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igus slewing ring bearing for food contact

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So very clean: new igus slewing ring bearing for food contact

The hygienically designed slewing ring bearing from the iglide PRT series allows cleaning without disassembly

04 January 2023 – igus®, the leading global manufacturer of engineered components to increase the service life of customers' machines, announced it has introduced a hygienically designed slewing ring bearing that enables quick, residue-free cleaning during use. The new slewing ring bearing can remain permanently installed in an application with food contact, saving the user the effort of developing a suitable cover.

Manufacturers of special machinery for clean areas in the food, medical and pharmaceutical industries are familiar with the problem: the market has hardly any hygienically designed slewing ring bearings for rotating components in such applications as a bottle filling plant. Traditional components offer bacteria plenty of target areas and usually cannot be cleaned thoroughly enough. Hence, additional development work for a hygienic cover is typically necessary, involving more time and money.

"We want to offer a simpler solution, so we developed a hygienic version of our iglide PRT slewing ring bearing," says Fabian Wieking, Product Manager PRT Slewing Ring Bearings at igus. "It is made of stainless steel and FDA-compliant plastics, and its design allows users to clean it without any residue left behind and without removing it from the machine. This eliminates the need for an additional cover."

New design allows easy cleaning during use

When designing the new slewing ring bearing, igus engineers followed the guidelines of the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group, an association of research institutes, public-health institutions, food processors, and food production equipment suppliers. The primary goal was to give bacteria as few target areas as possible. The new slewing ring bearings are designed with rounded components. There are no 90-degree corners, weld seams, or edges. All surfaces have a slope of at least three degrees so that water drains off completely. FDA-compliant seals are used wherever metal meets metal. This prevents dead spaces, for example, in screw connections.

"These special design features allow clean-in-place processes," says Wieking. "No disassembly is necessary for cleaning. Users can simply rinse the bearing with cleaning agents, reliably removing all residue."

igus manufactures a new slewing ring bearing on request as a special component

"We see that the food and packaging industry is developing rapidly and that there is greater and greater demand for special machinery," says Wieking. "However, in most cases, manufacturers require special components. For that reason, we are offering them the possibility to have the new hygienically designed slewing ring bearing manufactured according to their individual requirements."

Users also benefit from the usual advantages of igus products: the stainless steel rings move on sliding elements made of iglide®, a high-performance plastic into which solid lubricants are integrated. They allow low-friction dry operation, protecting the environment. The slewing ring bearings are delivered ready to install, and the self-lubrication effect keeps them working for years without maintenance.

Learn more about iglide slewing ring bearings from igus here.

igus GmbH develops and produces motion plastics. These self-lubricating, high-performance polymers improve technology and reduce costs wherever things move. In energy supplies, highly flexible cables, plain and linear bearings, and lead screw technology made of tribo-polymers, igus is the worldwide market leader. The family-run company based in Cologne, Germany, is represented in 35 countries and employs 4,900 people across the globe. In 2021, igus generated a turnover of €961 million. Research in the industry's largest test laboratories constantly yields innovations and more user security. Two hundred thirty-four thousand articles are available from stock, and service life can be calculated online. In recent years, the company has expanded by creating internal startups, for example, ball bearings, robot drives, 3D printing, the RBTX platform for Lean Robotics, and intelligent "smart plastics" for Industry 4.0. Among the most significant environmental investments are the "chainge" program – recycling used e-chains and participating in an enterprise that produces oil from plastic waste