New igus e-loop replaces service loops for safe cable management on drilling rig drives
Published: 3 January 2020 - Rachael Morling
igus has introduced the e-loop energy chain for safe cable management on top drives for deep drilling rigs. The new modular system, which is made of high-performance plastic, ensures a defined minimum bend radius of the cables and withstands adverse weather conditions, as well as vibration and shock. In addition to use on deep drilling rigs, the corrosion-resistant e-loop is suitable for a range of suspended applications in the offshore industry, as well as construction machinery, shore power and wind turbines.
“Up to now, manufacturers and operators have relied on service loops for the cable and hose feed on top drive systems,” says Justin Leonard, the-chain director, igus. “However, these often have problems: the cables have no guide, no defined bend radius, can move in the service loop and, in the worst case, break.”
In extreme wind conditions, the loosely hanging service loop can get caught in the mast or on the sensors and the lighting system and break off. If one of these cases occurs and a cable is damaged, the complete hose package may need replacing. The e-loop is a round three-dimensional modular system that can move cables with a defined bend radius and provides strain relief.
When developing the e-loop, the igus engineers focused on ease of installation. The modular energy chain can be opened from the outside and filled at any time. This allows individual cables to be installed or replaced quickly during maintenance. The links can also be changed at any time. Multiple-secured screw connections are used between the chain links to prevent components from falling, thus increasing operational safety.
The chain links feature an impact-resistant outer body attachment made of PU foam and a cable-friendly interior made of high-performance igumid material. Both materials are corrosion-free and resistant to chemicals. In addition, the e-loop is constructed around a high-tensile plastic rope which absorbs the tensile strain of the cables. The rope consists of a synthetic plastic fibre, which is unbreakable, weather-resistant, flexible and corrosion-free. The e-loop can carry weights of up to 220kN with the rope.