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igus: How to guide and protect cables and hoses in land rigs

11 September 2017

Energy supply systems on land rigs are subjected to dynamic loads, such as vibration, as well as environmental influences – all of which are major challenges for conventional service loops and steel energy chain systems, especially for top drive systems. Under these extreme conditions, heavy duty polymer e-chains from igus guide and protect cables and hoses offer many benefits.

As well as being corrosion resistant, igus e-chains are much lighter than their steel counterparts and thesefore less susceptible to damage from dynamic loads. In addition, the structured interior separation offers clear advantages in terms of longer service life and freedom from maintenance, compared to a conventional service loop system. The locking separators, specifically designed for this application, ensure that the crossbars are held securely and lower the risk danger from falling objects.

Pre-assembled e-chain systems, or readychain systems, can be configured, ordered and delivered on-site ready-to-connect, saving significant amounts of installation and commissioning time. As the installed chainflex cables are designed specifically for use in energy chains, a guaranteed service life of up to 10 million double strokes is available.

In this video (, we see how the igus e-chain can be stored in the lower mast section of a land rig for transport and guide and protect the cables and hoses during rig up and rig down. For the rig up process, the auxiliary e-chain is lifted to the top position and locked, ready for the top drive to operate; the process is reversed for rig-down. The flexible e-chain system allows for many configurations, each designed to save space and reduce footprint.

The igus engineering team gives support, including consulting, planning, installation, inspection and spare parts, in the connection of the e-chain systems to the top drive and designs turnkey solutions for a safe and reliable system.

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