the cable carrier corresponds to the maximum range of the robot; in case of shorter travel lengths, the high speeds and acceleration rates cause repeated impact of the cable carrier on the robot arm. This reduces the service life both of the cable carrier and of the cables contained therein and can even result in overall system failure – and downtime can be very expensive.

An active retraction mechanism is now available for the Robotrax three-dimensional cable carrier from Kabelschlepp. Controlled operating motion can achieve up to four times longer service life for the cable carriers.

A sturdy, torsionally rigid housing is mounted on the robot arm, and the retraction mechanism automatically adjusts the excess length of the cable carrier during shorter movements of the robot. For safe routing in the housing, the end of the 3D motion cable carrier is connected to a short element from the Uniflex Advanced series, which travels within the housing. This principle, similar to retractable leashes for dogs, ensures that the length of the cable carrier constantly adapts to the robot’s work volume by adequately unwinding and winding, thus preventing impact. This also significantly increases the service life of the robotic system and reduces expensive downtime due to repairs caused by excessive wear.

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