Michigan

October 5th-9th

The car started its U.S. Tour in Michigan after crossing the border from Ontario, Canada. The car spent seven days in Michigan and visited 6 customers around the Detroit area.

 An automotive and aircraft seating design and build company uses our bushings and slides in various pivots and linear motion.

One 
automotive exterior accessories company specializes in ladder racks, running boards and luggage racks. They are a new prospective customer of igus.

A robotic automation and assembly lines for the automotive and aerospace industry, 
currently uses DryLin® in a fixture for an airplane wing.

A production systems OEM, for the automotive and aeronautical industries, currently uses 
both dry-tech® and Energy Chain Systems® products.

An OEM manufacturer of robotic automation systems (used in almost all areas of production) currently purchases E-Chain® for their 7th axis systems and are in the process of testing Chainflex®.

There is also interest in bearings from several different departments. Triflex R® was very interesting to them for their robot applications.

A robotics integrator and machine builder of plastic and fabric processing systems and metal processing technologies uses igus’ Triflex RS® system. During the visit, new Chainflex® applications were also discussed.

The car’s weekend destination was Chicago. Chicago is one of the biggest cities in the U.S. and rests on Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes. Last year, the car made an appearance at the IMTS Tradeshow at McCormick Place, and was excited to be back and spend more time in this diversely cultural city.

Over the weekend the car drove to Navy Pier, passed by Millennium Park, and watched the Chicago Marathon.

The Chicago Marathon started in 1977 with 4,200 runners and now has grown to host 45,000 runners. The race is 26.1 miles and hosts runners from all 50 states and over 100 countries. Over 1.5 million people watch as the runners race through 29 different neighborhoods, starting and finishing at Grant Park in Downtown Chicago. After the race, the city was packed with runners of all ethnicities and ages sporting foil wrappers (capes) to keep the runners warm after the run.


Part of the Chicago Marathon

Physicians and fitness experts say the HeatSheets, as they are known, serve an important function for runners who compete in cool-weather marathons. Marathoners use these sheets for the same reason campers and hikers pack them as survival equipment, and for the same reason they are a staple of emergency medical-supply kits: They help prevent hypothermia by reflecting body heat.


A runner wearing a heat sheet

Although the car couldn’t drive into Millennium Park, it can easily be seen from the street. The park is located in the “Loop” District of Chicago and was built to celebrate the new millennium. Today, it is the second highest tourist attraction in Chicago after Navy Pier.


The Bean in Millenium Park

Thanks for reading,

Kayla

Ontario, Canada

September 21st– October 2nd

Over our two weeks in Ontario, the igus® car visited 12 companies, mostly from the automotive industry, and the provincal capitol of Ontario, Toronto.

The first automotive customer we visited builds material handling cells for the automotive industry.  They currently buy igus® E-Chain® and have recently purchased a Triflex® RS system for the first time to be used on a robot.

“I choose igus over your competitor because you’re responsive, and you get samples to me like that (as he snaps his finger). And your guys are awesome when they come to us. You keep our cables out of the frey.”-customer

Another customer builds linear press systems for the automotive industry. They use igus® E-Chain® and cable exclusively on their machines with chains on the X, Y and Z axis in most cases.

One customer picked up our dry-tech® box and said, “this is so great how you use this. I gotta grab one of these.”

An automotive parts supplier for pedals, hood hinges, and hand brakes as well as other mechanical assemblies has done some testing with iglide® bushings in their hand brakes.  They also buy cable and E-Chain® at times to repair in-house equipment.

At this particular company, it was hard to reach the engineers for meetings, but once the car pulled up to the facility, the engineers came right outside and were able to speak with local igus® sales representatives about our products and how they can be used for their specific applications.

A global automotive supplier, that makes components for the automotive industry, has used iglide® bushings on seat pivoting mechanisms inside cars.

Some of their engineers were not aware that other divisions already use us on products and prototypes for many years, this was a great way to gain confidence in our products.

This customer also owned this type of car, and was so excited igus was coming, he even wore an orange shirt.

After another successful week of visits in Canada, the car got to spend the weekend in Toronto, the provincial capitol of Ontario. Toronto is a dynamic metropolis with a vast skyline with the iconic CN Tower as the focal point.

The car drove along Lake Ontario, stopped by a Toronto Blue Jay’s game, passed the CN Tower and drove through Kensington Market.

Ontario, Canada

Although the car didn’t make it to the top of the CN Tower, our mini igus® car was able to squeeze in the elevator that goes 553 meters above Toronto. The CN Tower is a communications and observation tower that was declared as one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World in 1995.

Inside the tower is a restaurant and two floors used for observing the city. The first level has a glass floor over looking Rogers Centre, where the Jay’s play their home games, and an outside enclosed walkway.

The second floor is used for the “edge-walk” tour where guided tours are given to people who are harnessed to the tower and walk on the edge of the platform while dangling above the city (the mini car did not participate in the edge-walk.)

Kensington Market is a characteristic, multicultural neighborhood in downtown Toronto. The neighborhood is covered in murals of graffiti among dozens of eclectic shops and cafes.

After Ontario, the car crossed the border back into the U.S. into Detroit to start its week in Michigan.

A huge thank you to our customers in Canada for making this leg of the tour an overwhelming success. Also a special thank you to igus® Canada for your warming hospitality these past three weeks.

Thanks for reading,

Kayla