igus’ intelligent plain bearings preventing machine failure

Treotham introduces a new smart plastics polymer
bearing developed by igus to indicate its degree of wear, thereby preventing
machine and equipment failure.

Plain bearings often have to withstand considerable
adverse influences such as abrasive dust, high speeds or chemicals. To enable
indication of the degree of wear of such plain bearings in good time, igus has
now developed the world’s first intelligent bearing with iglidur
high-performance plastics. By warning of imminent failure in a timely manner,
these bearings allow machine and equipment operators to plan maintenance,
repairs and part replacement in advance.

If a building machine fails, packaging equipment comes
to a standstill or a wind turbine no longer turns due to a bearing failure, it
causes a lot of trouble for the operators of such machines and equipment. igus
has, therefore, added the world’s first intelligent plain bearing to its range
of smart plastics products. It detects wear in extremely stressful applications
in advance and sends a signal to the user in good time if the bearing threatens
to fail. Maintenance work can, therefore, be planned and operators of
agricultural machines, for example, are not surprised during the harvest
season.

“We have primarily developed smart iglidur for
difficult-to-access bearing points and for applications where no regular
maintenance intervals have been planned,” explains Stefan
Loockmann-Rittich, Head of the Business Unit – iglidur Plain Bearings at igus
GmbH.

Smart
plain bearings individually designed

The body of the new smart iglidur plain bearing
consists of two components: the inner lubrication-free iglidur material and an
outer hard polymer shell that protects the bearing.

“The customer can choose the material that is
most suitable for their application. The complete range of iglidur materials is
available to them,” says Loockmann-Rittich.

In order to measure the amount of wear, an intelligent
sensor is used between the two components. The measured data of the sensor can
be integrated by the machine and equipment operators in their systems in
different ways. For example, it is possible to inform the operator about the
plain bearing’s wear by means of a warning light, where an automatic cut-off is
also a possibility for integrated use of the sensor data. For high-end
applications, the data can be sent directly to a control system, which, after
their analysis, passes the data on to a customised web interface via the icom
communication module for the purpose of maintenance and repair. This enables the
user to plan maintenance and replacement by means of a terminal device of their
choice.

For more information, please visit the Treotham
Automation website www.treotham.com.au
or call 1300 65 75 64.

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