igus® showcases bearings and cable management systems at Automechanika Birmingham

Automechanika, one of the world’s leading exhibitions for the automotive supply chain and aftermarket, is coming to the UK for the very first time. During the show, which runs from 7th – 9th June at Birmingham’s NEC, igus® will be showcasing its innovative, tribopolymer bearing products and cable management systems on its stand (11E22).

“Dedicated to meeting the growing needs of manufacturers and engineers, we offer a huge range of cost-effective, lightweight and maintenance-free solutions for a variety of automotive applications,” says Matthew Aldridge, managing director, igus®.

With 40 standard iglidur® materials, ranging from iglidur® X for corrosive environments to iglidur® J260 for plastic shafts, igus® offers the world’s broadest range of friction-optimised polymer plain bearings. In addition to low weight, benefits include wear resistance, low noise, corrosion resistance and cost. Areas of application include windscreen wipers, convertible roof frames, door hinges, seats, chassis, the steering system, gearbox, and pedal box, or even within the engine compartment. Today, over 200 million iglidur® plastic bearings are installed in cars worldwide.

With increasing pressure on car manufacturers to save as much weight as possible in every component, every gram counts. iglidur® polymer bearings are up to seven times lighter than their metal counterparts, thus reducing the overall weight of the car and helping save fuel. Car seat applications are a good example where there has been a migration from metal on metal to metal on plastic to fully plastic. In addition to their low weight, the noise damping and quiet running properties of iglidur® bearings, which take a high static load, are beneficial to the driver’s comfort.

The requirements on cable management systems in vehicles are becoming ever more complex. Onboard, there is a growing number of moveable, electrically-controlled functions and settings on hinged and sliding doors, seats, speakers and windows, as well as security and locking systems. Conventional power systems, such as gliding contacts, are susceptible to intermittent contact with loss of signal and no permanent current feed. In addition, simple plastic tubes and rubber grommets offer no defined guidance or radial stability, and cable ties are only suited to static applications.

igus® E2 micro cable management solutions are suitable for universal applications with different types of motion and travel, and protect and guide power, data, and fibre optic cabling, as well as gas, air and liquid hose lines. These energy chains are already onboard in a range of car systems for applications with very high dynamic loads, tight working spaces and long service life requirements. Available as one and two-piece systems, from 5mm inner height and bending radii from 100mm, these lightweight energy chains feature a cable-friendly interior and offer high torsion resistance.

For simple motion applications or infrequently moving cables, the E1 system is a cost-effective solution for large volumes, yet offers the same protect and guide functionality as the E2 micro. The new “e-rib” simply clips onto existing corrugated hose for stabilisation, preventing unintentional sideways movements thus enable several hoses to be guided next to each other.

Throughout the show, members of the igus® team will be available on Stand 11E22 to take visitors through the benefits and potential applications of their bearing products and cable management systems, as well as provide insight into the full range of igus® products suitable for automotive applications. For more information, please visit: www.igus.co.uk/automotive-onboard

igus® showcases bearings and cable

iglidur® X – the high-tech problem solver

plain bearing material with universal resistance to chemicals

iglidur® X, from the tribopolymer and plain bearing specialist igus®, is defined by its combination of high temperature resistance with compressive strength, along with high resistance to chemicals. In comparison with other iglidur® materials, this material is designed for extreme environments. Typical areas of application include: plastics processing, petrochemical and petrol pumps, as well as heat treatment plants, aerospace engineering and nuclear engineering.

The material’s resistance to acids, alkalis, fuels and other chemicals, as well as resistance to radiation and UV light make it a high-tech problem solver in the industry. It offers excellent wear resistance through the entire range of continuous operating temperatures from –100°C to +250°C, even up to +315°C for short term periods.

Further material properties include high compressive strength, featuring pv values of maximum 1.32MPa·m/s, and low moisture absorption of approximately 0.1% by weight in ambient conditions. As a result, OEMs can benefit from an affordable and reliable bearing that operates safely over a long service life.

