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 – Products to help the medical industry

Medical equipment manufacturers are constantly faced with developing products that are subjected to demanding requirements, such as small space envelopes and frequent cleaning cycles, which is why polymer specialist igus®continuously invests in R&D to provide innovative solutions that help meet these needs. igus®manufactures a wide range of self-lubricating and maintenance-free solutions for medical applications that support the demands of equipment reliably and safely.

Video of the Week – Products to help the medical industry

One such example is the xiros®ball bearing, which are made of the cost-effective, yet high-performance xirodur® B180 material. With its self-lubricating and media resistant properties, this material is also FDA compliant and therefore suitable for a wide range of medical applications up to 150ºC.

All igus®’ products undergo extensive testing at the company’s laboratory in Germany to ensure that all materials are suitable for the specific industry requirements. igus® will be exhibiting its xiros®plastic ball bearings, as well as plain bearings, linear systems, energy chains and continuous flex cables systems suitable for use in medical applications, at this year’s Medtec (Stand H310) taking place on 3rd – 4th March at the ExCeL in London.

To watch a short video demonstrating the qualities of the xiros® for the medical industry, please click here: www.igus.co.uk/MedicalXiros.

Video of the Week – e-rover for automated coupling of e-chains for RTG cranes

Energy chain specialist igus® has developed its new e-rover carrying system for Rubber Tyre Gantry (RTG) cranes. The e-rover provides a safe and secure means of switching the RTG from diesel to electrical power, helping to drastically reduce fuel costs at ports and harbours. Thanks to the innovative use of igus®’ e-chains®, the e-rover is capable of carrying up to three different types of media, including electrical power and data, fibre optic cables, and fluids.

The e-rover ensures that no manual connection is required, thanks to the automatic coupling and uncoupling of the e-rover to the energy chains. The self-aligning system also ensures a risk free connection. An internal mechanism allows the e-rover to compensate for horizontal and vertical offsets, ensuring the e-rover provides the RTG with an uninterrupted connection.

igus donates to the Gosset Ward

Matthew Aldridge, igus UK Managing Director, with the Mayor and some of his congregation at The Guildhall (Northampton) charity morning.

igus donates to the Gosset Ward

Click here for more images from the event itself

iglidur outside The Guildhall

Presentation inside included Matthew Aldridge, The Mayor of Northampton and Dr Nick Barnes (The ward paediatrician).

Typically British tea and cake were served.

The Finale for North America

2 months, 13,670 miles, 30 out of 50 states and one smart car later.. the North American tour has come to an end. This tour has been an overwhelming success for our customers, for our company and for our little orange iglidur® car. Through this journey we visited 43 companies, met with hundreds of customers and received many new potential projects. I can safely say, igus® is a company that prides itself on quality for their customers and this tour proved that message to them. From first hand experience I can say that customers were beyond impressed by the iglidur® car tour. It made engineers who have never heard of igus® come outside, look at the dry-tech® box and say, “I have been looking for this exact product for a project I have.”

The unique part about the US is that the car has driven through various climates and a variety of terrains. It started in Anchorage, Alaska winding through the mountains and sliding on mud roads. Many people say their cars (meant for those conditions) do not make it through the Alaskan Highway, but the iglidur® car surpassed all expectations. It then drove down the sunny west coast and crossed into the Midwest. The car drove through deserts, hail and wind stormsand dry heat. Then it was time to head east where the roads arebusier and the drivers are aggressive. The car ended in one of the busiest cities in the world andprobably the most dangerous city to drive through in the US. From the mud and dirt in Alaska to the congested, pot-hole filled streets of Manhattan, the bearings did their job.

The road conditions of Alaska

The iglidur® car in the Yukon


Do you see the iglidur® car in Times Square

The iglidur® car cruises past the Naked Cowboy in New York City

On Friday, October 3rd, the iglidur® car made it to igus® Inc. in East Providence, RI (before heading to NewYork), after driving 13,670 miles across North America. We had a very busy day with local press visits in the morning from the Providence Journal and WJAR Channel 10 News. Also, Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, Mayor Allan Fung of Cranston, RI and Congressman David Cicilline, all stopped by to join the festivities and to experience a little piece of the tour. Friday night ended with a reception to celebrate the success of the North American tour, iglidur® 30, and igus® 50.


