igus introduces intelligent fixed flange bearings with predictive maintenance system

Equipped with miniature wireless sensors, these bearings provide real-time data on wear and tear, enabling timely interventions and replacements.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 19 Feb 2024 Views icon4873 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Intelligently networked with i.Sense igubal: the new generation of igus fixed flange bearings permanently monitors the condition of the bearing position so as to avoid expensive damage and downtimes.

Intelligently networked with i.Sense igubal: the new generation of igus fixed flange bearings permanently monitors the condition of the bearing position so as to avoid expensive damage and downtimes.

igus has unveiled a new generation of fixed flange bearings equipped with advanced predictive maintenance technology. These innovative bearings, crafted from lubrication-free high-performance plastic, now come embedded with miniature wireless sensors, marking a significant leap in industrial maintenance practices.

With this development, technicians can now proactively monitor the condition of bearings, thus averting potential system failures and minimising production downtime. Equipped with miniature wireless sensors, these bearings provide real-time data on wear and tear, enabling timely interventions and replacements.

Thomas Preissner, Head of Business Unit igubal Spherical Bearings at igus, emphasises the transformative impact of this technology, stating, "As part of our smart plastics range, we are gradually equipping plain bearings made of high-performance plastics with networked sensors. Our two- and four-hole fixed flange bearings now enable condition monitoring and predictive maintenance to prevent unforeseen damage."

So, how exactly do these Industry 4.0 bearings operate? igus integrates an abrasion sensor into the polymer spherical ball, along with a battery for cable-free power supply. Wear on the bearing interrupts the conductor paths of the circuit board, triggering a digital signal transmission via a long-range network (LoRa). This data is then analyzed by the i.Cee switch cabinet module, allowing users to monitor the bearing's condition in real-time through a web-based dashboard accessible from anywhere in the world.

The Societe National des Chemins de Fer Luxembourgeois (CFL), Luxembourg's national railway company, has already embraced this technology as a pilot customer. Operating a 200-meter washing system for trains, CFL has opted for igus' networked spherical balls in UC bearing housings to replace lubricated standard ball bearings. Mike Feinen, CFL Maintenance Manager, highlights the advantages of these bearings, stating, "The other bearings have to be lubricated every few weeks, which is very time-consuming. We have therefore ticked off this maintenance issue."

With continuous condition monitoring, CFL can now proactively prevent failures and optimize maintenance schedules, maximizing the service life of the polymer bearings. This successful pilot implementation underscores the potential of igus' intelligent fixed flange bearings to revolutionize maintenance practices across industries, heralding a new era of efficiency and reliability in industrial operations.

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