That’s it, folks!

When something comes to an end, people ask you how it started and what you do afterwards.

  • “How did you get involved in the tour?”

A friend of mine, Antal, told me about this trip because I was looking for a job after my studies but received refusals only. He told me that igus® is looking for an engineer to join a road trip. The first thing I thought was: “I don’t like driving for hours.” However, I can’t miss this unique opportunity and thus, I decided to apply. They said: “Yes.” and with Nils and Sandor, the team was complete. It was risky because I didn’t know them and they didn’t know me. Everybody of us had different strengths and weaknesses. However, we complemented one another, grew up and had a lot of fun together. If someone was not in a good mood, there was always one of us making the others laugh. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been possible to work and live together for the last 6 months.

  • “What do you do afterwards?”

Life goes on and we are all looking for a job right now but maybe we take some time off to travel. 😉

At the end, I want to sum it up by using numbers:
The iglidur®-car has traveled over 100,000 km with its 56 iglidur®-bearings on board to celebrate 30 years of iglidur® in over 30 countries within the last 14 months. All of the 9 applications (roof kinematics, throttle valve, alternator, window lifter, windscreen wiper, handbreak, break pedal, gear shift and seat adjustment) were tested under various conditions of the 4 continents where the car has been. There were 3 tour representatives: Sascha, Kayla and me which documented every single event and kept everybody up-to-date on the blog and Facebook. Nevertheless, it is always the result of a team working together. Hand in hand. 24/7!

For me, it was an once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity. Everytime I see the photos and videos, I can’t believe that it’s me on the screen. After the world trip and before we started the tour through Europe, I’ve asked Sascha how it feels to see himself on a large screen in front of several monuments and sightseeing spots around the world. He said: “It feels like a second life.” and I agree. Time was flying but I will always remember the trip. I have met two fantastic guys – Nils and Sandor.

I want to thank everybody who was involved in the tour! We experienced so many different cultures and met so many people across Europe. We are all one big family. Let’s never forget that! 

Thanks for following us throughout our journey!

A mosaic of the iglidur®-car based on members of the igus®-family. (Open the photo separately to have a closer look)


PS: 100,000 km and no ticket, as far as I know 😉

Review – Application – Italbox

Next we visited the company Italbox in Portugal, in the city of Águeda. The enterprise manufactures shower units and they do it very successfully. A large part of the production goes to hotel facilities throughout the world. Armando Conceicao, who founded the company in 1999, at that time only offered three different shower unit models for sale, which were manufactured in a 300 square meters facility. Today Italbox could no longer fit into such a facility, the product range is huge and everything happens on the premises: Design and development, manufacturing, assembly and quality control. Even supplemental machines, for instance, that are used to punch holes in aluminium profiles, have been developed by the company itself. Decoration of the glass surfaces is executed by sand‐blasting with extremely fine sand ‐ naturally in house. The only thing that is not done on site is the chrome plating of the components for the good look.

Review – Application – ItalboxThe most beautiful bath design cannot distract from the fact that Karl keeps his shoes on when he takes a shower

Thus Italbox owns many patents, naturally also in its own name. The association with famous Italian designers is certainly desired, however Armando Conceicao, who personally guided us through his facility, emphasises that the name was more or less a chance occurrence. At the time, he submitted several names and this one was accepted. However, far as the products that leave the plant are concerned, this Italbox by no means leaves to chance. Tests have a high priority. And this took us back to the first igus® application.

Review – Application – Italbox.2In the upper photo you can see an aluminium rail, bottom left in the profile. In the bottom right photo one of the carriages can be identified, into which the glass door is inserted

The carriage sits in the rail for the glass doors. Rail and carriage are made of aluminium; one carriage has four rollers of iglidur® J and two liners of iglidur® J200. Two of these carriages are inserted in the rail and a head‐high glass door is placed on the carriages. The rollers are made of bar stock with a lathe tool designed for this purpose.

Review – Application – Italbox.3Initially Italbox used a single long carriage to bear the load of the glass door, until this was shortened, and later replaced by two short carriages. This also makes the design easier visually. The photo shows the development from left to right

To test the wear resistance of the design, and thus the rollers as well, Italbox performed its own practical test. 20,000 cycles were required, after 100,000 cycles the experiment was aborted. Result: No visible wear.

