Customer Applications – KTM Technologies GmbH

Last week, iglide on tour visited KTM Technologies GmbH in Salzburg/Anif, Austria. KTM is a service company, focused on concept development, design, simulation, consulting, and prototyping for a range of industries. One of their more well-known developments is the carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, or CFRP, sports car, named the “X-Bow.”

Customer Applications - KTM Technologies GmbHThe CFRP sports car “X-Bow” (photo credit KTM Technologies)

KTM Technology’s aim in the development of the X-Bow was the create a two-seat roadster with the best power to weight ratio possible. Therefore, A lightweight design was essential. Lighter vehicles require less energy to accelerate to a certain velocity than a heavier vehicle, and for that reason, lightweight materials like plastics have become more and more popular. iglide bearings more than seven times lighter than similar metal components, which helped KTM Technology achieve their goal of the lightest possible vehicle design.

Customer Applications - KTM Technologies GmbH.2

Inside the X-Bow, KTM chose a number of dry-tech bearings to perform in several different applications, including in the steering system, where iglide bearings were used to support the steering wheel and the door. These self-lubricating components ensure low-friction rotation of the steering wheel and door opening. igubalspherical bearings are also used, including to help connect the car’s body with the door joints. Because the spherical bearings allow for angular movement, a smooth motion occurs from the door spring.

Customer Applications - KTM Technologies GmbH.3igus’ dry-tech solutions are used throughout the X-Bow by KTM Technologies.

The X-Bow is available in a limited production only, limited at this time to 100 cars. The starting price of the X-Bow is $62,000. The car has approxomately 40 horsepower, and accelerates from 0-62.5 mph (100 km/h) in 3.9 seconds.

The iglide car meets is man-powered match!

While traveling through the Netherlands, the iglide car came across a new friend – a velomobile!

A velomobile is a human powered vehicle, many, like the example above use three wheels, and the frame is usually covered by a weather-protective shell.

Very similar to bicycles (which we went over in this post), velomobiles are able to take advantage of iglide bearing’s unique characteristics that set them apart from their competitors. In a weight comparison, an iglide® plastic bushing weighs approximately 80 percent less than a PTFE-lined bushing.

  •  iglide® G300 plastic bushing = 0.0144 pounds per piece
  •  PTFE-lined bushing = 0.0750 pounds per piece

Because of this weight reduction, less force is required by the velomobile’s driver in order to power the vehicle. Low coefficients of friction, coupled the the ability to absorb shocks from uneven terrain make iglide bearings a unique component solution for a very unique vehicle!

Learn more about iglide bearings with this free white paper, available here.

All about the iglide car

Some of you have asked about our small orange friend – the iglide car! Of course, it is a real member of the team and should have it’s own introduction as well.

All about the iglide carHere is the iglide car in front of the Ars Electronica Center in Linz, Austria. 

Our car is a normal compact vehicle – but with a few modifications. Most noteably, it was painted that distinctive orange hue, and given some official igus logos. With the outside ready to catch everyone’s eye, we had to make the inner-workings just as exciting. Along with the University of Applied Science in Cologne, Germany, the German Technical Inspection Association, and igus team members, the car was completely deconstructed. Using results from millions of bearing test cycles over 30 years of development, igus bearings were retrofit one by one, each chosen for specific characteristics in the automotive application.

All in all, 56 iglide bearings were exchanged in the following areas:

  • Seat adjustment
  • Brake pedal
  • Gear shifter
  • Emergency brake
  • Window regulator
  • Convertible roof pivot points
  • Windshield wiper mechanics
  • Alternator
  • Throttle Valve

All about the iglide car.2Some of the iglide bearings retrofit inside the car

After being reassembled, it was time for the car to hit the road, traveling through India, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Brazil, United States and Canada – more than 30,000 miles so far!

All about the iglide car.3Just a glimpse of all that the iglide car has experienced the past several months

Now, it is time for the car to conquer Europe, starting here in Austria!

Wisconsin

The first stop in Wisconsin was the city of Milwaukee, the largest city in the state, and the 31st most populated city in the United States. Milwaukee is a funky little city with so many different activities. There is the art museum, beautiful Lake Michigan, Miller Park Baseball field which is home to the Brewers, a downtown area with a canal running through the middle, the Milwaukee Public Market, as well as dozens of eclectic restaurants and bars.

