igus has demonstrated a new approach for linear carriages: a clip mechanism that enables easy installation and removal from the linear guide in seconds.
Whether it is building technology, mechanical engineering, industrial handling systems, measuring and testing technology or camera technology: linear systems are an integral part of everyday life. The principles are the same: a component, such as a control panel, is installed on a carriage and moves over a linear profile with the aid of a guide system or a rolling guide. Previously, it was only been possible to remove the carriage with some effort, often using tools and usually via the profile ends, provided the installation space permits it.
This design limitation prompted tractor manufacturers for an alternative solution, such as a carriage enabling operators to keep their touch displays in the optimal view position. There is also a requirement for it to be removed easily and safely in one step after finishing work. They can be stored safely, protected from theft, moisture and cold.
“Inspired by this need, we developed the linear ‘carriage-to-go’ as part of a design study—a carriage that can be removed from the linear rail without tools and from any position in just one step,” explained Michael Hornung, product manager drylin linear and drive technology at igus. “In the field of linear technology, this idea is a novelty that saves time and opens up new areas of application.”
Intuitive operability ensures fast installation and removal
The operation of the clip carriage is simple: the carriage moves on a double profile rail via four lubrication and maintenance-free high-performance plastic slide bearings. If the user pulls a lever on the underside of the carriage, two bearings open via a spring mechanism. The carriage can now be pivoted off the rail and removed. The installation is just as quick. The user places the carriage on the upper rail and clips it onto the lower rail.
“Operation is so intuitive that installation is reliable and quick,” said Hornung. The first pilot customers are enthusiastic about the new technology. Among these customers are users of camera systems and measuring and testing technology; with this technology, cameras and evaluation units on linear guides can be installed faster than ever. A market launch is planned for spring 2022.
Clip carriage expands the drylin W product range
With the new clip carriage, igus is expanding the drylin W product range. There are currently more than 50 different versions of linear guide carriages, which, in combination with other design elements, allow an almost unlimited number of variants. The essential feature of all models is high accuracy and smooth operation from the plastic used in the plain bearings, which can be cleaned quickly and thoroughly due to the absence of lubricants.