As with all plain bearing materials from igus®, iglidur® X bearings are self-lubricating and maintenance-free, making them an excellent ‘fit and forget’ solution. All standard plain bearing sizes are available with dispatch within 24 hours.Wissenschaftler im Labor hlt Reagenzglas

iglidur® F2 – antistatic material from igus® for ESD-compatible applications

Self-lubricating and maintenance free

igus® has introduced a universal plain bearing material that helps prevent the build-up of electrostatic charges. Being electrically conductive, any electrostatic charge is safely discharged avoiding sparking, and like all other iglidur® materials, the bearings are self-lubricating and require no maintenance.

The ESD-compatible iglidur® F2 plain bearings are suitable for use in wet conditions, in addition to numerous applications including material handling, automation and electronics manufacturing.

iglidur® F2 plain bearings demonstrate good wear and media resistance, and can operate over a wide range of temperatures from -40°C to +120°C, with short term use at +165°C. The maximum moisture absorption is a low 0.2% (weight) at 23°C and 50%RH. The bearings also have a good resistance to chemicals and most lubricants.

The universal bearings are currently available in two types, a cylindrical sleeve and with a flange, with six standard internal diameters and lengths ranging from 6mm to 20mm. Other standard sizes can be requested.

For further information about iglidur® F2 plain bearings, please visit: www.igus.co.uk or call igus® directly on 01604 677240.iglidur® F2 – antistatic material from igus® for ESD-compatible applications

Kinetic Barn uses igus parts within their ‘Time Machine’ application

Based in Cambridgeshire, qualified engineer and craftsman Alex Hamill combines the use of spring powered mechanisms and exotic timbers to create bespoke kinetic sculptures. Waste materials, such as timber from construction sites, are up-cycled producing the desired product for a range of clientele from the general public to corporate organisations.


Modelled on an early skeleton watch, the ‘Time Machine’ piece, as seen in the video above, comprises of 12 iglidur G flange and 2 xiros bearings in each of the drive wheels and rotating parts. Alex found that the low-friction, dry-running and high-reliability properties of igus bearings suited the application requirements a lot better than previous bearing solutions. The dry-running nature encouraged and re-enforced smooth operation contributing to a high-quality, creative, recognisable and unique product.


For more information on igus bearings, visit the igus website on:


If you wish to contact Alex Hamill:

Phone him on: 08450945893

Or email via: alex@kineticbarn.com

RoHS Update: igus highlights environmental benefits of their iglidur bearings

igus is helping machinery and equipment manufacturers, who are required to adhere to the RoHS Directive, achieve more reliable performance with lowered environmental impact by switching to iglidur plastic bearings. iglidur plastic bearings are well-suited to a wide range of applications including those found in the automotive, transportation, construction, industrial, medical and food & packaging industries.

Clean Window contract cleaning guild

“Up until 1 July 2008, bearing manufacturers were given an exceptional provision, which allowed them to continue putting lead-containing and therefore potentially hazardous bearings on the market,” explains Rob Dumayne, director, igus. “This exemption has long passed and, although most bearing manufacturers have invested heavily to ensure their products comply with the requirements specified in the RoHS Directive, some are still missing the target.”

Typical application examples include the use of lead in solder, or as an ingredient in metallic composite bearings, and the use of PBB as a flame retardant, these restricted substances also commonly occur in metallic alloys.

“Steel-backed bearings with a lining of PTFE based material are still available on the market,” adds Rob. “In some cases, this material can contain lead additives and for this reason the bearing would do not comply with the RoHS Directive. REACH compliance is also an important factor to consider as often bearings that contain a sintered material can be impregnated non-regulatory oils.”

Additionally in the Medical Technology industry from 22nd July, any products such as plain bearings face extinction if they have high concentrations of lead within them, this is further evidence for the use of igus dry-tech polymer bearing systems, ensuring legal, safe and future proofing functionality to the manufacturer.

All igus bearings are RoHS2 and REACH compliant. For more information or to receive the igus Certificate of Conformance to RoHS2, please contact igus directly on 01604 677240 or visit the website at: www.igus.co.uk/RoHS

igus bearings used in cutting-edge extreme sport

igus bearings used in cutting-edge extreme sport

A state-of-the-art sport has hit the scene, free-style kite land boarding, using wind to provide the motive power and lift using a power kite with mountain board (similar to a skate board). Competition within this field has developed leading onto the integration of tricks and risky manoeuvres. Technology of the kites and boards has therefore also progressed to complement these tough conditions, and with the pressures on safety and performance steadily increasing, riders are constantly looking to source strong, light weight components.

