What is a slewing ring bearing?

A simple question. Do you know the answer? The slewing ring is known by many names, slew ring, turntable bearings, lazy Susan bearings to name a few, but at igus® we refer to them as a PRT slewing ring bearing.

So, what is a slewing ring bearing?

In the simplest form, the slewing ring bearing is a bearing which rotates whilst accommodating both axial and radial loads. This rotational bearing can be found in applications that require turning function in either horizontal or vertical movement. They are often compared to ball bearing rings, however, these slewing rings tend to be much wider and often have fixing holes, so they can be fixed to a machine or structure.

How does the igus® PRT slewing ring differ to conventional ones?

slewing ring bearing

As with a large range of igus® products, the PRT slewing ring consists of polymer elements manufactured from iglidur® tribological materials. These polymer parts replace the requirement for metal rollers or balls, allowing the slewing ring to rotate smoothly and quietly.

The outer rings of the slewing rings are normally manufactured in lightweight anodised aluminium but there are now stainless-steel versions as standard too. The stainless-steel versions are ideal for applications involving high temperatures or excessive contact with certain chemicals.

When comparing the traditional slewing rings with the igus® PRT’s, there are further advantages of using the igus® versions:

  • Weight
  • Cost
  • Lubrication & maintenance-free

Why is a reduction in weight important?

Some applications require machines to be as lightweight as possible. Making weight reductions can be easy when you replace complete metal assemblies with a combination of metal and polymer. With the igus® PRT slewing ring, weight reduction is simple, and it doesn’t compromise the load capacity. The slewing rings are tried and tested in the igus® laboratory and have demonstrated their long service life in the multiple tests run.

Where can you use a slewing ring bearing?

Slewing rings are versatile and adaptable bearings suited for a multitude of applications. Any applications where rotation is required, a slewing ring bearing is ideal.

Applications such as:

  • Wind turbines
  • Rail vehicles
  • Water treatment plants
  •  Distilleries
  • CNC Machinery
  • Aerospace & Automotive interiors

These are just a few of the types of applications where we find slewing ring bearings used, but the possibilities are endless.

Can igus® slewing rings compare to traditional ones?


People have a misconception that if plastic parts are used that this weakens the structure, therefore, reducing its capacity.

This isn’t true.

The igus® PRT slewing rings are designed and constructed to optimise the slewing ring movement. Using the iglidur® materials for sliding elements, ensures that the movement remains smooth, and combining it with anodised aluminium allows these bearings to be:

  • 100% maintenance-free and self-lubricating
  • Corrosion-resistant and hygienic
  • Wear-resistant
  • Resistant to dirt, dust and humidity
  • Robust
  • Cost-effective
  •  Ready to install & easy to assemble
  • FDA options available
PRT bearing

Another key element of the igus® slewing ring bearings, in comparison to other manufacturers, are our extensive material ranges, not only for the outer rings but the sliding elements too. We can custom design and manufacture specialised slewing rings, anodise the outer rings in non-reflective colours, we have additional parts available as standard to fix location points on the slewing ring to restrict the rotation, and mechanical stops to locate home positions.

They really are ideal for so many applications.

If you want to find out more about the latest PRT slewing ring to join the range, you can read all about it here

For more information on the range of slewing ring bearings please visit the website or contact the Product Manager Dean Aylott.

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Why do we offer a guarantee and UL certification for chainflex® cables?

UL certification

We offer a guarantee and UL certification for chainflex® cables

It is a well-known fact that igus® manufactures plastic energy chains. A slightly lesser-known fact is that igus® also manufactures cables to go into the energy chains.  This was developed as a NEED as opposed to a want. We had developed the energy chains to outperform all other chains, however, the various cables being used were failing. These failures resulted in damage such as corkscrews, broken outer-jackets and cores. The root cause was established to be that the cables simply could not handle the required movements for a long enough period.

These cable failures often caused machine and system downtime and consequently, this resulted in customers moving away from the e-chain®.

This presented the igus® developers with a new challenge: to make durable cables for our energy chains.

