(A Comparative Analysis) Why Use E-Chains Instead of Motor Cable Drums?

by Harsh Verma play the game

When it comes to guiding power cables, data cables, and/or hoses, design engineers often face the question of which energy supply system will be most efficient, reliable, secure, and easy to maintain.


Though e-chain suppliers claim that e-chain systems are far better than their counterparts, it is necessary to know why one energy supply system is superior to another.


So, today, we will discuss and compare the e-chain system and motor cable drum.


Motor Cable Drum

A motor cable drum looks like a garden hose reel. When a gantry crane moves back and forth on its all supports, the cable is deposited on a prepared surface on the ground and rolled back on the drum mounted on one of the crane’s supports. To retract the cable, several variants are variable.


E-Chains (or Energy Chains)

E-chains are designed to guide cables on cranes, handle portals, or stackers/reclaimers. They act as a mobile protective enclosure which is made of parallel side links joined with crossbars along the carrier’s top and bottom. When the system moves, the chain folds, and the upper run glides on the lower run. There is no motor because the chain is attached to the crane’s boom and moves along with the crane’s movement.



E-Chain vs. Motor Cable Drum



·         Weight: E-chains have weight benefits over long distances as they become compact when the upper and lower runs reach a certain height. As such, they lead to energy savings, and no additional load is required on the crane.

·         Installation Space: E-chains require guide troughs and therefore, they take up space on the travel path.

·         Assembly: E-chains are relatively easy and fast to assemble, especially when the system is ordered with cables and plug-in connectors as they are ready to connect. However, the assembly should be carried out by professionals only.

·         Cable Protection: E-chains beat cable drums when it comes to cable protection. E-chains guide cables and hoses safely through the interior separation and relieve strain at the fixed and moving ends. This means cables are subjected to neither tensile forces nor high mechanical loads and hence, remain protected from wear along the entire length for a long time.  

·         Maintenance: E-chains are designed from materials that are resistant to corrosion, chemicals, saltwater, and other harsh conditions. As such, in many applications, they can operate for around 10 years without any maintenance.

·         Speed: E-chains can operate at high speeds (almost five times the speed of the drum system).


Motor Cable Drum:

·         Weight: A motor cable drum is relatively heavy which makes the system heavier and less efficient.

·         Installation Space: Since a motor cable drum doesn’t have guide troughs, it saves a lot of space on the travel path. However, in some applications, a drum may have a diameter of 6m or more. If this much space is not available, the cable drum cannot be installed.

·         Assembly: It has a simple design and functionality, which makes its assembly too easy and simple.

·         Cable Protection: In the case of a cable drum, cables are constantly subjected to tensile force during rolling and unrolling movements. As a result, cables have to bear a greater load, which eventually reduces their life.

·         Maintenance: Though manufacturers have controlled corrosion problems greatly, corrosion can still appear in extreme environments. In such cases, operators are required to intensively maintain this system and may even need to replace it more frequently. This further leads to long and expensive downtime.

·         Speed: A motor cable drum system operates at a low speed.


After this comparative analysis, you can easily gather that why e-chain suppliers recommend installing e-chain systems rather than motor cable drums.




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About Harsh Verma Innovator   play the game

14 connections, 0 recommendations, 68 honor points.
Joined APSense since, June 19th, 2019, From new delhi, India.

Created on Apr 1st 2021 06:32. Viewed 395 times.


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