Winners announced in 2014 vector competition

The awards for the most interesting applications of igus Energy Chains were presented at the Hannover Messe trade fair.

May 1, 2014 - Exciting, unusual, and exemplary - every two years, igus recognizes special applications of energy chain systems with their vector award. This year, the winning applications are from around the world, and show the immense diversity of applications possible with energy chains. The gold, silver, and bronze winners were selected from the 195 submissions received from 28 countries around the world.

The variety of applications in mechanical and plant engineering that were submitted for the 4th vector awards ranged from delicate, low-profile chain in a CNC hybrid machine, a large, heavy-duty chain with over 1,600 feet of travel in a coking plant. The jury, consisting of representatives with backgrounds in a variety of industries and businesses, had the difficult task of selecting just 3 winners from the large number of entries. Applicants from Canada to South Korea displayed the versatile potential of plastic energy chains, and winners walked away with the vector trophy, along with cash prizes ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 Euros.

An amazing storage and retrieval unit receives the gold

The gilded winner of the 2014 vector awards is the University of Duisbug-Essen. A high-bay warehouse system was developed to work fast, and in a space-saving manner. A transport platform with a gripper moves from one point of the shelf to another via eight wire ropes, clamped in a parallel motion. To prevent the cables from interfering with the system's rapid movements, they are wound and un-wound on an igus e-spool , keeping space clear and safe.

Silver goes to high speed automation

FronTone of Austria is the silver winner, with ther lighting fast application. One to two high-speed cameras with acceleration of up to 2460 m/s2 reached speeds of 69 ft/s on a carbon carrier system. The cameras are used to capture crash tests of vehicles and vehicle components, and the carrier allows the motor, feedback, and camera cables to be carried smoothly.

Bronze award for metalworking

The bronze vector was awarded to The Otto Bihler Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. They were awarded for their servo-controlled punching and bending machine. Here, a number of different igus energy chains with reverse-bending radius are used to protect the cables routed to the individual units from dirt and damage caused by punching slugs.

Honorable mention for a spectacular stage show

A special mention was granted by the jury to the submission from Belgian Wicreations. The company's spotlight installation was used during the South American tour of the Mexian singer Alejandro Fernandez. These so-called "Venetian Blinds" consist of five individual boxes, each with three moving spotlights. The individual boxes are able to be adjusted separately, are interconnected by zig-zag chains from igus to supply energy and data to the spotlights.

For more information about the vector awards competition, including past winners and a variety of application submissions, visit the vector website at

About igus®
igus® develops industry-leading Energy Chain® cable carriers, Chainflex® continuous-flex cables, DryLin® linear bearings and linear guides, iglide® plastic bushings, and igubal® spherical bearings. These seemingly unrelated products are linked together through a belief in making functionally advanced, yet affordable plastic components and assemblies. With plastic bearing experience since 1964, cable carrier experience since 1971 and continuous-flex cable since 1989, igus provides the right solution from over 80,000 products available from stock. No minimum order required. For more information, contact igus at 1-800-521-2747 or visit

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