Video of the Week – solving the productivity puzzle for OEMs

Video of the Week - solving the productivity puzzle for OEMs

Matthew Aldridge, managing director of igus®, introduces one solution to the UK’s productivity puzzle – by intellectually outsourcing secondary tasks, OEMs can concentrate on their core skills.

“We are experiencing a rise in demand for subassemblies that can be slotted directly into industrial machines,” says Aldridge.

Customised readychain® is a more cost effective way to order multiple components, because the cables and hoses come pre-assembled in the energy chain. Advantages of choosing readychain® are clear to see, in terms of reducing cost and time for the OEM, eliminating inventory costs, and increasing factory capacity. In addition, readychain® is fully tested and certified and delivered with a guarantee.

Video of the Week - solving the productivity puzzle for OEMs.2

Tribo-tape for canal boat hatches

The sliding hatch on canal boats is nowadays as ever present as the main entrance, the practicality of a sliding hatch, the intended ease of use and its space saving abilities are the main reasons for their presence. They usually consist of two pieces of angle iron welded to the roof of the boat. The hatch then slides forward and backwards on runners.

However there are some issues that can occur affecting the hatch movement such as metal to metal wear, making the hatch hard to manoeuvre and also the potential for gouge marks to occur in the runners from forced movement. Adverse weather conditions can also play a part and being exposed to the elements over time will cause rust and corrosion which in turn will also affect the movement of the sliding hatch.

Some common preventatives for such issues are standard teak wood and Vaseline and PU sealant which can work temporarily but aren’t long term solutions and can actually cause dirt and debris to build up on the runners.

igus® has recently developed its new tribo-tape material, made from tribologically optimised iglidur A160 material. Designed to reduce wear on a wide range of applications due to its low friction and abrasion values, the tribo-tape has maintenance-free dry-running properties that in turn, improve all types of sliding surfaces. Tribo-tape can improve the function of a sliding hatch door by eliminating alignment issues from wood expansion, there is also no need for lubrication so dirt and dust particles are not attracted which also assists with the long term smooth running of the sliding hatch.


For your free sample of tribo-tape click here

Tribo-tape for canal boat hatches

Tribo-tape for canal boat hatches.2


Video of the Week – drylin® E – pick and place – inspection flat gantry

igus® Video of the Week – online 3D printing service with instant quotations

Automating tasks greatly assists manufacturing effectiveness, enabling lower costs, shorter production times and faster response with local production. The drylin® E modular gantry system from igus® provides a simple, affordable and reliable way of automating pick-and-place, test and measurement, or labelling and marking functions.

A complete system can be easily constructed utilising drylin® E linear modules, toothed belts, gear racks and NEMA stepper motors. igus® energy chains and cabling are used to protect wiring during movement and assist gantry Operation.

The maintenance-free drylin® E flat gantry requires no external lubrication and offers clean, corrosion free operation. It is suitable for loads up to 30kg, and can reach speeds of up to 1.5m/s. Go to the igus® website, configure a gantry to have a full system assembled and shipped in 24 hours at:

Video of the Week – igus® e-chains® for offshore applications

igus® Video of the Week – online 3D printing service with instant quotations

A rugged, yet light weight alternative to the traditional steel drag chains used in the offshore industry, igus® offshore e-chains® make an ideal fit for harsh environments or those hard to access places. Available in a wide selection of sizes, they can accommodate cables and hoses with large diameters safely to the application, whether it’s offshore, on drilling rigs or ships, or in the harbour.


With their tribopolymer structure, offshore e-chains® are naturally UV and sea water resistant and, because they are self-lubricating, do not require continued maintenance. Their strength allows hanging applications of up to 200m in length, whilst maintaining a flexible, modular design that is quick and easy to install.


Offshore e-chains® can be used in many ways in various offshore applications, including chain-block and e-chain drum versions. ATEX solutions are also available. To watch a short clip showing some of the potential applications where igus® offshore e-chains® can be used, please visit:

igus® shows world’s largest plastic energy chain, the E4.350, at Subsea Expo 2016

At this year’s Subsea Expo, which runs from 3rd – 5th February at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (Aberdeen AECC), we will be showcasing the E4.350 ESD energy chain – the largest plastic energy chain in the world, as well as introducing Corry Sutherland, the company’s recently appointed Oil & Gas product specialist.

High-performance plastic brings significant benefits to Offshore industry

The E4.350 ESD energy chain has been developed specifically for offshore applications, and other industries where oversized cables and hoses need to be guided and protected. In addition to the significant price advantage over traditional steel energy chains, the modern high-performance engineering plastic used in the E4.350 is stronger than steel for a given size and much lighter. It is also inherently resistant to corrosion and weathering, and unaffected by exposure to virtually every type of chemical and petrochemical, as well as by exposure to UV light from the sun.

