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Rapid delivery of customised bearings

10 May 2022

WITH THE manufacture of special parts by injection moulding often taking several weeks, plastics specialist igus has expanded its in-house toolmaking department and now offers the 'FastLine' express service whereby lubrication-free, polymer plain bearings in special dimensions can be delivered within a few days at cost-effective prices.

When customers need wear-resistant, non-standard plain bearings quickly, many either think of 3D printing or machining the parts from bar stock. But for high volume production of 1000 parts or more, both processes are too expensive. So igus now offers highly wear-resistant, injection moulded plain bearings in special dimensions with its FastLine Service. Batches can be produced and sent to the user in just a few days.

“By investing in our toolmaking department with its own production line for round parts with modern CNC technology, we can now respond even faster to our customers’ needs," explains Robert Dumayne, drytech director at igus UK. “In addition to our large catalogue range of polymer plain bearings available from stock, we can produce customised parts cost-effectively in just days using the right injection moulding tool.”

Printed, machined or injection moulded?

How does a customer find out when injection moulding or another production process is more cost-effective? For this, igus has the iglidur Designer online tool. Simply enter the dimensions of the plain bearing, select the desired material and the quantity, and an overview of the manufacturing processes with the appropriate costs is displayed.

Fast delivery of special bearings for ergometer series

Manufacturer of ergometers, ergoline GmbH, has used the FastLine Service. The ergometer, or rowing machine, company searched for a suitable maintenance-free plain bearing solution for the height adjustment of its new product range. Bearings in standard dimensions were unsuitable due to special inner and outer diameters. Initial tests with turned bearings made of iglidur bar stock were successful, but the batch production had to start quickly due to high demand for the product.

“Six weeks for a regular mould was too late for us and turning bearings from bar stock all the time was too time-consuming and too expensive”, explains Dominik Huber, developer at ergoline GmbH. “That’s why we were very happy with the igus FastLine Service. It took just four days from order to delivery, and the price is three times less than expected.”

Since the mould tool has been stored, ergoline can continue to benefit from the low-cost injection moulding of its parts in the future.