Its igus® UK’s 25th Birthday this week, so we wanted to share with you 25 facts about igus®
- The name “igus®” is derived from the German phrase Industrie Spritzguß which means the technology of moulding.
- igus® employs around 3000 people in the world.
- All employees and visitors at igus® receive free food in the igus® canteen, every day.
- igus® was one of the first industrial companies to put a website address on a print advertisement in the UK.
- In the UK, igus® can be found on average at an exhibition every 4 weeks.
- igus® UK’s longest serving employee is Dave Spence who has been with us for 22 years.
- igus® does not have a typical hierarchy of management, instead igus adopts a “solar system” where the customer is at the centre and everyone is a manager.
- One of the fastest growing areas in igus® is the installation of e-chains® on site at the customer.
- igus® is the first (and so far only) company to manufacture 3D printable engineering plastics.
- igus® started making plain bearings before e-chains®.
- The reason why igus® launched the chainflex® cable range is that all other cables failed when used in e-chains®, igus® developed and manufactured a cable which did not.
- Although now retired, the founder of igus®, Gunther Blase is still very involved and visits the factory most days.
- Both the smallest and largest plastic e-chain® in the world is made by igus®.
- igus® launched the first e-chain® electronic catalogue on floppy disk in 1991.
- In 2011 igus® manufactured the first plastic bearing range made from bio-polymers in the world.
- You can buy over 100,000 standard catalogue products from igus®.
- As well as moulding all components, igus® also has their own on-site tooling company called i-form.
- The igus® factory in Cologne was designed by Nicholas Grimshaw. His other famous designs include Heathrow AirportT5, Leicester space centre.
- Based on a sales engineer making 16 visits a week, one sales engineer over 25 years would have made 19,200 customer visits.
- For 25 years the slogan at igus® has been “in today out today”, the goal is that all customer orders are shipped within 24 hours.
- A team member of igus® UK marketing once had a UK top 10 hit single.
- An igus® UK sales man once played for Norwich City.
- An igus® UK director once represented England for rifle shooting.
- The most unusual insurance claim by igus® UK so far is when a race horse jumped on a company car and flattened it.
- igus® bearings were used in one of Lenny Kravitz guitars.
Recently we have extended our range of energy supply systems, so let us introduce e-skin.
e-skin is a lightweight, versatile alternative to conventional corrugated tubes. With it’s easy to open hose making it suitable for a variety of delicate applications, where demands on the energy supply systems are not too high.
Our e-chain director Justin Leonard says “Comprising an upper and lower shell, which when fitted together is completely closed, the e-skin is simple to open and close, which is just one of the many advantages e-skin has to offer compared with corrugated tubes.”
Due to e-skins abrasion resistance and water and dust-proof offering it is also clean room compatible in accordance with IPA Class 1, and ideal for clean room appliances. It has a defined movement direction and can also support itself. It can therefore be used as a horizontal energy supply for short unsupported lengths. Also, the modular tube can be extended and offers more space than round corrugated tubes, due to its oval design. The interior separation modules also enable cable-friendly cable guiding.
With its simple opening mechanism, it allows trouble free maintenance and inspection of the cables inside, and can be tailored to suit an individual application and is available is a variety of different materials and colours.
If you want to read more about e-skin please follow this link to our website
Yesterday was rather an early start for us (numerous cups of coffee got us through though) as we attended Give me 5 which was held at W Hotel in London.
Give me 5 is a speed-press briefing event, which operates rather like ‘speed dating’, allowing a company spokesperson to brief 10-12 journalists in a quick 5 minute succession.
There are set rules to the event which are as follows:
1. Each briefing lasts for five minutes.
2. When you hear the bell conclude your discussion.
3. Journalists to move in a clockwise direction.
4. Once all journalists have been briefed by all the representatives the process stops.
5. Further discussions can be had during lunch.
The briefings got off to a good start with Rob Dumayne (igus dry-tech director) discussing igus’ new revolutionary ‘drylin W carbon fibre linear guide’ constructed entirely of CFRP (Carbon Fibre Reinforced plastic) and Justin Leonard (igus’ e-chain director) discussing the new product ‘e-skin’ – the new lightweight, versatile alternative to conventional corrugated tubes.
Overall we had a great day at the Give me 5 event and we got the opportunity to talk to a number of journalists on our latest product innovations.
