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Bread packaging machine: avoid cable breaks with smart plastics

In this bread packaging machine, intelligent sensor technology prevents cable breaks before they occur.

The company GHD Georg Hartmann Maschinenbau is one of the world's leading manufacturers of machines and systems for slicing and packaging baked items and foodstuffs. Those in charge were looking for a reliable energy supply with pneumatic and electrical cables for the further development of a packaging machine with high processing cycles. Today, a monitored smart solution is used here, which indicates faults even before the machine fails. In addition, the modular connector system Module Connect ensures quick and safe replacement of the ready-to-install readychain energy chain system during maintenance.


  • What was needed: E4.1L series energy chains and chainflex cables supplied as pre-assembled readychain system, CF.Q isense sensors, Module Connect connector concept
  • Requirements: minimum bend radius of only 63mm, highly bend-resistant cables, high loads of up to 80 double strokes per minute
  • Industry: packaging technology
  • Success for the customer: the E4.1L is characterised by high force absorption and is used together with chainflex cables with high bending strength. The isense sensors with CF.Q module detect core ruptures before they occur and save the user high downtime costs.
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Bread packaging machine


GHD Georg Hartmann Maschinenbau GmbH offers machines for slicing, packaging, sealing and grouping as well as for the transport and handling of baked goods and foodstuffs. From individual machines to customised turnkey complete plants, the company supplies everything from a single source: planning, production, commissioning and service. On the basis of a very high level of vertical integration, customers appreciate the constant availability and first-class supply of spare parts and wear-resistant parts.
The right power supply components had to be found for a current packaging machine B. for industrial baked goods such as toasted bread. The automatic packaging machine GBK 440 offers the safe packaging and sealing of product bags in one operation. A wide variety of food formats can be packaged on the machine with the shortest possible cycle times. The speed can be varied according to your requirements and application. The machine is designed for up to an incredibly fast 80 cycles per minute, which is significantly more than one packaged unit per second.
The machine works with really high stroke rates in a relatively small installation space. Therefore, highly bend-resistant cables are required that must not exceed a bend radius of 63mm. In addition, we had to find a preventive warning system to avoid a possible cost-intensive breakdown of this machine with its high output.


In order to implement the particularly small bend radius, the choice fell on an energy chain of the E4.1L series, which is characterised by a high force absorption and is thus optimally suited for the application. In addition, highly flexible chainflex cables are used. The shielded chainflex cable CF10.UL.05.04 with a minimum bend radius of 5xd is used as a servo cable for the highest demands. The CF9.03.04.INI is used as the control cable as well as the chainflex measuring system cable CF113.028.D with a minimum bend radius of 7.5xd. A 6mm pneumatic hose and two additional CF9 sensor cables complete the range, the customer receives everything, including the chain, as a ready-to-install and fully tested readychain system.
Despite the guarantee of up to 4 years service life or ten million double strokes for each chainflex cable, the high cycle rate of up to 80 double strokes per minute for the automatic packaging machine was outside the standard guarantee. That is why the cables are supplemented with intelligent solutions for predictive maintenance. isense sensors together with the CF.Q module continuously monitor the condition of the cables. The device recognises the beginning of a core rupture by the changes in the electrical specifications. The report is then sent to the so-called icom module, which transmits the data to a cloud system.
In addition, a plug-and-play system had to be made available for maintenance in order to carry out this task quickly. This is where the Module Connect, a new type of connector concept for connecting electrical cables, fibre optic cables and pneumatic hoses, is used. Thanks to the simple modular principle, an individual plug-in/disconnection point can be configured as a module from several connector housings. The replacement of a pre-assembled energy chain is therefore extremely simple and absolutely safe from concealment.

Bread packaging machine energy chains The bread packaging machine works with high stroke rates in a compact installation space. This is why the developers resorted to e-chains and highly flexible chainflex cables for reliable cable guidance.
Bread packaging machine isense CF.Q The CF.Q top-hat (DIN) rail module for predictive maintenance from the igus smart plastics portfolio, monitors the electrical specifications of chainflex cables during operation.
Module Connect plug-in connector concept Pre-assembled energy chains (readychains) with the Module Connect connector concept for fast, convenient installation or replacement.

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

igus inc headquarters is located at 257 Ferris Ave, Rumford, RI 02916. igus enjoyneering center is located at 2055 Franklin Rd, Bloomfield Twp, MI 48302