Energy supply system for a cutting unit: reduce costs with a long service life

Messer Cutting Systems works with durable plastic energy chains for tight installation spaces

Just like igus, Messer Cutting Systems focuses on innovative technologies that satisfy the specific requirements of its customers. The machine components and systems which the company develops are used in a wide variety of industrial applications and are therefore chosen to achieve the maximum service life.


  • What was needed: e-chains series 3500, autoglide system
  • Requirements: Durability in any environment, safe guidance of cables and hoses in the smallest installation space
  • Economic efficiency
  • Industry: machine tools
  • Success for the customer: Customised design of the chain systems for compact solution, problem-free coping with aggressive environmental conditions, time and cost savings due to maintenance-free components
Discover all products for machine tools
Messer cutting unit Messer's current flagship project is the MultiTherm machine, which meets the highest quality standards and increases productivity. In addition to cutting metal sheets, the machine cuts unalloyed strip steels to the specifications of manufacturers in the construction sector.


With its 120-year history, Messer Cutting Systems is synonymous with excellence in cutting technology. With five production plants around the world, it manufactures thermal cutting machines that meet the highest standards in the sheet metal processing industry.
Currently, one of Messer's showcase projects is the MultiTherm plant, which, in addition to cutting sheet metal, offers the integration of an additional device to cut unalloyed strip steel according to individual specifications. Nine metal strips can be processed simultaneously and parts of metal structures can be made in different sizes, and all this can be fully-automated.  The machine also allows plasma cutting (straight or bevelled), oxy fuel cutting with various torches, marking workpieces, or a combination of all these processes, with longitudinal units arranged side by side to ensure high quality cuts.  The MultiTherm can hold 11 cutting suspensions / torches (10 installed in the front and one in the back). To accommodate the cables and hoses safely in a very limited space, special importance was placed on the energy supply system. The machines are designed to function without interruptions or failures, even in dirty and abrasive environments. To date, Messer machines have been in use for more than 15 years without any technical failures or cable/hose breakages. "We are prepared for the very worst environmental conditions," explains Maxwell Santos, CTO at Messer.


For this, Messer's technicians in Brazil worked closely with igus to develop a design in which the e-chains were nested inside each other. This reduced the installation space and ensured safe guidance of the cables and hoses. Here, the e-chains of the series 3500 with 150 mm and 250 mm bend radius were used. An autoglide system ensures that the chains slide straight over each other. Due to the special comb-like crossbars, the chain basically guides itself, which means there is no need for an additional guide trough. e-chain systems from igus are made of high-performance polymers and can easily withstand the aggressive ambient conditions. In addition, according to Maxwell Santos of Messer, one of the particular technical and economic advantages of igus products is the cost savings: "The energy chains basically cost half as much because they last twice as long," explains the technical director. In the long term, igus energy chains are the most economically efficient solution for Messer as they are maintenance-free and have a long service life, which lead to cost savings and significant productivity gains for its customers.  "We have never had any problems with igus as a supplier", adds Maxwell Santos. "They function without any failures and unplanned downtimes. Apart from the technical properties of the e-chains, the support service provided by igus and trust in the product information were decisive factors for Messer. This strengthened the partnership during development of the project over a period of years. This partnership extends worldwide as Messer uses igus energy chains in plants in Germany, the United States, India and China alongside Brazil. No better solution could be found at any of its five locations.

"We have never had any problems with igus as a supplier. They [the energy chains from igus] function without any failures or unscheduled downtimes. "
Maxwell Santos, Technical Director (CTO) at the Messer Cutting Systems
Messer cutting unit Assembly of a MultiTherm system at the Messer factory in Brazil. A total of eleven suspension mounts are used; igus e-chains were the best option for Messer in terms of safety when laying and operating the cables and hoses. To reduce installation space, the chains are nested inside each other.
Energy chain In Messer's MultiTherm cutting machines, igus 3500 series energy chains are used.