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

Rückblick – Anwendung – Italbox

Als nächstes besuchten wir die Firma Italbox in Portugal, in der Stadt Águeda. Das Unternehmen fertigt Duschkabinen, und das sehr erfolgreich. Ein großer Teil der Produktion geht an Hotelanlagen auf der ganzen Welt. Armando Conceicao, der das Unternehmen 1999 gründete, bot damals lediglich drei verschiedene Duschkabinen-Modelle zum Verkauf an, die auf einer Fläche von gerade mal 300 Quadratmetern gefertigt wurden. Damit würde Italbox heute nicht mehr hinkommen, denn die Produktpalette ist riesig und alles geschieht an Ort und Stelle: Design und Entwicklung, Fertigung, Zusammenbau und Qualitätskontrolle. Auch ergänzende Maschinen wie etwa zum Stanzen von Löchern in Aluminiumprofile wurden von der Firma selbst entwickelt. Die Verzierungen der Glasflächen erfolgt durch das Sandstrahlen mit sehr feinem Sand – natürlich im eigenen Unternehmen. Das Einzige, was nicht vor Ort gemacht wird, ist das Verchromen der Bauteile für den guten Look.

Review – Application – ItalboxDas schönste Bad-Design kann nicht von der Tatsache ablenken, dass Karl die Schuhe anlässt, wenn er duschen geht

So besitzt Italbox auf vieles Patente, selbstverständlich auch auf den eigenen Namen. Die Assoziation mit berühmtem italienischen Design ist sicherlich erwünscht, doch Armando Conceicao, der uns persönlich durch seinen Betrieb führte, beteuert, der Name sei mehr oder weniger Zufall gewesen. Er habe damals mehrere eingereicht, und dieser wurde eben akzeptiert. Was die Produkte angeht, die das Werk verlassen, überlässt Italbox jedenfalls nichts dem Zufall. Tests haben einen hohen Stellenwert. Womit wir bei der ersten igus®-Anwendung wären.

Review – Application – Italbox.2Auf dem oberen Bild ist eine Aluminiumschiene zu sehen, links unten im Profil. Im Bild unten rechts ist einer der Schlitten zu erkennen, in den die Glastür eingesetzt wird

Diese sitzt in der Schiene für die Glastüren. Schiene und Schlitten werden aus Aluminium gefertigt, wobei ein Schlitten über vier Rollen aus iglidur® J und zwei Gleitfolien aus iglidur® J200 verfügt. Zwei dieser Schlitten werden in die Schiene eingesetzt, und an die Schlitten eine mannshohe Glastür. Die Rollen werden aus Halbzeug mit einem eigens entworfenen Drehmeisel gefertigt.

Review – Application – Italbox.3Anfangs verwendete Italbox einen einzelnen langen Schlitten, um die Last der Glastüre zu tragen, bis dieser gekürzt und noch später durch zwei kurze Schlitten ersetzt wurde. Das macht die Konstruktion auch optisch leichter. Das Bild zeigt die Entwicklung von links nach rechts 

Um die Verschleißfestigkeit der Konstruktion und damit auch der Rollen zu testen, hat Italbox einen eigenen Praxistest durchgeführt. 20.000 Zyklen waren gefordert, nach 100.000 Zyklen wurde das Experiment abgebrochen. Ergebnis: kein sichtbarer Verschleiß.

Review – Application – Italbox.4Links ein neuartiges Scharnier mit einem igus®-Gleitlager vom Typ iglidur® A180, rechts ein Scharnier mit Standardkunststoff­Lager. Den wahren Unterschied sieht man spätestens nach 200.000 Zyklen

Die Glastüren der Kabinen werden durch verchromte Türscharniere gehalten. Nachdem hier zunächst Gleitlager aus Standardkunststoff verbaut wurden, gehört nun die igus®-Komponente iglidur® A180 zum Standard bei Italbox. Das Material nimmt so gut wie kein Wasser auf, hält damit langfristig die geforderten Toleranzen und ist deswegen für diese Art der Anwendung bestens geeignet. Ein weiteres Plus ist der ausbleibende Stick-Slip-Effekt, der dort eintreten kann, wo zu Beginn einer Bewegung aufgrund des hohen Reibungswiderstandes viel Kraft eingesetzt werden muss. Bei den igus®-Komponenten gibt es diesen Effekt nicht, dafür sorgen die Festschmierstoffe innerhalb des Materials. Es sind dieselben Schmierstoffe, die eine regelmäßige Wartung überflüssig machen.

Im Testhatten die Gleitlager, die es im übrigen standardmäßig im igus®-Katalog zu bestellen gibt, klar überzeugt: 20.000 Zyklen hätte das System mindestens durchhalten müssen, nach 200.000 Zyklen wurde der Dauerversuch ohne das geringste Anzeichen von Verschleiß abgebrochen. Test bestanden!

Review – Application – Italbox.5Italbox steht für gehobenes Design und zeigt dies auch von Außen

igus® und das “iglidur® on tour”-Team bedankt sich bei Armando Conceicao und seinem dolmetschenden Mitarbeiter Aydin Rodigues für die ebenso interessante wie ausführliche Führung durch das Italbox-Werk.

Viele Grüße,
igus® und das “iglidur® on tour”-Team

 

Pictures of the day!-307

The day of the charity was the same day we left Portugal due to a spontaneous change in the schedule. After 1620 km through our next-to-last country of the European iglidur® on tour, we arrived a second time in Spain to start our final week.

