Foundries – igus feels the heat

Working in foundries with hot, liquid metals is often difficult and dirty for people and the components involved. Our bearings and e-chains resist such conditions.For example, a drylin linear guide is used as part of the x-ray equipment for material examination in a foundry.

After 8 years of trouble free operation, the linear guide has now been replaced by a new igus guide. Such reliable performance clearly defines our mantra “Plastics for longer life”. Last week we had the pleasure of attending The Gifa, a foundry specialist trade fair in Dusseldorf.

iglidur arrives in Portugal

iglidur crossed the “25th of April Bridge” which is often compared to the Golden Gate Bridge due to its design, whilst on the way to Lisbon.


Crossing the Tagus River


Looks quite similar to the Golden Gate Bridge

On the other side, we stopped at the statue of “Christ the King”. It is based on the Christ statue in Rio de Janeiro which the iglidur®-car has seen during its stay in Brazil 2014.


Cristo Rei

After the short stay, we continued our tour and stopped at the Vasco da Gama Tower for another photo. The tower is named after the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama who arrived in India in 1498 as the first European by sail.


The Vasco da Gama Tower

Before lunch, we visited one UNESCO World Heritage Site which was the Jerónimos Monastery.


The Jerónimos Monastery with an impressive detailed facade

After lunch, we went to a famous pastry shop in Lisbon where we ate more than one Pastel de nata. Together with an espresso, it is perfect.


One of the best desserts!

On the bank of the Tagus River, one can find the Padrão dos Descobrimentos which is a monument to celebrate the Portuguese Age of Discovery during the 15th and 16th centuries. At that time, many ships departed from Lisbon to explore and trade with Inda and the Orient.


The iglidur®-car is an adventurer as well

The final stop of the day was the western side of Europe – Cabo da Roca.


The cross symbolizes the westernmost extent of Europe


Three iglidur on tour team

With sunburn and a lot of impressions, we went back to the hotel to get some sleep to be prepared for the upcoming week in Portugal.

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

Video of the Week – multi-dimensional drylin® E gantries

Combining numerous linear axes to allow multi-axes movement, the drylin® E range of gantries from igus® provides flexible multi-dimensional solutions for a variety of applications, such as automation, measurement and positioning systems. Thanks to the self-lubricating nature of the drylin® components, the gantries are maintenance- and corrosion-free, which makes them a clean and low-cost solution especially in the medical, food and packaging industries.

Part of the complete range of dry-run linear drive systems, drylin® E gantries are available from stock and dispatched within 24 hours in all three basic options: line gantry with a working space of 500x100mm, flat gantry operating within 300x300mm envelope and a room gantry reaching each point within 500x500x100mm.

Video of the Week – Quick assembly tools for E4 e-chains®

Energy chain specialist igus® offers a wide range of tested and proven assembly tools for convenient opening and closing of its e-chains® as well as the interior separators.

Designed for use with E4 e-chains®, the opener is available in four different sizes to accommodate upper and lower crossbars from the 450 and 650 ranges. The tool makes it extremely quick and easy to open crossbars – even in confined spaces – providing an effective solution for energy chain assembly and filling.

Made from a high-performance plastic material, the tool provides designers and engineers with a durable, reliable and cost-effective solution that helps cut assembly time significantly.

iglidur on tour goes to Venice

Our first stop whilst in Italy was Venice. Unfortunately, we had to park our iglidur®-car in the main car park as Venice is not accessible by vehicles. We had some sites on our to-do-list and started with the canal as well as the Rialto Bridge: the oldest bridge spanning the Grand Canal.


Discovering Venice

 


At the Rialto Bridge overlooking the Grand Canal

The next stop was the Piazza San Marco. It is the main square and social center of Venice. Whilst we were there it was possible to feed the pigeons with seeds.


Feeding the pigeons

However, the main point is the Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco (Saint Mark’s Basilica). The design is impressive and in particular the golden mosaics inside the Basilica, although was not able to take photos inside.


The Saint Mark’s Basilica

Close to the Basilica and all over Venice, one will find typical Gondolas.


No Gondola service during the rain

Due to the rain, they were covered and not used. Therefore, we decided to discover Venice’s’  narrow alleys by foot. Everywhere is something to discover…


… like this hidden backyard or …


… monuments like this of Carlo Goldoni.

