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With household appliances everything revolves around the plain bearing


Over 100 years ago, V-Zug set itself the task of making everyday life easier with the manufacture of high-quality, innovative household appliances. Since its foundation in 1913, the company has been family-owned and one of the most important employers in the Canton of Zug. With state-of-the-art working methods and over 1,400 employees, this high-tech company in Switzerland develops and produces high-quality household appliances. Over 4.5 million devices are in use nationwide. On an area of over 60,000 square metres, V-Zug AG manufactures household appliances for the kitchen and washroom using the highest precision and trend-setting production techniques, from the basic material to the finished appliance.
 
The 'Premium Swiss Quality', i.e. Swiss top quality, is applied everywhere, so that the V-Zug equipment is particularly durable and works reliably. Reto Märchy, in charge of the development and design of kitchen appliances at V-Zug: "Thanks to the modern equipment, energy consumption has been reduced by half for every appliance in recent years. Wherever possible, we use recyclable materials and actively ensure orderly disposal. Our suppliers are carefully selected - in addition to quality, environmental aspects and price issues are also taken into account. “

For an optimal feel of the unique rotary knob, much attention has been paid to the search for the optimal material for the bearing in the new generation of household appliances. For an optimal feel of the unique rotary knob, much attention has been paid to the search for the optimal material for the bearing in the new generation of household appliances.

Problem

In the first version, a brass bearing was used, which however conducted the current, which is not permitted in this application.  The 2nd version made of ceramic could also not be used due to the high costs.   

Solution

With the special material iglidur RN24, a maintenance-free and lubrication-free material could be used, which requires no additional grease or oil.  Thanks to the good coefficient of friction and performance, the service life requirements were exceeded three times over in customer tests.  


"The quality is right, the price is right and we were very well looked after right from the start. We were also impressed by the fact that as a 'small fish' we were treated like a giant.
 
Reto Märchy, Development and Design, V-Zug AG

The search for the ideal material

The first material for the support and functionality of this rotary knob was brass. But since brass is conductive, it was rejected by the electronics department at V-Zug after the initial trials. The designers at V-Zug then tried a ceramic solution. Although the material was convincing due to its hardness and precision, it was rejected as an alternative mainly because of its high price. Then the idea of testing plastic solutions was developed along with igus. For a cooperation between V-Zug and the motion plastics specialist from Cologne has been going on for years and already in the past other demanding applications of V-Zug have been implemented with plain bearing solutions made of plastic from igus.
 
For over 30 years, igus has been developing and manufacturing plain bearings that are used millions of times in the industry. Over the years, igus has developed a wide variety of materials with the most diverse properties, making the bearings suitable for more and more areas of application. The spectrum ranges from economical iglidur all-rounder bearings and "food grade" bearings up to bearings made of materials suitable for high temperature or underwater applications. All the materials have in common the property that they do not have to be lubricated externally with oils or greases. The iglidur plain bearing materials all consist of thermoplastic materials. Embedded in this are usually fibre reinforcements to increase the compressive strength as well as solid lubricants, which optimise the wear resistance and coefficients of friction.

Household appliances from V-Zug stand for Premium Swiss Quality. To ensure that the products meet the manufacturer's requirements, high-quality components are crucial. Household appliances from V-Zug stand for Premium Swiss Quality. To ensure that the products meet the manufacturer's requirements, high-quality components are crucial.

So V-Zug contacted igus with the task of finding a high-quality plastic. "The challenge for us was that we have three different plastic components here and in this case we are talking about extremely small tolerances. If a plastic part is outside the tolerance, this rotary knob wobbles or jams," says Axel Ebert, contact person for the region at igus Switzerland.

Quality from the igus laboratory

To guarantee the durability of its plastic products, igus operates the largest test laboratories in the industry. On an area of 2,750 square metres, the company tests, verifies and develops under real conditions, with the sole aim of providing customers with the best solution that works with certainty. Focus of the elaborate tests are push/pull forces, coefficients of friction, wear, abrasion and driving forces at various speeds and loads. In this way, igus engineers develop around 100 new plastic compounds with different specifications every year. The special material iglidur RN24 now used for this operating element in V-Zug was also developed in the Cologne laboratory. And not only that, the used lubrication-free and maintenance-free material exceeds the specifications of V-Zug by more than three times. "In this way we were finally able to convince V-Zug," explains Lutz Alof, CEO of igus Switzerland. "We have even set up our own test facility for this operating knob in our laboratory in Cologne. The specification for V-Zug was 40,000 cycles. With the first plastic compositions developed by our technicians, we just managed to achieve the prescribed goal. But we had to keep working until the right mixture was found - and finally we found it. With the now used material, we stopped the test at 150,000 applications. “

For this application, igus developed the special material iglidur RN24, which exceeded the requirements of V-Zug three times over in the test. For this application, igus developed the special material iglidur RN24, which exceeded the requirements of V-Zug three times over in the test.

  "The collaboration with igus is exemplary," sums up Reto Märchy. "The quality is right, the price is right and we were very well looked after right from the start. We were also impressed by the fact that as a 'small fish' we were treated like a giant." Lutz Alof from igus Switzerland adds, "We don't make any division into A, B or C customers. Our main focus is the satisfied customer. We want to find the ideal solution for every customer, that's where all our ambition lies. Either we achieve this through our continuously growing standard range of plain bearings and can deliver products to our customers within 24 hours, or we set up test rigs in our laboratory especially for customer projects. And when we have been successful - as in this case - these are the best references for new projects. “
 

To the products used

From left to right: Reto Märchy, Development and Design, V-Zug AG, Lutz Alof, CEO igus Switzerland, Axel Ebert, Technical Sales Consultant Region East, igus Switzerland. From left to right: Reto Märchy, Development and Design, V-Zug AG, Lutz Alof, CEO igus Switzerland, Axel Ebert, Technical Sales Consultant Region East, igus Switzerland.

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