A study by RWTH Aachen University and igus recently quantified the financial and environmental benefits of using lubrication-free polymer bearings over traditional metal bearings.

The study reveals that users can save up to R-million annually in lubricant costs, significantly reducing their environmental impact. High-performance plastic bearings from igus eliminate the need for constant lubrication. Additionally, many working hours can be saved annually on relubrication tasks.

In the case study it was found that switching to polymer bearings across its 160 global sites, Heineken Brasil could save 20 tonnes of lubricant and R100- millions in personnel costs annually. This change would also reduce CO2 emissions by 28,814 kg, equivalent to saving over 12,000 litres of petrol.

According to Ian Hewat of igus South Africa the study is pertinent to local industries as the same principles apply. He said the study emphasises the substantial reduction in CO2 emissions when using polymer bearings. Heineken Brasil alone could cut CO2 equivalents by 180 kg annually at 600 bearing points.

“This highlights the increasing pressure on manufacturers to disclose the carbon footprint of their products. The study offers a scientifically validated assessment of the environmental benefits of igus’s self-lubricating bearings, making a strong case for their adoption across various industries,” says Ian.

Conducted by WBA Werkzeugbau, the study involved expert interviews with companies from sectors including automation technology, construction machinery, agriculture, food, packaging, and bottling. The research was carried out in collaboration with the Laboratory for Machine Tools (WZL) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT) on the RWTH Aachen Campus.

By Admin