We spent the whole day in Venice and arrived at the Campo Santa Margherita after sunset. It is said to be the place where young people meet at the local bars.


The dry-tech®-box on its own on the Campo Santa Margherita 

The last stop in Venice was on the opposite side of the Grand Canal in respect to the Piazza San Marco – Punta della Dogana di Mare, where there is a great view over the Grand Canal.


The Grand Canal by night

Finally, we called it a day because we were tired and went back to the hotel.


Bye bye, Venice!

Video of the Week – Offset adjustment for energy chains with FTA

Allowing for lateral offset at the moving end, the floating tow-arm (FTA) from moving energy specialist igus® ensures smooth running of energy chains in a guide trough by floating from side-to-sideto compensate for misalignment in the system. The igus®FTA system is suitable for a variety of applications; in particular for ‘ship-to-shore’ container cranes where the system can accommodates for play in the trolley wheels and rails.

Offering stress-free movement along the entire travel distance, which can be up to 100m, the FTA system extends operational lifetime of the system and can handle speeds up to 2m/s.

Small, lightweight and cost-effective, the FTA system from igus® is compatible with the company’s “PPDS basic” unit for remote condition monitoring; this helps prevent damage and downtime on gliding applications with smaller energy chains.

Customer visit in Schaffhausen

“Pull and push solutions with system” is written on the signboard of the Schwab Verkehrstechnik AG, which we visited in Schaffhausen. The Swiss rail vehicle supplier stands for innovation in everything to do with couplings, buffers, and draw gears, and at which we wanted to take a closer look. The company’s success story began in 1912 with a semi-automatic coupling from the development department of the company Georg Fischer. It started production in 1914, that is exactly 100 years ago. There followed further types of couplings, before the product portfolio expanded to include buffers and draw gears in the 60s.

One of the latest developments from Schwab Verkehrstechnik is a novel, automatic traction coupling (ACC), which can be retrofitted in older types of vehicles regardless of their railcar body design. It connects the vehicles with each other mechanically, electrically and pneumatically, and replaces the screw coupling, which among other things leads to much shorter coupling and decoupling times. Another recently introduced innovation is an automatic buffer lubrication. It transfuses grease to the buffer plate without necessitating a manual relubrication over a period of up to one year. The regular lubrication reduces friction and prevents the formation of grooves on the contact surfaces. This increases the service life and saves costs.


A novel, automatic traction coupling from the company Schwab Verkehrstechnik. The small pictures from its interior show igubal® rod end bearings: There, the motion plastics® can fully exploit its vibration damping properties.

One who comes upon such ideas, of course, is also keen on the self-lubricating motion plastics® from igus®. Thus, rod end bearings of the igubal® series can be found in the coupling systems, where they provide a rigid and reliable connection. When a train is coupled, a latch turns down and a valve opens, through which compressed air is carried into a cylinder. Moreover, the connection is fixed. The iglidur® rod end bearing permits a manual decoupling by opening the valve and releasing the latch. In addition, in this application the vibration damping properties of high-performance plastic have a perfect effect.


Our iglidur® mobile at the gates of the company Schwab Verkehrstechnik

The time at Schwab Verkehrstechnik was an exciting excursion for us into the world of buffers and couplings. Thanks a lot for this. We will keep in touch, igus® and the “iglidur® on tour” team.

Video of the Week – robolink® drive units for articulated joints

Articulated joints with grippers are increasingly being used to aid people with disabilities. The latest video from igus® shows how robolink® technology, which integrates its multi-axis joints and drive unit, with a 3-jaw angle gripper can be used to create an auxiliary arm for wheelchair users.

Featuring five DOF (degrees of freedom), with variable arm lengths due to the modular design, robolink® is proving an ideal solution for pick and place operations. When equipped with a direct drive incorporated within the joint, robolink® modules can be combined to create lightweight and cost-effective articulated arms from one to as many as six degrees of freedom.

During this year’s Medtec event, held on 3rd – 4th March at the ExCeL, London, visitors to the igus® stand (H310) will have the opportunity to meet with technical experts for practical advice and guidance on selecting igus® products and solutions for their own specific medical application.