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Industry 4.0 Gets Trouble-Free Motion With Smart Plastics


Motion plastics, high-performance plastics for motion, defy rain, salt, extreme temperatures, are resistant to oil or chemicals, are lighter, more dynamic, more energy efficient and yet cost effective. At the Hannover Messe, igus showed the next step – intelligent “smart plastics” for Industry 4.0. Their goal: to make predictive maintenance even easier and thus reduce costs in the factory of the future.

Today they are used worldwide, high-performance plastics for moving applications. In everyday life, in kitchen machines, bicycles or shower cubicles as well as in industrial environments, such as machine tools or in crane facilities. igus is able to make accurate statements about the service life of motion plastics, thanks to the extensive tests in the 2,750 m² testing lab,  The test results are incorporated into the online tools which are also available as a mobile app. igus now goes a step further and presenting smart plastics; intelligent plastics solutions that ensure additional reliability in the factory of the future.

smart plastics detect conditions in operation

The networked smart plastics expand the possibilities for so-called predictive maintenance and increase the plant availability for the customer. Intelligent drylin linear guides as well as the intelligent energy chains and the intelligent cables constantly monitor themselves and provide early warning of failure. The range named isense consists of different sensors and monitoring modules. By networking with the igus communication module (ICOM), a direct integration with the customer’s infrastructure takes place.

Automated maintenance saves time and money

isense is capable of monitoring the service life of the e-chain, cable or linear guide. Through continuous distance measurements and the calculations using the parameters of the system as well as the thousands of test data from the test laboratory, it is possible to also reliably predict the smooth functioning in real operation. If measured values are exceeded, the intelligent products indicate the remaining term of use early, which enables a timely maintenance and replacement. Optionally isense can be connected to the igus data centre, thereby opening up more digital options: customised service life calculation and optimisation of business processes. These include maintenance commissioning or spare parts ordering. In this way, the electronic intelligence lowers maintenance costs even further and increases plant availability.