Standard modular ‘zig-zag’ e-chain system

Jon Lawson

Standard ‘zig-zag’ energy chain modules are now available from motion plastics specialist, igus, offering a space-saving and cost-effective solution for applications requiring vertically suspended cable management.

Suitable for stage technology and hydraulic aerial work platforms, this innovative solution was previously available as a custom order, but new standardised, modular designs enable faster delivery and lower cost.

In modern stage technology, a variety of cables – including power,  audio and data – must be managed to move and operate lighting rigs or mobile stage elements, usually vertically.

To ensure reliable supply of data and energy, it is therefore also necessary to guide the required cabling vertically. This can often be challenging in theatre environments: solutions must be visually neat, tidy and unobtrusive, operating with little noise and often in restricted spaces.

Other applications requiring vertically suspended cable management include hydraulic lifting platforms, often used where temporary, flexible access is required, such as storage, maintenance or construction.

The ‘zig-zag’ module from igus provides a folding energy chain, with all the cables guided safely and neatly stowed away in a standardised box when the platform is in its lowered position.

When the platform is raised, the e-chain unfolds and follows the movement – up to 30 metres in height. The intelligent design of the zig-zag movement produces virtually silent vertical operation, unlike traditional rope retraction systems.

The system is also able to carry high loads. The galvanised steel box can be unobtrusively integrated into stage elements or fastened to movable lighting rigs, and is also available in other colours, including low-reflection black.

The ‘zig-zag’ design is possible with almost all E2 and E4 e-chains, but the E4 series offers advantages in installation and filling, since it can be opened on both sides.

Modules can be ordered from 75 to 500 millimetre chain outer widths, as well as 600 to 3000 mm box lengths, and up to 2000 mm maximum box height. Consequently, expensive custom designs are no longer necessary for most applications.

The standard box also provides an ideal means of transport for a pre-assembled energy chain. In this way, it can be delivered as a complete readychain system and quickly mounted as a complete ready-to-install plug & play system with e-chain, chainflex cables and connectors.

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