This required a great deal of development, experimentation and testing. Extensive research was carried out to assess properties which were important for these cables to ensure a long service life. The first chainflex® cable, the CF1, was introduced in 1988 and year on year, the igus® cable product portfolio has grown. Not only has the range grown but our expertise at igus® has grown too. We gathered feedback from customers and started to get an understanding of what our customers needed from their cables.

Testing, testing, testing

testing UL certification

Testing, as always, is at the centre of all igus® products. Tests at the birth of a new product is essential, however, we do not stop there. We test continuously to ensure that our products are the best that they can be. Our chainflex® cables are the vessels that keep machines moving and yet they are classified as C parts. In customers minds they are insignificant, until the machines stop and then they become very significant – and by then it can be too late.

So, what tests do we do at igus®?

All cables go through electrical testing to ensure their safety, this is standard. They are also subjected to tests to determine a level of mechanical stress – but there are no standard tests for energy chain cables, so we do our own. We research real-life applications in which the cable will later be used and use these examples for tests. Our testing ensures that the cables withstand a certain number of strokes with a defined radius. This is how it passes the igus® test!

We also look at tensile strength, different forces and various recurring loads. In the test laboratory, we installed various chains for different movements (long travel, short travel, etc.). The chainflex® cable movements enable us to measure things such as wear and stresses. These tests allow us to maintain a consistently high quality of cable and even enables us to offer the customers a guarantee.

In additional to this up to 36-month guarantee, we offer an online service life calculation tool. The customer can enter application parameters, and the expected service life is displayed. This works even if the bend radius is smaller than the minimum or if a significantly larger bend radius is used for a particular cable. The expected service life for alternative cables is shown, making it easy to see whether another cable is more suitable.

This guarantee represents the quality of the chainflex® cables, and the investments and time put into testing them. The guaranteed service life is based on the many cable tests collected over more than 25 years. In addition, these have been checked and confirmed and verified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a globally renowned independent external company, and we can now also provide verified UL certification with our chainflex® cables.

Why do we offer a verified UL certification?

UL certification

Let me give you some UL certification facts:

  • UL is an independent science and technology company which establishes and maintains industry-wide safety standards for mechanical, electrical and chemical products.
  • UL conducts regular product testing in accordance with applicable standards. This is followed by further audits to monitor compliance and product consistency.
  • The UL Verified mark allows consumers to verify the accuracy of marketing and promotional claims for a product, process, system or facility.

18 months ago, UL began reviewing the chainflex® cables and their audits cemented our own opinions of the cables – high quality, reliable and predictable. This has been recognised by the UL certification and we now have our own UL logo. The UL test mark with the number B129699 is an individual recognition feature. It allows the customer to look up more information online about specific chainflex® products verified by UL.

We have confidence in our chainflex® cables, an independent body has confidence in our chainflex® products, isn’t it time you tried these for yourself and see if you too can experience the same confidence?

Find out more about igus® chainflex® cables by reading our blogs here.

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Why use a cable drum in a refrigeration lorry?

How is a cable drum relevant to delivery lorries? Sometimes we don’t think about how things are, for example, how do companies keep their refrigerated delivery lorries cool? I had never even considered how this was achieved until recently when an igus® product specialist asked me to write this blog.

Why would I have thought about it? It has no bearing on my life, and yet I work for the company that helps keep people’s shopping deliveries cool.

 But consider this…. you cannot create cold. It is merely an absence of heat, so it needs one self-contained atmosphere and then heat removed… intrigued…

Keeping it cool

So how do we accomplish this? How do we get the power to the lorries to keep them cool?

Fundamentally, the principle is this:

  • Coolant fluid is added to pipework which circulates around the container, sucking up the heat.
  • The coolant captures the heat and is turned into a gas in the evaporator.
  • The gas is then released into a compressor which compresses the gas under extreme pressure.
  • A machine then condenses the gas to a liquid in a condenser, transferring heat to the outside atmosphere.
  •  This process is then repeated, gradually making the lorry colder and colder.
cable drum refrigeration lorry

But this process needs power, energy and fluids transmitted. How does this happen? One option is using a cable drum, the igus® e-spool® flex!

This is a safe and secure way of delivering power to the lorries without having a trip hazard. There are 3 main points as to why the e-spool® flex is perfect for lorry power.

