Reduce Clutter and Safety Hazards with Hennig Cable Carriers
November 03, 2022
There’s no way around it. You can’t run a manufacturing facility without cables. There are tons of cables, hoses, hydraulic lines, and electrical lines within every machine, connecting each component to various power or signal source that make that machine work. At best, they are an eyesore, making the operation look like a bad day at the reptile house. They are definitely a safety hazard, snaring unsuspecting members of the workforce. One kink or short from a frayed line can damage the cable, the operator, and ultimately stop your machine. Fortunately, there is an easy way to corral all the “power snakes” slithering around your operation.
Cable Taming 101
Cable carriers, (AKA cable tracks, drag chains, energy chains, and cable conduits), are designed to surround and guide cables, hydraulic hoses and electrical lines connected to your machinery.
Hennig, a world leader in the field of chip management, machine protection, and facility safety, has a full line of cable carriers that can be used for a wide variety of applications. These include machine tools, robotics, material handling systems, textile industries, water treatment plants, and much more.
We asked Brock Shattuck, Business Development Manager, Flex Products and Cable Carriers, to give us an overview of the company’s cable carriers and explain how their products stand out from the competition.
Plastic Cable Carriers
“For most applications, cable carriers made of plastic are your first choice,” Brock said. “Chemical resistance, light weight, and low costs are the major advantages.” Hennig has two models of plastic cable carriers. Both are equipped with integrated mounting holes. No mounting brackets are required.
The KOLIBRI is a cost-effective cable carrier for light- to medium-level applications. Two-piece construction (a channel and a top) makes them extremely rigid and wear-resistant. Easy access is achieved using flap stays, while the patented opening offers high rigid torsion behavior and comfortable handling. They also offer unique separation with dividers that are easy to install. “These cable carriers offer smooth motion upon delivery,” Brock said. “No break in time is needed.”
- Bending radii: 15 - 400 mm
- Inner height: 7 - 50 mm
- Inner width: 7 - 195 mm
- Travel Length: up to 100 m
If you have larger applications that require a more robust cable carrier, you might want to step up to the PKK. While made of the same material as the KOLIBRI, the PKK is built in four pieces: right, left, upper, and lower. The four-piece construction makes it a sturdy platform for larger applications. It also lends itself to modular construction with more features and add-on options. For example, Teflon sliders are adapters placed on the track where it glides on itself. This cuts the friction coefficient dramatically in a long travel. Another option is Multi-band Extender Bars, which can allow for a wider track that enables you to fit in more cabling. “You can spec PKK cable carriers for a basic application and then build off them from there,” Brock said.
- Bending radii: 40 - 500 mm
- Inner height: 16 - 80 mm
- Inner width: 30 - 400 mm
- Travel Length: up to 100 m
Steel Cable Carriers
“80 percent of cabling can be done with plastic type cable carriers,” Brock said. “But when working with ambient temperatures higher than 100° (Fahrenheit), our steel tracks are a better option.” Steel cable carriers are also used under extreme payloads and high mechanical or other particular requirements. “Steel is more robust and has a bigger box strength, making longer, unsupported spans possible,” he said. “Specialty hoses may also require the use of steel construction.”
“Nobody does long travel like we do,” Brock said. “Our patented MARATHON SYSTEM for unlimited travel is also designed for high speeds and high accelerations.” MARATHON SYSTEM can be used with both steel and plastic cable carriers.
The Hennig Difference
To accomplish our lofty machine protection goals, we work hard to offer more than off-the-shelf solutions. “Hennig has a lot of capability that others don’t,” Brock said. "We sell a lot of standard tracks, but we’re also your turnkey partner for customized jobs.”
If you want to set up an unmanned shift, that equipment will need to be monitored virtually. You want the machine to shut down if a cable carrier track fails and starts to disengage. Other brands incorporate a load cell sensor where it monitors mechanical force. Some versions will require an additional discreet track. “We’ve come up with a unique 4.0 solution that’s cost effective and can be added to tracks already in the field,” Brock said. Details are available upon request.
“Our sales and service people are outstanding,” Brock said. “When it comes to determining safe length and bending radii, pretension, permissible sag, or any other cable carrier design element, our highly trained representatives can help identify all measurements and arrangements needed for smooth operation.”
Want to Learn More?
If you’re tired of coping with coils of uncooperative cable, click here to find a Hennig representative near you.