By switching to plastic bearings in its packaging machines, Matrix Packaging Machinery improved the reliability and serviceability of its products.

Matrix Packaging Machinery (Saukville, WI) manufacturers a wide range of packaging equipment and prides itself on the reliability of its products, which are used by customers around the world. Its product line includes vertical, form, fill and seal packaging equipment, which can handle a variety of products, from canned green beans to candy to detergent.

Historically, Matrix Packaging would employ metal ball bearings in its packaging machines. However, after encountering scored shaft problems and grease leaks on a number of its machines, it set out to find a bearing that would operate more reliably while in continuous contact with everything from dust and dirt to water. Ultimately, Matrix chose to install low-friction DryLin R bearings from igus Inc. (East Providence, RI). Made of highly engineered plastic, the bearings require no lubrication or maintenance, and are formulated for long-life and low friction.

The bearings are also configured for easy installation and removal, thereby streamlining assembly, even in more demanding applications, like those seen by Matrix packaging machines. The bearing is comprised of two parts: a plastic liner made from proprietary iglide J200 material that can be pushed easily onto the shaft, and a split aluminum adapter that fits over the liner. During production, installation time is greatly reduced because the Drylin R eliminates the need to remove the shaft from its housing. If a replacement is necessary, the adapter shell can be opened and a new plastic liner installed. This feature saves the customer time, and in some cases, can reduce replacement part costs by 90 percent.

Not that replacements are something that have to be made often: Since switching to DryLin R bearings, Matrix engineers have found that even after 7 million cycles on its G Series machines, the bearings will show little or no noticeable wear. Some machines have already surpassed the 10-million cycle mark with DryLin R still in operation.

“With DryLin R, our customers do not have to worry about lubricating the bearings,” says Matrix President, Marcel Willden. “Instead, they benefit from machines that run longer without service. DryLin R bearings are a low-cost, maintenance-free alternative to other solutions we have used.”

For more on plastic bearings call 800-521-2747 or visit www.igus.com.