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Energy chain for unsupported travels up to 50 metres

Unsupported reverse application with horizontal guidelok in the Basque Country

The Spanish mechanical engineering company Tornos Gurutzpe S.A., based in Guipúzcoa, has delivered more than 5,000 machines within half a century. Its horizontal lathe, the "A-2000 4G CNC", is equipped with a novel energy chain solution for long unsupported travels in the swarf areas.

Profile

  • What was needed: Double-run guidelok energy chains
  • Requirements: Very long travels, high reliability of the energy and signal supply system
  • Industry: Mechanical engineering
  • Success for the customer: Robust and reliable energy supply system, perfectly tailored to the application

Machine hall

Problem

The success story of a now world-renowned manufacturer of horizontally working lathes began 52 years ago, high in the Basque Country mountains. We are talking about the Spanish machine manufacturer Tornos Gurutzpe S.A. The lathe manufacturer Gurutzpe has specialised in custom designs for customers often with many specific requirements. In addition to prismatic lathes, Gurutzpe also manufactures for example four-guide machines that allow extremely flexible applications. As a rule, these are equipped with fixed or hydraulic steady rests and other accessories of the latest generation. Market demand is increasingly tending towards large and long lathes. For instance, Gurutzpe has already built lathes with a length of 20 m.  With these dimensions, energy supply systems are of course also needed that can enable the very long travels associated with them. But that was not the only requirement in this application: The global buyers of lathes place great value on 3 things in particular: reliability, rigidity and efficiency.  For its horizontal lathe, the "A-2000 4G CNC", Gurutzpe was finally looking for an energy and signal supply solution that could meet these requirements.

Solution

For the new "A-2000 4G CNC" horizontal lathe, a first model of which has now been delivered to a customer in the wind energy sector, the Tornos Gurutzpe S.A. opted for two double-run guidelok energy chains from igus. The two opposing energy chains have an unsupported connection to the carriage over a length of 13.5m.  The new energy chain solution from igus was specifically developed for long travels up to 50 m unsupported in the swarf area. The guidelok system guides the upper run of the energy chain on pivoting roller holders that fold inwards inside the moving radius of the chain and thus ensure free travel at all times. Guided in a light trough channel, the energy chain initially travels past the roller holders. These then fold in and then after the radius, back out again. Then the upper run is supported again on the roller holders. Due to this novel design, no swarf can settle between the gliding surfaces of the upper and lower run of the energy chain.


"The energy chain is robust and torsionally stable, and functions reliably. "
 
Joaquín Orbegozo, Head of Electrical Engineering at Gurutzpe

energy chain This energy chain keeps swarf out. The unique design means that no swarf can settle between the gliding surfaces of the upper and lower run of the energy chain.
energy chain

Modern and resistant plastic instead of heavy steel

Joaquín Orbegozo, head of electrical engineering at Gurutzpe, is convinced of the advantages of the horizontal "guidelok" guidance system from igus®. "The energy chain is robust and torsionally stable, and functions reliably." The machine manufacturer points this out to its customers as well. "Sometimes people say, I would like to have this or that machine - but with an energy chain made of metal please." Then Joaquín Orbegozo presents the lighter but highly stable plastic energy chain, jumping up and down on it, demonstrating that it can carry the weight of a grown man easily. If a customer is worried that the hot swarf produced during metalworking could eat through the plastic, they can reach for the soldering iron and apply it to the energy chain. "When the customers see that this has no effect on the energy chain either, they can have full confidence," says the electrical engineer.
"Plastic energy chains have many advantages over metallic versions," explains Matthias Meier, CEO of igus S.L. "Steel is expensive, heavy and also begins to rust eventually. " The plastic energy chains can also be assembled faster and easier, says Meier, whereby the customer saves time and money.