Manufactured from igumid® ESD, a permanently conductive tribopolymer that incorporates special additives that ensure electrostatic charge is dissipated in a controlled manner, the E4.350 ESD energy chain is suitable for use in areas where the ATEX or IECEx standard applies. The material is also self-lubricating, requiring no grease or oil on the joints throughout its working life, even in the presence of high levels of soiling and contaminants; this dramatically reduces, and can even eliminate the need for routine maintenance, and enables the life of the energy chain to be predicted more accurately.

Modular in design, the E4.350 energy chain can easily be shortened and lengthened as required. Steel energy chains, on the other hand, have many more components and require more tools and time to dismantle. In addition, igus® energy chains offer excellent rigidity and high load capacity when shear forces are at work due to their tongue and groove design. Specifications include, inner height: 350mm, inner widths: 400-800mm, bending radii: 500-1000mm and pitch: 470mm. An Interior separation system and mounting brackets can be supplied. Additional features include, quiet operation, straight running due to inner/outer link design, and stable opening crossbars at every link.

Corry Sutherland – Oil & Gas product specialist

Corry joined igus in October 2015 as the company’s Oil & Gas product specialist. He has worked in project engineering roles within the Oil & Gas industry for over four years and brings a wealth of technical and project management experience with him. Corry is an ex-Piper with the Scots Guards and currently serves with the British Army (Reserves) 7th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland.

“We are delighted to welcome Corry to igus®,” commented Justin Leonard, director of igus®. “His experience in the Oil & Gas industry makes him the ideal man to take our business forward in this area. This coupled with his dependable, can-do approach is sure to be highly valued by our customers.”

Corry and other members of the igus® team will be available on Stand 195 throughout the show to take visitors through the benefits and potential applications of their E4.350 ESD energy chain, as well as provide insight into the full range of igus® products suitable for offshore use.

igus® shows world’s largest plastic energy chain, the E4.350, at Subsea Expo 2016 igus® shows world’s largest plastic energy chain, the E4.350, at Subsea Expo 2016.2 igus® shows world’s largest plastic energy chain, the E4.350, at Subsea Expo 2016.3

WANTED – Unique energy chain applications for the fifth vector® awards

igus® invites submissions of novel energy chain applications for its biennial global competition

The possible uses of energy chain systems carrying moving cables and hoses is now vast – they withstand seawater on ships and oil rigs, prevent the permeation of dirt and dust in material handling systems, provide ISO Class 1 protection in cleanrooms, and countless other applications.

To find the most innovative uses of energy chain systems, igus® invites submissions in the UK for the biennial vector award via the online form:

“Even for us, it is sometimes still surprising and exciting to see where and how customers use our energy chains,” said Harold Nehring, head of energy chain systems at igus®. “We want to use this competition to identify new ways of using our products and to recognise the innovative designs being developed by engineers around the world.”

Submissions will be judged by an independent panel of science and technology experts, and winners will receive prizes of up to 5,000 euros at the official awards ceremony, which will be held at the Hannover Trade Fair in April. The deadline for entries is 26th February, 2016.

For more information and to review previous years’ entries, please visit:


“It is sometimes still surprising and exciting to see where and how customers use our energy chains,” said Harold Nehring, head of energy chain systems at igus®.

WANTED - Unique energy chain applications for the fifth vector® awards

igus® MD Matthew Aldridge writes:

It almost seems a little late, but Happy New Year to all, I hope you have a great 2016.

In Northampton we have had unseasonably warm weather so far this winter, but that seems to be changing now, de-icing the car in the morning is part of the routine. One thing does stay the same; in January customers and companies are looking to save money, and this is where I can help you.

My offer continues to stand in 2016, if you have moving parts on your machine, then talk to us, it is highly likely we can save you money while also increasing the life of your design.

Email me ( with the details of your requirements and, I promise I will give it my urgent attention. This applies to bearings, linear guides, cable chains and flexible cables, the samples are free and you could save a lot of money.

You will find us at two exhibitions over the next few weeks. We are at stand 195 at the SubSea show in Aberdeen from the 3rd to 5th of February, details at Also the excellent Southern Manufacturing Show is being held again at Farnborough, Hampshire, 9th to 11th February, you will find igus® at stand number N97, details of the show at

At both shows we will be offering drinks and light refreshments, as well as the chance to see, touch and feel new igus® products. Please drop by if you visit, see you there!

I have a number of copies of the UK Manufacturing Review 2015/16, this is a very interesting and informative book, please let me know if you would like a free copy, first come first served.

