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This Week in Power & Motion: igus Introduces Lubrication-Free Two-Component Ball Bearing

July 1, 2022
The new igus xiros two-component ball bearing features a tribologically optimized design to eliminate the need for lubrication, RISE Robotics is one of 10 winners in the U.S. Army's xTechSearch 6 program and more news you may have missed.

There is much going on in the world of fluid power and motion control from technology introductions and industry advancements to new trends and industry leaders. To keep our readers as informed as possible, the Power & Motion team has collected some of the latest industry news. 

This week's news includes a new product introduction from igus which will help to reduce maintenance for customers and a new collaboration between a mining equipment manufacturer and a power systems supplier. The latter is of interest for the Power & Motion audience because of the ever evolving landscape of power systems for cars, trucks, construction equipment and more. 

The new collaboration, between Komatsu and Cummins, demonstrates the continued investment companies are making in hydrogen and other alternative energy sources. With these new systems will come alterations to components and system architectures which could impact many component suppliers and system integrators. How these new technologies will impact them is yet to be seen, making it necessary to continue monitoring developments in alternative power systems. 

Keep an eye out for a new edition each week to ensure you stay up to date on what's happening in the world of fluid power and motion control.

ASTM Launches Program to Accelerate Emerging Technologies

Global standards organization ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) International has launched a new program aimed at helping bring emerging technologies to market faster. ASTM Xcellerate applies the organization's standards development process to the design process as a means of speeding up time to market. 

Per ASTM's press release announcing the launch of Xcellerate, it will focus on: 

  • empowering broader global collaboration by harmonizing the needs of international research communities and embedding standards at the very start of the emerging technology process;
  • accelerating commercialization and reducing costs by supporting key R&D, avoiding duplication of work, and minimizing wasted resources; and
  • bridging the gap between research and full-scale operation by connecting industry and key stakeholders with relevance built in.

"At ASTM International, we believe standards offer an invaluable platform for global collaboration," noted Kathie Morgan, ASTM International president, in the press release. "The ASTM Xcellerate program aims to put standards at the heart of all emerging technologies – promoting excellence, accelerating development, and bridging the gap to sustained success."

ASTM Xcellerate is currently focused on four key technologies additive manufacturing, exo technologies, emerging airspace, and robotics and automation with more to be added in the future. 

RISE Robotics Wins Army xTechSearch 6 Competition

Electromechanical technology developer RISE Robotics is one of 10 winners in the U.S. Army xTech Program's Expeditionary Technology Search cohort known as xTechSearch 6. Through this initiative, small businesses were encouraged to pitch innovative technologies which could be utilized by the U.S. Army and Department of Defense. As a winner, RISE Robotics was awarded $25,000. 

During the finals of the competition, RISE demonstrated a proof-of-concept utilizing its RISE Cylinder which is designed to provide a hydraulic alternative for heavy-duty applications to aid electrification efforts. 

In addition to winning this competition, RISE has the chance to submit a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research proposal worth up to $250,000.

"We are delighted to have been provided an opportunity to understand how RISE Technology can help U.S. Army warfighters operate more effectively, efficiently and safely," said Ken Gray, Chief Product Officer at RISE Robotics, in the company's press release announcing its receipt of the award. "The XTechSearch 6 program has been tremendously helpful for building our understanding while exposing RISE Robotics’ capabilities to U.S. Army decision-makers and end-users, and we look forward to the opportunity to work closely together again in the future."

igus Introduces Two-Component Bearing 

igus has recently introduced the xiros two-component ball bearing which requires no lubrication. The new xiros bearing is designed to be wear resistant as well as quiet and dimensionally stable even when operating at high speeds. This enables the bearing to be used in various applications such as fans and blowers said igus in its press release announcing the launch of the xiros bearing

Maintenance is minimized with this new bearing as there is no lubrication required due to the use of a tibologically optimized design, helping keep customers more productive. The bearing features a blue layer made of xirodur D180 which helps to dampen noise said igus in its press release. This material combines with the bearing's hard shell ensures the soft, wear-resistant inner material of the bearing offers high dimensional stability. 

Per igus' press release, casting of the soft components into the hard shell of both races enables the balls to always run on the soft, high-performance plastic during rotary movement and be supported by the shell. 

The xiros bearing is also a recipient of a 2022 iF Product Design Award, considered one of the world's most prestigious design awards. 

Komatsu Collaborating with Cummins on Zero-Emissions Mining Trucks

Heavy machinery OEM Komatsu has announced a collaboration with engine manufacturer Cummins Inc. in which the companies will work together to develop zero-emissions mining haul trucks. According to Komatsu's press release announcing the collaboration, the companies will focus on technologies which include hydrogen fuel cells. 

Like many other power system suppliers, Cummins has been expanding its development efforts beyond diesel engines in recent years. Batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, as well as hydrogen fueled engines, are among the areas in which it has been focusing its efforts with the understanding that new options are necessary to meet global emissions reduction targets. The company, like many others, also understands there is no one solution that will meet all application needs which is why it has invested in various alternative energy options. 

Both companies will be able to bring to the collaboration their experience working in and designing for heavy-duty machinery applications such as mining which will benefit development of solutions for the industry. 

"Komatsu’s deep expertise in mining and equipment design and integration paired with our advanced power technologies including hydrogen fuel cells will accelerate decarbonization of mining equipment," said Amy Davis, vice president and president of new power at Cummins, in Komatsu's press release. "The mining industry has great potential to lead in adopting renewable solutions." 

"Cummins has been a long-term partner of Komatsu and has been investing in the key technologies required to support the energy transition in mining," said Masayuki Moriyama, president of Komatsu’s Mining Business Division, in the press release. "These are critical technologies for helping mining customers reduce carbon emissions and accelerate carbon neutrality. Building on our partnership with Cummins, we are working to accelerate sustainable solutions for our customers."  

In addition to investing in alternative energy technologies, both companies have also committed to reducing their own carbon footprints in their operations.

About the Author

Sara Jensen | Technical Editor, Power & Motion

Sara Jensen is technical editor of Power & Motion, directing expanded coverage into the modern fluid power space, as well as mechatronic and smart technologies. She has over 15 years of publishing experience. Prior to Power & Motion she spent 11 years with a trade publication for engineers of heavy-duty equipment, the last 3 of which were as the editor and brand lead. Over the course of her time in the B2B industry, Sara has gained an extensive knowledge of various heavy-duty equipment industries — including construction, agriculture, mining and on-road trucks —along with the systems and market trends which impact them such as fluid power and electronic motion control technologies. 

You can follow Sara and Power & Motion via the following social media handles:

X (formerly Twitter): @TechnlgyEditor and @PowerMotionTech

LinkedIn: @SaraJensen and @Power&Motion

Facebook: @PowerMotionTech

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