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"Unleash your engineering power with play" igus revolutionises engineering with new products

By Guest Author,

Added 13 June 2023

By providing easy access to the right motion plastics products, igus empowers engineers to enjoy their work while minimising carbon footprint and plastic waste.

igus, a leading provider of motion plastics, has announced the launch of 190 new physical and digital products in 2023. The products include a low-cost robot operated via a VR headset, Spare parts identified and ordered in seconds using AI on a smartphone, and a mobile app that immediately identifies potential applications for lubrication-free parts on an excavator. These offerings aim to revolutionise engineering practices, enhance user experience, reduce costs, and promote sustainability. By providing easy access to the right motion plastics products, igus empowers engineers to enjoy their work while minimising carbon footprint and plastic waste. 

Visitors to the 2023 Hannover Messe can experience the new possibilities of a virtual parallel world at the igus exhibition stand in Hall 17, where they can use VR glasses and control a robot arm in virtual reality. The highlight is a robot that can mirror their exact movements. A bridge has been built between VR and reality; an insight of what will be possible in the future in the so-called iguverse, the igus metaverse. 

The iguverse makes collaboration easy and fun 

In the iguverse, engineers, material experts, and project planners can collaborate and build 3D models of machines, systems, and assemblies on a 1:1 scale. This eliminates the need for lengthy meetings and expensive travel, resulting in faster, sustainable, and cost-effective product development. The digital twin within the iguverse can also be used for training purposes.

"The possibilities of virtual reality for mechanical engineering design are absolutely fascinating. We want to be a part of this technology right from the start," shared igus CEO Frank Blase. "We want to develop new solutions that even small companies with limited budgets can easily use." For example, igus plans to open iguverse in the future; companies can then benefit from this platform, which is fully managed by igus, with no development outlay. Also new for 2023; a cloud-based app called igusGO. The user takes a photo of a machine, for example an excavator, and artificial intelligence analyses where lubrication-free parts from igus could be used cost-effectively. 

Voice control system, "superwise" and "kopla" - new services for Industry 4.0 

The igus range of low-cost robotics, intended to promote automation in SME's, is also growing. A new, smaller cobot - the ReBeL KID - will be available from May 2023 for only 3,999 euros, and has optional voice control. The online marketplace RBTX, showcases over 350 automation projects, all of which can be copied for similar applications. 98 percent of these complete solutions are already available with prices ranging from 1,974 to 12,000 euros.

In addition to low-cost robotics, igus has expanded the range of smart plastics. These are standard parts such as energy chains and plain bearings, equipped with sensors and integrated into IoT networks. This allows SME's to implement Industry 4.0 trends, such as condition monitoring and predictive maintenance. The smart plastics can be expanded with a new service called "superwise", a digital product which links to igus field service team. A completely new service is the igus managed platform "kopla". This allows companies to create their own online expert systems and calculation tools. It is aimed specifically at medium-sized companies who operate internationally and would like to explain their products online. 

igus continues to expand - on the way to the millionth customer

Despite the challenges of recent years, igus remains on a path of growth. With over 188,000 customers, igus employs 5,000 professionals across 31 global locations. In 2022, the company achieved annual sales exceeding €1 billion for the first time. Now, igus sets its sights on acquiring one million active customers by 2030. To get there igus is investing in the development of motion plastics and in fast local logistics. They aim to make all moving applications in the world maintenance-free and long-lasting. Many online tools help engineers to calculate the life of igus products, giving a reliable and sustainable solution.

Environmental Sustainability

"Unleashing your engineering power with play" is green. The company presents a new solution for reusing factory energy, aimed at achieving carbon neutrality in the igus factory by the end of 2025. This innovative system uses spent coolant water from injection molding machines to heat the facility, effectively driving gas consumption to zero. By sharing this energy solution under the name Machine Heat Recovery System (MHRS), igus aims to assist other industrial companies in their environmental endeavors. Furthermore, igus has been actively improving the environmental balance of plastics for years, with a particular focus on recycling. The popular "Chainge" recycling program, which previously collected and reprocessed disused energy chains, now encompasses all technical plastics. From polyamide to PEEK, customers can participate in the Chainge program and receive credit vouchers. In August, igus plans to launch the igus:bike made from recycled ocean waste, further showcasing its commitment to sustainability and resource conservation.

"It is imperative that our growth aligns with the sustainable use of resources," remarks Frank Blase. He expresses his admiration and motivation for working with the creative and energetic igus team, expressing excitement for the future.

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