- Register


Home >Smart plastics increase plant availability

Editor's Pick


Smart plastics increase plant availability

25 August 2016

To enable Industry 4.0 applications igus has evolved its cable, energy chain and linear bearing products by embedding intelligence into its motion plastics with the addition of sensing, monitoring and communications.

Using smart plastics, customers can increase plant availability, maximise uptime and reduce costs through condition monitoring and predictive maintenance.

igus motion plastics are already used extensively worldwide throughout industry and everyday life in moving applications. Its high performance engineering plastics are self-lubricating and maintenance free, as well as being lighter, harder-wearing and more energy efficient than traditional materials. For dynamic applications, this results in more reliable and cost-effective solutions which also defy rain, salt and extreme temperatures, as well as being resistant to UV, oil and chemicals. Thanks to extensive testing in its 2,750m² test lab in Cologne, the largest facility of its kind in the world, igus® is able to accurately predict the service life of its motion plastics, offering reliability guarantees.

Smart plastics represent the next step for motion plastics: adding intelligence and networking to enable Industry 4.0 smart factories of the future via automated condition monitoring and predictive maintenance, improving reliability and reducing costs. Intelligent cables, energy chains and linear guides constantly monitor themselves, providing performance data and early warning of critical wear. isense encompasses a range of sensing technologies and monitoring modules, while networking with the igus Communication Module (icom) provides direct integration with the customer's IT infrastructure or the igus data cloud.

“isense continuously monitors the service life of your e-chain, cable or linear guide via measurements and calculations using the parameters of your system,” says Matthew Aldridge, managing director, igus. “These measurements are referenced against aggregated test data from the igus test laboratory to reliably predict smooth functioning in real-world operation. Alerts are sent when measured values exceed thresholds, allowing timely maintenance or replacement.”

Data can also be optionally shared with the igus data centre, opening up additional possibilities for customised service life calculation and optimisation of business processes, including maintenance commissioning, spare parts ordering and just-in-time delivery. In this way, electronic intelligence lowers maintenance costs even further and increases plant availability.