Review – Application – Italbox.4On the left an innovative hinge with an igus®, type iglidur® A180 bearing, on the right a hinge with standard plastic bearings. You see the real difference only after 200,000 cycles at the latest

The glass doors of the unit are held in place by chrome‐plated hinges. At first, plain bearings of standard plastic were installed here, now the igus®‐component iglidur® A180 is standard at Italbox. The material absorbs virtually no water at all and thus maintains the required tolerances over the long term, this makes it ideally suited for this type of application. Another plus is the absence of the stick‐slip effect that can occur where at the commencement of a movement, a lot of force must be exerted due to the high friction resistance. This effect does not exist with the igus® components, this is ensured by the solid lubricants inside the material. These are the same lubricants that make regular maintenance unnecessary.

In the test the bearings, which by the way can be ordered as standard products in the igus® catalogue, were clearly convincing: The system had to hold for at least 20,000 cycles, after 200,000 cycles the fatigue test was aborted without the slightest indication of wear. The igus® bearings passed the test with flying colours!

Review – Application – Italbox.5Italbox stands for sophisticated design and also shows it from the outside igus® and the “iglidur® on tour” team thank Armando Conceicao and his interpreting employee Aydin Rodigues for the tour through the Italbox plant, which was just as interesting as it was detailed.

Kind regards,
igus® and the “iglidur® on tour”-team

Review – Application – Radpak

First stop on our road trip through Poland was the company Radpak in Wloclawek. The specialist for packaging machines was founded by Tad Radzanowski in 1991 and offers its customers individually adapted complete solutions, including process control systems and extending to final packaging and palletising. Radpak has cartoners, lidding machines, cup fillers, case formers, box filling machines, VFF&S machines, Case Packer machines and sealing systems in its product line, as well as auger fillers and scales. Just as we arrived a machine was being prepared for delivery to the USA.

Rückblick – Anwendung – RadpakRadpak is expanding and builds with igus®. Multiple e‐chains® guide the lines of this packaging system. In the photo detail below an igubal® pillow block bearing including lead screws can be seen

Participation at international exhibitions have brought Radpak a worldwide clientele. Many sales came about due to the favourable price, as they explained to us, and only thereafter due to the uncompromising quality offered by the Polish enterprise. To ensure that ultimately there is a win‐win situation for both sides a genuine contribution is made by the reasonably priced igus® components with their self lubricated characteristics and the resulting zero maintenance. Worldwide sales is only a rewarding proposition if a component does not give up the ghost suddenly and unexpectedly and must be repaired or replaced. This is why Radpak builds on igus® components.

Rückblick – Anwendung – Radpak.2A precise look at a drylin® W double rail. Through the double rail segments are adapted to different products

For packaging machines a high clock speed predominates in order to deliver as many products as possible in a short time. The e-chain® protects the line against damage and extends its service life. Consequently the moving lines are routed in e-chains®. Pillow block bearings from the igubal® series support the lead screws, via which the machines can be adapted to the different product sizes. Thanks to the drylin® linear guide, segments of the packaging system are adapted to the different product sizes. The product, such as a bar of soap is first packed in individual packages, and then packed in large quantities in boxes. Sometimes these steps are executed in separate machines.

Rückblick – Anwendung – Radpak.3Radpak employees and the “iglidur® on tour” team. The packaging machine behind them will soon start off on its voyage to the USA

The “iglidur® on tour” team thanks Radpak for the memorable experience on this afternoon and for the delicious hazelnut‐vanilla flavoured coffee.

Kind regards,
igus® and the “iglidur® on tour”-team

Review – Application – LNG Hybrid

For our next visit, we dropped anchor in Hamburg Port. Our destination: the LNG hybrid barge “Hummel” on the Blohm & Voss shipyard. The “Hummel” is a floating liquid gas power station, designed to supply energy to cruise ships while they are docked in the port. The idea for this came from the company Becker Marine Systems, global leader for rudders and maritime energy-saving systems. The energy guidance expert igus® was commissioned to develop and implement a cable transfer unit.