1 – Health and safety in the loading bay, no cables left dragging along the floor

This type of cable drum can carry all cables and hoses for the transmission of energy, signals, data, liquids, compressed air and vacuum without interruption. Fully harnessed cables can therefore be used, which can be inserted into the drum in a few easy steps. The user simply inserts the cable into the spiral guide and fastens the cable stowed in the outer and winding housing of the e-spool®.

The e-spool® cable drum can be mounted on the wall of the warehouse safely and securely, and when the lorries pull into the dock, the operator can unreel the cable and plug it into the lorry. This can be mounted high off the ground so there are no cables dragging on the ground causing a trip hazard. Once the lorry is ready to go, simply unplug the cable and the reel will retract the cable back in and store it safely out of the way.

2 – Doesn’t have a slip ring like traditional cable reels do which are problematic

Alternative systems that can be used in lorry refrigeration are cable reels which use slip rings for energy and signal transmission in a rotating drum. The downside of these cable drums is that they often are only available as a complete package with a new cable, and a single form of medium being fed through of data or media, therefore, this solution is by no means ideal. The e-spool® flex doesn’t use a slip ring, therefore, the type of cable/hose passing through the system is not as limited. This flexibility allows the operator to have different energy requirements leading to the lorries.

 How e-spool flex 2.0 cable reel with spiral guide solves all panel feed needs

3 – Go Greener – the positive environmental impact

Think about it, how do you think lorries get power to them currently? They leave the lorry engines on! Consider the negative impact the fumes alone are having on the environment! Using the e-spool® cable drum eliminates this issue. As mentioned previously, no cables dragging on the floor, no nasty engine fumes seeping into the atmosphere. Clean and tidy.

Want to find out more about what igus® is doing to go greener? Read all our sustainability blogs now!

Keeping the refrigeration cool safely, environmentally sound and as low maintenance as possible is the dream but we can make it a reality.

Speak to our expert today! Visit our contact page for more information.

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Car actuators – Go lighter, quieter and corrosion-free.

car actuators

Designed and made by igus®.

I think you might be surprised at the complexity of car actuators. These are constantly working secretly to convert energy into movement. This can be for a multitude of functions and operations; such as ensuring airflow, providing power to the throttle and even a simple movement of adjusting a seat.

There are strict requirements for these components, especially in the automotive & aerospace industries: noise restrictions, weight restrictions and reliability. With such specialised requirements, igus® thrive on these challenges

We develop and produce lubrication-free components for innovative solutions in these industries. One focus product right now is car actuators. These are used in length, height and tilt adjustments of seats, in lumbar supports, locking systems, window regulators, sliding roofs, rear view cameras, engine thermal management or lighting systems. For applications such as these, we use our plain iglidur® bearings, lead screws and lead screw nuts, as well as gears and gearing components driven and controlled by our automation components within our product range. We manufacture standard and bespoke lead screw components and also fully constructed car actuators.

Our lead screws are designed and patented to match our lead screw nuts under the name dryspin®. These products can be used in both interior and exterior components within the automotive industry, and of course, have the usual dry running maintenance-free attributes.

What are polymer car actuators three main benefits?

Polymer car actuators yield three main benefits:

  • Noise reduction
  • Corrosion resistance
  • High efficiency
car seats

Noise reduction

Reduce noise and vibration with our (NVH) lead screws. Utilising polymer nuts combined with the lead screw technology; noise is reduced compared to metal on metal, where grease is often the only dampener.

In applications such as a seat adjustment, squeaking is the last thing you want to hear. With lubrication-free products, noise is never a problem.

front car actuators

Corrosion resistance

igus® lead screws in active aero surfaces are designed to be corrosion- resistant with fast deployment under dynamic load. Tested and proven in arduous conditions. Being corrosion- resistant ensures that the wear is limited with no contamination. This is vital in car exteriors. Anything that moves automatically, must be getting the power from somewhere.

lead screw drives

High efficiency

Guaranteed efficiencies of up to 82% and a service life that is up to 30% longer than conventional lead screw drives. A quiet and smooth adjustment with igus® lead screws in centre consoles is cleaner, more reliable and can reduce time spent on design.