If you use e-chain® on your machine, please enter the vector awards, see email below, you can win up to €5,000 just for telling us about your application.

Best regards,

Matthew Aldridge

igus® MD Matthew Aldridge writes

Southern Manufacturing 2016

We will be showcasing several new cable and bearing products throughout Southern Manufacturing 2016. Due to the growing needs of manufacturers and engineers, we offer a wide range of cost effective, lightweight and maintenance free solutions for a variety of applications.

We will be demonstrating the new drylin® W linear guide system, which is constructed entirely of carbon fibre. Other focuses on the stand will be the readychain speed 2.0, tribo- tape, and xiros® ball bearings material S180.

We will have our product specialists on hand throughout the show to provide visitors with advice and guidance, so come along and visit us on stand N97 between the 9th and 11th of February 2016 to hear more.

Southern Manufacturing 2016

iglidur® AB – antibacterial material from igus® for medical applications

igus® introduces a new plain bearing material developed specifically for medical and laboratory applications. Called iglidur® AB, the material has undergone rigorous antimicrobial efficacy testing, which is the measurement of antibacterial activity on plastics and other non-porous surfaces, according to the ISO 22196: 2011 standard. Results show that its antibacterial properties will help reduce bacterial contamination to users and patients and, like all other iglidur materials, is self-lubricating and therefore maintenance-free.

“From pick & place equipment in the laboratory to mechanical joints on patient furniture, the areas of application for this new material are diverse,” says Robert Dumayne, director, igus®. “As well as its antibacterial properties, iglidur® AB brings two further advantages to the medical and laboratory industry – there is no risk of contamination by oil or grease and machinery and equipment can be cleaned safely, without the risk of washing away lubricants.”

iglidur® AB offers good resistance to chemicals, which enables bearings made of this material to withstand aggressive cleaning agents. In addition, a continuous application temperature range of -40 to +70ºC is possible.

iglidur® AB – antibacterial material from igus® for medical applications

igus® celebrates 25 years of chainflex®

igus® is celebrating 25 years since the launch of its chainflex® range of cables developed specifically for moving applications in energy chains. With 1,040 cables available from stock, the chainflex® range includes motor, control and data cables. As market leader for e-chains®, igus® tests and offers both energy chains and chainflex® cables as a system solution with a 36-month guarantee upon request.

“The degree of automation in companies is continuously increasing, particularly on the journey towards Industry 4.0,” says Frank Blase, CEO, igus®. “At the same time, it is necessary to guarantee uninterrupted flow of data, media and energy. With business in this area exceeding 100 million euros in revenue this year for igus®, this really motivates us to invest significant resources in innovation, product reliability and fast, worldwide availability, to ensure that our customers receive the best possible ratio of price to reliability.”

Considerable investments are being made at the igus® test laboratory in Cologne. Here, there are more than 70 cable test machines performing more than two billion test cycles per year. On average, 650 cable tests are being conducted simultaneously. New test rigs enable fast acceleration speeds of 15m/s2 on a travel of 50 metres; a new cryo-chamber has been installed, which allows tests down to -40°C. Thanks to new torsion attachments and the expansion of the outdoor installation for long travel distances, cable use can be simulated under even more real conditions. The overall area of the test laboratory has increased by 1,000 square metres to a current total area of 2,750 square metres.

Thanks to a multitude of tests, igus® is the only manufacturer able to offer a 36-month guarantee for all chainflex® cables, including torsion cables such as the world’s first CAT7 cable for robotic applications. These tests also allow igus® to make exact statements in its catalogue regarding bend radii, temperature ranges and service life for special use in the e-chain, in addition to the standard norms.

The results from the test laboratory are also used in the five online configurator tools for chainflex® and three online tools for readycable® harnessed solutions. igus® has invested significantly in its online capabilities to allow customers to quickly determine the service life in moving applications and find, configure and order the most suitable cables for their particular application.

In addition to investment its test capabilities, igus® has expanded its production and storage capacity in North America, Asia and Europe – this ensures even faster delivery to its customers in local markets. With cable production on three continents and 14 storage and assembly centres worldwide, customers receive the exact cable needed for their production system from stock: single, individually cut cables, reeled cables, fabricated cables or ready-to-install energy chain systems. Complementing this offering, igus® provides an on-site system installation Service.

Frank Blase concludes: “Now and in the future, affordable pricing will not be the sole concern of customers. Their primary concern is the quality and reliability of cables when working in an energy chain. We consider ourselves the first point of contact for finding a solution for our customers and our 36-month guarantee makes it clear that chainflex® lasts.”

igus® celebrates 25 years of chainflex®

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