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Thread: Cable Carrier Selection for SMAW on Track

  1. #1

    Cable Carrier Selection for SMAW on Track

    Hey everyone,

    I'm working on getting some type of cable conveyence method in place along a 75 ft. track. The idea is that a SMAW manipulator runs along the track to weld barrels that are on a set of rollers. However, it is obviously not safe to have the power cable for the welder simply dragging on the ground as the cart moves back and forth along the track.

    So, I am looking at getting some type of cable carrier or other protection, however the cost is an issue for management. Basically, my question is, how would you go about doing this? Just a cable carrier/energy chain laying on the floor? Running the cable through a pulley attached to the back of the manipulator?

    The sole cable to be conveyed has a 1.1" OD, which I have read safe minimum bend radius is 8 times the OD, (I've also heard 6-10 multiples), but the cable carriers I have looked into seem to vary quite a bit in style and application.

    Any insight is greatly appreciated!
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  2. #2
    Technical Fellow jboggs's Avatar
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    You should consult some of the major cable-carrier manufacturers, like Gortite, Kabelschlepp, or others, just to see what they have that might work. There are many options out there. You might also consider an overhead system like a festoon. We have several of those in our plant. No matter what you do you will have to make absolutely sure that all personnel are fully protected from any accidental contact. So, the cost of the cable-carrier itself is only a part of the total cost of the project. As far as management's concerns about cost, you should always go with the most cost-effective method but never compromise safety for cost. Never. You will not outlive the results of someone getting injured by a system you designed, even if it was mostly their fault. There are some really creative idiots out there.

  3. #3
    Thanks J,

    I totally agree and appreciate the manufacturers you listed, I will put out some feelers. A festoon system is where I was headed in my mind versus a cable carrier on the ground, but I'll try to look into all possibilities. Despite knowing better I sometimes need to be reminded that safety is always paramount whether management likes how much it will cost or not.

    It just occurred to me, is there any way a reel could work?

  4. #4
    Technical Fellow jboggs's Avatar
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    I thought of a reel too, but assumed the voltage and current would be a killer on that. But I'm not an electrical guy. I would call some reel manufacturers and find out. You would still have to protect the extended cable from damage or dangerous contact.

  5. #5
    Agreed, waiting to hear back on the feasibility of a reel, although the heat issue makes me think it's impossible. Now after having gone around a few times with different ideas I am back at a simple cable carrier being the solution with the current constraints, hopefully I'll hear back from DynaTect soon.

    I may have to put this one with all the others in the disproportionately large list of "Did a lot of research, learned a good deal, still ended up going with the original obvious idea." Ah well, always good to learn new things!

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