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MDA Technologies 3/2015

MDA Technologies 3/2015

04 06 05 07 tions.” No

04 06 05 07 tions.” No sooner was this said when work was started. I immediately feel that the team is perfectly coordinated and that the members understand each other almost without words. It‘s a great advantage that makes the three men‘s work on the very exhausting tour much easier. Soon, everything has been recorded. We even have enough time to visit the Abba Museum in Stockholm on our way to the next hotel. Agneta, Björn, Benny and Anni- Fried are waiting for us and our orange star. The little town of Tranås in the Jönköping province is our chosen place for the night. We have about 250 km to drive ahead of us before we are able to rest on this first exciting day. Such long drives are, of course, not rare for Iglidur on tour; after all, as many stations as possible are to be visited under compliance with a rather strict schedule, to pass on the Igus idea to technology enthusiasts. “Of course it‘s very exhausting at times, especially because we have little time to get to the next customer. It‘s also a lot of fun, though, especially with our team and the respective Igus employees in the countries,” Sandor Meierjohann, who just graduated from secondary school, says as we drive on. I wanted to know how the three got their job: “Nils and I were interns at Igus last summer. We were asked if we could imagine doing this. We accepted spontaneously since it‘s such a unique opportunity. We needed a team manager and someone who could cover the technical aspect. Igus found a great team player in Karl,” Sandor is certain. Typically Swedish! 08 04 Christian von Koenigsegg (centre) personally learns about the Igus components 05 Dirk Schaar, editor in chief of antriebstechnik, at work 06 It‘s hard work – Karl on the ThoraxTrainer 07 Men at Work – Nils, Sandor and Karl prepare the data for videos and social media 08 Found it! Nils, Karl and Sandor in front of the little mermaid in Copenhagen (from the left) Thursday, 8 January 2015: the first visit for the day, now with Igus‘ second authorised dealer in Sweden. OEM Automatic offers its customers a great range of products around automation technology. The company from Tranås sells power trains and lines from the Chainflex range for the plastic specialist from Cologne. Today, the team around Karl Weinmeister and Ralf Kabus will present its products to the sales managers of OEM Automatic rather than their customers. It‘s a special situation. They are waiting to learn more about Igus itself and its entire product range today – including plain bearings. Kabus has a lot to tell: “Decades of research and development in the industry‘s largest test lab for plastic components for moving applications, the ‘motion plastics’ have led to serial production of 45 different reliable Iglidur materials that are used as plain

