Initially, this company was sceptical about the replacement of roller bearings and ball bearings with lubrication-free plastic bearings. Whereas metallic as well as polymer bearings were used in the first packaging facility for drywall profiles, it has become impossible in the meantime to do without the tribo-optimized plastic bearings.
"When we used polymer bearings for the first time in a system six years ago, we had serious doubts whether they could withstand the extreme dirt accumulation," looks back Hans Bernreuther, CEO of PRO-BEST Profilsysteme GmbH in Rödelsee-Fröhstockheim. "As a trial we incorporated it in a production unit and simultaneously searched for a suitable application to test them in continuous operation. " Both types of bearings were used in equal measure in the new construction of an interlocking machine. After three years, the initial skepticism was surmounted by the positive experiences. "We have decided to use basically plastic bearings completely for the interlocking machines. In the meantime, we have two machines in operation and the third is under way. Today, polymer bearings are in exclusive use at all bearing points," says CEO Hans Bernreuther.
In the packaging plant for profiles, around 50 tribo-optimized polymer bearings prove their strength in the most varied positions. These are flange bearings and pillow block bearings for pivoting and rotating movements as well as various rod end bearings which absorb traction and pressure. About 50 spherical bearings of the "igubal®" type series are mounted on each packaging unit. In addition, the lubrication-free "iglidur®" plain bearings are also used.
The interlocking machine is in operation three shifts a day five days a week with an output of 20 profiles per minute. All profiles consist of galvanized steel sheets fabricated on site and combined into bearing units. Accordingly, the application conditions for the polymer bearings are difficult. In the interlocking machine for the profiles, two-hole flange bearings are used for the guiding movement on the conveyor stretch. They were developed primarily for the bearing of shaft extensions or shaft bushings. Like all "igubal®" products, they consist of an impact-proof housing made of "igumid® G" and a spherical ball made of "iglidur® J" or "iglidur® W300", depending on the dimensional series. This bearing material distinguishes itself through low coefficients of friction in dry operation as well as a low stick-slip effect. According to design type, the flange bearings are dimensioned for the fastening with two or four screws. A precise alignment of the bearing housing is not required as the flange bearing automatically compensates for error.
Simultaneously, the easy to mount pillow block bearings are used in the facility. These are bearing units that likewise compensate for and prevent misalignments. For this purpose, maintenance-free rod end bearings that absorb high forces at normal ambient temperatures are mounted. They have excellent dampening properties and at the same time weighs only a fifth of the conventional metallic bearing housing.