 Find further information on igus® lead screws here.

Automating actions and mechanisms to streamline movement, to gain the maximum efficiency possible, is becoming extremely important. Linear actuators offer endless opportunities to accomplish this. They have become essential within the design, and more commonly in recent times, is the electrification of interior mechanisms, automating all  the essential functions, and providing many possibilities of improvement and innovation. When designing vehicles, it is essential that the right actuator is chosen.  Having the option of products that are efficient, quiet, lubrication-free and corrosion-free, you are already creating a finished article that is lighter, more cost-effective and reliable.

Our Automotive and Aerospace specialists are here to save time and money and will help you and your application with either our standard range of products or bespoke items. With the expertise we have in these industries, we are confident that we can do what we say, either save you time or money.  

To read more from our automotive specialist, Dave Spence visit 

Do you need more information about our standard or bespoke ranges? Contact our specialist now!

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Plastic gears vs metal gears. Change up a gear!

Plastic gears vs metal gears. igus® gears offer up to 80% more wear resistance than conventional plastic.

igus® is known throughout the world for its innovation of polymers, dating back as far as the 1960’s, but until recently it has not been associated with polymer gears. This has now changed with its entry into the polymer gears market. But we get the same question from our customers “plastic gears versus metal gears? How do they compare?”

If you want to learn about how the igus® gears are manufactured:

To find out more about plastic gears vs metal gears and the clear benefits of igus® polymers, keep reading.

There are three main points to consider:

1. Plastic gears vs metal gears. Easy configuration and NMO

Plastic gears vs metal gears.

As with the majority of igus® products, we offer a free gear configurator that can create a model within 1 minute online. The beauty of this tool is you have the flexibility of picking from a range of materials, you can see the geometry of the part in 3D, and you can order an individual gear or one million, there is no minimum order quantity.

You can also download a STEP file to use in your design and a data sheet. All for free. We have always wanted to give customers the flexibility to incorporate igus® products into their designs and applications at the beginning of the process, and tools like this make it possible.

This is not something that most metal gear suppliers offer.

2. Plastic gears vs metal gears on delivery

As a society we a have become obsessed with speed. We are impatient creatures and are not organised enough, so a bit But, plastic gears vs metal gears, what can get you the quickest delivery?

Plastic gears vs metal gears delivery

Luckily, 3D printed gears can be manufactured and dispatched within 72 hours, which is ideal for those time-critical jobs!

igus® also has a large range of standard injection-moulded gears in stock, so it may be that changing from metal to plastic is not as difficult as you think. Producing plastic gears is also more cost-effective, therefore, the cost to customers of plastic gears is significantly lower than metal gears.

So, referring to the early “plastic gears versus metal gears” debate, lower cost, quick delivery…. Do you still need convincing?

3. Free plastic gear engineer support

contact an expert

Support for customers has always been essential for igus®, another reason why the configuration and service life tools are so important for us to have available. We have engineers that cover the UK, who provide a free visiting service, no matter where you are!  The engineers have an extensive working knowledge of igus® polymers and applications and if they require further support, we have product managers who will add to the knowledge bank.

Not only that, we are a subsidiary, so we have the international backing of not only our parent base in Germany, but all over the world. We have vast experience and expertise worldwide, enabling us to pool wisdom from near and far.

We offer digital consultations via email. Phone or Teams’ meetings. We also have live chat available with humans answering your questions and not robots. Can your metal gear supplier offer that?

Improve your gears now! 

Times are changing, people are more aware of their options and innovations in plastics are creating controversy when it comes to the plastic versus metal debate.

But when you can get parts quickly, you can make savings, you can download CAD files into your design for free, you can increase the lifetime of your gear and you can have support from an expert team, why would you not change from a metal gear to a plastic one?

Click here for the 3D printer service design guide          

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Conveyor solutions. Are your conveyors running on a knife edge?

Conveyor solutions and their importance are often underestimated in our world. Indirectly, conveyors keep the world moving, keep production lines running, keep breakages to a minimum and without them, the world grinds to a halt.

