One and one make one

Success of single-cable solution for servomotors and encoders confirmed in field use

Thanks to the new feedback systems, servo motors and encoders will require only one cable instead of two for the transmission of power and position information.


New feedback systems with a digital interface, Such as Sick’s Hiperface DSL, are conquering the world of drive technology. Until now servo motors and eccoders were connected with two cables – one cable for transferring power and one for transmission of position information. The new digital feedback systems will enable single-cable solutions to eliminate the need for a second cable in future. HELUKABEL is now offering its new single-cable technology for such applications.

HELUKABEL is expanding its standard servo cable range by introducing the new "TOPSERV HYBRID" servo cable family. The “TOPSERV HYBRID” family features polyurethane (PUR)-jacketed cables for dynamic drag chain applications and polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-jacketed cables for applications requiring drag chains with limited movement. The related advantages of single-cable technology, which make this solution so successful include space savings and weight reduction, plus streamlined connection technology.

"Staying ahead through repeated testing is the name of the game in this new application area," says Thomas Pikkemaat, Product Manager Drive Technology at HELUKABEL GmbH in Windsbach. "Because the digital pair is integrated in the servo cable for data transmission, the durability of the data shield is of utmost importance. Initial test results of new cables were not absolutely conclusive because the quality of the shield decreases during its use in a drag chain."

As early as the end of 2012, HELUKABEL began subjecting its hybrid cables to more than 5 million cycles of highly-dynamic drag chain testing, which they passed successfully, at its in-house testing centre located in its Windsbach production plant. "While we did watch for traditional cable issues, such as corkscrewing or typical wire breakage, our main focus was on the quality and durability of the copper shield which protects the data pair from power core faults," Pikkemaat explains.

Since their launch hybrid cables have reliably proved themselves in the field. In addition to the positive test results, daily operational data further confirms the durability of the cables.