Rolling chain links help to save energy

Treotham Automation Pty Ltd

Wednesday, 01 March, 2023

Rolling chain links help to save energy

igus has announced that the newly developed roller chain links in its E4.1 energy chain series reduce required drive power by 37%. This allows customers to reduce their electricity costs in times of sharply rising energy prices.

With skyrocketing wholesale electricity prices presenting a serious challenge to the competitiveness of many industrial companies, saving electricity is on the agenda. This is true for entire production lines, individual machines or components such as energy chains that guide cables and hoses for energy, data and hydraulics in industrial plants.

As a rule, the upper run of an e-chain glides on the lower run. On short routes, energy is not a problem because the igus high-performance plastics ensure low-friction operation. For longer travels (several hundred metres) and high payloads (up to 100 kg/m), the coefficients of friction increase and, consequentially, so does energy consumption.

E4.1R: Rolling instead of gliding saves energy

For 20 years, igus has been offering energy chains for long distances, in which the upper run rolls over the lower run, reducing friction and wear. “Due to rising prices and energy costs, many industrial companies have become interested in cost-saving measures. They ask themselves how operating costs can be cut with the components in use, such as energy chains — especially on long travels with high additional loads,” said Jörg Ottersbach, head of the e-chains business unit at igus.

“Our answer is that we also offer a version of our E4.1, the E4.1R, with integrated rollers. This series is one of our bestselling energy chains and a universal solution for 90% of gliding applications.”

In addition to the minimisation of energy requirements, another benefit of the rollers is that the E4.1R runs more smoothly, with noise and vibrations reduced. The roller chain links are also fully compatible with the entire E4.1 series modular system, so that indoor linear robots in the machine tool industry can still be retrofitted, for example. In addition to internal heights of 42 and 56 mm, a height of 80 mm is available for the E4.1R. Add several widths and radii, and there is a total of over 900 variants for individual applications.

For more information, contact Treotham Automation on 1300 65 75 64 or email

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