How to significantly increase your conveyors’ productivity

Given the importance of these conveyor solutions, we need to consider the way in which we can increase conveyors productivity. How can we make a positive impact in applications and industries? What can we do to improve systems that are working well,  and make them perform even better?

Do you want to:

  • reduce downtime?
  • increase service life?
  • save money?

In this blog, I will explain what conveyor solutions you can do this by making one small change to your application, change your metal bearings for polymer bearings.

conveyor solutions

Reduce downtime

By incorporating igus® knife edge rollers into your conveyor system, these small complete polymer rollers, manufactured from our proven polymer materials, can help prevent the conveyor from wearing. Knife edge rollers can be applied into almost every industry. They are heavily used in the food and packaging industry for the transfer of:

  • food produce and packaging containers between two conveyor platforms, especially in food sensitive environments
  • product labelling
  • warehouse product handling and transfer

By reducing wear and downtime on the machine.

Increase service life

Using igus® knife edge rollers in these environments means no contamination as they are dry running and self-lubricating. This also means that they run silently. Not requiring lubrication increases the service life of the machine or application. Dirt and dust particles do not get trapped on shafts or wearing surfaces, which allows the whole conveyor system to run smoothly. When metal runs on metal, wear is guaranteed so protecting your running services is vital to increase service life.    

igus® knife edge rollers beat conventional roller materials in every aspect. The igus® polymer materials are:

conveyor roller

Robust and can withstand high temperatures, the new A250 knife edge roller pictured can work in long term temperatures of +90 degrees and down to -40 degrees.

Dirt Resistant, the igus® materials are tested vigorously in our dedicated test lab before they are certified for use in industry.

Hygienic, many igus® materials are certified with FDA .  Corrosion-free for continued wash down cycles that withstand many chemicals.

The overall advantage of igus® polymer materials in conveyor solutions is longer lifetime and less maintenance requirements.

Would you like to learn more? Click here to read more about knife edge rollers

Save money

Taking the previous two points into consideration, it is clear to see how changing to igus® knife edge rollers can save you money, no grease is required, less maintenance, increased service life, less downtime and being polymer, they are more cost-effective to purchase. Sometimes, conventional size rollers are not required, and a custom size or shape is.

We can offer customised rollers! Custom designs are made possible from our range of 29 iglidur® materials. We can 3D print, machine, or Print to mould, all options without expensive tooling costs. Having a large range of standard rollers on the shelf, allows us to be competitive, the rollers link together to form longer bonds. However, having the ability to offer custom designs and lengths creates more opportunities to help you find a solution.

With these conveyor solutions make your conveyors more efficient and productive today!

If you have conveyors in your business, factory or part of a machine build, then please contact us for a free sample, or we can arrange for an engineer to visit you and advise on the most suitable materials for your application. Alternatively, you can read more about knife edge rollers here

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How does conventional high helix thread compare to dryspin® technology?

Did you know that igus® manufacture a type of high helix thread lead screws? And more importantly, did you know that we have our own patented lead screw technology? No? Then read on. Yes? Then you should still read on!

So, what is dryspin® technology? And what advantages does it offer compared to a conventional high helix thread?

dryspin® lead screw technology was developed and patented in 2016 by the drylin® lead screw technology development team. The goal for these lead screws was to increase service life and improve efficiency, whilst offering a configurable solution from stock.

The portfolio includes high helix lead screws made from stainless steel or aluminium. We have a variety of matching lead screw nuts made from our igus® high-performance iglidur® polymers which go towards the same goals; increase service life and improve efficiency. The drypsin® lead screws are available in pitches from 2.4mm to 100mm, and the range is ever expanding.

What advantages does it offer compared to a conventional high helix thread?

The dryspin® high helix thread geometry is an extension of conventional thread technologies such as metric and trapezoidal threads. In contrast to conventional lead screw geometries, dryspin® lead screw technology is superior due to a number of advantages:

  • Higher effectiveness
  • Low-noise and low-vibration operation
  • Longer service life due to asymmetry
  • Reduced wear
  • Higher efficiency

In contrast to a metric or trapezoidal thread, the dryspin® high helix thread has a higher pitch. This means that a small rotary movement on the screw is converted into a relatively large linear movement during one revolution of the lead screw. Efficiencies of up to 82% and a longer service life are achieved compared to conventional metal lead screw drives. Another key advantage is that thanks to igus® technologies, both lead screw and nut are dry running, enabling a clean and dry operation without dust and dirt contaminating the system and increasing wear.

