Wanted: Unique Projects with Energy Supply Systems

  • November 09, 2021
  • igus, Inc.
  • News
Wanted: Unique Projects with Energy Supply Systems
Wanted: Unique Projects with Energy Supply Systems

The vector award for the best e-chain applications is entering its eighth round–and applications will be accepted until Feb. 11, 2022.

They rotate by 7,000 degrees, travel at speeds of up to 10 meters per second and move three-dimensionally like snakes: e-chain cable carriers made of high-performance plastics. Every two years, a panel of expert judges presents the vector award and up to 5,000 euros of prize money to the most fascinating projects and their developers.

Classical mechanical engineering is no longer the only place e-chain cable carriers made of plastic are found. All over the world, they ensure that cables and hoses are guided safely–in space, at sea, and underground. In thousands of projects, energy supply systems and cables perform their tasks, overcoming great challenges–from strict particle-free requirements in cleanrooms, in the semiconductor industry to high chemical resistance in electroplating, to dirt resistance in mining to chips and sparks in woodworking.

Then there is compact installation space, high speeds and even acrobatic torsional movements. The vector award honors precisely these unique applications of energy supply solutions and e-chain systems with cables.

"The competition is a great opportunity for us as a manufacturer to use our products in the finished machines and systems and learn even more exciting stories about the applications," said Michael Blass, e-chain systems CEO at igus® GmbH and one of the judges. "Fittingly, we are celebrating the plastic energy chain's 50th anniversary with our customers."

Up to 5,000 euros of prize money

The vector award comes with prize money of up to 5,000 euros. Last year alone, there were 266 entries from 32 countries. The winners will be selected by a panel of expert judges from the fields of science, industry, and specialist media and associations and will receive their awards at the 2022 Hannover Trade Show.

Up until Feb. 11, 2022, developers can submit projects that they have already completed. In addition to the gold, silver and bronze vector awards, there is also a green vector award.

"Many industrial companies–like igus–are increasingly tackling the problem of sustainability. For example, customers can return their used e-chains to us. We sort the material by type and recycle it to produce granulate for new products. That's why it was important for us as the initiator of the vector award–together with the judges–to also honor sustainable projects with a special prize," said Michael Blass. The prize was spontaneously awarded to two projects at the last vector awards.

About igus

igus GmbH develops and produces motion plastics. These lubrication-free, high-performance polymers improve technology and reduce costs wherever things move. In energy supplies, highly flexible cables, plain and linear bearings as well as lead screw technology made of tribo-polymers, igus is the worldwide market leader. The family-run company based in Cologne, Germany, is represented in 35 countries and employs 4,150 people across the globe. In 2020, igus generated a turnover of €727 million. Research in the industry's largest test laboratories constantly yields innovations and more security for users. 234,000 articles are available from stock and the service life can be calculated online. In recent years, the company has expanded by creating internal startups, e.g. for ball bearings, robot drives, 3D printing, the RBTX platform for Lean Robotics and intelligent "smart plastics" for Industry 4.0. Among the most important environmental investments are the "chainge" programme–recycling of used e-chains - and the participation in an enterprise that produces oil from plastic waste. (Plastic2Oil).

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