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Safe data transfer for robots
Bus system problems can occur during twisting applications in energy chains, particularly with shielded data cables, because the shields can get damaged and open up. This is not the case with fibre optic cables: These do not have a mechanically vulnerable shield braid, and they are insensitive to EMC whilst transferring high-speed bus signals up to a length of 400 m. Following comprehensive tests, the energy chain and flexible cable specialist Igus has now developed a new twistable fibre- optic cable for all 3D movements in energy chains, to keep bus systems working reliably. The twistable TPE fibre-optic cable "Chainflex CF Robot-LWL" makes high data rates possible and can be routed directly alongside high-capacity electrical power cables. The special design uses a specially twist-optimised design, and the strong fibre-optic cable is robust even with rotation angles of +180 degrees as you would find on a robot arm, for example.
The new fibre-optic cable has been running on a test set-up in the Igus technical centre for more than 1 million double cycles. There is no change to the high data transfer rates even at a torsion angle of 360 degrees. The fibre-optic cable has a two-fibre optic core, and is resistant to oil, bio-oil and UV light whilst remaining flexible in the cold. The FOC wires with high-tensile aramid fibres and dampers are stranded firmly around a GRP core. The pressure-extruded outer sheath is made of a halogen-free TPE mixture. Highly dynamic in continuous movement, the cable can be used for indoor and outdoor applications at temperatures from -20 to +60degC.
The "Chainflex CF Robot-LWL" has a fibre diameter of 50/125 µm and is suitable for almost all high-speed buses when used with the correct converters. This covers a wide range of uses in torsional applications, such as in energy chains on robots and machine tool handling where for example vision technology plays an important role. This helps to meet the increasingly demanding requirements in areas such as quality control monitoring and measuring. The new fibre-optic cable is a solution suitable for industrial applications for image transmission for GigE, FireWire IEEE1394a/b and USB.
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