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From drawers in camper vans to pull-outs in server racks in data centers: industrial energy chains are simply oversized for hundreds of thousands of cycles for cable routing in applications where movement only occurs occasionally. Users would be paying for features that they do not need. "We have therefore developed the draw-e-chain, a new compact low-cost energy chain for cable routing in drawers and pull-outs of all kinds," explains Jörg Ottersbach, Head of the e-chains business unit at igus, the Cologne-based specialist for high-performance polymers for motion. The new energy chain has a bending radius of 45 millimetres, the outer width is also 45 millimetres, but the outer height is only 22 millimetres. "This makes it 13 percent flatter than our flattest standard e-chain B17.1.048.0 to date," says Ottersbach.

Minimalist design makes draw-e-chain particularly affordable

According to igus, the draw-e-chain is not only more compact than standard models, but also cheaper. The reason: there are no mechanically complex components. The injection-molded e-chain does not require any chain links to fold. Instead, the segments are flexible enough to allow the required bending. Thanks to this lack of chain links, the draw-e-chain consists of just six segments per meter, which can be connected with minimal effort and therefore cost-effectively thanks to a simple connector system. "Thanks to this minimalist design, the draw-e-chain costs 30 percent less than our cheapest standard e-chain," says Ottersbach.

Assembly completed in just a few minutes

The draw-e-chain is designed so that users can assemble it by hand in the shortest possible time. The low-cost energy chain is designed for installation rotated by 90 degrees, for example on the inside side wall of a drawer. Connection elements are not required. The segments of the cable guide have holes for screwing on. "Inserting cables is also done quickly," says Ottersbach. Unlike standard e-chains, there are no bars that users have to open first. "You can simply push the cables through the bendable tabs of the energy chain from above. This is done in just a few seconds," says Ottersbach.