Below are some images we took from the event.
A team from igus UK made their way up to Aberdeen for SPE Offshore 2015.
Offshore Europe 2015 conference and exhibition from the Society of Petroleum Engineers attracts a global audience of engineers, technical specialists, industry leaders and experts to share ideas and opinions on the current issues in the upstream oil and gas industry. With over 63,000 people in attendance and over 1500 exhibitors it was was the largest Offshore Europe to date.
Overall Offshore was a success for igus UK with many visitors to the stand benefiting from talking to our product specialists.
Here are some pics from our time at the exhibition…
Porton Man is a robot that is used to test protective clothing for the British military.
The makers of Porton Man used iglidur X plain bearings in all the robots joints; and this was for a very good reason…
Because Porton Man is used to test protective clothing against chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear substances, conventional ball bearings would fail quickly when faced with chemical agents such as mustard gas or sarin. However the high performance bearings of the X series wouldn’t due to the fact that they are completely resilient to chemicals and wear proof in temperature ranges of -100 to +250°C.
‘Porton Man’ was built by Crawley Creatures in Buckinghamshire.
UH Racing is the UK’s most successful formula student team of all time. Founded in 1997, the team consists of 30 undergraduate students from the School of Engineering and Technology and they develop a new vehicle each year. A team of students from the Univeristy of Hertfordhsire were asked to make this years UH Racing car much lighter in weight than previous years.
igus, one of the teams sponsors, was more than happy to help with this, explaining the features and benefits of using complex polymer and ultralight metal components in place of the more traditional steel ones.
On visiting KUKA Roboter GmbH we were in the presence of a true pioneer in the field of robot and automation technology. The Augsburg-based company developed the FAMULUS, its first industrial robot with six electromechanically-driven axes back in 1973. In 1996, they then played a role in bringing in the era of real mechatronics with a PC-based control system. Today, KUKA Roboter produces and sells automated production solutions for the automotive, medical and solar industry as well as aviation, aerospace and machine tool sectors to name a few.
The robot can cover a larger working area thanks to the linear axis
For many years, the KUKA developers have entrusted igus® chains with the cables for their linear axes. The fact that these are highly robust and reliable, is however not what tipped the scales in their favour. Instead, Hans Brix, linear axis developer, says that it is the exceptionally long unsupported length of the igus® chains, which allows the greatest possible extent of movement by the robots.
KUKA has now laid the chain with the cables on the support structure for the first time. As a result, the trough system is no longer required and the design is far more compact, automatically saving several square metres of space.
A comparison of two systems: in the image on the left, the cables run in an external guide trough. On the right, the e-chain® has been placed on the robot’s support structure. This saves space and reduces costs
igus® generally fills its e-chains® with the cables desired by the customers and then supplies them as complete units that can be simply and quickly installed on site. To date, KUKA has always used a middle-ground option and filled the chains with its own cables. This too is possible if desired by the igus® customer.
KUKA employees and the “iglidur® on tour” team agree: igus® e-chains® last; igus® scarves provide lasting warmth
We would like to thank all the KUKA Roboter GmbH employees that we met for their friendly reception and, in particular, Hans Brix for giving us an interview.
igus® and the “iglidur® on tour” team
From Manresa, we travelled to the south coast of Spain to Marbella. On the way, we visited some customers and due to the long distance, we were always on the road until we arrived at our hotel. The next day was a bit more relaxing but we had to drive to Portugal. First of all, we stopped at the beach in Marbella in the morning to take a few photos and to go swimming.
Close to Marbella beach
Sandor and me took our shoes off to test the temperature of the sea. However, Nils was not afraid of the cold and went for a swim. Due to the 30°C, it was nice to have some time to relax.
Facing the sun
Nevertheless, we had to go on. We drove to Seville and visited the cathedral which is the third-largest church in the world and an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After some Tapas in a local restaurant, we continued our long journey towards Lagoas in the south of Portugal.
We say “Goodbye” to Spain but for just one week.
After 2028 km we arrived in Portugal. We thank igus® Spain for the first part through this interesting country and we will see each other in one week again.
The area in the south of Portugal is called the “Algarve”
Welcome to Portugal!
We have a new addition to the reception here at igus Northampton.
The large screen means you can toggle the website whilst you wait:
Take a look at the igus website here: http://bit.ly/1oJbq4H