Safe Up-and-Down Movements at all Conditions

Storage and retrieval units have to function permanently under all-weather circumstances. SSI Schaefer, the general contractor for intralogistics solutions, has been choosing harnessed energy supply systems from igus with plug-in connectors from Harting

  • Safe Up-and-Down Movements at all Conditions
    Safe Up-and-Down Movements at all Conditions
  • Safe Up-and-Down Movements at all Conditions
    Safe Up-and-Down Movements at all Conditions

SSI Schaefer Automation is the point of contact for intralogistics processes and projects for all industries. The company implements the entire plant design and provides complete packages of turnkey logistics properties. The offer also includes standardised logistics software. Both modules ensure flexibility and efficiency in all areas. There is only one contact person for all questions concerning construction, installation and operation.

In order to further minimise friction losses, the specialist relies largely on standardised assembly groups with the aim of obtaining subsystems from a single source, if possible. And igus enters the scene here. With the introduction of the Exyz (RBG) storage and retrieval unit in 2012, the world's leading logistics company relies on harnessed energy supply systems for up and down movements. The advantages are obvious: the ready-to-connect readychain energy chain systems optimise the procurement process, streamline internal logistics and reduce assembly times.

The system solution consists of an E2/000 series energy chain that is openable along the inner radius, including strain relief, dependable chainflex control and data cables as well as bus and motor cables. If the SRU is used in the deep freeze area down to -30°C or in the fresh range up to +5°C, the system is also equipped with corrosion-free Harting connectors for easy handling.

Cost and energy efficiency

The Exyz is the ideal solution for fully automatic storage of pallets. It can be used under tropical conditions as well as in deep-freeze warehouses and is suitable for use in standard storerooms, channel storages, flow racks and order picking warehouses up to a height of 45m. The name Exyz is self-explanatory. 'E' stands for efficiency, energy consumption and performance, and on all three axes X, Y and Z on which the RBG operates: longitudinal travel, lifting as well as storage and retrieval movements. It can be used as a one or two-master with one or two load suspension devices for single, double or multiple depth storage and retrieval, including an orbiter design.

The configuration is based on the modular principle. The components are manufactured in batches, pre-assembled in factory, tested, shipped, and then put into operation worldwide within a very short time. 

SRU as an eye of the needle

"We have been relying on igus energy supply systems for many years," says Sebastian Leimeister, Team Manager for storage machinery. Before the introduction of Exyz, the company did the harnessing themselves. "Since 2012, for economic reasons we have been using only harnessed systems, which only have to be installed at the respective construction site."

If the SRU comes to a standstill, the complete storage is usually also stationary. So it depends on maximum operational safety and reliability of the components used. The requirement profile for the energy chain and the cables is always the same. They must endure heat and cold as well as travel and lifting speeds of up to 240 or 90m/min. These are highly automated systems that run in a clean environment where conditions are usually constant.

Both companies developed the perfect solution together as partners. Long travels, high speeds and fast accelerations can cause the energy chain to vibrate and swerve towards steel construction. To exclude a break of the chain, or in the worst case of the cable, an igus development, the guidelok system, has been installed. It always keeps the chain safely on track. It is a guide trough for vertical applications, which is used especially in storage and retrieval units. Locking lever and guide rails prevent the energy chain from swaying or swinging outwards. The guide rail is simply clipped on, making assembly fast, safe and easy.

Other design advantages are the significant cost and weight savings in contrast to a complete enclosure and the resulting lower transport costs. In case of service, the system is easily accessible. Energy, data and other media are transmitted securely and without interruption. 

SRU for the deep-freeze sector

Storage and retrieval units must operate reliably in the deep freeze at temperatures of -30°C and more. It is essential that all components, from steel structure up to the energy chain and their cables, are designed and approved accordingly. On the other hand, the issues of failure and repair must not be completely ignored. They take place under difficult conditions. For this reason, igus has put a great deal of emphasis on the plug-in connectors, which reliably ensure power and signal transmission even at high temperatures.

In cold weather, only corrosion-free Harting plug-in connectors of the Han-Modular series are used. It has been designed to combine different transmission media in one plug-in connector. Extensive accessories meet the different customer requirements.

The collaboration between the two companies igus and Harting is being continuously expanded. Developments that further simplify the connection technology are being planned. At the 2018 Hannover Messe, a modular, intuitively operable, freely expandable multi-plug system was presented on a standard plate, which enables even more variability in connection.

By: Christian Stremlau, head of the readychain and readycable business unit at igus GmbH

Graduated in political sciences and international relations in Paris, Anis joined the team in early 2019. Editor for IEN Europe and the new digital magazine AI IEN, he is a new tech enthusiast. Also passionate about sports, music, cultures and languages. 

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