This year too igus® remains faithfully on its course of organic growth. Once again we are investing heavily in delivery speed, new products and online tools that allow you to save process costs. This is enabled by our business concept, plastics for longer life® – modern high-performance plastics, optimized friction and wear properties. Our three initiatives launched last year enjoy great popularity on the market.
Allow me to first explain our investments in delivery speed. On average in recent months about 97 percent of all 80,000 igus® catalog items asked for were immediately available. The availability will now increase. The catalog items must be in stock in order to facilitate the assembly and shipment within hours according to customer requirements. igus® delivers from stock in 24 hours or on the same day - precisely when it is needed. There is no minimum quantity surcharge and we supply even one unit. Further investment has been made in this production concept and the factory grows organically. The assembly area for example has just been expanded by 30 percent - to 3,500 sq.m. We sense a growing demand for ready-to-install ReadyChain® Energy Chain Systems® - already during the recession, and especially now, when there are many places where delivery is required fast. Assembled with special cables, hoses, connectors and all accessories, the complete systems are available in one to ten days depending on the degree of difficulty. In addition we have established a new on-site installation service covering a large area, which includes a guarantee and final report for the customer.
igus® invested very heavily in delivery speed. We deliver from stock in 24 hours or on the same day - precisely when it is needed. The factory grows further organically. Thus for example the assembly area (picture) has now expanded by 30 percent. Assembled energy chains® are available in one to 10 days.
Initiative two, new products: igus® has once again introduced a record number of over 120 new product novelties and extensions in Hanover. Contracts obtained with new plastic products, numerous compared to suppliers of metal solutions, prompt us to invest more heavily in material and product development. Thus, now in Antwerp, instead of a steel chain, the largest and maintenance-free plastic energy chain® in the world – the "E4.350" – is used to pump mud from the dock. Or the vertically travelling energychainsystem® "Guidelok" for storage and retrieval units, which does not require the end-to-end metallic trough anymore and thus reduces the trough costs by 80 percent.
In the second area – the polymer bearings – too, we rely on new products and materials. Lubrication- and maintenance-free iglidur® plastic plain bearings today replace millions of metallic bushings that need oil or grease. They also have a long and predictable life. And with over 10,000 items in stock, designers can use these innovations at once. The past year brought a further big boost in this regard. Because, the dry-running polymer bearings save money and increase the safety of machinery. An MIT study estimated the failure costs through insufficient lubrication in the U.S. alone at 240 billion dollars per year.
Initiative three, save process costs: igus® has also re-invested heavily in new online tools. This ranges from the automatic "filling expert" for energy chains® through a "chains expert" for the selection and dimensioning of energy supply systems up to the new product finder for Chainflex® cables and a configurator for hydraulic hoses. Moreover the world's only service-life prediction of energy chains® online. Furthermore igus® now offers, among other things, a service-life prediction for xiros® polymer ball bearings, a 3D CAD configurator for drylin® linear systems as well as customized online catalogs with price and delivery displays. The extensive range meanwhile includes 27 online tools specifically for engineers.
Frank Blase, CEO/Managing Director
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