Read more about dryspin® technology at igus® here.

How is the dryspin® thread different to a standard high helix thread?

dryspin vs high helix lead screws

Right: flat flank angle, dryspin® geometry
Left: steep flank angle, standard geometry

The dryspin® lead screws have a flatter flank angle than conventional high helix threads. This allows the lead screws to efficiently convert the applied force into a translatory movement. If you compared this to a steeper flank angle, the loss of force would be lower.

Left: angular toothed flanks, standard geometry
Right: round tooth angles, dryspin® geometry

Due to the rounded tooth geometry, the contact surface between the lead screw nut and the lead screw is reduced. With conventional lead screws, there is a greater contact of two surfaces moving against one another, which creates more vibration and can create a squeaking noise. The rounded teeth on the dryspin® lead screws minimise this effect and the thread moves vibration-free and virtually silently.

To conclude, the dryspin® thread is quieter, more efficient and increases service life over conventional lead screws, so change your lead screw today!

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Is plastic better than steel? Save time and money with igus®

Are plastics a viable alternative to save time and money?

Is plastic better than steel

Is plastic better than steel? I know that someone people will think that is extreme and that plastic won’t be able to withstand the same forces and impacts that metal would, but you might be surprised.

There are plastics that have been designed to be an alternative to steel components. When you consider the disadvantages of using steel, such as:

  • Corrosion/rust
  • Lubrication required
  • Expensive

So, considering these vulnerable features of using steel, it Is no wonder that people are looking at replacing steel parts with more cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternatives. So, is steel better than plastic in the long term?

Is plastic better than steel and should you replace it?

It may seem daunting but switching steel parts for plastics can offer a multitude of benefits. With igus® products the key features are:

  • 100% corrosion-free
  • Low weight
  • Vibration resistant
  • Maintenance-free
  • 100% lubrication free
  • Cost-effective

But the main key areas are they can save you time, money and help save the environment.

Save time

The above benefits are advantageous for machines and applications however they also have an added boost of reducing your downtime from component failure and regular maintenance. With smart plastics, predictive maintenance and condition monitoring ensure that unplanned downtime is a thing of the past.

Save money

Back to the question, “is plastic better than steel?” and we can consider costs. Currently the cost of steel is rising and is sitting at 20% higher than It was 18 months ago. The manufacturing of plastics is ever evolving, and new technologies are being used which are keeping the costs of producing plastic low. Linking to the above point of intelligent plastics, this reduces unplanned downtime, eliminating catastrophic failures, which are expensive. igus® mass produces parts, recycles old parts, re-granulate broken parts, all keeping costs low to produce, making plastic cost-effective.

Save the planet

igus® has a few “green” initiatives: our recycling program, the chainge program and we are also invested in Mura technology. All initiatives help to reduce the eco footprint, whilst also reducing the total cost of ownership/running cost.  Whereas most of our competitors’ products are manufactured from various grades of steel, which are costly to purchase and not environmentally friendly, the igus® energy chain is cost-effective, hard wearing and has less of an eco-footprint. This is the same for our plain bearings, 100% plastic.

You can read about what igus® is doing to help on our sustainability blog page here.

At the beginning I mentioned downtime costing industries billions of pounds every year and by changing from steel to plastic, you can reduce unplanned downtime, save time and money. So, is plastic better than steel? Not necessarily…..  

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What is the difference between multi-start threads and single-start threads?

Multi-start thread or single? There are so many confusing terminologies surrounding lead screws, so let’s strip it down and get back to basics.

What is the difference between a single and multi-start thread?

Lead screws are machine elements that convert a rotary movement into linear travel. Lead screws consist of a cylindrical round thread on which a single helix spirals the continuous length, transforming it into a screw. The threads can have, for example, the trapezoidal thread form, metric thread form or the dryspin® geometry designed by igus®. The dryspin® thread is similar in structure to a high helix thread.

