Wednesday, 10 July 2019 09:08

Smart bearing prevents nasty hold-ups

Written by  Mark Daniel
A German bearing maker says its product warns of imminent failtures. A German bearing maker says its product warns of imminent failtures.

A German bearing maker claims to have developed the world’s first ‘intelligent plain bearing’, called iglide.

Igus GmBH says its bearings, made from high-performance plastics, can warn of imminent failures, so allowing operators or users to plan or do maintenance and repairs before failure wreaks havoc. 

It says this capability is particularly useful where plain bearings are pounded by abrasive dust, chemicals, moisture and high rotational speeds.

The bearing suits difficult access locations where it often may get little or no attention.

The iglide bearing consists of two main components: an inner section made from lubrication free material and a hard polymer outer shell designed to protect the internal component.

To measure bearing wear rates, an intelligent sensor is fitted between the two components to alert operators via a warning light, or at the other end of the sphere it can be linked to an automatic cut off device.

In factories that depend crucially on particular plant or machinery, data on bearing wear can be sent to a control system for analysis, and the data can then be passed to a web interface for planned maintenance schedules, so eliminating costly breakdowns or stoppages. 

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