Igus recently announced the results of its third global vector award competition during this year's Hanover Industrial Fair. The winning applications, which included a loading/unloading press, a pump on a rotating bridge and an edge-banding machine, received awards at a special ceremony. Igus received 162 vector entries from 27 different countries. Contestants hailed from the United States, Canada and Europe, to China, India, Korea, Singapore, and Brazil. The judging panel included expert scientists and engineers from ZVEI (the German Central Association of Electrical Engineering and Electronics), WZL (Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering), the Institute of Technology at RWTH Aachen University, and the Ministry of Transportation (TÜV Rheinland).
Gold: Kuka Cobra
The gold vector award and $5,000 euros in prize money went to Kuka Systems for its Kuka Cobra machine, which loads and unloads presses at lightning speed. It is comprised of two basic elements: a robot and a linear axis. The new concept makes it possible to increase press output capacities and reduce the distance between presses. The machine uses the Igus' E6 Energy Chain cable carrier featuring special connectors that make the Kuka Cobra design extremely compact. The cable carrier also delivers quiet operation with little vibration. It is a perfect match for the dynamics of the Kuka Cobra, which must quickly and precisely pick up components to transport them between presses.
Silver: The Amoras project
The silver vector award and $2,500 euros in prize money went to Joury van Gijseghem from DEME (Dredging, Environmental and Marine Engineering) for his Amoras project. The plant concerned handles nearly 50,000 tons of sludge per year, which is dredged up for shipping routes in a harbor in Antwerp, Belgium. A key component is an arch-shaped, rotating bridge that spans 492 feet. High-performance, mobile pumps fastened to the bridge force the sludge from a sedimentation basin through enormous hoses - up to 12 inches in diameter - for additional treatment.
Igus' E4-350, considered one of the world's largest plastic cable carriers, is used to guide the hoses over the whole length of the bridge. A steel cable carrier was not an option since it would add too much weight to the already heavy structure of the bridge. A plastic cable carrier, which is extremely lightweight, was the ideal solution. The E4.350 system also features special crossbars with integrated rollers to reduce abrasion.
Bronze: Edge-banding machine
The bronze vector award and $1,000 euros in prize money went to Fabio Ferri from SCM in Italy, which creates, produces and distributes technologically advanced solutions to process a variety of materials. The company used Twisterband, a fairly new rotary cable carrier from igus, to guide cables and hoses on an edge-banding machine. The tool processes wood, PVC, polypropylene, and aluminum by using a number of different movements to follow the contour of the given material. It rotates up to 1,440 degrees on its own axis in both directions, which required a cable carrier that is lightweight and able to cope with the complex movements.