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igus® S.L.U.

Ctra. Llobatona, 6

Poligono Noi del Sucre

08840 Viladecans Barcelona

+34 93 647 39 50
+34 93 647 39 51

Impressive dynamics: Energy chains in rat trap production


  • What was needed: Energy chains with pre-assembled cables
  • Requirements: Compact design, shifting capability for maintenance, durability at high speed and acceleration
  • Products: e-chain® series 1500, 2500, 3500, E2.15, E2.38, B15, readycable® hybrid suitable for Beckhoff
  • Industry: Pest control element production
  • Success for the customer: Joint development for the most efficient design, optimisation for very easy maintenance, and minimal system space requirements.
About the application:
The application is a production line for mass-producing rat traps. Starting from raw materials such as pre-cut wooden blocks and wire spools, the plant boasts very high, consistent production capacity and can produce and assemble all elements of the trap in a working cycle of 1.5 seconds per part. It achieves speeds of 2,100mm/s and accelerations of 26,000mm/s².  
readychain® systems in a plant

The challenge

The manufacturing machine is set up in a plant in Pennsylvania, USA. When it was designed, one focus had to be space requirements. The limited space available necessitated the most compact implementation possible. Accessibility for maintenance work, which could not be restricted, was also important. So solutions were sought that allowed machinists to work as comfortably as possible, which entailed putting the various machine stations into the maintenance position. Another challenge was the high speed to which some energy chains were exposed, such as those in the gantry systems for example. These systems are responsible for providing wooden blocks and moving them during the work process.


To achieve the cycle time required by end customers, an "electronic cam gear system" was developed to connect the more than 80 servo motors. Each station in the system had to be moved to its maintenance position. This required a large number of servo cables and hoses for the pneumatic elements and for the automated lubrication system to be guided in an energy chain. The ability to move the stations in this way (in addition to the now convenient operation of the design) contributed to significant cost savings and a general efficiency increase. Another element that added value was the joint development of the production plant, which is now much more compact and requires very little space – which the customer wanted for his plant layout. The energy chains, designed specifically for the application, also achieved the linear speed and acceleration parameters.
Energy chain system in a plant
Energy chain system in a plant
Energy chain system in a plant


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