Cables damage from wrong drag chain selection

Cables are damaged, or broken, and even the drag chains are displaced from the system because of choosing the wrong drag chains.

In episode 5 of the topic "Drag chains - Solutions for future motion applications", Mr. Bilal Ismail - Area Sales Manager for Asia (minus China) of EKD Systems shared the reasons leading to cable damage in drag chains and essential notes for choosing the right drag chain for a specific application.

1. What are the consequences of choosing the wrong drag chain for the application?

If you do not focus on 6 crucial factors when choosing a drag chain as I previously shared, problems will arise immediately. At this time, the cable will easily break, and be seriously damaged. The strength of a drag chain is the strength of the small links inside the entire chain. Therefore, you need to calculate the weight of the cables that will be placed in the drag chain to ensure the Filling factor - One of the 6 factors when choosing a drag chain. When the drag chain system is pushed and pulled, the number of cables placed in the chain exceeds the allowable level, which will damage the cables.

Besides, for the production process to take place effectively, the machines must operate accurately with a high level of reliability. In this case, if the drag chains are not well selected, the cable will not be able to operate effectively and affect the production process. In even worse cases, the cables and pipes installed on the drag chain can become loose and thrown out of the drag chain, causing labor safety risks.

In addition, choosing the wrong drag chain for the installation environment is also a common problem. In high-temperature environments, if you use plastic drag chains, they will easily melt. Instead, steel drag chains will be a better choice. There are many other cases where the travel distance of the drag chain was not calculated in advance, not until the drag chain was put into operation did they realize there is not enough space for movement. At this point, you will have to spend more time and money to design and install from scratch.

2. How we can overcome the above consequences and minimize the damage?

Let’s get back to the 6 factors when designing a drag chain that I mentioned in the previous episode such as filling; bending radius; speed and acceleration; movement distance; form of movement and finally the installation environment factor. If you focus on these 6 factors from the beginning, the above problems will not occur. You can follow the detailed factors include:

• Filling

First, we need to know which cables will be installed into the chain. Besides, you need to determine some information such as cable type, number of cables, cable size, and type of cable's outer sheath.

• Bending radius:

What bending radius do you need? We need to know this parameter because, during the movement, the drag chains and the cables inside will also bend periodically. Therefore, only by having the bending radius of the drag chain and cables inside can we know the exact length of the drag chain required.

• Speed and Acceleration

You need to know how long it takes the chain to complete one movement and how much acceleration it will take. From there, engineers can calculate and design the corresponding drag chains to reduce damage when moving continuously with high frequency.

• Movement distance

The distance traveled by the drag chain also needs to be clarified before going into design. By knowing the length of distance, the chain needs to travel, we at EKD Systems can customize the chain line to be more suitable and faster.

• Form of movement

The form of motion also affects the selection of the appropriate type of drag chain. You should know if the application requires linear, oscillating, vertical, or circular motion. This is important information affecting the design and installation.

• Installation environment

The installation environment of the drag chain also affects the product lifespan and the choice of materials. Whether the operating environment of the drag chain is dusty, the temperature is too high or too low, the drag chain needs to be used outdoors or indoors, the drag chain is in direct contact with abrasive elements or not, etc. When you know such information, you can consider the appropriate product line.

If you need detailed advice on choosing drag chains or cables installed inside drag chains, please contact our engineers for quick support. Drag chains manufactured by EKD Systems will be based on 6 essential factors to ensure the product achieves the best quality and efficiency throughout operation without requiring maintenance.

For more information, please contact:


54, Street 1, Cityland, Ward 7, Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City 700000, Vietnam

Tel. +84 28 22536441 | |