Pictures of the day!-307Time to say “Goodbye!” to Portugal

Pictures of the day!-307.2Final week in Spain – Let’s go!

We want to thank everybody of igus® Portugal for the great support and hospitality. Take care and all the best!

Rückblick – Spende-19

Wir blieben noch eine weitere Nacht in Porto, wo sich auch das Hauptquartier von igus® Portugal befindet. Wir besuchten unsere Kollegen und nahmen an der Spendenübergabe teil.

Rückblick – Spende-19Das Team von igus® Portugal mit Mónica Nicolau (Schatzmeister von CASA Porto) und Pedro Vilas-Boas (Geschäftsführer von igus® Portugal) halten den Scheck

Wir spendeten 1600 Euro an “Centro de Apoio ao Sem Abrigo” (CASA) in Porto. Diese Organisation kümmert sich um Obdachlose und verteilt täglich Essen und Nahrungsmittel.

Wir wünschen nur das Beste,
igus® und die “iglidur® on tour”-Crew

Review – Donation-19

We stayed another day in Porto which is also the location of igus® Portugal. Therefore, we visited our colleagues to be part of the donation.

Rückblick – Spende-19The team of igus® Portugal with Mónica Nicolau (Financier of CASA Porto) and Pedro Vilas-Boas (Managing Director of igus® Portugal) holding the cheque

We donated 1600 Euro the “Centro de Apoio ao Sem Abrigo” (CASA) in Porto. This organization takes care of homeless peopleby providing food every day.

All the best,
igus® and the “iglidur® on tour”-crew

Pictures of the day!-305

The last two days were packed with customer visits and we drove from Lisbon to the second-largest city of Portugal, Porto. Before we called it a day, we visited an application of a shore-to-ship crane with our e-chain®. The crane loads coal in the ships and therefore, it has to move along the pier. Our e-chain® guides the cables and ensures the operation day and night.

Pictures of the day!-305Today, there is the iglidur®-car at the pier

Pictures of the day!-304

Yesterday evening, we arrived in the capital of Portugal but it was too dark to take good photos. Therefore, we decided to have dinner and a look around Lisbon tomorrow. We left the hotel after breakfast and crossed the “25th of April Bridge” which is often compared to the Golden Gate Bridge due to its design.

Pictures of the day!-304Crossing the Tagus River

Pictures of the day!-304.2Looks quite similar to the Golden Gate Bridge

On the other side, we stopped at the statue of “Christ the King”. It is based on the Christ statue in Rio de Janeiro which the iglidur®-car has seen during its stay in Brazil 2014.

Pictures of the day!-304.3Cristo Rei

After the short stay, we continued our tour and stopped at the Vasco da Gama Tower for another photo. The tower is named after the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama who arrived in India in 1498 as the first European by sail.

Pictures of the day!-304.4The Vasco da Gama Tower

Before lunch, we visited one UNESCO World Heritage Site which was the Jerónimos Monastery.

Pictures of the day!-304.5The Jerónimos Monastery with an impressive detailed facade

After lunch, we went to a famous pastry shop in Lisbon where we ate more than one Pastel de nata. Together with an espresso, it is perfect.

Pictures of the day!-304.6One of the best desserts!

On the bank of the Tagus River one can find the Padrão dos Descobrimentos which is a monument to celebrate the Portuguese Age of Discovery during the 15th and 16th centuries. At that time, many ships departed from Lisbon to explore and trade with Inda and the Orient.

Pictures of the day!-304.7The iglidur®-car is an adventurer as well

The final stop of the day was the western end of Europe – Cabo da Roca.

Pictures of the day!-304.8The cross symbolizes the westernmost extent of Europe

Pictures of the day!-304.9Three adventurer at today’s goal

With sunburn and a lot of impressions, we went back to the hotel to get some sleep and be ready for the upcoming week in Portugal.

Pictures of the day!-303

With a hotel close to the sea in Lagos, we decided to leave around midday to have time to go to the beach in the morning. The first stop, was the southwesternmost point of Europe – Cape St. Vincent.

Pictures of the day!-303The light house indicates the coast during the night

We were impressed by the view of the steep coast while the waves beat against the rocks.

Pictures of the day!-303.2Solid as a rock

After several recordings for the review and lunch, we left to drive to Lisbon where we met our colleague Joao and did some sightseeing the next day.

Pictures of the day!-303.3jpgOn the way to Lisbon

Pictures of the day!-302

From Manresa, we traveled to the south coast of Spain to Marbella. On the way, we visited some customers and due to the long distance, we were always on the road until we arrived at our hotel. The next day was a bit more relaxing but we had to drive to Portugal. First of all, we stopped at the beach of Marbella in the morning to take good photo and to go swimming.

Pictures of the day!-302Close to the beach of Marbella

Sandor and me took the shoes off to test the temperature of the sea. However, Nils was not afraid of the cold and went for a swim. Due to the 30°C, it was nice to have some time to relax.

Pictures of the day!-302.2Facing the sun

Nevertheless, we had to go on. We drove to Seville and visited the cathedral which is the third-largest church in the world and an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Pictures of the day!-302.3Seville Cathedral

After some Tapas in a local restaurant, we continued our long journey towards Lagoas in the south of Portugal.

Pictures of the day!-302.4The sun and we say “Goodbye” from Spain but just for one week.

After 2028 km we arrived in Portugal. We thank igus® Spain for the first part through this interesting country and we will see each other in one week again.

Pictures of the day!-302.5The area in the south of Portugal is called “Algarve”

Welcome to Portugal!