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Exoskeletons, electric manipulator arms or research projects examining space debris - none of them would be possible without synthetic bearings. In fact, these aren't just random examples, but were the winning applications in the previous round of the biennial manus award presented by the motion plastics specialist igus, selected from among 541 entries submitted from 35 countries. The time has now arrived for the latest smart ideas to compete for the next manus award. Entries can be anything from 3D printers or sports equipment right through to plastic sculptures, and the deadline for submissions is 22 February 2019.

"The selection process itself demonstrates the extremely diverse range of applications for synthetic bearings," says Tobias Vogel, looking back at the previous winner. Vogel, an authorized signatory for igus GmbH and the head of its iglidur plain bearings & drylin linear guides division, is joining the panel of judges for the first time this year in place of Gerhard Baus, one of the competition's founders and a panel member from the start in 2003, co-judging all eight rounds to date.

Candidates for the manus award, which carries prize money of up to 5,000 euros, are invited to submit their entries online by supplying brief texts, photos and videos of their design for the judges to inspect. Whether the idea is intended for serial applications in industry or a bespoke one-off design, the only requirement is that at least one prototype has been constructed for the application in question. The panel of expert judges - representing science, research and the trade press - will select the smartest ideas for presentation at HANNOVER MESSE 2019, where the overall winners will also be revealed and presented with the award.

igus GmbH (51147 Cologne, Germany)
Website: www.igus.com/