Let’s have a look at what constitutes a single threads and a multi-start threads.

multi-start threads and single-start threads?

L = LEAD = Linear travel in mm per one screw revolution
P = PITCH = Spacing from one thread to the next

Single start threads

The lead screw on the left (number 1) shows a single start lead screw. You can identify this by having one single thread. This is what is referred to as a single start. This means that the distance between the flanks, marked by pitch, is also the linear travel (lead) in millimetres per revolution of the lead screw.

Multi-start threads

For lead screw number 2, a further thread has been added, which is shown with the green illustration. This means that with one revolution of the lead screw the two-fold stroke is achieved (lead = 2 x pitch). The start of the thread is offset by 180°, i.e. opposite each other. This is classed as multi-start threads, or sometimes referred to as a two-start thread.

Finally, the third lead screw in this example shows a four-start lead screw. This means we have 4 thread starts indicated by orange, green, purple and blue. For the linear travel the same calculation applies here as for the other examples.  The linear travel (lead) is therefore four times the distance between the flanks. The start of the thread is at a position of 90° to each other.

For more information about lead screws, multi-start threads and single-start threads, read more blogs here

Which thread is best for your application?

Deciding whether to use multi-start threads or single for your application is sometimes tricky, simply because there are advantages and disadvantages to both. For example, a single start trapezoidal thread will self-lock, whereas a multi-start thread will not. On the other hand, you can travel much faster with a multi-start thread.

Our experts are on hand to offer application advice, to ensure that the best possible thread choice is used in your application.

If you need further information on an of our leadscrews, please visit the website or speak to one of our experts on 01604 677240.

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3 reasons why industrial manufacturing robots are important

Industrial robots are being used more and more in so many industries, no more so than the Manufacturing industry. But why are these industrial manufacturing robots important? Also, what constitutes an industrial robot?

What is an industrial manufacturing robot?

delta robots

According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) the term “industrial robot” is standardised as: “an automatically controlled, reprogrammable multipurpose manipulator, programmable in three or more axes”. These can be further identified as:

For blogs on the various robots visit: and search the robot.

How can industrial robots help?

Within the manufacturing world there are various areas where robots are included in the manufacturing process. Areas such as:

The integration of robots in these areas in the manufacturing industry, allows rapid growth where perhaps such growth wasn’t possible before.

1. Warehousing with industrial manufacturing robots

 industrial manufacturing robots

Warehousing will continue to grow. In comparison, however, this will not grow as fast as other industries. This is down to a high level of industrial manufacturing robots collaboration already widespread throughout warehousing. Areas such as palletising in warehouses tend to be using industrial robots to enable larger products to be added onto pallets. With these robots, using triflex® energy chain not only protects the power cables to the robot, it also reduces downtime. Its modular design allows cables to be inserted quickly and easily, preventing expensive stoppages.

2. Manufacturing with industrial manufacturing robots

Robots are well established in the manufacturing industry where reliability is of paramount importance, as well as an understanding of the required maintenance and lifetime. Condition monitoring and predictive maintenance helps these industrial robots become even more intelligent. Using “smart plastics” the integrated sensors and components provide information and suggest required steps, such as maintenance or shutting down the system in order to prevent damage that is expensive to repair. Industrial robots are expensive bits of equipment, and breakages and downtime are expenses that can be avoided with products like the igus® smart plastics.

3. Cleanroom robots

cleanroom industrial manufacturing robots

The pandemic last year triggered a boom for sanitary robot solutions in hospitals, industrial facilities and test laboratories. As we start to come out of the pandemic, industries that invested in automated sanitation solutions will continue to do so, and predictions are that these will continue to rise.

 Cleanroom robotics minimise contamination whereas the risk of contamination with humans is greater. Automating processes in cleanrooms with products such as the igus® e-skin® energy chain, stainless steel leadscrews and stainless linear systems, allows robotics to continue to work in these harsh, pristine environments.

Industrial manufacturing robots are important as they are helping collaboratively to increase growth in areas which may be struggling. If you need help with bearings, energy chains, leadscrews or cables for your robot, visit the website:

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