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‘Smart’ plain bearing can eliminate planned maintenance

15 April, 2020

The German engineering plastics specialist igus has developed an “intelligent” plain bearing that monitors and warns of wear, allowing users to plan their maintenance, repairs and parts replacement activities accordingly. The smart iglidur bearing is intended for use in difficult-to-access bearing points and for applications where no regular maintenance is planned.

The bearing consists of two main components: an internal, lubrication-free plastic material; and an outer protective polymer shell. A sensor mounted between the two measures the wear.

The data can be used in various ways. For example, it can be used to inform an operator about any wear via a warning light. For high-end applications, the data can be sent to a control system which analyses it and passes the results on to a customised Web interface via an icom communications module, allowing the information to be used to plan repair and maintenance activities.

The bearings can detect defects before they occur, thus avoiding downtime, cutting repairs, and boosting machine availability. Scheduled maintenance inspections become unnecessary.

Igus’ smart plain bearings can warn operators of wear problems

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