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igus® inc.

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Plastic bearings for the boat industry

Leading manufacturer of boat cranes uses polymer plain bearings

The company Quality Boat Lifts uses iglide® plastic plain bearings in their cranes used in commercial and private marinas and also by private boat owners to haul boats out of the water.
The company Quality Boats based outside Fort Meyers, Florida, offers seven different maintenance-free crane systems for boats like for instance ALUM-A-VATOR, which has been fulfilling the industry standard over 40 years, and the rugged industrial model Superlift. iglide® P is directly used in both in the drive shaft of the cable winch, which executes a lifting and lowering movement to haul the boat completely out of water.

There are between 10 and 20 iglide® plain bearings in each crane.. In contrast to metal and bronze bearings, the igus® bearings do not corrode due to their high-performance polymer structure and are for this reason the ideal choice for underwater application. Quality Boats use iglide® P specially for their low humidity absorption, low coefficients of friction and high load capacity. The bearing easily absorbs between 4,500 and 66,000 pounds with ALUM-A-VATOR and the Speedlift. iglide® P likewise withstands radial forces of 1,000 pounds that occur during the operation of the boat lift.

Boat cranes

An additional profit for Quality Boats was the discontinuation of maintenance for the customers by the use of iglide® P. Earlier, bearing blocks were used in the cranes which required regular lubrication. For the customers, this was often difficult and frequently uncertain, as the maintenance routine required the boat owner to climb to the top of the unit. The lubricant additionally contaminates the water and was no environment-friendly solution. The application of maintenance-free plain bearings eliminated these problems.

"In the search for bearings, we confronted a series of problems: Salt water, mineral deposits, grease – just about anything that floats on water can reach the crane and exert an influence on its individual parts, " says Riku Ylipelkonen, executive engineer at Quality Boats. "iglide® bearings defy all these elements and show low wear. Our crane designs combined with the impressive performance of the iglide® bearings enable us to construct the only completely maintenance-free boat crane in the industry. ”

The entire range of iglide® plastic bearings from igus® forms a practical and low priced alternative to bronze, metallic, rolled and injection-molded plain bearings. They are resistant to dirt, dust, chemicals and UV rays. With a range of more than 8000 different bearing types and sizes, igus® offers a bearing technology solution for every application.

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