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Long travels with energy supply systems

Long travels of 1,000 metres and more

Since 1995, igus® has sold more than 30,000 gliding long travels that are successfully in operation around the world. The service life can be as long as 10 years or more. The length of travel can be 1000m and more. These move at speeds of up to 10m/s or more and can carry fill weights of 50kg or more. The igus® Project Engineering Team will assist you with the sizing, design, project management, installation and commissioning on site. In addition, the use of igus® isense sensors and monitoring modules (eg Push/Pull Detection System) can be used to measure the abrasion of energy chains, push/pull forces and accelerations as well as perform real-time monitoring. The energy chains, cables and the hoses can be guided smoothly and with low friction in long travels through guide troughs and enclosures. Long indoor and outdoor travels can be found in a wide range of industries, extending from machine tools, sewage plants and waste incinerators through to cranes, power stations and mines.

Request design assistance free of charge now

Overview of long travels  

Travels: 0 - 50 m

e.g. in machine tools, sewage plants and storage and retrieval unit

e-chain® E2.1
inner heights: 26 to 48mm
e-chain® E4.1
inner heights: 21 to 350mm

Travels: 50 - 150 m

e.g. in gantry trolleys and train wash installations

e-chain® P4.1:
inner heights: 56 to 80 mm
e-chain® E4/4R:
inner heights: 32 to 80 mm
e-chain® E4/4RHD:
inner height: 56 to 80 mm

Travels: 150 - 500 m

e.g. in waste incineration systems and ship unloaders

e-chain® P4.1:
inner heights: 56 to 80 mm
e-chain® E4/4R:
inner heights: 32 to 80 mm
e-chain® E4/4RHD:
inner height: 56 to 80 mm

Travels: 500m and more

e.g. in power plants and open-pit mining

e-chain® P4.1:
inner heights: 56 to 80 mm
e-chain® E4/4R:
inner heights: 32 to 80 mm
e-chain® E4/4RHD:
inner height: 56 to 80 mm


Tušimice: The longest plastic energy chain in the world with 615m travel in operation without failure since 2007 - supplied by igus®.

e-chains® provide great benefits for long travels

  • Long travels of 1,000 metres and more
  • All media, such as electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic energy as well as digital signals (electrical or optical), and liquid media can operate side by side in the same system
  • No unnecessary interfaces
  • Fill weights of up to 70kg/m
  • Service life of 10 years and more with energy chains and cables
  • Robust in all applications such as those involving exposure to wind, weather, dirt, chemicals and bulk materials
  • Quick installation and retrofitting of cables and hoses

Technical data - gliding applications

Travelsv max.a max.Fill weight
> 1,000 m10 m/s50 m/s270 kg/m
  Depending on the application, please check with igus®Depending on the application, please check with igus®


Download "Long travel" assembly manual

Things you should pay attention to when installing a gliding application.
In this assembly manual, we will show you how to correctly install a long-travel energy supply system yourself and optimise service life.
Download now!

Suitable products for long travels

Energy chains for long travels

e-chains® P4.1 series

e-chain® P4.1  

  • Long travels of up to 800m and more
  • High fill weight of up to 30kg/m
  • Speeds of up to 10m/s possible
  • Longer service life due to maintenance-free tribo-polymer plain bearings

e-chains® series 4040RHD/5050RHD

e-chains® series 4040RHD/5050RHD  

  • Travels of up to 1000 metres and longer 
  • Cable loads of up to 50kg/m
  • Speeds of up to 6m/s possible
  • Various roller types for optimum application adaption

e-chains® series 4040R/5050R

e-chains® series 4040R/5050R  

  • Travels of up to 600m
  • Fill weights of up to 13kg/m
  • Speeds of up to 3m/s possible
  • Very wide gliding surface, low wear

chainflex® cables for long travels

Motor cable CFCRANE

Motor cable CFCRANE  

  • For highest voltages and outputs
  • Flame-retardant
  • UV resistance: High
  • Oil resistance: Oil-resistant (based on DIN EN 60811-2-1) 

Motor cable CF300.UL.D

Motor cable CF300.UL.D  

  • For very heavy duty applications 
  • Gliding applications from 400 m and more
  • Indoor and outdoor applications, UV resistant
  • UV resistance: High 

CFLG.LB fibre optic cable

CFLG.LB fibre optic cable  

  • For heaviest duty applications with 5xd
  • Outer jacket: TPE
  • gliding application (horizontal) of 400m or more
  • UV resistance

Other systems for long travels

Steel guide trough

Steel guide trough  

  • Huge range available for almost all e-chains®
  • Very simple, modular assembly
  • Very strong and tough steel guide trough for applications in tough environments

Condition monitoring push/pull detection system

Condition monitoring push/pull detection system  

  • Safe shut-down or alarm signal in the event of a fault
  • The plant shuts down when the force is exceeded
  • Custom programmable and event logging in the data memory

Predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance (smart plastics)  

  • Reduce maintenance costs
  • Eliminate unplanned downtime
  • Extended service life
  • Save time - Faster detection of the reasons for anomalies

Harnessed energy chain systems

Harnessed energy chain systems  

  • 95% less harnessing time
  • Reduce assembly time
  • Plug & play solutions, e.g. for the bulk goods technology

Application examples of our customers

Lignite excavator

Travels of 615m and in operation without failure since 2008

Compared to previously installed festoon systems, the 5050RHD series e-chain systems® can now reduce the required cable lengths, save installation space and safely and reliably guide all media, such as water and energy. The 5050RHD series is used in the large lignite excavator in the Czech Republic.  

Conveyor system in a mine

Long travel of 550 m under extreme conditions

The 5050HD series e-chain system® and CF35 chainflex® motor cable were installed in a mine at the north coast of Lake Superior in Minnesota in October 2008. The travel is 550 m.

Conveyor systems

Energy supply under adverse environmental conditions since 2013

igus® energy supply systems (rol e-chain® type 5050RHD, chainflex® cables and push/pull detection system) are used in the conveyor systems.

Ship unloader

Travel of 441m and in operation without failure since 2001

Series 5050R energy chains, CFCrane chainflex® cables and fibre optic cables are used in ship unloaders at a modern coal-fired power plant in Malaysia. All energy chains are completely equipped with stainless steel guide troughs and withstand weather conditions.

"Rise of chain" and "Wind load" test

igus® performs application-specific tests in the in-house laboratory for a long-lasting energy supply.

The rise of chain in long travels

The rise of chain in long travels  

The rise of the 5050R series e-chain® was tested in a travel of 200 m and a load of 7.5 kg/m.
Result: The energy chain of the 5050R series only rises when the thrust exceeds
8,000 N.
igus® solution: Guide troughs with rise guard keep the energy supply system safely in the trough.

Wind load in long travels

Wind load in long travels  

Issue: Does the wind speed of 55 mph affect the functionality of the 4040CR series e-chain®? 
Result: At the wind speed of 55 mph, only the guide trough was bent elastically.
igus® solution: High-strength "HD bottom clamp" prevents elastic deformation of the guide trough under wind load

Further information

Engineering projects & custom solutions  
Engineering projects & custom solutions

From the first sketch to installation and on-site commissioning

Installation service  
Installation service

Installation of energy chains with all components, with guarantee

Bulk goods technology  
Bulk goods technology

igus® products are used in bulk goods technology