igus has been developing the family of smart plastics with improved ‘isense’ sensors and monitoring modules since the launch back in 2016. These add intelligence to energy chains, cables, linear guides and slewing ring bearings, and measure, among other things, wear status and alert the user early enough to plan repair or replacement.
The new isense modules are equipped with a serial interface and can be easily integrated into a control cabinet. A data logger allows these values to be stored on an SD card. The data measured by the different ‘isense’ systems is then sent wirelessly to the ‘icom’ communication module, summarised and processed. This enables companies to increase the reliability of their systems, plan maintenance tasks accurately and thus save costs.
Various concepts for integration into the customer’s own infrastructure are available. There is an option for the ‘icom’ to send the data from the sensors to a PC or integrate the data via the computer into the customer’s existing software environment and intranet solution. In addition, a connection to the igus Data Centre is possible. In this case, the maintenance recommendations via Machine Learning and AI algorithms are constantly compared and defined with the experiences of many existing applications, for example in the large igus test laboratory spread over a floor area of 2,750 square metres.
“Due to the numerous test findings that are fed into the online service life calculators, we are able to predict precisely how long an e-chain will work reliably in a particular application,” explained Justin Leonard, director at igus. “The ‘isense’ components provide the customer with additional safety through a permanent service life update. This is because it includes the current ambient conditions of the actual application. Maintenance and replacement occurs only when it is really essential. This saves time and maintenance costs.”