Multi-dimensional energy supply system for a flame cutting machine

The energy chain guides the drive, control, and data cables to the extremely mobile units

Every flame cutting machine from the system manufacturer SATO Schneidsysteme is tailor-made and thus perfectly designed for the individual requirements of the respective customer. The constantly changing challenges bring with them the highest demands on diversity and quality of the plants. This also has an impact on individual components such as the various energy supply systems, which are responsible for a smooth cutting process even under the most adverse environmental conditions. Moving 3D energy chains from igus provide for endlessly pivoting axes of the plasma bevel units in all directions.


  • What was needed: Energy chains of the series E4.42, series 3400 and triflex R, chainflex cables, linear guides of the drylin W series
  • Requirements: Use of the energy supply system under harsh operating conditions such as heat, flying sparks and extreme dirt accumulation, use in compact design, cable supply of extremely mobile units required
  • Industry: Machine tool manufacturing
  • Success for the customer: Matching energy supply systems optimally serve the various requirements within the plant: E4.42 series for high speeds and accelerations, triflex R series for extreme mobility in all directions; close cooperation in advance for a highly individual customer solution
Other products for machine tools
3D bevel unit 3D bevel unit on a Satronik_HDS-8000. The flame-cutting machine goes to a company that manufactures customised crane systems.


The company SATO Schneidsysteme Anton Hubert e. K. in Mönchengladbach has been a successful manufacturer of CNC-controlled cutting machines in gantry and cantilever design for 25 years. The "Satronik" series covers oxy-fuel, plasma, laser and the water-jet range.
The company's flame cutting machines cut sheets from a few millimetres up to two metres. In order to ensure that they function perfectly in the long term in the tough everyday operating conditions, which are characterised by heat, flying sparks and extreme dirt accumulation, the individual components must be extremely robust and, like the system itself, state of the art.
This also applies to the innovative 3D plasma bevel unit, which has proven itself many times over in customer applications for about two years. With this system component, SATO Cutting Systems sets new standards in dynamics, precision and energy efficiency.
The programmable 3D plasma bevel cutting unit is used for machining in the weld seam preparation of structural and stainless steels. "We designed it to be exceptionally compact," explains director Reiner Schiffer. "As a unique selling point, the new design ensures an extremely small footprint on the machine as well as high dynamics in the actual cutting process. " 
The economic efficiency of the system is demonstrated, for example, in the area of multiple panel machining, which can be cut in one go without a break. Another advantage is the minimised waste. The low weight of the unit makes it possible to use it with compact machine types. The 3D plasma bevel cutting units with height sensing, which can be pivoted endlessly without rotation limitation, are in daily use as single- and multi-torch variations and cut bevel and trim sections up to 45°. With a stroke speed of 6,000 or 12,000 mm/min, it can be used for all plasma systems for bevel cutting.


The energy supply of a cutting system with two 3D plasma bevel units is ensured by energy supply systems from igus. On the x-axis with a travel of the entire burner system of 42 m, the E4.42 series, which is openable from both sides, proves its efficiency. It is suitable for high speeds and accelerations as well as long travels and high additional loads. The main feed for the complete flame-cutting system runs through it.
Installed in three separate guides, three energy supply systems of the 3400 series are used for the transverse movements on the bridge to supply a 3D bevel unit. This means that six energy supply systems in a total of six guide troughs provide the supply lines to the two burners. They are easy to assemble and have a long service life.
The two bevel units each have an energy supply system in a bracket version. It guides the complete system overhead to the burner in each case and ensures that all up and down movements are carried out safely over the long term.
On the very compact 3D plasma bevel units, the heart of the machine, the triflex R product range, which is now available in its third generation, proves its worth in all directions. It has been specially developed for demanding 6-axis robot applications.  The unit moves in several axes. The triflex R 3D energy supply systems, TRC series in enclosed design, and TRE in easy design for simple pressing in of the cables have proven themselves for guiding a wide variety of cables. While all drive, control and data cables, including the cooling, are safely guided in the TRC version, all special cables, which are responsible for the initial ignition of the combustion engine or for emergency monitoring, for example, run through the TRE version. In addition, there are also the signal cables, which can be pressed into the chains quickly and easily from the outside using the "Easy" principle.

"We have been working with the energy chain supplier for many years. We have had the best experience with the energy chains. The machine operating times match; complaints are a thing of the past!"
Wolfgang Saehsen, Vice President of SATO Schneidsysteme Anton Hubert e. K. on the collaboration with igus.
Plasma bevel unit 3D plasma bevel unit on a flame cutting machine.
energy chain The energy chain TRE in "Easy Design" is exceptionally easy to fill from the outside.

Focus on good cooperation

The length and the assignment of the individual energy supply lines change time and again. "That's because we don't build standard machines. During assembly we often have to lengthen or shorten the chains. If we optionally add laser pointers at a later date, for example, they must be connected with a separate cable. If the appropriate chains are already occupied, we simply open them and insert the additional cable. Subsequent changes do not cause us any problems at all," clarifies the director Reiner Schiffer. "In the run-up to the design of the machines, it is therefore important to work closely together. We don't need off-the-shelf energy supply systems, but special chain widths and chain lengths that meet our high requirements and prove themselves in tough everyday operation. "
Technical Sales Consultant Ansgar Endries from igus adds: "We not only offer a wide range of products, but can also provide many special solutions from stock. And should there ever be any problems, we carry out appropriate tests under real conditions in our own test laboratory. That's currently around 10,000 tests of all kinds per year." In addition to the energy supply systems, various plastic bearings and drylin W linear technology are also used in the flame-cutting machines. Tests are currently being carried out on the linear guides in particular, which are adapted to the special dirt accumulation during flame cutting in order to further reduce machine downtimes.
"We have been working with the energy chain supplier for many years," concludes Wolfgang Saehsen, Vice President at SATO Schneidmaschinen. "The advice is right, it's the only way we can ensure the required quality, after all, our burner machines are put to the test in day-to-day operations. " The mechanical engineering company primarily manufactures in Germany. "We also make sure that our suppliers come from German-speaking countries. With the complexity of our machines, we need contact persons on site who are quickly available in person when required. And we have had the best experience with the energy chains. The machine operating times are right; complaints are a thing of the past!"
drylin W
Bracket energy supply system Robust bracket energy supply system guides over the bevel unit and ensures safe motion sequences.
Energy chains The colour-matched energy supply systems with their different cable packages are laid in three separate guide troughs.