Küppersbusch GmbH in Velbert develops and manufactures customer-specific filling plants and has been using plain bearings from the igus® modular construction kit for more than twenty years. A closer look at a manufactured plant shows a wide variety of possible applications for bearing systems made of high-performance polymers in beverage technology.
A typical feature of Küppersbusch's procedure is that there are no prefabricated solutions or type series. Klaus Voigt, project engineer in the company: "The customer tells us the requirements - we develop a solution. " Since it's mostly about small to medium volumes and users want flexibility, this solution often consists of semi-automatic, linear filling, labelling and capping machines. During the project planning, the developers can fall back on extensive application know-how. On a separate floor of the company building, Küppersbusch uses its own production facilities for the contract filling of a wide variety of products. Jochen Küppersbusch: "That's why we know the practical requirements of our customers from our own experience. “
The designers at Küppersbusch use various series and versions from the igus® bearings product range, and with good reason. Klaus Voigt: "It is important to us that both the rotary and the linear bearings can be cleaned well and achieve a long service life. For hygiene reasons, they must not require any external lubricants, and depending on the application, this means parts in contact with the product, the materials must be FDA-compliant. "All of these properties apply to igus® plain bearings made of high-performance polymer with incorporated lubricant.
Using the example of a filling plant for spirits, which is currently undergoing its final test runs in Velbert before delivery, it is easy to see how many and which different plain bearings from the igus® modular construction kit are used here:
Trapezoidal threads from the drylin® product range combined with flange nuts made of high-performance polymer are used for a variety of height-adjustment mechanisms.
The format adjustments are made via drylin® R flange bearings. Three igus® bearing points provide a guidance system here. Liner left and right for shaft bearing, lead screw and nut centred for the drive.
Clip bearings are installed on the bracket of an electric motor to ensure easy assembly and compensation of alignment.
On another (vertical) linear axis, Küppersbusch uses a combination of drylin® R flange bearings with aluminium adapters in which anodised aluminium shafts move.
With regard to the choice of iglidur® material, the designers benefit from the ever-increasing range. Klaus Voigt: "For many years we have been using the FDA-compliant solution iglidur® A180. Now we mostly use the new FDA variants iglidur® A181 (blue) and the similarly FDA-compliant high-temperature bearing iglidur® A500." A relatively new igus® product is used in the current system at the outlet of the rotary table for feeding the bottles. The guidance equipment for the bottles was originally made of stainless steel. To dampen the sound of bottles hitting metal, the igus® tribo-tape made of iglidur® B160 is used. This liner is resistant to cleaning agents and is characterised by a very good sliding / friction coefficient compared to glass.
Küppersbusch also relies on high-performance polymer bearings from the igus® modular construction kit at the valves and pumps of the filling and dosing stations. At the filling stations, the bottles are raised via drylin® T-rail guides and connected to the filler. At the centring bridges of the filling tubes, the company installs iglidur® flange bearings, which are not only FDA-compliant and chemically resistant, but also have an extremely long service life. Klaus Voigt: "These bearings are heavily stressed. We have a filling machine that has done 40 million cycles and is still operating with the first shaft and the first bushing. " Users of the Küppersbusch bottling plants will profit from this again: they can get by with a minimum of service. The plants are known to the customers for this.