Continuous Motion Applications Need High-Performance Cable In robotic or automated manufacturing equipment because the repetitive motion of machinery destroys conventional cabling. Cable specifically designed for repetitive flexing is the answer. The most common connector for these applications is a 4-pole, European color-coded cable. Mencom offers this specialty flex cabling in the 4-pole Micro-DC (M12 A-Code) series and Ethernet (M12 D-Code) series. A standard cable normally manages 50,000 cycles; our line of flexible cable withstands an average of 2 million cycles.
- - Robotics
- - Material Handling
- - Assembly Machinery
- - Packaging machinery
- - Biotechnology
- - Semiconductor manufacturing
Ordinary cable cannot withstand the constant bending, rolling and twisting motion that is found in many of these applications.
About Continuous-Flex Cable Flex Testing
Testing is performed to determine how many times you can flex the cable before it is compromised. There are now two test protocols in use:
Mode A: the Tick-Tock Bending Test
The cable is flexed 180° over Nylon blocks that have a 3” radius. The conductors in the cable are daisy-chained together and the continuity of all conductors is monitored continually. A fault in any conductor will stop the tester. There is 1 lb. of weight hanging on the cable as it is flexed. The tester runs at a rate of just under 30 cycles per minute or a little over 40,000 cycles per day. (One cycle is a 90° bend in each direction)
Mode B: the Rolling/Torsion Flex Test
The cable is pulled approximately 18” over a 3” radius wheel and twisted 360°. All of the twisting takes place in the 18” between the grip and the wheel. There is a 9 lb. weight hanging on the cable as it is twisted. The amount of weight is determined by the size of the cable and inner conductors. The machine pulls it up and gravity pulls it back down. As above, the conductors are chained together and continuity is continually monitored. The speed is the same as above. (One cycle is one up and one down stroke resulting in two 360° twists.