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Choosing a Drag Chain and Cable Carriers

A cable carrier, also known as a drag chain, energy chain, or cable chain, is a piece of equipment designed to stabilize and guide manufacturing equipment such as hoses and electrical cables. Their primary purpose is to reduce the stress on the cables and hoses when in use. They are also used to prevent tangling of flexible equipment. They are also used to keep conveyor belt systems from dismantling.

How Do Drag Chain and Cable Carriers Work?

Apart from the reasons mentioned above, drag chains and cable carriers do more than just keep hoses and cables in check. They are far more advanced these days and are used to keep different types of machinery running smoothly by maintaining the operations of flexible materials such as electric wiring and hoses.

  • Cable carriers are built with doors or openings that can be used for maintenance or repairs.
  • They have internal separators that help prevent tangling of wirings and hoses.
  • They can be bent in any direction; however, they are made of rigid materials, which means that most brands can only be bent once in one direction.
  • The ends of the drag chains are mounted to machines using mounting brackets to prevent displacement while the machine is in use. These are welded shut or screwed tightly.
  • Other drag chains are designed for length to accommodate long travels in wiring and hosing.
  • Some drag chains have multi-axis models that are used for systems that need to cross wirings and hoses.

What Drag Chain and Cable Carriers Are Available?

Each machine requires a different size and type of cable drag chain. They also differ in performance and application. Here are some examples:

  • Black plastic drag chain cable carrier for router mills
  • Machifit plastic cable drag chain for CNC machine tools
  • Kabelschlepp OKSO chain cable holder
  • Igus cable track carrier
  • Tsubaki cable chain carrier for industrial materials management

How Should You Maintain Your Drag Chain and Cable Carrier?

Specialists are trained to keep drag chains and carrier cables in mint condition to prevent any industrial accidents. Most drag chains are made out of plastic, but some parts are made out of steel. This requires ample planning and preparation before going in to maintain the cable carrier.

  • First, ensure that the whole assembly line knows that there is ongoing maintenance.
  • Turn off any machines that are using the drag chain you will be maintaining.
  • Open up the cable carrier and check for any signs of damage.
  • Lubricate the chains with water or oil, depending on the manufacturer's advice.
  • Check the sprockets and see if they are still holding up. If not, you must replace them.