Yannick Schwicket (German Pro Team Rider) demonstrates how the boards are tested:

The Art Of Big Air – Big Day @ Schillig from Yannick Schwickert on Vimeo.

Custom Kite Boards have found that igus bearings are a great fit for the needs of this specialised market. Their bespoke boards use Prepreg carbon fibre in the construction of the deck. Paul Hartland, founder of CKB, explains how igus products have been used. ‘I am always searching for alternative innovative products to use in components. iglidur Z bearings, from igus, were used initially within an early prototype to give overall weight reduction and reduce wear in muddy and sandy conditions. The bearings withstood the use of various riders within the challenging environments.’

igus bearings used in cutting-edge extreme sport.2

Custom Kite Board are now testing igus spherical bearings which are set to replace the pivot cup in conventional skate board type truck axle plates. The pivot cup is traditionally a simple polyurethane structure, which due to continual friction between the pivot arm and cup, wears out swiftly. Frequent replacement is inevitable and necessary otherwise instability (speed wobble) occurs due to slack as well as eventual wear occurring on the pivot arm resulting in damage to the truck axle.

The dry-running, weather resistant, lubrication-free properties of the igus bearing is a perfect solution. Sliding surfaces are transferred to the spherical bearing without the need for lubrication. As a result, the overall life of the board is increased, maintenance and incurred costs are reduced and truck axle steering ability is improved. If required, the bearing can still be replaced with ease via 2 bolts and lock-nuts.

Fire and Ashes

When you travel thousands of kilometres, it is important that the seat is robust and comfortable. iglidur® bearings enable the driver to maintain a comfortable sitting position. Worldwide, manufacturers are using igus products to improve their seating in vehicles.

A seat manufacturer from Japan, who makes use of iglidur®

Seating manufacturers make use of iglidur® in several elements including seat height adjustments, backrest angle adjustments, crash-active headrest and adjustment motors.


iglidur® bearings are convincing with smooth motion. We make use of iglidur® for the seat in our car too. Our bearings help adjusting the seat without making any noise.

Although it can be said to be dependant on the weight of the person, the bearings must endure a high static load. With 100N/mm² iglidur® bearings could even carry the heaviest sumo wrestler. However, the quality of being able to carry a heavy weight does not compromise on the weight of the bearing itself; they remain light (about seven times lighter than conventional metal bearings). They are a cost-effective and reliable bearing solution for any kind of seat.

Japan comprises of four large islands, of which includes the mainland with Tokyo and Hiroshima. From Hiroshima we travelled right to the southern island Kyushu.

Kyushu is the third largest island, famous for its numerous hot springs. Pillars of white steam can be seen everywhere. Hot springs seem frequent, whilst we were in Taiwan, one of our bearings we immersed in boiling hot spring water for more than one hour, the result; the bearing was no different to before it went in! The clouds you can see in the background are not those of the usual kind, yet from hot springs in the mountains.

The unique geography of Japan (being situated at the edges of three tectonic plates), encourages the high percentage of springs. Here, the Pacific Plate, Philippine Plate and the Eurasian Plate are meeting, resulting in Japan not only a centre for hot springs, but also to one of tsunamis and active volcanoes. As our bearings can easily endure high heat (For instance: iglidur X is suitable for temperatures of +250 °C (long-time) and up to +315 °C (short-time), we took the car to Mount Aso; not only the largest active volcano in Japan, yet one of the contenders among the largest in the world. As the soil near a volcano is very fertile, the surrounding is very green.

Already from far away, while passing the lowland below the volcano, you can see the pillar of smoke.

The last eruption of Mount Aso was in 2011.

An eruption at our visit would have been surely more dangerous for us than our bearings. They are all dirt and heat resistant.

From Mount Aso, we travelled North again where we passed a chain of small islands near the mainland.

From there, we drove straight about 800 kilometres to the coastal city Nagoya.

In Japan, we have already coveredabout 3000 kilometres.

I will keep you up to date,

yours Sascha.

