Machine or equipment failure causes a lot of trouble for operators: packaging equipment comes to a standstill or a wind turbine no longer turns. igus has therefore developed the world’s first intelligent plain bearing, which detects wear in extremely stressful applications in advance and sends a signal to the operator in good time if the bearing threatens to fail. Maintenance can therefore be planned and operators of agricultural machines, for example, are not surprised during the harvest season.
“We have primarily developed smart iglidur for difficult-to-access bearing points and for applications where no regular maintenance intervals have been planned”, says Stefan Loockmann-Rittich, Head of the Business Unit iglidur Plain Bearings at igus.
The body of the new smart iglidur plain bearing consists of two components: the internal, lubrication-free iglidur material and an outer hard polymer shell that protects the bearing. “The customer can choose the material that is most suitable for their application. The complete range of iglidur materials are available to them.” Loockmann-Rittich says.
In order to measure the amount of wear, an intelligent sensor is used between the two components. The data measured by the sensor can be integrated by the machine and equipment operators in their systems in different ways. For example, it is possible to inform the operator about the bearing’s wear by means of a warning light. For high-end applications, the data can be sent directly to a control system, which, after analysis, passes the data on to a customised web interface via the icom communication module for the purposes of maintenance and repair. In this way, the user can plan maintenance and replacement by means of a terminal device of choice.
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