igus is expanding its line of pre-assembled cable carrier solutions with the first ever 3D-printed e-chain. The new readychain p-rack (printed rack) can be adapted to customer requirements with millimeter precision.
The readychain rack is a modular assembly and transport rack for harnessed energy supply systems, one that igus has been offering for over ten years. Now, igus has developed an even simpler and faster solution, with practically unlimited customization potential. The readychain p-rack can be adapted to customer requirements with millimeter precision.
Bringing ready-to-install energy chain systems to the machine quickly and safely
“More and more companies are looking for new ways of optimizing processes to increase efficiency and reduce costs,” said Christian Stremlau, Head of Business Unit readychain and readycable at igus. “We want to support our customers by offering them a quick solution for transporting and assembling our ready-to-install energy supply systems that are completely tailored to their needs. Therefore, we have now developed the first e-chain rack from additive manufacturing. It is a very simple, flexible addition for readychain customers, enabling them to benefit from the advantages of a customized solution even faster. All attachments are printed within 36 hours.”
Industrial customization with no minimum batch size
Additive manufacturing offers virtually unlimited possibilities in geometry. Thus, modules precisely tailored to the application can be produced to the millimeter.
“This gives customers complete freedom in p-rack design,” said Stremlau. “It can have an ergonomic design with rounded shapes – without interfering contours or sharp edges to present an injury hazard. Additional elements, such as holders for tools, small parts, or lettering can also be printed as required.”
Users save time and money in advance on such items as design and the trouble and effort involved in subsequent adjustments. This optimal installation solution has no minimum batch size to pay off.
“The great advantage for customers is that we provide everything from a single source – and quickly. Design and production are on-site at igus. We have our own design engineers and our own 3D printing department, which means more flexibility combined with short communication channels and throughput times,” said Stremlau.
Smooth-operating design reduces installation time by up to 66%
The readychain p-rack is not only manufactured much faster but is also much lighter than its metal predecessor. The weight reduction (up to 80%) conserves resources and makes handling much safer and easier. The smooth-operating design also reduces installation effort by up to 66 percent. Assembly and disassembly are carried out entirely without additional hand tools. The weight reduction and modular design also save volume and transport costs for the return.
Despite its lightweight construction, the 3D-printed frame is highly resilient. To ensure its strength, the p-rack, like all igus products, is extensively tested in the in-house laboratory. Another special feature of the p-rack is that all attachments can also be printed from corn starch. The material is very robust and absolutely rustproof. It can also be composted or entirely regranulated and reused.