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igus® México S. de R.L. de C.V.

Boulevard Aeropuerto 160

Col. Corredor Industrial Toluca-Lerma

Toluca, C.P 52004

+52 728 2843185
+52 728 2843185

High speed, long travels: safe cable guidance for 12 STS cranes

e-chain® for the crane track

igus® equips 12 ship-to-shore cranes in Asia with e-chain®

With the operating experience of an application with a travel distance of over 441 m in Malaysia, igus® begins a new project in Asia, in which twelve STS cranes were equipped with energy chains of the Series 5050R 17.300.0. All energy chains systems installed in a channel in the floor were equipped with stainless steel guide troughs. The travel distances of these cranes come up to 500 m.


  • What was needed: E4/4 Heavy Duty energy chain, chainflex cables, condition monitoring system
  • Requirements: A cable guidance system was needed that allows long travel distances and large cable weights and operates reliably over a long period. As the trolleys travel up to 240 metres per minute, the system also had to be designed for high travel speeds.
  • Industry: Cranes
  • Success for the customer: The energy chains are characterised by their high material strength and long service life and can also handle strong push/pull forces. Another advantage is the weight saving compared to a conventional system. Built-in sensors monitor the push and pull forces of the energy chain and allow preventive maintenance measures.

STS crane Energy chains installed in STS cranes in Antwerp


In the port of Antwerp, a new energy supply concept consisting of cables and cable guides had to be found for 12 new ship-to-shore cranes. A special challenge to the system was posed by the large-scale installations, which required 260 metres of cable to reliably supply the main trolleys with energy and data. This required robust cable guides that work reliably over the long term. Since the trolleys travel up to 240 metres per minute, the system also had to be designed for high travel speeds. And in order to avoid a further increase in the required drive energy for already heavy cables, the focus was on the implementation of a lightweight system.


Today, the STS cranes use 260-metre-long e-chains of the E4/4 HD system, in which there are various cables, e.g. fibre optic cables from the chainflex cable range.
The abbreviation "HD" (Heavy Duty) indicates the chain's   ability to operate without problems even with very heavy cable weights and long travels. The system achieves this through the very high material strength and service life of the chain elements, which can also cope with stronger push/pull forces. Another advantage is the weight saving compared to a conventional system, which saves on both the drive power for the trolley and the system weight for the crane girder.
There is also a roller energy chain on the crane for each centenary trolley. These two chains run in a trough system. The attachment point of the centenary trolley is on the boom on the water side, allowing the main trolley to still work with the boom raised. The centenary trolleys can also be moved when the boom is raised.
Most recently, due to the challenging environment, the so-called i.Sense condition monitoring system was installed to prevent damage and downtime. The system monitors the push and pull forces of the energy chain and improves operational reliability through preventive maintenance and fine-tuning of the system. In the event of a fault, an alarm message is generated immediately and sent by email or SMS, for example. An analysis of the error message can therefore be carried out at any location.

STS crane Energy chain with medium-voltage single cores and chainflex glass fibre cable

More on applied products here

Further interesting applications from extremely diverse areas can be found here.

The terms "igus", "Apiro", "CFRIP", "chainflex", "conprotect", "CTD", "drygear", "drylin", "dryspin", "dry-tech", "easy chain", "e-chain", "e-chain systems", "e-loop", "e-ketten", "e-kettensysteme", "e-spool", "e-skin", "flizz", "ibow", "igear", "iglidur", "igubal", "kineKIT", "manus", "motion plastics", "pikchain", "plastics for longer life", "print2mold", "readycable", "readychain", "ReBeL", "robolink", "speedigus", "tribofilament", "triflex", "xirodur" and "xiros" are legally protected trademarks of the igus® GmbH/Cologne in the Federal Republic of Germany, and, where applicable, in some foreign countries. igus® GmbH points out that it does not sell any products of the companies Allen Bradley, B&R, Baumüller, Beckhoff, Lahr, Control Techniques, Danaher Motion, ELAU, FAGOR, FANUC, Festo, Heidenhain, Jetter, Lenze, LinMot, LTi DRiVES, Mitsubishi, NUM, Parker, Bosh Rexroth, SEW, Siemens, Stöber and all other drive manufacturers mentioned on this website. The products offered by igus® are those of igus® GmbH.