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igus announces the UK Manus Award winners

20 October 2011

Plastic bearings specialist, igus has announced the two UK local winners of its global Manus Awards for 'Most Eye-catching Design' and 'Most Innovative Bearing Use'. The two winners, chosen from among 21 UK entries, were MBP Concepts (eye-catching), and Trailerteq (innovative). Both, quite coincidentally, are manufacturers of highly innovative and adaptive vehicle trailer systems.

MBP Concepts  Tyligo Premium
MBP Concepts Tyligo Premium

In recognition of the innovative use of a polymer sleeve bearing in its luxury Tyligo Premium folding trailer, MBP Concepts received the igus UK manus award for Most Eye-catching Design. The Tyligo Premium is a multipurpose folding trailer designed to allow valuable items of equipment – such as motorcycles, quad bikes, kayaks and jet skis – to be safely and securely towed behind a car or other vehicle. In addition to its versatility, strength and reliability, the Tyligo Premium has the outstanding benefit of folding to just 700 mm wide when not in use, which not only allows it to be easily stored, but also means that it can pass through a standard-width house door.

Matthieu Philippault, the inventor of the Tyligo Premium, spent three years developing and refining the design of the trailer. During that time, he encountered many engineering challenges, not the least of which was finding the right bearing to use for the critical function of folding and opening the trailer by sliding the front bracket on the main stainless steel beam.

Key requirements were that the bearing should combine high load bearing capacity with long life, small size and minimal maintenance requirements. It was also necessary that it should be capable of operating reliably over a wide temperature range, in wet and dry conditions, and that it should be impervious to the effects of salt, grit and other contaminants that would be thrown up from the road surface when the trailer was in use.

It was decided that the iglidur sleeve bearing from igus would best meet these requirements, as it has characteristics that are far superior to those of conventional metal bearings. The ability to carry a much greater load for the same physical size of bearing is thanks to the material’s high compressive strength and superior elasticity properties. iglidur bearings are also cost effective and require no lubrication or other maintenance.

The iglidur bearing is proving to be an ideal choice for the Tyligo Premium. It is easy to handle and fit during the manufacture of the trailer, and is fully living up to expectations for reliability and performance in service.

Tyligo will be ready for retail at the end of this year and will be officially launched at the MCN Motorcycle Show in 2012.

Trailerteq, a fast-growing British engineering company that specialises in the development of roadside towing equipment, won the manus Plastic Bearing Innovation award in recognition of its use of a polymer bearing to provide a dependable and cost-effective solution to a challenging engineering problem.

Trailerteq’s compact Rapid Deployment Transporter (RDT) fits into the back of an ordinary van, but can be deployed in minutes to form a robust and reliable towing trailer for transporting vehicles ranging from motorbikes and cars to small vans. It is, therefore, a very popular choice for garages and other organisations involved with vehicle recovery.

Trailerteq’s compact Rapid Deployment Transporter
Trailerteq’s compact Rapid Deployment Transporter

During the development of the RDT, however, Trailerteq discovered that the support bearing for the main arm that links the body of the RDT with the towing vehicle was prone to premature failure. Finite-element analysis confirmed that the phosphor bronze sleeve bearing that was being used could not carry the required load, but space constraints meant that it was impossible to use a larger bearing.

In searching for a solution, Trailerteq’s design engineers discovered the igus range of iglidur polymer bearings. These have extremely high compressive strength coupled with high elasticity, which means that, size for size, they have a much higher load carrying capacity than conventional metal bearings. In addition, the iglidur bearings require no lubrication or other maintenance, and they are highly resistant to the effects of dirt ingress or other contamination, something that is very important for this application, where the bearings are exposed to salt and grit from the road.

Calculations showed that not only could an iglidur bearing reliably handle the required loads, it was also possible to use a bearing that was physically smaller than the phosphor-bronze type originally proposed. This meant that additional material would remain in high-stress areas of the RDT structure, making the transporter even more robust and tolerant of tough operating conditions. Practical experience with production units has confirmed these expectations and no failures have been experienced with the iglidur bearings.


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