One line to sum up the intention behind products on display at the igus booth at Hannover Messe 2023: Providing access to motion plastics product in an accessible and affordable way, while being carbon-neutral and without plastic waste.
The family-run motion plastics provider that is known for the development of lubrication-free, high-performance polymers showcased recent expansions in its lines of bearings, “smart” plastics, robotics, 3D printing and low-cost automation solutions.
This year’s campaign theme is “Enjoyneering.” The portmanteau is intended as a playful nod to the company’s commitment to reigniting joy and inspiring work-life balance, according to igus CEO Frank Blase, while characterizing the company’s outlook for bringing ease-of-use to product design and machine building processes based on cutting-edge solutions.
Blase gave Machine Design a demo of the latest offerings, such as a cloud-based app called igusGO. Users take a photo of a machine, such as an excavator, and artificial intelligence analyzes where lubrication-free parts could be used cost-effectively.
Blase further highlighted the ever-growing relevance of the digital space for design engineers and material experts. Digitalization, he said, has not only enabled industries to develop products faster, but also sustainably and at a lower cost.
To enable this, igus is developing its own metaverse platform known as iguverse. During a press tour Blase spoke about developing the platform, as well as future plans for opening the virtual ecosystem to partners. With no development outlay, the intent is to cultivate reciprocal benefits, he said.
“The possibilities of virtual reality for mechanical engineering design are absolutely fascinating,” noted Blase. “We want to be a part of this technology right from the start. We want to develop new solutions that even small companies with limited budgets can easily use.”
New tech advancements and product launches were purposefully lined up for the Hannover Messe 2023 showcase, including:
- A range of low-cost robotics intended to promote automation in SMEs. For instance, a new, smaller cobot—the ReBeL KID—is priced at around $4,388 (€3,999). It comes with optional voice control and will be available in May 2023.
- The ReBeLmini, a plug-and-play cobot comes in at $4,388 (€3,999), including control software and power supply. It is suitable for use in restricted spaces such as those found in test automation or camera quality control.
- Customers searching for ways to get started on automation projects can visit the online marketplace RBTX for inspiration. The platform houses more than 350 automation projects and applications. Prices are clearly displayed on products and solutions, which serve as a useful guide for prospective customers in making decisions.
- Expanding the range of smart plastics, igus has fitted standard parts such as energy chains and plain bearings with sensors. The integration with IoT networks enables condition monitoring and predictive maintenance.
- Debuting a new service, the igus managed platform “kopla” allows companies to create their own online expert systems and calculation tools. The service targets medium-sized companies that operate internationally.
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