igus Plain Bearings in Roller Chain

P4.1 roller chain is for crane and gantry use with optional intelligent wear monitoring.

New maintenance-free plain bearings and an intelligent wear sensor ensure a longer service life in the P4.1 roller chain for crane and gantry systems. (Source: igus GmbH)

In order to increase the uptime of crane systems and gantries, igus has now combined its core competencies in the areas of plain bearing technology and energy chains. In the P4.1 roller chain for long travels, newly developed tribologically optimised plain bearings ensure lubrication-free mounting of the individual chain links. This significantly prolongs the service life of the energy chain. Optionally, the P4.1 e-chain can be part of the igus predictive maintenance concept with a new isense wear sensor.

The P4 system has been the solution for demanding applications for many years. The P4 roller chain series has already proven itself in over 1,000 crane and gantry applications worldwide, with travel distances of up to 800 metres, high speeds of more than five metres per second, and several million cycles with low vibration and low noise. Using rollers integrated in the chain link, the friction is reduced to a minimum and the service life prolonged to the maximum. Due to the offset between upper run and lower run, the plastic rollers are not rolled over, but roll past each other to allow very smooth running. As a result, the coefficient of friction decreases and the drive power is reduced by 57 percent. Users like the world’s largest crane manufacturer ZPMC have been relying on the reliable profile roller chain for many years. With the new lubrication-free and maintenance-free plain bearings made of high-performance plastics, igus has now developed the e-chain even further.

New P4.1: Merging of Two core Competences

Since 1964, igus has been developing and producing high-performance plastics for lubrication-free plain bearings and tough e-chains. Through the experience in both areas and the research of new plastic compounds, igus developers were able to further optimise the P4.1 roller chain in order to significantly increase reliability and availability. There is a bearing point for pivoting in every connection of the chain links. This has now been re-equipped with a maintenance-free tribo-polymer plain bearing, which more than doubles the service life. In this way, container cranes in ports, for example, can now achieve a service life of more than 15 years or 20,000 plus operating hours, with low maintenance and high reliability.

Intelligent Networking And Predictive Maintenance with isense

Optionally, the new P4.1 can be equipped with smart monitoring sensors, such as a wear sensor for the newly installed plain bearings. From a defined wear limit, this can issue a signal to the igus icom communication module and maintenance can be planned in advance. Depending on the customer’s requirements, the data of the icom module can be used differently: with a direct integration into the existing software environment and intranet solution for a pure maintenance message or with the connection to the igus data centre for an intelligent and dynamic service life prediction. In this case, the maintenance recommendations via Machine Learning and AI algorithms are constantly compared and defined with the data from many existing applications. Thanks to the intelligent networking of the P4.1 roller chain, the maintenance engineer can access the service life data of the energy chain at any time at any location.

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