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Higher service lives

Pre-assembled e-chain systems® increase machine availability in CNC automatic lathes

Multi-spindle lathes are used for the mass production of swivels that are used for diverse applications in a wide variety of industries. It is a high art to harmonize its process operations with one another. The preassembled energy supply systems play an important role in this environment. They ensure that availabilities are clearly increased at several places in demanding ambient conditions.

CNC automatic lathes

View of the workroom: The energy and media supply system of the CNC multi-spindle lathes – without stable e-chain® – looked like this before.

“triflex® R” - Energy supply system

View of the open inner space of the multi-spindle lathe. The preassembled "triflex® R" energy supply system from igus® provides for a multi-dimensionally moving, secure guidance of the cables.


"Our multi-spindlers mostly works in three shifts," reports graduate engineer (FH) Erich Schmid, installation manager of the multi-spindlers at the Deizisau factory of INDEX-Werke GmbH & Co. KG. "With around 350 employees on site, we meet the challenge of offering economic manufacturing solutions to our customers on a daily basis. Of course, the demands on our suppliers are equally high. They should move with us technically at eye level. I don't benefit much from a catalog."

The lathe specialists have been collaborating with the energy and data supply experts from igus® for many years. The preassembled e-chains®, the so-called "readychain®" systems, are particularly used in six-spindle CNC lathes of the "MultiLine" Series. In the multi-spindler's inner space, the multi-dimensionally moving e-chain® "triflex® R" in enclosed design provides for a safe guidance of the cables. An exceptionally rugged energy supply system of the "E4" 3838 Series proves its strength in the power supply system of the spindle motors in the drum.

"readychain®": ready to install on the machine

Preassembled energy supply systems help to lower storage costs and to cut down the throughput times. Thus companies can flexibly respond to order fluctuations and distinctly minimize the purchasing expenditure further. "The project planning was a bit elaborate at the start," remembers the installation manager. "But it is worth the effort. After completion of the project planning work, the application is worth it. The already high availability of our machines could be still improved through this. And this is very important for our customer base, who are mostly from the turning parts sector. “

igus® energy chain® from the “E4” system

igus® e-chain® of the "E4" system for the power supply of the spindle motors in the drum


The INDEX Group together with its subsidiary TRAUB Drehmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG from the neighboring Reichenbach/Fils is counted among the leading manufacturers of CNC machining centers in the world.
With six production sites and six international sales and service companies as well as around 80 representations, the corporate group from Esslingen has established worldwide.
The product range covers production lathes, lathe and milling centers, turning centers and grinding centers, vertical lathes and CNC multi-spindle lathes.
TRAUB concentrates on the development and manufacture of universal turning centers as well as automatic lathe with fixed and sliding headstock and also lathe and milling centers. The entire group has a comprehensive product range in the turning sector and is the leader today in turning technology.

Complete machining for swivels of any kind

The principal customers of the lathes are mainly from the automotive and automobile supplier industries, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and electronic industry as well as manufacturers in the fluid technology sector and fittings engineering. Medical and aerospace technology sectors are growth markets. We have a very broad range for the complete machining of swivels – both for the series production and for the single-part production," clarifies Erich Schmid. "We are absolutely proud of our high vertical range of manufacture. We make important core components on our machines. Only thus can we guarantee innovative machine technology to our customers, which secure their competitive position. “

Multi-spindle lathes is primarily meant for the mass production of swivels. Steel, brass or preformed blanks like cast parts, forgings, extruded press parts and drawn components can be processed. Whether bone screws for the medical technology or gear wheels for the automotive industry: the highest quality work pieces can be produced with the multi-spindle lathes. They combine the advantages of the CNC technology with the advantages of the cam-controlled lathes. Due to the very short setup times, the machines can be used for the series production of a wide range of precision parts and also for small series. In all cases they convince through their high economy for the user.

“triflex® R” - Energy supply system

The omnipresent coolants give the "triflex® R" energy supply system no problems at all.

Rugged e-chains® with special cables

The ambient conditions during the turning operation pose high demands on the individual machine components.
The wear-resistant igus® energy supply system with its cables provide power to all moving consumer loads like spindles, spindle carriers and carriages. Flying chips, high temperatures and the omnipresent coolant pose very high demands on the energy supply system of the counter spindle in the workroom. Additional improvement and safety was attained by the use of the multi-dimensionally moving "triflex® R" energy supply system, in which all cables are routed with defined stop dog.

"Everything is state-of-the-art mechanical engineering," says the installation manager Schmid, "and the visual impression also matches. The inner space of the lathe looks tidy. " Surely, there are not only technical and optical advantages. The preassembly too proves worthwhile for the machine tool builder. "We saved money by dropping the hydraulic distributor. We've designed the energy supply system somewhat larger and integrated all essential components. “

Functions reliably in very narrow spaces

Besides the three-dimensional energy supply system "triflex® R", the preassembled "E4" e-chain system® is used in the two large lathes "MS52C", a front-open multi-spindler and "MS52G", a multi-spindler with counter spindle carrier for back-side machining. The power supply of the spindle motors in the drum is implemented through the e-chain®. "They are double cables with large dimensions," explains Erich Schmid. The individual cable diameter amounts to 18 mm – and the double cables should be safely accommodated in minimum space.

"The improvement potential could be shown here too", reminisces Erich Schmid. The e-chain® with the cables is moved up in the operation and wound up like a spiral. "Here we could offer an ideal solution with our "chainflex®" cables intended specially for the use in e-chains®," explains Holger Notheis, igus® GmbH's technical sales consultant. "Their rugged outer jacket fulfills all mechanical requirements. “

Flexibility and quick retrofit

"Our multi-spindlers are designed for flexibility and quick retrofit. The high availabilities are essential to us. Here the energy supply systems and their cables play an essential role. If they fail, the entire plant stops," summarizes Erich Schmid. "Together with igus®, we have come up with a solution that exactly matches our requirements on site. In doing so, preassembly worked out for us from day one. “

More on applied products here
Further interesting applications from extremely diverse areas can be found here.