Vice President, Rick Abbate, and Senator Jack Reed at igus® USA

Throughout this tour I spent many hours with igus® employees all over the country and I want to personally thank everyone who I had the utmost pleasure of meeting and working with on this tour. The people I have met on this trip have turned into family.

Thank you to the people who loaded my 6 suitcases in and out of the van countless early mornings and late nights, to the person who drove around for an hour trying to find me a laundry mat, who dedicated their long weekend to drive with us through Wyoming and South Dakota, who invited me into their home, who stayed up until 2 in the morning to repack the van so I wouldn’t have to, (these are just to name a few) this tour wouldn’t have happened without you. It takes a team to make something like this possible. And that is what igus® is, a team.

Now it is once again time to pass the torch to the next group of adventurous souls who will be taking the iglidur® car throughout Europe for its final leg of iglidur® on tour. The three gentlemen are Karl Weinmeister, head of the blog, Nils Schneider, filmographer and driver, and Sandor Meierjohann, filmographer and driver. To all of you, I wish you the absolute best and will be following your exciting journey!

It has been my pleasure being apart of this tour and being able to share this experience with all of you,

*For the last time*

Thanks for reading,

Kayla

 

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

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minnesota is known for its cheese curds, farmland and distinct accents. The state of Minnesota is also home to the largest mall and state fair in the USA. The iglidur® car was fortunate enough to get to participate in all of these Minnesotan activities.

Minneapolis and St. Paul are the “Twin Cities” of Minnesota.” Minneapolis is the larger of the two and lies between banks of the Mississippi River. The smaller of the twins, St. Paul, is the state’s capital city.

 

Minneapolis is abundantly rich in water, with 20 lakes, the Mighty Mississippi, and a number of creeks, waterfalls, and wetlands. It was once the word’s flour million capital and a hub for timer. Today, the city is primarily a business centre between Seattle and Chicago. Although the country was rated the 14th largest metropolitan area, the city is very quiet and still. Traffic is minimal, and most restaurants are empty by 9PM.

In Minneapolis, we visited a number of customers including a manufacturer of commercial and residential lawn mowers. They use iglidur® bearings in a variety of applications on their mowers, and choose iglidur® because of their ability to stand up to flying dirty soil and other debris that could clog and seize traditional ball bearings.

iglidur® plastic bearings are also able to stand up to fertilizers and other chemicals that are unavoidable in the agriculture industry. Some iglidur® materials, like iglidur® T500, can even stand up to hydrochloric acid! Good luck trying that with a standard plastic material!

 

Another customer visit was to an engineering firm that work in many different industries including wind turbines. Due to their light weight and green properties, iglidur® bearings are a natural fit inside. Additionally, because they are up to 8 times lighter than metal bearings, iglidur® bearings can reduce the weight and drive requirements of applications, also requiring less oil power to create than comparable steel bearings.

 

After customer visits, the iglidur® car took off for the Minnesota State Fair. This year, the fair set a record for their highest attendance ever – with 252,092 people walking through the gates with 2 days to go!!

Everyone had a great time at the fair, especially those hungry people that wandered in! You could buy any type of food imaginable on a stick- from beef jerky to alligator, even a salad on a stick!

Strolling through the fair, a lumberjack show and carving contest drew quite the crowd, the competitors even had a race up and down the tree trunks using their rope skills for support.

 

 

From the State Fair, the car headed out for some shopping at the Mall of America – 4.3 miles of store front, or 7 Yankee Stadiums of shopping under one roof! Inside, there is even an amusement park with a fully looping roller coaster.

 

 

From Minneapolis, iglidur® on tour heads south to Iowa.

Thanks for reading,

Kayla

 

A big announcement

We have just passed the Canadian border. For the first time, I am with the car on a picture, the reason being; that I want to make an announcement. The U.S. tour will be my last one. At the end of August, I will leave this tour to pursue studying in Paris. I have had an amazing journey so far, but it is time to go back to reality. I will inform you about my successor soon but as a sneak preview, she/he is already traveling with me. Anyway, we still have more than two weeks together. I will keep you up to date. Yours, Sascha.