The customer's agricultural equipment manufacturer FELLA-Werke GmbH are large agricultural enterprises, machinery contractors; machinery rings and also farmers with only a few acres of land. "As we are not aware of every detail of the conditions prevailing in every case, we have to pay attention to the robustness of the machines we design without losing sight of the costs involved in manufacturing", says Kohl. "This means that the choice of the components deployed is equally as important. “
FELLA has been designing implements for tractors for more than 90 years. These include mowers, hay rakes and swathers. The swather works by using eight, ten or twelve tine arms to rake together stalk material that has already been mown or spread out to form a swathe. All swathers made by this supplier work exclusively using rotary technology, i.e. exploit the benefit of high area performance. "The bearings for the prongs are a part of the complex control system the most important function of the machine," clarifies the design manager. "If these get damaged, the rotary rake stops working. And this must not happen at any time during the harvest. Even at the test stage we recognised that we needed an anti-rotation feature," recalls designer Dipl. Ing. (FH) Jürgen Riedel.
It quickly became apparent to the company that plastic could be used to cut costs. "In the beginning, we had plastic bushings turned ourselves and later had them injection molded. But the results were not satisfactory because the choice of material wasn't right," Jürgen Riedel recalls. "As a mechanical engineering company, we decided that we needed to look for a plastics expert. "The extensive igus® product range, which includes standard and customised parts, quickly provided a suitable solution. Having been tested thousands of times under everyday conditions in the igus® laboratory, the high level of abrasion resistance and the dry-operation properties of the polymer plain bearings immediately revealed their worth in real-life agricultural applications.
"The system has been running smoothly since the launch of series production. The anti-rotation feature ensures a completely firm fit of the bushing in its housing. The friction pairing is a perfect match, which allows us to assume that we will continue to deploy these components over a long time to come," says Jürgen Riedel. The benefits pay off for the manufacturer of agricultural machines: the amount of wear has been significantly reduced in comparison to plain bearings made of metal and less noise is generated when the equipment is in operation. Furthermore, they are more economical as the reworking of the housing bore for the plain bearings in the aluminum bearing tube is no longer required.
What do you do when an important replacement part for an exhibit suddenly goes missing on the way to the trade fair? The response of the Berlin-based company Blackcam, a manufacturer of camera motion systems, is to turn to the igus® 3D printing service.
Plastic grippers made of igus® filaments. They come directly from the 3D printing process. Since 2015 igus has been offering tribologically optimised 3D print filaments for 3D printing. If the required CAD data are available, it would be easy to manufacture the product in an additive process.
The slit lamp is to the ophthalmologist what the drill is to a dentist. There are great technical demands placed on the mechanical design of the medical device. The plain bearings from igus® used are components made of iglidur® J – the bearings supplied as bar stock are processed in the manufacture of A. R. C., which involves high precision tooling down to the nearest μm in order to obtain the desired fit.