igus® helps Formula Student racing team feed its need for speed

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.

igus® helps Formula Student racing team feed its need for speed

 

Application Review- KUKA

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.

Best regards,
igus® and the “iglidur® on tour” team

Marbella

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.


Seville Cathedral

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!

Across Lowa

From Minneapolis, the car headed south to Iowa a state very much known for their corn. Lowa is often referred to as “America’s Heartland,” and borders the Mississippi River.

 

In the 2nd half of the 20th century, Iowa’s agricultural economy expanded into a wide range of manufacturing, processing and financial industries, and anywhere with a large range of industries is a great place for igus to be!

We had time to stop at a few of our Iowan customers, such as one manufacturer of packaging equipment that uses igus’s DryLin R linear bearings and iglide j plain bearings in their machinery.

Used in many areas of packaging, including food and drug production plants, igus products are extraordinarily safe and long-lasting, as they are not affected by crumbs, sugar, or other material in these types of facilities. igus products also are not reliant on grease, and with no grease, there is no threat of contamination from bearings!

While in Iowa, the car took a drive to the Original Field of Dreams, a baseball field and pop-culture tourist attraction, featured in the movie “Field of Dreams.” Upon pulling in the long dirt driveway, the car was greeted by the farm’s owner Don Lansing.

 

With his Field of Dreams baseball cap on, Mr. Lansing told the story of the day Hollywood knocked on his door 25 years ago, interested in filming a movie on his land. After the movie came out, people from all over flocked to his field, making their way from as far as Eastern Europe and Japan to walk on this beloved field.

 

 

Before passing through Iowa, a stop at the Mississippi River was in order. The chief drainage system for the entire United States, the Mississippi flows for 2,340 miles across the country, making it the 4th longest river in the world.

 

Next stop from Iowa is north to Milwaukee!

Thanks for reading,

Kayla

Handing Over The Torch

As we now know, Sascha will no longer be continuing the iglidur on tour journey. So here we get to know the new driver a little better:

Hi, I am Kayla and I will be your guide for the North American part of the tour.
I am 22 years old from Rhode Island and a recent graduate of Iona College where I received a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and a degree in Fine Arts.

Handing Over The Torch

I can most always be found holding a camera and a notebook. It is no surprise when I was asked to be a part of the iglidur World Tour that I said yes before the question was even finished. I am an avid traveler and travel whenever I get the opportunity. Some recent places I have been include Paris, Germany (cologne), Mexico, Switzerland, Maine U.S., Barcelona, Brussels, London and now Alaska, of where I tend to bring back many souvenirs from my travels and find myself with a forever increasing collection.

Handing Over The Torch.2

Through this trip I plan on making our journey come to life for people who are following our tour. Look for me on the road!

Yours, Kayla.

igus says goodbye to this years summer intern

This years igus annual summer intern, Tobias Feth, came over from Germany to the igus UK with the intention of finding out more about the automotive industry alongside, of course, improving his English.

Tobias, 22, previously worked at an automotive dealership as their intern for 3 years, gaining experience within administration, customer service, marketing and warehouse operations. With his passion to succeed within the automotive industry increasing, he applied to igus for an internship.

igus says goodbye to this years summer internIn between assisting the Sales Engineers with visits, Tobias became a member of the accounts department which involved in depth credit analysis for large scale customers.

Of particular interest to Tobias were the visits made to two prestigious UK automotive companies, with our Automotive Project Manager, Mr Dave Spence.

The first, was a manufacturer of braking systems where the manufacture and logistics of this industry was shown in all it’s complexity. The second stop of the day was to a prestigious factory of a luxury car manufacturer. After the initial security checks, access was allowed to the production and development areas where the future of manufacture and design is applied.  Many igus products are used within the prototypes for this manufacturer’s new release.

Whilst working at igus UK, Tobias was subject to the ‘One team, one igus’ mantra being included and welcomed into igus which included many social events. In terms of work, his experiences have not only made it clearer in his own mind that he wants to pursue a career in the automotive industry, his skill set for organisation and working towards deadlines has improved.

After completing his internship, Tobias spent a few days in London before travelling back to Germany, looking forward to study economic automotive business at a private University near Kassel.

The last obstacle

The iglidur car participated in the Automotive Engineering Exposition in Yokohama. This is an annual exhibition that has attracted around 400 visitors for over 20 years! Even though there was an overall high volume of stands and exhibitors, finding the iglidur car was not hard due to the amount of bright orange igus bags visitors walked around with. The closer you got to the car, the higher the density became of people carrying the bags and as the day progressed, they were everywhere. Around 3,000 bags were distributed to customers during the 3 day exhibition, that gives you an indication.

 

Of course, at the show you could also find some of our customers. This big car manufacturer is indirectly one customer. We deliver to the company that is supplying the air conditioning system (AC) for a similar car model.

While switching on the AC, the blades at the front are opening. iglidur® plain bearings in the hinges ensure that the motion of the blades are smooth running. The dirt-resistant, self lubricating and maintenance free properties of iglidur® bearings, combined with the fact that they are seven times lighter than metal bearings, combine to make a reliable and long-lasting solution for the supplier. iglidur® bearings ensure a quiet and smooth motion throughout the entire time, despite facing wind, dust and dirt.

igus bearings can easily endure dirt and flies that are hitting the car while driving, whereas apparently the headlights cannot. The workshop told us that one of our headlights is not working anymore. A broken headlight is only a minor damage which won’t interrupt the tour at all. While the car underwent modification in the workshop, I took the opportunity to explore the huge city.

Although Tokyo is really modern, it still has some old buildings. For instance, the main station, which is in the centre of the financial district. Although, these older buildings do not fit in being surrounded by really modern architecture.

 

Also a leftover of the “old” town is the Tokyo tower, which was the highest building until the opening of the Skytree.

A fantastic view upon a nearby temple adds to the many characteristics of the city.

 

The last obstacle was the long lasting registration process of the car. Apparently, it was confusing that I wrote my street name with the German letter “ß” and in another document, with “ss” (which means the same). Somehow, we could clarify that both addresses were the same. In the end, we got the driving permission and could start our exploration of Japan and plan to leave Tokyo on Thursday, after the press conference.

 

I will keep you guys updated,

Yours Sascha

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