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MDA Technologies 3/2015

MDA Technologies 3/2015

With plastic plain

With plastic plain bearings on tour through Sweden and Denmark Dirk Schaar If you want to take your small car once around the world, you need time, patience and particularly good components in your vehicle. For the 50th anniversary, Cologne plastic specialist Igus now went on a tour around the world to demonstrate the performance of its products. I wanted to know how this is working out and learn more about the tour team: in Sweden and Denmark. MULTIMEDIA CONTENT Internal Video: In Interview with Karl Weinmeister, Team leader of Iglidur on tour https://vimeo.com/121664168 It‘s a special day in Germany, with almost spring-like temperatures – on Epiphany 2015. I took off from Mainz in the morning, first by train to the Düsseldorf airport. With luggage for six days and plenty of video and photo equipment; I check in – on my way to Stockholm. Oliver Cyrus, press manager at Igus in Cologne, comes with me on this exciting tour that I have been looking forward to for months. After all, I would like to learn more about plain bearings, what is going on behind the scenes of “iglidur on tour” and why three young men spend more than half a year travelling back and forth across Europe, in a converted small car that is particularly noticeable because of its brilliant colour: Igus-orange. Let me tell everything in order, though: Since January 2014, a small car equipped with polymer-plain bearings has been travelling across four continents and across three oceans, through deserts, snow and tropical heat. With this demonstration drive, Igus is presenting the potential and resilience of its tribo-polymers for moving applications in the scope of its 50th company anniversary and the 30th anniversary of Iglidur. The car with the license plate K–IG 1964 and the team around politologist and sociologist Sascha Laufenberg from Bonn have already passed more than 50,000 km from January to October 2014, travelling India, China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Brazil and the USA. On 1 to 5 October 2014, on time for the 50th anniversary of the company, the tour returned to the factory premises in Cologne Porz-Lind, to start the last big leg – the European tour. With a new team, comprising of team leader Karl Weinmeister (24), driver Sandor Meierjohann (19) and photo and video expert Nils Schneider (19), they drove back and forth across the Europe – from Austria to the Netherlands and Belgium, further to England and Scotland, then back again to France and crossing the border into Switzerland and finally travelling across Germany to celebrate New Year‘s Eve in Berlin. 56 swaps “Welcome to Stockholm”, the airplane speakers say. After a flight less than two hours, we have reached the Arlanda airport. A rented car takes us right to the hotel. It is colder than at home, and the Swedish capital city is welcoming us with slightly powdered streets. It has gotten late, and after a quick dinner, we go to bed to be rested when we finally meet the Iglidur car in the morning. I can‘t resist checking 22 MDA Technologies 3/2015

MACHINE ELEMENT Facebook and the tour-blog (http://blog. igus.de/iglidurontour) again for current information on Karl & Co., though. Where are they at the moment? Will we be able to meet them on time? There‘s some good news and some bad: The 70,000 km mark has just been passed, but fresh snow on the way from Norway across the border to Sweden delays the planned quick transfer. Is our plan in danger now? We will see … Strengthened by a Swedish breakfast, we drive north the next morning towards Kista, a suburb of Stockholm, where Colly Components AB is headquartered. Colly is one of two exclusive Igus dealers in the country of the elks. They specialise in the high-performance Iglidur polymer plain bearings and linear technology from the Drylin range. Therefore, it is not surprising that the first customer event will take place here today. Per Samuelsson, Igus product manager at Colly, welcomes us and uses the time to take us on a tour of the premises. Here, I see that this company is managed exemplarily and fits the Igus profile perfectly. Employees and customers are the most important for them. “The performance of the Igus plain bearings gives us top products in this range. With them, we offer our customers best service and high satisfaction” asserts Per Samuelsson Then it‘s time – though a little belatedly: the little orange car turns the corner into Raseborgsgatan. So those are the Iglidur on tour boys: Karl, Sandor and Nils. I‘d heard, read and seen a lot about them in the web videos. Now I could greet them in person – an exciting moment. The many customers who have arrived by now gather around the vehicle and want to know more about the technical details of the plain bearings from Karl. “Retrofitting of the car by a team of the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne was the prerequisite for the ambitious practice test. The leading principle was to replace everything that was technically possible to and in accordance and compliance with the TÜV provisions with Igus plastics,” the young engineer explains to his attentive audience. Ralf Kabus, managing director of Igus Sweden and Denmark and head of the company‘s office in Helsingborg continues: “The metal bearings at the brake pedal, the windshield wiper, the window lifter, the shifting module, the seat console, the handbrake, the start generator, the throttle flap and the cover were replaced by pure polymer bearings. Igus high-performance plastics were installed in 56 bearings points in total. Even visual correspondence was observed, e.g. for the seat latch.” From King to Abba One objective of the tour around the world is to visit as many customers, branches or dealers as possible. More than that: while the country and the people were often at the focus on the tours through Asia and America, the technical aspects are more important in Europe. This is another reason why Karl Weinmeister, a young mechatronic engineer, has been made team leader. Sightseeing, photography and recording videos with the vehicle are part 01 03 of the programme for Sweden as well, though. This is to fill our afternoon as well. Together, we set out for the Stockholm city centre. Our destination are the royal palace, the parliament building and the old town. This is where part of Iglidur‘s Sweden video is to be produced. As soon as they have gotten out, Karl, Nils and Sandor immediately start to plan their recordings. Soon, Nils, who graduated in media design, has a great idea, as so often: “Let‘s stand around the bridge so that we can film the car perfectly from all direc- 01 Team leader Karl explains the technology to the Colly customers 02 A great team: the video idea only takes some brief consideration 03 That‘s where the music is– visiting the Abba museum in Stockholm 02

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