LGB Trains were designed to run in outdoor garden layouts. Turns out, the plastic chosen by the Richter brothers Wolfgang and Eberhard for their engines, cars and tracks has shown to be holding out pretty well under straining operating conditions. BUT--- when you are running your train almost 24/7 then you reach the limit even of an LGB train. And there are quite a few non-stop operation train layouts out there. From Botanical Gardens to Dental Practices, Restaurants, to Furniture Stores, Hospitals and Exhibitions, to name a few.
The wear and tear these trains endure is enormous. Even more so when those trains are operated at high or highest speed. A 'need' that is often highlighted by Klaus' customers when their customer base includes a lot of children like Botanical Gardens, family restaurants etc.
Effects of 24/7 running conditions :
over time the axles work themselves into the side walls of the motor block which are functioning as axle bearings. Once this happens, the wheel axle starts to wobble. Eventually this is going to damage the gear wheels and the loco tends to derail. The extreme wobbling of the axle is increasing the load on the motor ever more with the peril of the motor eventually starting to burn out or burn up in a worst case scenario.
The motor experiences the biggest strain while the train operates through curves. And the narrower the curve the more vigorous the impact on the interaction between axle and its bearing. Playing into this is the fact that almost no layout has an even number of left and right turn curves thus exerting a one-sided uber-workload to the motor block. Hence the fact of bearings being worn out unevenly.
Ball bearings and pin bearings stand the test only if and when they are sealed. Then they need no greasing. Unsealed bearings will not do the job since they collect dirt which leads to their demise.
This is Klaus' solution: As a bearing POM proves to be very successful. POM is Polyoxymethylene (POM), also known as acetal, polyacetal, and polyformaldehyde, is an engineering thermoplastic used in precision parts requiring high stiffness, low friction, and excellent dimensional stability (quoted from Wikipedia). POM plastic doesn't require greasing and hence has stood the test of time as a bearing. Klaus' bearing inserts are installed into the motor block and are about 4 times the thickness of the motor block wall. This reduces the pressure on the POM plastic bearing massively. Also, the contact area of the axle bearing has increased by 4 fold as well. Because of these POM bearing inserts the axle guidance is more precise and can much better withstand strains from bigger loads in curves.
Klaus utilizes his precision CNC mill to create these bearing inserts as well as the cutouts for the inserts in the motor blocks. Once the new bearings are inserted, you can still pull out the axle from underneath the motor block because the new bearing inserts are U-shaped.
Another problem from permanent operation is the huge wear and tear on the chrome-plated loco wheels. The chrome plating wears off. This leads to the rash consumption of the wheel(s). A beneficial solution to this is the replacement with stainless steel loco wheels which have an enormous durability. They just need some cleaning from time to time. Klaus sources these stainless steel loco wheels from Germany.
So, go call Klaus and make an appointment for your overhaul of your 24/7 operated LGB trains. You will be merrily surprised how much money you can save with the POM procedure. And ask him about the many happy commercial customers he has. He will gladly give you their contacts for your own inquiries.