Everything in perfect order: e-spool flex mini guides cables safely and saves space

February 28, 2022
The e-spool flex mini is the miniature version of a cable drum without a slip ring and can be used in a wide variety of environments, for example in the office. (Source: igus GmbH)

Compact energy supply system from igus transmits power, data and media without interruption and without a slip ring

It is 169 millimetres high, 163 millimetres long, 78 millimetres deep and weighs only 200 grams. This makes the e-spool flex mini one of the smallest and lightest cable and hose reels in the world. It carries energy, data and media in a wide variety of environments without interruption - in factories or offices as well as in laboratories or dental practices.

Patients in dental chairs know the sight: drills and suction cups are stored in a holder next to the chair. Your cables have no guide, so they hang loosely. And not only there, also in offices or factories, where there are many wired devices in use and there is often a real tangle of cables. "We have therefore developed e-spool flex mini, a cable and hose drum without a slip ring, which is only 169 millimetres high, 163 millimetres long and 78 millimetres deep and weighs just 200 grams," says Jörg Ottersbach, Head of the e-chains Business Unit at igus. "The guide is extremely compact and easy to integrate into the respective operating environment."

Suitable for a wide range of cables and hoses

A special design feature of the e-spool flex mini is a screw guide into which the user inserts a part of the cable. The guide can then be inserted into the winding housing in a few simple steps and the remaining cable length wound onto the drum - the cable connector hangs out of the side of the housing. "Thanks to this combination, the cable can wind and unwind without the connector starting to rotate," explains Ottersbach. "Since bypass is no longer necessary, users can use the e-spool flex mini for a variety of cables and hoses for the uninterrupted transmission of energy, media and data." The use in co-working spaces is also feasible: here, the e-spool flex mini can guide HDMI and Internet cables for laptops at workstations with different users. In laboratories, for example, cables and hoses can easily be stowed under the ceiling. And even at home in the hobby room or as a charging station for your own e-bike, the energy supply system keeps things tidy.

The intuitively operable e-spool flex mini

"We made a point of designing the cable drum so that it offers maximum flexibility and is easy and reliable to operate on a day-to-day basis - even for larger actions such as replacing cables," explains Ottersbach. The user opens the housing of the drum, inserts a cable or hose with a diameter of between five and seven millimetres, closes the housing again and screws it into place. Now he can extend the cable up to three metres in day-to-day life. Every 15 millimetres a latching mechanism is activated, which relieves the cable of tension and keeps the length constant. The cable winds up again via a spring mechanism - similar to a vacuum cleaner.


igus GmbH develops and produces motion plastics. These lubrication-free, high-performance polymers improve technology and reduce costs wherever things move. In energy supplies, highly flexible cables, plain and linear bearings as well as lead screw technology made of tribo-polymers, igus is the worldwide market leader. The family-run company based in Cologne, Germany, is represented in 35 countries and employs 4,150 people across the globe. In 2020, igus generated a turnover of €727 million. Research in the industry's largest test laboratories constantly yields innovations and more security for users. 234,000 articles are available from stock and the service life can be calculated online. In recent years, the company has expanded by creating internal startups, e.g. for ball bearings, robot drives, 3D printing, the RBTX platform for Lean Robotics and intelligent "smart plastics" for Industry 4.0. Among the most important environmental investments are the "chainge" programme – recycling of used e-chains - and the participation in an enterprise that produces oil from plastic waste (Plastic2Oil).

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