igus recently announced that it has partnered with the MassRobotics Associated Network. The motion plastics leader said the association aligns with its ongoing commitment to fostering advances in robotics technology and expanding services for small and midsize enterprises, or SMEs.
“Being part of the MassRobotics Associated Network is a step forward in our mission to facilitate affordable, cutting-edge automation solutions to SMEs worldwide,” stated Jan Hennecke, low-cost automation product manager at igus. “We are thrilled to work with more robotics startups and receive recognition in the community.”
Motion plastics are high-performance polymers that can eliminate the need for lubricants and reduce costs in moving parts, explained igus. The company claimed to be the worldwide market leader in energy supplies, highly flexible cables, plain and linear bearings, and lead screw technology made of tribo-polymers.
Cologne, Germany-based igus GmbH is a family-run business, is represented in 31 countries, and employs 4,600 people worldwide. Its U.S. headquarters are in Rumford, R.I., where it employs more than 380 people.
“We're continuously expanding in Rhode Island and are very committed to New England,” Felix Brockmeyer, CEO of igus Inc., told Robotics 24/7 during a recent site visit. “We've been in North America since 1985 and see the market potential here of $1 billion.”
In 2022, igus generated a turnover of €1.15 billion ($1.24 billion U.S.). The company offers 234,000 items in stock, as well as an online calculator for service life.
igus applies smart plastics expertise to robotics
“Research in the industry's largest test laboratories constantly yields innovations and more user security,” said igus.
In recent years, the company has expanded by creating internal startups for technologies including ball bearings, robot drives, 3D printing, the RBTX marketplace for Lean Robotics, and “smart plastics” for Industry 4.0.
With its Low-Cost Automation initiative, igus has focused on providing integrators and manufacturers around the world with systems that offer low entry-level costs and quick payback. Its portfolio includes articulated arm, linear, Delta, and SCARA robots for SMEs.
“We've continued added machines on RBTX and offer customers remote tests in our lab, which are easier for newcomers to automation to trust than simulations,” said Hennecke. “We also provide free 30-minute consultations and components from partners. We want to provide quotes and ship complete solutions as quickly as possible.”
In addition, igus has invested in environmental sustainability through its Chainge program, which recycles the materials in used e-chains and involves Mura Technology, a partner that produces oil from plastic waste.
“Our founder's dedication to sustainability drives other ideas,” noted Brockmeyer. “For example, we developed a planetary drive for our all-plastic bike that made gears better. We learn from things that start as passion projects.”
igus participated in MassRobotics' recent RoboSource event. Source: MassRobotics
MassRobotics network helps industry grow
MassRobotics is a nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing the robotics community in Massachusetts and beyond through co-working space, networking opportunities, and resources to help startups develop and commercialize their products. igus said MassRobotics' extensive network of manufacturers, suppliers, and service providers will help it continue its Low-Cost Automation mission.
As a member of the MassRobotics Associated Network, igus can showcase its innovations at the annual RoboSource event, including its RBTX platform for affordable robotics projects. On RBTX, users can automate tasks starting at just $3,000 to $12,000, test solutions before investing, and take advantage of free customer testing support.
The partnership also provides igus with a listing under designated categories on the MassRobotics Associated Network page, enhancing visibility and market reach. The company said it will further solidify its presence in the field and offer additional growth opportunities.
“We are enthusiastic to bring our low-cost, efficient automation solutions to an even wider audience via the MassRobotics platform,” added Hennecke. “Together, we can drive innovation and competitiveness within the robotics industry.”
About the Author
Eugene Demaitre is editorial director of Robotics 24/7. Prior to joining Peerless Media, he was a senior editor at Robotics Business Review and The Robot Report. Demaitre has also worked for BNA (now part of Bloomberg), Computerworld, and TechTarget. He has participated in numerous robotics-related webinars, podcasts, and events worldwide.
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