Wisconsin.1.1

As mentioned above, the iglide car drove through the city to experience some of Milwaukee’s highlights, and stopped at the art museum, Miller Park, the public market, and drove along Lake Michigan. The Public Market, located in the historic Third Ward, is half food and half local vendors selling hand-crafted items on the sidewalk. The market also has street performers, and plays live music outside to be enjoyed while shopping.

Wisconsin.1.2 Wisconsin.1.3Downtown Milwaukee; the canal lined with restaurants and Shops

Wisconsin.1.4 Wisconsin.1.5

The market’s founders drew inspiration for the development from the Pike’s Place market in Seattle (which the car got to visit a few weeks ago).

Wisconsin.1.6The car posed with Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes in North America

The car stayed at the Pfister Hotel, rated among the top ten most haunted hotels in the country by Travelocity. It was owned by Guido Pfister and his son Charles, and opened in 1893 after its $1 million construction. It currently has the largest hotel collection of Victorian Art in the world.

Wisconsin.1.7In front of the hotel

The halls of the hotel are eerie; doors creak open, and as you walk you can feel the presence of ghosts around the corner. There have been many encounters by guests of the hotel, but it is rumored that the ghost of Charles Pfister leaves the hotel’s staff alone, and they have a good relationship.

Wisconsin.1.8Not a still from “The Shining,” but a look at The Pfister’s eerie halls

The car was sad to leave Milwaukee and the haunted hotel, but it was time to head north to Appleton to visit customers.

Just outside Appleton, we stopped in at a manufacturer of car wash systems which use igus Energy Chain cable carriers. As the car wash moves, the Energy Chains keep the cables and hoses that supply the car wash safe and tangle-free. The iglide car took a drive through the wash, looking pristine on the drive to the warehouse after getting its wash.

Energy Chains working hard to clean the iglide car

Wisconsin.1.10The car inside the customer warehouse, where igus cable carriers are being filled and sent out for use inside car washes

Our next customer visits were to companies that specialize in agricultural and lawn equipment. These customers take advantage of iglide plastic bearings to run consistently and reliably in their equipment to help their reputation for dependable, long-lasting equipment.

Because of their resistance against chemicals, iglide bearings are not affected by the chemicals and fertilizers that can be prevalent in agricultural applications, and they are also unaffected by unavoidable dirt and dust that can clog and seize traditional ball bearings.

Manufacturers and at-home engineers both love that igus has no minimum orders, and more than 90% of all orders placed ship within 24 hours.

Wisconsin.1.11

From Milwaukee, it’s off to Chicago for the IMTS trade show – Look for us on the road!

Thanks for reading,

Kayla

Across Iowa

From Minneapolis, the car headed south to Iowa. The state is known for their corn, which the iglide car has seen much of! Iowa is often referred to as “America’s Heartland,” and borders the Mississippi River.

In the 2nd half of the 20th century, Iowa’s agricultural economy expanded into a wide range of manufacturing, processing and financial industries, and anywhere with a large range of industries is a great place for igus to be!

We had time to stop at a few of our Iowan customers, like one manufacturer of packaging equipment that uses igus’ DryLin R linear bearings and iglide j plain bearings in their machinery.

Used in many ares of packaging, including in food and drug production plants, igus products are extraordinarily safe and long-lasting, as they are not affected by crumbs, sugar, or other material in these types of facilities. igus products also are not reliant on grease, and with no grease, there is no threat of contamination from bearings!

Across Iowa

While in Iowa, the car took a drive to the Original Field of Dreams, a baseball field and pop-culture tourist attraction, featured in the movie Field of Dreams.” Upon pulling in the long dirt driveway, the car was greeted by the farm’s owner, Don Lansing.

Across Iowa.2

With sun flower seeds in his shirt pocket and his Field of Dreams baseball cap on, Mr. Lansing told the story of the day Hollywood knocked on his door 25 years ago, interested in filming a movie on his property.  Mr. Lansing said “If you build it, they will come, and they sure do” in regards to how many people come from all over the world just to see this field used in the 1989 movie.After the movie came out, people from all over flocked to his field, making their way from as far as Eastern Europe and Japan to walk on this beloved field.

