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igus® inc.

PO BOX 14349

East Providence

RI 02914

+1 800 521 2747
+1 401 438 7270

Energy chain with monitoring and predictive maintenance for RMG crane

Retrofitting of intelligent sensors in the external crane to increase the service life of the energy chain

With this RMG (rail mounted gantry) crane, also known as a rail-mounted bridge crane, two energy chains mounted in opposite directions are used over a travel distance of 113 m due to the large number of cables. In order to increase the service life of the chain and the service life of the crane, a safety system to switch off the cable routing in the event of damage and a preventive maintenance system were installed. These smart plastics components were retrofitted and were not installed on the e-chain from the start.


  • What was needed: Energy chains with condition monitoring systems for the detection of tensile/push force (iSense EC.P) , for monitoring of cable tensile force (iSense CF.P) and for breakage detection (iSense EC.B) as well as a predictive maintenance system  
  • Requirements: Safe and failure-free operation of a large number of heavy cables in adverse environmental conditions
  • Industry: cranes
  • Success for the customer: With the installation of smart plastics, the customer now has full control, overview and security for the energy supply on his RMG crane
smart plastics on RMG crane

The challenge

As already mentioned in the description, a high number of cables are installed in the two e-chains®. This large number also places a high load and stress on the e-chains®. As with most machines, this crane is designed for long and constant operating times. Even short and especially unplanned stops are undesirable and must be avoided. In addition to the desired long service life in connection with the loads mentioned, the most varied weather conditions naturally also come into play. Wind and weather put a strain on the material, but the function should be 100% guaranteed in every season, because the cranes in port facilities have to perform at their best. 
The customer therefore opted for the complete smart plastics crane package and now has full control, overview and safety for the energy supply system on his RMG crane. 
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To meet the customer's demands and all other challenges, 3 condition monitoring systems  i.Sense EC.P (push/pull force detection on e-chains®), i. Sense CF.P (tensile force monitoring on cables) and i. Sense EC.B (breakage detection on e-chains) are installed.
Second, a predictive maintenance system is installed. All systems are coordinated with one another and delivered and installed as a package.
Advantages of condition monitoring:
  • In the event of an incident with an energy chain, be it a bent guide trough, foreign bodies in the guide trough, a blockage or the breakage of a chain link, the crane operator is informed of the incident  and, if desired, the system can also be stopped at once.
The advantages of predictive maintenance:
  • Incorporates the functions of condition monitoring and sends a 
  • Signal regarding maintenance information or replacement of the e-chain®
  • All sensor data can be viewed online or in the company network via a dashboard in real time
  • Retrievable from different end devices/output channels 
  • It is possible to set alarms and to respond to increasing force values on the e-chain® or cables and to plan a maintenance intervention on time.
  •  Values such as temperature, acceleration, speed can be called up in real time via the dashboard    

EC.B Sensor on the floating moving end

smart plastics on RMG crane with EC.B

Assembly by means of support plate on the steel mounting bracket

smart plastics modules in the control cabinet

smart plastics module on RMG crane

Installation right on the top-hat (DIN) rail

Application examples with smart plastics

smart examples with e-chain®, chainflex® cables and bearings.

Smart e-chain® and cables

Smart Plastics e-chain® and cables

Use smart plastics to stay abreast of how your chain is doing.

Our intelligent e-chain® systems are already reliably in use in hundreds of thousands of applications worldwide - from beverage machines and CNC machines to steel mills. 
Learn More

Smart bearing technology

Smart plain bearings

Don't let a defective plain bearing ruin your day.

Smart plain bearings are great for sensitive or hard-to-reach spots on a machine, since they allow the bearing's condition to be assessed at any time.
Learn More

Smart Applications

Smart applications

Customer application examples with smart plastics

Whether a new project for Industry 4.0 or efficiency-driven retrofitting - our smart plastics solutions are available as universal modular systems and can be individually adapted to any system.
Learn More

Download the smart plastics brochure

Smart Plastics Brochure
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The terms "igus", "Apiro", "chainflex", "CFRIP", "conprotect", "CTD", "drylin", "dry-tech", "dryspin", "easy chain", "e-chain", "e-chain systems", "e-ketten", "e-kettensysteme", "e-skin", "e-spool", "flizz", "ibow", "igear", "iglidur", "igubal", "kineKIT", "manus", "motion plastics", "pikchain", "plastics for longer life", "readychain", "readycable", "ReBeL", "speedigus", "triflex", "robolink", "xirodur", and "xiros" are legally protected trademarks of the igus® GmbH/ Cologne in the Federal Republic of Germany and where applicable in some foreign countries.

igus® GmbH points out that it does not sell any products of the companies Allen Bradley, B&R, Baumüller, Beckhoff, Lahr, Control Techniques, Danaher Motion, ELAU, FAGOR, FANUC, Festo, Heidenhain, Jetter, Lenze, LinMot, LTi DRiVES, Mitsibushi, NUM,Parker, Bosch Rexroth, SEW, Siemens, Stöber and all other drive manufacturers mention in this website. The products offered by igus® are those of igus® GmbH