Rückblick – Anwendung – LNG HybridThe “Hummel” LNG barge is a floating liquid gas power station and the solution to a major environmental problem 

Five modern gas engines on the “Hummel” with an electrical output of 7.5 MW (megawatts) reliably supply all the energy required by an entire cruise ship. Previously, the on-board diesel generators had to keep running even when the large ships were at anchor. This meant high levels of exhaust gas pollution in the port air. In early 2015, a new EU regulation on the reduction of sulphur emissions for shipping areas in the North and Baltic Seas entered into force. Becker Marine Systems took this as an opportunity to take a completely new look at the question of energy supplies. Its answer is likely to be of major future importance. “The advantage of liquefied natural gas or LNG is that it does not contain any sulphur”, explains Frank Simon, Chief Engineer on the “Hummel” LNG hybrid barge. The emissions are far lower than those from conventional diesel generators, reducing the CO2 emissions by 20 percent and the NOx emissions by up to 88 percent.

Rückblick – Anwendung – LNG Hybrid.2The energy is supplied from the barge to the quay via an igus® complete solution. The black e-chain®, almost an igus® trademark, is easy to spot

On first seeing the barge, we are not looking out for individual igus® components but enjoying the overall impression. The coupling process from the barge to the quay, from where the energy is then supplied on to the cruise ship, takes place using a complete solution from igus®. The floating “Hummel” can be used in any areas of the port where it is required. The igus® complete solution ensures safe access to the barge, compensates the tide levels and waves and guides the oversized connectors onto the land.

Rückblick – Anwendung – LNG Hybrid.3A closer look makes it possible to see several igus® components. The iglidur® plate (top right) and the iglidur® plain bearing assist with any necessary rotation of the crane arm. A drylin® housing bearing can be seen at the top left

On 18 May 2015, the “Hummel” LNG barge will officially go into operation. We would like to thank Becker Marine Systems for their kind reception and, in particular, Frank Simon for the interview that he gave us. We wish everyone involved the best of success.

Rückblick – Anwendung – LNG Hybrid.4The “Hummel” LNG barge and our iglidur® car have one thing in common: they both contan igus® components

Kind regards,
igus® and the “iglidur® on tour”-team

Pictures of the day!-314

Welcome to the Hannover Messe 2015!
We spent the whole week at the exhibition and celebrated with over 8000 visitors the end of “iglidur® on tour”. The iglidur®-car was positioned close to the igus® booth with a large screen in the back and the long slotcar track to its right. The former showed videos of our tour while the latter was used to drive around a world made out of iglidur®-bearings with small iglidur®-slotcars.

Pictures of the day!-314One more week with our beauty

Pictures of the day!-314.2Everybody can drive around the world

Pictures of the day!-314.33…2…1…Go!

Pictures of the day!-314.4head-to-head race

During the week, a lot of visitors joined us at the exhibition to get to know igus®, the 155 new products and iglidur® on tour. In addition, students from all over the country stopped at our booth to listen to our stories, to get some merchandise and to beat the highscore at our slotcar track.

Pictures of the day!-314.5Groups of international people and …

Pictures of the day!-314.6… students of Tec2You stopped at our booth frequently

Furthermore, it was possible to inspect the original parts of our compact car. At first, the components were dismounted and checked if there are any failures. After the journey around the world and through Europe, everything was working fine and no bearings were missing. The orange spots indicate the positions where our iglidur®-bearings were implemented.

Pictures of the day!-314.7Throttle valve, alternator and car seat

Pictures of the day!-314.8Convertible roof, hand break, gear shift and break pedal

Pictures of the day!-314.9Windscreen wiper and window lifter

In the next step, the bearings will be measured and analyzed. The exact and final results will be published as soon as possible.
The press conference was another part of the exhibition. The CEO of igus® Germany, Frank Blase, welcomed over 40 journalists and the general managers of bearings, e-chains® and chainflex® presented the new developments and innovations.

Pictures of the day!-314.10Frank Blase (CEO of igus® Germany) opens the press conference with good news

To honor innovations from all over the world based on iglidur®-bearings, the 7th manus® competition took place and the awards were hand over to the winners.