Across Iowa.3 Across Iowa.4

Before passing through Iowa, a stop at the Mississippi River was in order. The chief drainage system for the entire United States, the Mississippi flows for 2,340 miles across the country, making it the 4th longest river in the world.

Next stop from Iowa is north to Milwaukee!

Thanks for reading,

Kayla

 

Colorado

From Salt Lake City it was time to head to Colorado. The drive from Utah to Colorado is a stunning ride through the desert and mountains. Moab Desert is a famous National Park in Utah and the iglide car took on another adventure and drove through Moab. The road through the desert goes through miles of red rock arches and other intricate rock formations. To give an idea of what it is like, imagine giving a child red clay to play with for the afternoon. The rocks and formations look like someone placed them carelessly on top of each other and yet they stay stacked and balanced on top of each other. For instance “Balanced Rock” is a rock formation where a round rock is balanced on top of a cylindrical rock. It gives the illusion that if the wind were to blow the rock on top would fall over. Moab was breathtaking. Almost equivalent to the Grand Canyon’s majestic aura.

The most famous of the Moab Arches 

Balanced Rock

From Moab the car drove to Golden, Colorado, right outside of Denver. While in the Denver area the car made a stop at Garden of the Gods. Garden of the Gods is a public park located in Colorado Springs. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1971. The garden is a miniature Moab with red rock formations staggering into the sky. But nothing will quite compare to Moab.

Once in Denver it was time for a customer visit this time to a manufacturer of bicycle suspensions. They are thinking of switching their current bearings out for iglide plastic bearings. Many manufacturers of all kinds love iglide bearings, as they are inexpensive, and provide excellent performance for the low price. Unlike many cheap plastic bearings that need to be replaced quickly, iglide plastics are all extensively tested for wear resistance, low-friction qualities, and other specific features for a wide range of applications. They also lower potential maintenance for the products the bearings are installed in, as they do not require lubrication, and will continue to operate for a long period of time with no upkeep. Unlike metal bearings, they don’t require any lubrication, like messy oils and greases, which are time consuming to properly apply, and can also become messy quickly, which can lead to dirty or damaged products, something no manufacturer wants!

Without the grease and constant care, not to mention the wide range of features and special certifications available, iglide plastics bearings are a great solution for manufacturers in nearly any industry!

igus Sales Representatives speaking with a potential customer on upcoming projects where igus bearings would be desired

A quick stop was made at the US Air Force Academy. The US Air Force Academy is home to about 4,000 students. The campus is roughly 10,000 acres and sits right below a skyline of mountains. The school holds Cadet Chapel which was dedicated in 1963 (just a year before igus was established). The chapel is based on denominations depending on the religion. Inside the chapel is tiles of stained glass that line the walls. At the back of the church there is a massive organ that sits on a balcony over looking the church.

The Dry-Tech Box in the courtyard of the Academy

Cadet Chapel

The campus

Pikes Peak is the most visited mountain in North America. It is ranked 31st in elevation among Colorado’s 54 “fourteeners”. Climbing Pikes Peak with iglide  bearings is no problem at all. These bearings are maintaining their performance while climbing to 14,115 ft at a temperature of 27º F. Starting out on our ascent, the temperature was 56º, which dropped to 27º at the summit. This was no problem for iglide bearings, which can operate at  longterm temperatures as low as -148º F. The bearings are durable for bikes and cars to climb the steepest mountains with no friction or resistance. The bearings are designed to make a smooth transition when put to work shifting and switching gears. Not only is there a temperature change but rapid weather change. At the bottom it was cloudy and dry, at about 9,000 feet the hail started to smack the windshield. But our bearings pushed through the vast change in weather and temperature. At 11,000 feet a light dust of snow started to appear on the ground. Just like their resistance to temperature changes, the changes in weather and humidity couldn’t beat our iglide bearings. Unlike their metal counterparts, iglide plastic components are not affected by water and moisture, which can rust metal and wash away lubricants, which aren’t required with iglide, as the plastic materials contain microscopic particles of solid lubricant, where rain hail, and snow can’t touch.

The snow is no match for igus bearings

The road below that leads to the top of Pikes Peak

This is a section of the 19 mile road to get to the top, extremely icy conditions with sharp turns and minimal guard rails.

From Colorado it is time to head to Mount Rushmore, South Dakota!

Look for the iglide car on the road,

Thanks for reading,

Kayla