About customs and traditions

Most people associate Kyoto with the famous Kyoto protocol which sets obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emission. Fewer people actually know that Kyoto is the birthplace of Nintendo (initially, they only launched a card game and had nothing to do with game consoles) and probably even fewer know that Kyoto had been the capital city for more than thousand years.

Visit our website for more information about igus bearings here: http://bit.ly/1nBjNSC

Kyoto is the perfect place for gaining invaluable insights into Japanese traditions. These traditions and customs are partly still visible. For instance, you should abide to some customs when visiting customers. Usually, the colleague that has a higher rank is introducing the lower ranked. It can also be said to work on the opposite too where usually, you hand over your business card to the individual who is higher up within the organisation first. Also, as you may already know, to bow for salutation is still common in Japan and of which I have just learned that the bowing has three levels. The first level, bowing about ten percent, is common between friends and colleagues. The second level has a bowing of about 30 percent, which is more formal. You use it mainly when meeting older people and people that have a higher rank. The third level, a bow of about 45 percent, symbolizes deep respect or an apology. I always make a bow of 30-45% whilst greeting a customer (just to be on the safe side). They don’t mind if a foreigner doesn’t know about customs or forgets them, but I would like adapt to the culture I am living in right now. A customer of whom are a major manufacturer for textile machines, is a sure place in which I could practise my bowing.

They are manufacturing customized machines and are about to set up new ones abroad. Of course, these machines need to be maintained, which can turn out to be very expensive. Thus, they are looking for maintenance-free products that can help increase the life of their machines. iglidur® and drylin® can help them extend the lifetime of their machines due to all our products having self lubricating properties and are therefore maintenance free. With igus® they don’t need to send their employees to customers abroad so often due to technical problems which again, helps save money.
Many manufacturer of textile machines are relying on igus® products. Often, not only iglidiur® bearings are essential to help to improve the quality and lifetime, but also other products such as igubal®. igubal® self-aligning bearings include rod ends, ball and socket joints, clevis joints, pillow blocks, flange bearings, pressfit bearings, and spherical balls that are all highly vibration dampening. This circular knitting machine, of MAYER & CIE GmbH & Co, relies on igubal® spherical bearings. They prevent any failure through the sticking together of textile fibres by their maintenance-free feature and the omission of lubricants.

As Kyoto is the traditional centre, it is not surprising that the city offers many cultural sights.

Everywhere, at least nearby the centre, you can find stunning temples or shrines.

One of the most famous temples is Kyomizu-dera.

The temple is UNESCO world heritage site and unique in the way it was built. They didn’t use a single nail. The huge terrace of the temple offers impressive views of the city.

The terrace is associated with an old Japanese phrase which means translated “to jump off the stage at Kiyomizu”. You can compare it to the English phrase to “take the plunge”. If one were to survive a 13m jump from the stage, one’s wish would be granted. Two hundred thirty-four jumps were recorded and 85.4% survived it. Of course, nowadays it is forbidden to jump from the terrace

Nearby the temple, hidden in a small street, is a restaurant that absolutely doesn’t look like a restaurant. There is no sign advertising or welcoming guests. It is one of the very traditional restaurants that are only open to an exclusive circle of members. In order to become a member, you need at least two recommendations and an interview with the owner of the restaurants. The owner, an old lady at the age of 70-80, proves the candidates knowledge about traditions and his behaviour. She decides who is worth to have dinner in her restaurant. Due to some relations we had the chance to have dinner there. At the beginning she seemed to ignore my “misbehaviour” but later she was sitting next to me at the table and correcting me when I did something wrong. For instance, when I forgot to put the spoon out of the soup she was doing it for me, or when I used my mobile phone she asked a colleague to tell me that I should put it away.  During the dinner we had the opportunity to meet two Geishas.

Geishas are traditional female entertainers who act as hostesses and whose skills include performing various Japanese arts such as classical music, dance and games.

It is not that everyone can just call them but only a few people can do so. Also, you cannot just become a Geisha. You must attend a selective school for it. What looks strange for most people is the white skin.

The use of white make up comes from an age where people knew only candles as the only source of light. At candle light the white face appears rose and natural.
Japan is a very modern country indeed, but at the same time you can find many old buildings and traditions that can be traced back hundred of years ago. I’m excited to explore more of this fascinating country.

I will keep you up to date,

yours, Sascha.


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