Tuesday, 14 June 2016

2016 Gold vector award won by Heavy-duty Oil Rig Robot at Hannover Messe

2016 Gold vector award won by Heavy-duty Oil Rig Robot at Hannover Messe
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The winners of the 2016 vector award were honoured at the Hannover Messe. The gold vector award was won by the company Robotic Drilling Systems from Norway. From right to left.: Rune Bjørnbekk, Jimmy Bostrøm (both Robotic Drilling Systems, speaker at the award ceremony and patron of the competition Ken Fouhy, vdi nachrichten, Harald Nehring, igus GmbH. (Source: igus GmbH)

Every two years, igus GmbH presents the vector award for novel applications with energy chain systems covering fast travels, adverse environmental conditions and dizzying rotations this year, the gold vector award went to the Norwegian company Robotic Drilling Systems, who use several energy chain systems from the motion plastics specialist igus in extremely limited spaces within their robots.

The "Drill-floor Robot DFR-1500" from the Robotic Drilling Systems is the central robot in a fully automated oil drilling system. In an area where normal work involves the manual carriage of individual drilling elements to and fro and fixing with bolts with enormous effort, the company is working on the oil platform of the future, where the drilling is completely prepared and executed by robots. The DFR-1500 uses individual drilling elements and brings them into the correct position for the drilling operation.  RBR systems from igus are used in the articulated joints of the robots, and are responsible for the supply of energy, data and media. RBR stands for "reverse bend radius", because the chains are used lying on their side and the chain links can move in both directions, allowing rotational movements. This sophisticated energy supply system solution convinced the jury of the 2016 vector award, consisting of representatives of specialised media, business and research, who honoured the application by Robotic Drilling Systems with the gold vector award. The award, also with Euro 5,000 prize money, was received by Jimmy Bostrom, Chief Operating Officer at Robotic Drilling Systems, in front of around 500 guests at the award ceremony in the fair stand of igus GmbH at the Hannover Messe.

Silver for fast rotational movements
The silver vector went to Italy this year, selected from among the 190 submissions from 26 countries competing for the 2016 vector awards. In machine tools manufactured by Fidia, a completely pre-harnessed and pre-assembled MRM (multi rotation module) from igus is installed, which implements rotational movements of up to 720 degrees. As a result, fast rotation speeds of 180°/s and acceleration of 30°/s² and extremely fast changes of direction are possible. The module is simply installed on top of the machine tool and connected, allowing a very fast rotation of the z-axis.

Production plant for concrete elements wins the bronze
The application by Ebawe Anlagentechnik GmbH of Eilenburg in Saxony, which the company designed and constructed for a project in Thailand, was awarded the 2016 bronze vector. The plant is used for the industrial production of very varied concrete elements. The concrete distributor must go to the cleaning spot once or twice a day so that a smooth operation can be ensured. This, however, is about 50 metres away from the actual workplace of the plant. The solution was a chain from igus moving within a trough in the main workplace. A second system composed of e-chain and trough is used for the long spur track route to the cleaning place. The chain for the shorter moving trough is locked and the chain including trough moves on rollers above the lower system until its chain is fully extended. This entire process takes place fully automatically.

2016 Gold vector award won by Heavy-duty Oil Rig Robot at Hannover Messe
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Gold for oil drilling robot Inside the articulated joints energy chains with reverse bending radii supply energy, data and media in a minimum of space. (Source: igus GmbH)

Special award for innovative water catamaran
Catamaran boats always need two berths next to each other in the port due to their large width – this is expensive and sometimes not even available in high season. Cranage in particular is also extremely cumbersome, since there are few facilities available with a minimum width of eight metres. To resolve these problems, the Futura Yachtsystems Entwicklungs GmbH & Co KG developed the first width-variable water catamaran, which was awarded the 2016 special vector. The application enables the hulls to extend and retract, thus reducing the width from 8 metres to just 4.85 metres. In addition to the drylin linear units, seawater-resistant energy chains from igus are used, which guide the cables and hoses safely.

All information on the competition and the breadth of submissions - even from past years - are available at http://www.vector-award.de.

About igus® India
igus® operations in India started in the year 1998 with head quarters in Bangalore. igus offers widest range of products that includes polymer bearings, igubal® Spherical Bearings Plain Bearings and Bushing Accessories etc. which enable them to serve the whole industrial establishments in India from a small work shop to huge industrial establishments.

Monday, 13 June 2016

igus sets the course for the future: Speeding things up with digital innovation

igus sets the course for the future: Speeding things up with digital innovation

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From the individual lubrication-free bearing to the complex, individually configured energy chain system with over 500 components – igus has the aim of concretely implementing the automated process from online configuration to digitally supported manufacturing and delivery for all product categories in three years. As a result, the customer will be able to obtain his individual motion plastics product even more easily, more reliably and, of course, much faster. (Source: igus GmbH)

In the last fiscal year, igus GmbH was able to increase its sales considerably – namely, by around 18 per cent to a total of 552 million euros. More and more companies around the world are placing their trust in plastic solutions for moving applications because they lower costs and increase service life. To make it even easier for customers to retain their individual motion plastics product anywhere in the world, igus is investing considerable funds in the digitisation and intelligent networking of products, servicing and logistics.

