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How igus takes our country from farm to fork

30 June 2020

The Farm to Fork Strategy aims to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable food system that should have a neutral or positive environmental impact.

It is one of the reasons why lubrication-free tribopolymer bearings are quickly displacing their traditional metallic counterparts in farming equipment, through to food processing and packaging machines. Robert Dumayne, dry-tech Director at igus, provides an overview of how igus bearings play a vital role in removing the risk of lubricant contamination.

Automating manual tasks to increase productivity and throughput is a given in high-volume manufacturing, such as the automotive industry. Today, modular, low-cost automation is enabling other industries to automate manual tasks with a good return on investment – this is particularly so in the food production sector with vertical farming as well as traditional agriculture. This is driven by environmental considerations, such as the requirement for the elimination of external lubricant and the necessity of low energy production.

iglidur bearings and liners are based on thermoplastic polymers that ensure good basic resistance to wear. Fibres and filling materials increase the bearing's mechanical load-carrying capacity. Most importantly, they do not require any external lubrication as solid lubricants form part of the homogenous structure made up of millions of microscopic particles. The plain bearings release tiny amounts of solid lubricants during movement to sufficiently lubricate the immediate surrounding area.

iglidur A160 and iglidur A181 are blue materials that are visually detectable to comply with EU regulation 10/2011 and the requirements of the FDA. Both materials have high wear-resistance, low moisture absorption and resistance to chemicals. iglidur A160 has good chemical resistance, which also makes it resistant to aggressive cleaning agents. iglidur A181, on the other hand, is suitable for use on stainless-steel shafts and in applications involving pivoting and rotating movements. 

Read the full article in the July issue of DPA.

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