The increase in resolution and sampling rates for modern digital visual-display systems has been accompanied by an increase in transmitted data. Such large quantities of data are typically handled by fast bus systems such as FireWire (1394a and 1394b), USB (2.0), Gigabit Ethernet, or CameraLink. All these bus systems need special cables; offered in the consumer sector by numerous manufacturers at knocked-down prices. Many of these usually pre-assembled cables are developed and manufactured only for static application or minor mechanical stressing.
Costly production losses would be inescapable if such cables were used in industrial applications and exposed to chemicals, electro-magnetic interference and mechanical loads, for example. These are not only "genuine" downtimes - such as cable breakage or conductor short circuits - but errors that can be noticed gradually by observing changes in the capacitive features. The use of sub-standard materials and a deficient mechanical structure in fiber optic cables can lead to reduced data rates and increased dampening.
Genuine troubleshooting for bus cables is time consuming and possible only with very expensive equipment. Depending on the position of the damage, the errors may also occur only sporadically during operation and can not be found once the cable stops moving.
After experiencing success in thousands of applications with classic field bus systems - e.g. Profibus, Interbus, DeviceNet, etc. – igus® listened to customer demand for comparable high-speed bus system cables and developed its own series for the following cable types:
The main focus for these developments was on mechanically-stable cable designs in order to bestow capacitive, inductive and optical features over a high number of cycles.
In industrial environments, it is not only a cable’s electrical and mechanical features that are important, but also its resistance to a wide range of media, such as oils, coolants or similar. The seasoned outer jacket material, TPE, has already proved its durability in many thousands of applications with other igus® cables.
All cables are subject to many tests in the igus® laboratory, as no conclusive test procedure currently exists.
In this test, several industrial cameras traversed on a fast linear motor at a speed of 6.6 ft/s (2 m/s), an acceleration of 16.4 ft/s2 (5 m/s2) and a travel of 23.6 inches (600 mm), while the bus cables moved continuously inside a cable carrier.
Stranded strain relief elements2
Gel-filled, armored fiber sheath3
Gusset-filling, pressure-extruded PUR jacket
Cross section "Chainflex®" fiber optic cable from igus®.
Tested in an igus® Energy Chain® cable carrier (series B10.015.125) to over 6 million movements with a FireWire 1394a camera.
Tested in an igus® Energy Chain® cable carrier (series B10.015.100) to over 3.5 million movements with a USB 2.0 camera.
Tested in an igus® Energy Chain® cable carrier (series B10.015.075) to over 3 million movements with a FireWire 1394b camera with optical output.
Despite long cable lengths - especially with the USB and FireWire cables - no adverse effects on picture quality could be determined even with this cycle rate. This practice-oriented test proves the industrial capability of these high-speed bus cables.
This test is not complete and is continuing.
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