In 2015, igus achieved sales of 552 million euros with its motion plastics, an around 18 per cent rise compared to the preceding year. Out of the total sales, 55 per cent was achieved in Europe, 27 per cent in Asia and 18 per cent in America and Africa. The reason is that high-performance plastics for motion continue to be in great demand all over the world. Guarantees of growth continue to be e-chains, cables and bearing technology but relatively new ball bearing and low-cost automation products are also acquiring increasingly greater significance. "The era of plastics for motion has begun", says Frank Blase, CEO of igus GmbH. "motion plastics are lubrication-free and corrosion-free, while requiring very little maintenance, and are proving their worth in more and more applications due to their low weight, durability and energy efficiency, especially compared to conventional metal solutions." The more than 100,000 motion plastics products include individual parts such as bearings among other things. However, the great majority of orders are for individually configured modules such as an assembled energy chain with 500 individual components and more. Every one of the daily 7,000 orders is different. A complicated challenge – particularly since igus delivers the goods so quickly (at least 24 after receipt of order).

Finding and configuring online made easy
Last year, igus invested heavily in product innovations as well as in servicing and logistics – and the company is continuing along this path in 2016. On all levels, the extension of digital processes is of central importance. "In future, an igus product will not be an igus product until it can be configured and calculated online and then goes through the entire process chain automatically with digital support - from order processing and production to servicing and services.  Important initial steps in this direction have already been taken. Even now, customers have access to more than 30 freely available online tools for configuration and calculation as well as 16 mobile apps. The basis for this consists of the data obtained from the industry's largest test laboratory, the size of which has now been increased to 2,750 m². Having invested in the digital infrastructure, igus is also able to carry out calculation and configuration, make an offer, order the product and have it delivered very quickly - all of which can be done directly on site on the customer's premises. To this end, the field staff have all been equipped with tablets and the company's own engineering software. Moreover, teams specialising in the 16 product segments as well as consultants with expertise in 13 branches of industry are also available – from automotive manufacturing and ship-building to the agricultural or food industry. Altogether, the number of employees rose by 9 per cent to 2,950, whereby the number of field staff for local personal support and consultation increased by 17 per cent.

Logistics: Ordered quickly, delivered quickly
In order to ensure speedy and individual delivery, igus has considerably expanded its worldwide production and storage capacity in North America, Asia and Europe. The customer therefore receives exactly the product he needs for his application from 14 storage and assembly/installation centres worldwide: as a single component or as a complete system, also installed or assembled on site on request. Every day, around 20,000 different product versions and configurations are dispatched to customers.

Digitisation driving product development forwards
In addition to servicing and logistics, digitisation is also enabling new approaches in product development. The smart plastics presented at Hannover Messe enhance the availability of the customer's equipment due to their integration into a network. The intelligent cable, energy chain and linear guide monitor their own condition during use and open up new possibilities of anticipatory maintenance. The user is therefore never unexpectedly confronted with a problem in his application but can plan replacement of a component  well in advance. In the area of low-cost automation as well, digitisation is opening up new possibilities. The robolink D online configurator enables easy configuration and ordering of low-cost robot components from the modular joint construction kit. Robot manufacturers and mechanical engineering companies can therefore build inexpensive robot arms and users can automate simple tasks. At Hannover Messe, igus is showing a complete 6-axis-arm robot with a new type of plastic wave gear as an example.

3D printing: Innovation in the areas of products, servicing and logistics
How digitisation creates benefits for the customer is being shown by igus with the example of 3D printing especially. Design engineers can now make use of six different igus Tribo-Filaments and an SLS material for cost-effective lubrication and maintenance-free prototypes, special parts and small product batches. Thanks to the new online ordering website for the 3D printing service of igus, customers can now order their printed plastic parts even more easily than before. Just a few mouse clicks are needed to upload CAD data, select the right material, view prices and directly order the products required. The online tool is available internationally, as a result of which users all over the world can obtain their highly abrasion-resistant parts quickly and inexpensively. For this purpose, eleven branch offices were equipped with their own 3D printers last year. A first step, as Frank Blase emphasises. "Our clear objective in the coming three years is to concretely implement the automated process that ranges from online configuration to digitally supported manufacturing for all product categories.  This is a difficult path to take because ready-made solutions cannot be bought - they usually have to be developed by oneself. We have already made enormous progress and know that we will succeed." Due to this perfected form of individual mass production, customers all over the world will be able to obtain any motion plastics product they need even quicker, more reliably and in a significantly reduced time and will undoubtedly keep on using the product far into the future.

For more information please visit: http://www.igus.in/energychains?C=IN&L=en

About igus® India
igus® operations in India started in the year 1998 with head quarters in Bangalore. igus offers widest range of products that includes polymer bearings, igubal® Spherical Bearings Plain Bearings and Bushing Accessories etc. which enable them to serve the whole industrial establishments in India from a small work shop to huge industrial establishments.