Engineers at a modern incinerator and crane system, known as “MVA Weisweiler,” in Eschweiler, Germany, needed to find a replacement for their festoon system that had been installed in 1996. Energy Chain cable carriers from igus were selected in the hopes of reducing required maintenance, while providing protection for the cables against the severe conditions the cable systems faced.
Where cable carriers house, protect and guide cables and hoses, festoon systems keep cables dangling from static points. This allows dirt and dust to become caught in the system and leaves the cables susceptible to damage and tangling when used in outdoor or harsh environmental conditions.
The incineration plant is made up of three incineration lines fed from a central bunker, and incinerates 396,832 tons of waste per year. To load the ovens, two cranes operate on a 230 ft runway, each with a span of 82 ft.
The MVA Weisweiler uses igus Rol E-Chain cable carriers designed with hinged lids that snap open, as well as built-in wheels to facilitate travel over long distances. The wheels are integrated into the cable carrier’s side links to reduce friction, thereby reducing the drive power required to move the cable system by more than 25%. The wheels are able to compensate for slight inaccuracies in the MVA Weisweiler runway. Stainless steel rollers are used, as they are completely corrosion-resistant and able to withstand the harsh working environment. Additionally, interior separators are used to prevent the cables and hoses from twisting, corkscrewing or chafing.
When the plastic cable carriers were originally considered as a replacement for the festoon system, the engineering team at the MVA was skeptical about the plastic construction and its ability to stand up to the demanding working conditions. The cranes work around the clock without breaks and with very high dynamics. The plastic would need to cope with changing humidity in the bunker and a high dirt load.
Despite the challenges, the cable carrier system was installed along the entire length of the runway. Then, during two days of commissioning, each line, along with the control equipment, was tested according to the requirements of the VDE, the German Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies.
The system has been in operation for more than a year without any issues. In addition to energy and conventional power signals, the cable carrier system also houses and protects vital Profibus signal cables and Ethernet data cables.
Filed Under: Cables + cable management, MOTION CONTROL