  1. Medical assistance system – Leibniz Universität Hannover, Jan-Philipp Kobler, Hannover, Germany
  2. Smoothing machine – Mai International GmbH, David Kampitsch, Feistritz/Drau, Austria
  3. 3D printing machine – Aerosud ITC, Marius Vermeulen, Pierre van Ryneveld, South Africa

Pictures of the day!-314.11The winners of the 7th manus® competition

All in all, it was a great exhibition for igus®, the booth was always packed with visitors and everybody had a good time. Thanks to all the people of igus® – sales force and hostesses!

Pictures of the day!-314.12Our igus® exhibiton hostesses – Thanks for the great service!

The Hannover Messe was the final stop of “iglidur® on tour” and this is where everything comes to an end…

Pictures of the day!-314.13One car to celebrate 30 years of iglidur® across the world …

Pictures of the day!-314.14… and three guys to keep records.

In the following and final post, I will sum everything up and say goodbye.

Pictures of the day!-313

We spent our last days traveling from Freiberg to Cologne via Bensheim. On the way, we visited several customers of different industries like automotive or medical industry. At the beginning of April and after 14 months and over 100,000 km, our iglidur®-car arrived back in Cologne at the igus® headquarter.

Pictures of the day!-313A warm welcome with Gehard Baus (General manager iglidur®-bearings, igus Germany)

After the photoshooting, we gave the keys to Michael Krug because he will take care of the iglidur®-car and prepare everything for the final exhibition. Therefore, we take one week off to drive home to see our friends and family but we will be back at the Hannover Messe 2015 to celebrate the end of the tour and to present the final results!

Pictures of the day!-313.2

Review – Application – Thorax Trainer

In Denmark, we paid a brief visit to the Scandinavian cross-country skiing specialist Thorax Trainer, which brings the trails into customers’ homes with its ingenious sports equipment (also named the Thorax Trainer). The athlete in training moves the poles in the same manner as when cross-country skiing outdoors; the motion sequences and workout intensity are extremely realistic. And this is precisely what the Thorax Trainer developers focused on achieving.

Rückblick – Anwendung – Thorax TrainerWhen driving the iglidur®-car all the way across Europe, it is good to get in a couple of kilometres on the Thorax Trainer.

We tested a new Thorax Trainer model. The resistance is generated by a flywheel, similar to that which is used on spinning bikes. The force transfer essentially occurs via the conventional cross-country skiing poles. The ingenious part about the design is in the detail – on the new version, each of the poles is attached to a drylin®-W double rail with a carriage.
The maintenance-free, self-lubricating material from igus® makes the machines extremely quiet running and, as we have heard from experienced skiers, offers a realistic sense of being out in the snow. This is a huge advantage over the standardised ball bearing guide rails used to date.

Rückblick – Anwendung – Thorax Trainer.2The top picture shows a standardised ball bearing guide rail (left) and a drylin®-W double rail, which replicates the feeling of snow (right). The bottom picture provides a close-up of the carriage.

In 2013, the Thorax Trainer developers won a competition for the best plastic plain bearing applications. Their creative design led to them receiving the Gold manus® award. And quite rightly so, we believe.

We would like to thank the Thorax Trainer team for the welcome opportunity to get a little exercise. Keep up the good work and always stay active.

Kind regards,
igus® and the “iglidur® on tour”-team

Review – Poland

We started at the peninsula Hel and drove 3700 km through Poland to our final stop which was Warsaw. All in all, we experienced a different culture and visited a lot of customers. At the end, we met the Polish Smart Klub and did a sight-seeing tour through Warsaw. The following video sums it up!

A big thanks to everybody who was involved in the tour through Poland and their great hospitality!


Review – Donation-20

As in every country of “iglidur® on tour”, we gave something back to the last country too – Spain. We donated 4000 Euro after our Spanish press conference to IdiPAZ (Instituto de Investigación Hospital Universitario La Paz) which is an institute for health and biomedical research. It has 48 research groups that focus their activities on six major areas:

  • Neuroscience
  • Cardiovascular
  • Infectious Diseases and Immunity
  • Large System Diseases
  • Cancer and human molecular Genetics
  • Surgery, Transplants and Health Technologies.

Rückblick – Spende-20Eduardo López-Collazo (Scientific director) receives the donation from Dr. Matthias Meier (Director of igus® Spain)

We wish all the best,
igus® and the “iglidur® on tour”-crew