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Smart plastics from igus can prevent downtime and make it possible to schedule maintenance

03 February 2021

System failure or unplanned machine downtime are among the industry's most significant cost drivers. Hence, maintenance engineers are demanding more condition-monitoring systems and predictive maintenance solutions to make it possible to schedule maintenance and prevent unplanned failures.

With its smart plastics, igus has developed smart solutions for energy chains, cables and plain bearing technology.

The digitisation of industry started a long time ago. A product can be bought online with just one click and produced automatically within seconds. However, more data also means more machines that allow an automated process. In the worst case, just one component failure can cause production to come to a standstill. With the help of IoT (the Internet of Things) machines and components are meant to connect and communicate with each other and display possible error messages, giving people the chance to react in time.

igus offers the possibilities of this networking with its smart plastics. As a manufacturer and supplier of components made of high-performance polymers for motion, such as energy chains, cables and plain bearings, the motion plastics specialist is increasingly tailoring its mechanical products for use in a connected and smart factory. The aim is to make maintenance and repair work more efficient and cost-effective.

Smart components reduce the risk of downtime

According to a study by FM Global, the most common reason for system failure is insufficient maintenance. A lot of companies don’t take their plants out of service for preventive maintenance in times of thriving economy or crisis. 

This attitude bears a certain risk and only works until problems arise that lead to expensive repairs, drops in sales and potentially to the loss of market share, because the companies are not able to fulfil their orders due to system failure.
Hence, predictive maintenance is essential. igus has therefore equipped its e-chains, cables and polymer bearings with optional sensors that can either monitor the condition or can be used for predictive maintenance via a data connection.

Read the full article in the February issue of DPA.

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