Cable Management Systems Do
Cable management is a crucial part of any robotic system, but the truth is that the methods used to attach and guide cables has not changed much in the past 50-plus years.
In fact, it is often overlooked altogether. While managing cables
and hoses may seem simple, most experts agree one of the biggest
oversights designers make is underestimating cable management
issues. Many robot manufacturers are now choosing multi-axis,
three-dimensional cable management systems specially designed for
complex moving applications in order to minimize downtime and
extend the service life of cables and hoses.
Trans Nova RUF offers services from planning and design, to
manufacturing, installation, and commissioning solutions for the
packaging and palletizing industries. The product range includes
compact machines for top- and side-loading; picker systems for fast
pick-and-place applications; and robotic systems for picking, palletizing, and de-palletizing tasks.
“We are able to handle any type of primary packaging,” explains
Michael Ruf, manager and deputy general manager, Trans Nova
RUF. “Whether food/non-food areas, medical, or pharmaceutical
engineering, [we] offer flexible packaging solutions for any industry.
The company is growing in double digits every year.”
To increase the performance of its robots and continue to grow its
customer base, Trans Nova RUF needed to improve the cable man-
agement system used on its robots. The system needed to perform
for the life of the machine, while at the same time moving easily
around multiple axis and operating safely even in tight, limited
spaces. The corrugated tubing the company was using to protect the
cables and hoses could not withstand the rotational movements per-
formed by the robots and as a result, was failing and causing expen-
Trans Nova RUF now uses Triflex® RS
from igus®, a compact, ready-to-install
assembly that is mounted to installation
points available on the robot. The module is
ideal for the company’s turnkey film-pack-aging robot because of the extremely low
installation space and the integrated fiber
rods. The fiber rods enable safe implementation of the cable carrier system on the robot’s
wrist without cable stress. Customers of
Trans Nova RUF benefit from the increased
durability and safety the assembly provides.
The Triflex RS system is mounted to several points on
the robot. It uses E-Z Triflex, a cable carrier that features
multi-dimensional movement and easy cable installation
from the top or bottom through an opening along the
length of the cable carrier. There are also built-in spring
bars for safe cable and hose guidance and a specialized
cover system to maintain the power supply when the robot
operates vertically or upside down. Left: The robot’s power supply lines can be easily replaced. Below: The turnkey palletizing robot comes mounted with a compact, universal Triflex RS module.
and houses a total of nine Trans Nova RUF robots. Each roll of
film is made to custom order and can vary in length and/or thickness, which can create a number of packaging challenges. Also, the
film material used is not always the same. Different types of film
run simultaneously into the packaging system and must be handled
appropriately according to the production orders. These factors
make the application ideal for robot technology, according to Ruf.
The packaging process involves the following steps: after preparation, rolls of film and cardboard are placed into the unit and stored
in a buffer/sorting station before they are inserted into a film tube
for protection. The tubular bag supernatant is injected into the core
using compressed air. Then the roll of film is placed into a final
container and packaged individually into a cardboard box, labeled,
and sealed. Finally, the boxes are palletized by a separate robot
onto two different pallets where a head-stretch coil secures the two
respective pallet containers.
“The packaging plant [operates] around the clock, seven days a
week,” explains Ruf. “The respective package weight is between
four and 132 pounds and the conveyor speed is 131 feet per minute.
Twenty rolls can be packaged per minute.”
Cable Carriers Replace Corrugated Tubing
Picture Perfect Packaging for Every Roll