In our bearing technology test lab, we test plain bearings for stress, wear and friction properties under real conditions. We also examine approximately 250 new polymer compounds each year. They are exposed not only to external influences, such as dirt, moisture, aggressive chemicals and temperature extremes, but also to different movements and loads - rotating, pivoting, linear motion and tumbling.
There have been, and still are, a virtually infinite number of cable suppliers, who also sell cables claiming to be ‘chain-suitable’. We are regularly asked how suitable our chainflex cables really are for use in energy chain applications that are rarely covered in normal standards. Our chainflex lab, which runs 250 tests simultaneously, concentrates on special experiments and tests that are not covered by the likes of VDE and UL. It enables us to provide our customers with the answers for predicting service life and functional capability whatever the application. For our energy chain and chainflex systems, we perform 4,100 tests annually at 180 test stations: climate chamber, outdoor tests, noise chamber, travel lengths up to 240m and robotic systems.
“No two days are the same in the test lab,” says Matthew Aldridge, managing director, igus. “Here, we test everything that we make – bearings, linear guides, cables, energy chains and all our low-cost automation systems. There are also customer requests to determine whether they can use our products and materials in their specific applications; these often result in the development of new products and systems. The results of all our tests are recorded in a database and are incorporated into our numerous online tools, where they, in turn, benefit our customers.”