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Advanced Engineering 2020

NEC, Birmingham(B40 1NT)

04/11/2020 - 05/11/2020

The UK's largest annual advanced manufacturing trade show, Advanced Engineering is your opportunity to (more)

Drives & Controls Exhibition

NEC, Birmingham(B40 1NT)

25/01/2021 - 27/01/2021

The show brings together key suppliers of state-of-the-art equipment representing the multi-tasking culture (more)

Igus opens readychain automated production line in the UK

Igus opens readychain automated production line in the UK

Igus is a leader in e-chain carriers, and indeed on the dynamic cables that run within them. For a long time now Igus has offered these cables complete with the required connectors through its readychain products, saving users the associated assembly time when sourcing connectors separately. This can be particularly arduous for cables for drives, but the industry norm for ordering pre-assembled cables can be anything from six weeks to sixteen weeks.

Now Igus has invested in an automated assembly line for its readycables at its UK facility in Northampton. Representing another significant investment for company, the new line uses fully automated machines and lean manufacturing methods to streamline its manufacturing process to deliver fully-harnessed drive cables shipped within 24 hours of order placement.

“A few years ago, our sole focus was on selling plastic bearings, energy chains and cables with little assembly work,” says Matthew Aldridge, managing director at Igus UK. “More recently we have stepped into robotics and automation based on our component parts and are now investing in automation ourselves to enable us to move into assembly within the UK.” Historically, Igus engineers would assemble cables manually by cutting back the outer jacket, teasing out the shielding, then stripping the jackets off each of the inner cores and adding crimps; this is a time consuming and laborious process.

Now these operations are fully automated using the new readycable line, which also gives 100% quality of assembly. “We have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on machines to automate this process, cutting leadtimes from 6 or even 10 weeks down to 24 hours,” comments Aldridge. “The chainflex cable is cut to length from our extensive stock held in Northampton and all common connector components are available ex stock. 

“This total package means that customers will usually receive their readycable the next working day, fully-tested with a guaranteed service life,” adds Aldridge. “All this automation does not mean that we will be shedding jobs; this automated assembly line will enable us to grow our business, creating more jobs for the area.”


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