TechTalk Design Advice: 7-cable-management-mistakes-to-avoid

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Seven common cable management mistakes and how you can avoid making them.

Seven common cable management mistakes and how you can avoid making them.

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  • 1. TECHTALK DESIGNADVICE SERIES YOUR CONTACT7 CABLE MANAGEMENT MISTAKES TOAVOIDYour automation must run non-stop, without problems, worldwide To prevent unnecessary downtime, your cable Don Nester management system must be Product manager, Chainflex® correctly specified, designed, continuous-flex cables and installed. DNester@igus.com Simple considerations in the beginning can prevent big problems - such as loss of >> Subscribe to e-newslettercontinuity, insulation damage, mechanical deformation, or EMI >> Contacts in your locationproblems - later on. (on-site within 24-48 hours)Nowadays, cable carriers can withstand longer travels, faster speeds, >> Request catalogs / freeand heavier loads than ever before. Such advances in automation samplestechnology mean that rules of thumb, such as only filling up to 80% of a >> myiguscable carrier’s cross section, have become outdated. >> myCatalogFor this reason, we’ve put together seven common cablemanagement mistakes and also detailed how you can avoid makingthem.1. Lack of interior separation igus Inc. PO Box 14349Interior separators and shelves are crucial for keeping similar cablesand hoses compartmentalized. When no separation is used, cables East Providence, RI 02914can cross over one another and become entangled. P. 1-800-527-2747The clearance height of a compartment with several cables and hoses F. (401) 438-7270next to one another shouldn’t amount to more than one-and-a-half sales@igus.comtimes the largest cable or hose diameter. www.igus.com
  • 2. Cables with very different diameters should be laid in separate compartments. Cables and hoses with incompatible outer jacket materials should also be separated. (See point number 6 below for more on this.) The maximum cable or hose diameter corresponds to the inner height of the selected cable carrier, with additional minimum clearance. We recommend leaving a 10% clearance around round electrical cables and a 20% clearance around hydraulic hoses. The faster and more frequently the cable carrieroperates, the more important the exact positioning of the cables and hoses inside. For high-speed applications over 1.64 feet per second, or high-cycle applications over 10,000 per year, cables orhoses must not be laid on top of one another without horizontal separation.2. Unevenly distributed weightCables and hoses need to be laid inside a cable carrier so that they can move freely from side toside, without exerting tensile force along the radius.Unevenly distributed cable weight can result in a cable carrier that is too heavy on one side. This candisrupt movement and cause the cable carrier to tilt, potentially interfering with the work area.3. Cable carrier overfilledIt’s easy to think, “I’ve got the space, why not fill it?”However, overfilling a cable carrier can obstruct freecable movement. Cables that do not have room to movewill interfere with the movement of the cable carrier.In addition, if cables become caught on one another andbind together, cable jacket wear can be significantlyincreased.There is also more chance of Electromagnetic Interference(EMI) when power cables and data cables are positionedclose together. igus Inc. | 1-800-521-2747 | sales@igus.com | www.igus.com
  • 3. As a rule, we recommend you space power and data cables as far apart as possible. This is bestpractice for EMI prevention. 4. Lack of proper strain relief Without strain relief, you can’t control the length of the cable inside the carrier. As the cable carrier moves back and forth, the cable will pull into the carrier and bunch up, causing premature system failure. Points outside the carrier, such as the connectors or end termination points, will also absorb all the mechanical force. Typically, round electrical cables should be secured withstrain relief at both ends. In exceptional cases, the cables may be fixed with strain relief at the movingend only.A gap of 10-30 times the cable diameter between the end of the bend radius and the fixed point isrecommended.5. Not installing cables along the neutral axisCorrectly strain relieved cables will position in theneutral axis of a cable carrier.Cables should not be pulled tight against the inner radiusor pushed up against the outer radius.Strain relief should be performed and then checked in both the extended and home position.6. Dissimilar jacket types placed next to one anotherIf cable or hose outer jackets have different coefficients of friction (COF) and they rub againstone another, the harder, more resilient material will wear down the softer material.While PUR and TPE outer jackets have similar wear characteristics, and so laying them inside thesame compartment is generally not a problem, mixing PVC and PUR jackets is not recommended. igus Inc. | 1-800-521-2747 | sales@igus.com | www.igus.com
  • 4. If jacket materials need to be mixed in the same carrier, then ensure the jacket material is rated forcable carrier use. Rubber or thermoset jacket materials tend to have tackier surfaces and will bindinside cable carriers. For this reason, we dont recommend them as an outer-jacket material.7. Cable carrier length improperly calculatedIf the length of the cable carrier is miscalculated, thenthe full range of movement may be compromised.Pulled or stretched cables can result in conductorbreakage.Here are some equations you should use to properlycalculate the length of an igus® Energy Chain® cablecarrier (see right).If the fixed end is located in the center of travel, thecable carriers length, "LK", is calculated by using halfthe length of travel and adding the value "K" for thebend radius. Placing the fixed end in the center of travel is the most cost-effective solution, because itrequires the shortest cable carrier, cable and hose length.Due to the wide variety of different applications out there, we highly recommend you takeadvantage of our free consultation services. Simply provide us with a list of your cablerequirements and you’ll receive our recommendations by the end of the next business day.Contact us Chainflex® cables product overview Choose the best cable for your application. Chainflex® cables product overview 7 basic rules for a good cable 7 basic rules for a good cable 7 basic rules for a good cable igus Inc. | 1-800-521-2747 | sales@igus.com | www.igus.com