Ingenuity is afoot in several new award-winning designs, including a loading and unloading press, a pump on a rotating bridge, and an edge-banding machine. These designs are the winners of this year’s vector awards, held annually by igus inc., East Providence, R.I. — selected from 162 entries (using igus products) across 27 countries including the U.S., Canada, China, India, Korea, Singapore, Brazil, and several European nations. Winners were announced during the Hanover Industrial Fair.

The judging panel included expert scientists and engineers from ZVEI (the German Central Association of Electrical Engineering and Electronics), WZL (Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering), the Institute of Technology at RWTH Aachen University, and the Ministry of Transportation (TÜV Rheinland).

Gold: KUKA Cobra

The gold vector award and 5,000 Euros went to KUKA Systems for its KUKA Cobra machine, which loads and unloads presses at lightning speed with a robot and a linear axis. The new concept makes it possible to increase press output capacities and reduce the distance between presses.

The machine uses E6 Energy Chain cable carriers with compact connectors to minimize vibration.

Silver: The Amoras project

The silver vector award and 2,500 Euros went to Joury van Gijseghem from DEME (Dredging, Environmental and Marine Engineering) for his Amoras project at a sludge treatment plant. The facility handles nearly 50,000 tons of sludge per year, which is dredged up for shipping routes in a harbor in Antwerp, Belgium. A key component is an arch-shaped, rotating bridge that spans 492 feet.

High-performance, mobile pumps fastened to the bridge force the sludge from a sedimentation basin through enormous hoses — with up to 12 in. diameters — for additional treatment.

Extra-large plastic E4-350 cable carriers guide the hoses over the entire bridge length. A steel cable carrier was not an option, as it would add too much weight to the already heavy bridge structure. Carrier crossbars with integrated rollers reduce abrasion.

Bronze: Edge-banding machine

The bronze vector award and 1,000 Euros went to Fabio Ferri from SCM in Italy, which creates, produces, and distributes technologically advanced solutions to work with myriad materials. The winning edge-banding machine handles wood, PVC, polypropylene, and aluminum by using a number of different movements to follow the contour of the given material — and rotating up to 1,440° on its own axis in both directions.

The company uses Twisterband rotary cable carriers to guide cables
and hoses on this machine — replacing a heavy, expensive, and inflexible electro-pneumatic distributor. The lightweight and economical carriers enable up to 3,000° in rotary movement.

For more information, contact igus at (800) 521-2747 or visit vector-award.com.