MACHINE ELEMENT bearings in the automotive industry more than 200 M times per year today. Every other plain bearing we sell is installed in cars.” The self-lubricating plastic mixtures are characterised by very low friction and wear. They are corrosion and maintenace free and therefore long-lived. “Since external lubrication with oils and grease is not necessary, the bearings do not contaminate and the environment is protected,” Sweden‘s boss says. The automotive industry is also part of our next stop. That afternoon, we visit the Concept Center of Volvo Cars in Goteborg. On the way there, Ralf Kabus insists on introducing us to the Swedish cuisine. “Raggmunken”, potato pancakes with bacon and cowberries, is a traditional Swedish dish. Or, as they‘d say in Cologne: “Rievkoche met Speck!” Everything has to go quickly at Volvo. Many employees are already waiting to learn more about the plastics from Germany. For me, it is now time to do some proper work. After all, I wanted to experience the tour in all of its facets. Driving the car onto the premises, into the lift, setting up roll-ups, putting up samples, and don‘t forget the Drytech boxes. These are small cases of sample plain bearings for the interested audience to take along. Now I‘m a “real” team member. While Ralf Kabus and Oliver Cyrus explain the advantages of the Tribo plastics to the automotive producers, I even get the opportunity to interview the head developer at Volvo together with Karl to learn more about the development of designed vehicles. Swedish racing cards – German plastics Our next designation: Helsingborg. We will visit the Igus branch tomorrow morning. Most of all, we will give a cheque to a local facility for the homeless. Through out the tour, € 1 is donated for every kilometre that the car travels to a charity. For example, 3tonnes of rice were distributed to public kitchens in Korea. This time, we give € 2,355. The visit to Igus Sweden isn‘t all that we have planned for this Friday. Koenigsegg Automotive in Ängelholm and TetraPak in Lund are two special customers waiting for us: If you have ever been in a “driving machine” from Koenigsegg, you will know what it means to fall in love. Low weight, high motor output and high-quality materials characterise the luxury cars of the family-owned company. Therefore, it‘s not surprising that developers have long had an eye at the high-quality plastic plain bearings by Igus. The new Regera that has just been introduced in Geneva, uses plain bearings. Even the boss - Christian von Koenigsegg wants to get first hand information. TetraPak is an important customer for the company from Cologne. Even beyond Sweden, almost all product series are delivered to the manufacturer of food packaging. He relies on Igus plastics in development of his own beverage and packaging machines. Orange animal friend in Småland Helsingborg in Southern Sweden is the place from where we start our tour. Since no one works in the factories here on the weekends, we can focus entirely on a few sightseeing highlights. And not the least: The Sweden-tour film needs to be shot. What is better for this than an elk safari? Markaryd is a small village in the Småland province. There is a large enclosure here through which you can drive your own car to look at elks and bison. In we go, to see whether the animals like orange cars as well. Indeed, the first elks come right up to our car soon, sticking their heads through the windows. First, I lure them with a thick carrot. It works. The first elk takes the vegetable right from my hand. Will they be interested in the orange Dry-tech box as well? They are though the elk only sniffs it briefly before losing interest. He doesn‘t seem to be too interested in high-quality technology. After two rounds through the enclosure, we have filmed enough. All elks and bison have been seen and fed. Our “orange animal friend” has passed its elk test in any case! Hej då Sverige – Goodbye Sweden Then we have to say goodbye to Sweden. We cross the Oresund Bridge under stormy gusts of wind after dinner in Malmö and pass the border to Denmark 8 km later. Sunday belongs entirely to Copenhagen with sightseeing and shooting the video. Obviously, the little mermaid is to be part of this. We would have liked to take a picture of the Iglidur car with the Copenhagen symbol, but vehicles aren‘t allowed there. Copenhagen has a lot more to offer, though: the palace, the theme park Tivoli and the new harbour with its comfy restaurants. The beautiful sunny day ends with a jazz concert by singer Nancy Harms. “Sliding” through the cross-country ski trail The last day of the tour has started. After a press conference for the Danish colleagues in Copenhagen, we visit another Igus customer: ThoraxTrainer in Kokkedal, North of Copenhagen. The ThoraxTrainer is a sport and fitness device that trains all muscles of the body at once. It can be used for fitness, rehabilitation and training. Particularly cross-country skiing and biathlon pros use it to stay fit. The previous sliding rails for the ski poles have recently been replaced by products and materials from Igus. Do we feel the difference? Nils and Karl want to know for sure. They put a lot of strength on the “cross-country ski trail” to max out their heartbeats. Indeed: in the direct comparison, the Igus rails are much better. I am allowed to see for myself. ThoraxTrainer is certain: “The change is a complete success!” Now I have to say goodbye. For one week, I was allowed to be part of the Iglidur on Tour team and follow almost every single step, help out, experience pure technology and study the requirements. It‘s, of course, hard to let Karl, Sandor, Nils and the Iglidur car continue on through Europe. It was too much fun. One thing is certain: we will meet again! They will all be back for the Hanover trade fair. That will also be an opportunity to see the installed plain bearings in the original. “The bearings will be removed again after the tour and exhibited in Hanover. I‘m certain that they will look just as they did on day one even after driving for more than 100,000 km,” Karl Weinmeister is certain. That would mean that they not only passed the elk test but also reached the great goal of the anniversary campaign. www.igus.com About Company name: Igus GmbH Established : 1964 Headquarters: Cologne, Germany Turnover : € 427 m Employees: 2,400 worldwide Products: motion plastics, plastic components for moving applications: energy chain systems, cables, polymer bearings, linear bearings, low-cost-automation MDA Technologies 3/2015 25

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