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Iglide Bearings Aid Animated Prop Designer in Making a Haunting Impression
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Nov 05, 2006
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For most people, Halloween comes only once a year, but for Scareparts, a leading manufacturer of animated props, Halloween is an everyday affair. The company has carved itself a unique niche in the entertainment and amusement industries by focusing on the creation of animated props designed to frighten, scare and spook viewers. To ensure the reliability and longevity of its characters, Scareparts uses iglide® plain and igubal® spherical high-performance plastic bearings from igus® Inc.

robotScareparts offers a wide array of terrifying props that crawl, jump and grab, including the Jester, a full-size skeleton action figure, Sluggo, the half body of a man with exposed mettle, and Resurrection, which features skeleton figures lunging at patrons from beyond the grave. Each Scareparts character uses as many as twenty igus bearings to enable rotating and oscillating movements on various parts, which range from bloody pop-out pieces to gruesome, grabbing hands to swing-open coffin doors. Igus bearings are used on every line of animated characters, including those designed to be quick and easy for at-home Halloween displays.

“If the piece has movement, it uses igus bearings,” said Keith Korner, president of Scareparts. “In 2003, we replaced oil-impregnated bearings with igus plastic bearings and we have seen benefits from the switch ever since.”

Scareparts uses iglide J and iglide M250 bearings, both of which are made of plastic and therefore lubrication- and maintenance-free. Scareparts especially enjoys the versatility of iglide bearings. Unlike metal or bronze bearings, iglide will not corrode or fail as a result of varying temperatures or conditions and can be used both indoors and outdoors. Iglide bearings can withstand the severe weather, dirt, mud and extremely humid environments to which many Scareparts characters are exposed.

“We have seen a competitor’s product fail in one season, which is only 15 to 16 days,” continued Korner. “With iglide bearings, our products last indefinitely.”

In addition to iglide, Scareparts also uses igubal spherical flange, pillow block and rod-end bearings. Igubal bearings are self-aligning, easy to install and have reduced manufacturing costs for Scareparts. Igubal eliminated the need for custom-made housings, as the bearings simply bolt into place. This saves Scareparts both time and money.

Aside from the financial advantages, igus products also boast a number of additional benefits. By using the lightweight plastic bearings, Scareparts was able to reduce the weight of its characters. Igus components also are aesthetically pleasing and do not detract from the overall look of the props.

“We started using igus bearings because of the tremendous value they offer us,” concluded Korner. “They are durable, lightweight, reliable and easy to maintain. Not to mention, they look cool.”

Scareparts focuses on sales and production from March through September, dedicating the remainder of the year to prototyping new products. The company is constantly working on new characters and ideas, most of which incorporate igus components. To learn more about Scareparts and all of its Halloween-inspired creations, go to To read more application stories featuring iglide plastic bearings and igubal spherical bearings, visit igus’ Application Corner at

About igus
Igus Inc., founded in 1985 and based in East Providence, R.I., develops and manufactures industry-leading plastic cable carriers, continuous-flex cables, plastic bearings and linear guide systems. With more than 28,000 products available from stock, the company meets the motion control and machinery component needs of customers worldwide. Product lines include Energy Chain Systems® to protect and house moving cables, Chainflex® continuous-flex cables, iglide self-lubricating, oil-free, plastic bearings, DryLin® linear guide systems and igubal spherical bearings. For

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