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Intelligent energy supply system saves installation time

Preassembled energy chain systems in application in machines for the timber and furniture processing industry

The end customer of the present time demands a reduced energy consumption in his manufacturing plants. The manufacturer of these plants would like to first of all reduce the installation and processing times, justify quality demands and at the same time respond flexibly to customers' requirements. In this demanding scenario, the preassembled energy supply systems from igus® GmbH, Cologne, display their technical and economical advantages and provide for a permanent, function-safe and robust material flow solutions in the timber and furniture industry.

"We've been collaborating with the company igus® for more than 20 years," reports Merten Hamann, director of purchase at the Bargstedt Handlingsysteme GmbH in Hemmoor. The company belongs to the internationally operating HOMAG Group, the market leader in the supply of manufacturing plants and machinery for wood processing. "In this group, Bargstedt is specialized in the handling. Our machines can be used whenever materials shaped like wood plates have to be transported, stacked, stored, turned or sorted. That ranges from the tiniest craft enterprise to the globally positioned high-tech companies in the world. " igus® energy chains with matching guide troughs have been used in the stacking and storage facilities for over twenty years. Approximately three years ago, Bargstedt decided to use prefabricated complete systems from igus®, the so-called "readychain®" system. The chains are supplied by igus® complete with cables and connectors and can be immediately mounted. In addition they contain the flexible "chainflex®" cables to guarantee the increasing dynamic loads and a high plant availability. A part of the product range has been successfully converted to these preassembled energy supply systems since some months.

High requirements - Move the wood cleverly

Established in 1972, the Bargstedt Handling system GmbH is specialized in the market segment transport and handling for plate-shaped wooden materials. Over the years the company worked hard to assume market leadership with intelligent material flow solutions. Today, with its around 250 employees it is a name in the industry worldwide for automatic loading, materials handling, stacking and storing. "In the last year alone we built 110 portal systems," reports Merten Hamann. "And this year we expect to make an estimated 150 systems of this machine type. This good order situation has led to large space problems in the production. Therefore we had to reduce the processing times in the individual plants. By the application of the preassembled energy supply systems, we've almost halved the electrical installation time! Today our highly-qualified employees no longer spend so much time inserting cables into the energy chain, instead they are more appropriately employed in another location. " Another advantage is the clear documentation of the cable laying as well as the allocated storage.

Loading and unloading facility Loading and unloading facility for wood and furniture pieces with a preassembled "readychain®" energy supply system from igus®. The time for electrical installations has halved.

Preassembled energy supply systems successful

The requirements on the energy supply systems are always the same at Bargstedt. High cycle times and narrow bending radii significantly strain the energy supply system and cables. The travel in the portal and storage facilities amounts to between 4 and 60m. Travel speeds come to 60 to 290 m/min at an acceleration of up to 12m/². An output of max. 20 cycles/min is implemented in the loading and unloading facilities. The application conditions on site are typical for the wood working - dry, dusty and generally hot.

"As we've seen, during a visit to igus® in Cologne, the kind of complex assemblies in the different lot sizes and travels that can be already implemented, we decided that this method of optimizing the installation process could also be used by us," says the director of purchase. From the idea up to the final conversion, it required an intensive preparation for about 18 months. In these months, a final standard was defined including the chain assignments for the various machine types with the appropriate cables and plug connections. "To define this standard, a basic analysis is required beforehand," confirms Merten Hamann. "But the time spent is worth the while. We've become not only fast, but can moreover implement a better quality and plant availability today. “

Loading and unloading facility Preassembled energy supply systems from igus® for horizontal travel axis and the vertical lifting axis.

The preassembled energy supply systems are today used in the portal and storage facilities for the loading and unloading of furniture parts. They are suitable for heavy duty use in the furniture industry and distinguish themselves through a low wear in their moving parts. High cycle inputs are achieved with the latest drive and control technology.

The singular variable in the order is the type and horizontal installation length of the concerned facility. This point is clarified by product manager Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Michael Fuchs, in charge of construction of portals and open plan warehouses at Bargstedt: "We produce exclusively according to customer requirements. The individual processing machines of a production line have a fixed size indeed, but the space for the required handling varies. It is aligned among other things on the hall conditions. Here we have to adapt. Other components are already standardized to a large extent, but the travel lengths of the bearing carriers must be individually aligned to the requirements on site. “

Loading and unloading facility Function-safe "chainflex®" cables specially developed for highly dynamic application in energy chains.

Plant constructor Bargstedt and system supplier igus® have jointly taken on the project. "After we had defined our standard, there was no problem with the technical development," narrates Michael Fuchs. "And in the rarest of cases if the facility comes to a stop once, our numerous sales offices spread out in Germany and all over the world are there to help," adds Michael Blass. "No third-party technician need to come, but is attended to by an igus® employee for the repair on site." “

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