Colorado and the Rockies

November 9th-13th

The next stop for the igus® car was Denver, Colorado, also known as the mile-high city because it’s State Capitol Building is exactly one mile, (5,280 feet) above sea Level.

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Denver is located in the gentle plains, which leads to the Rocky Mountains—the largest mountain range in North America, and the second largest range in the world.

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The igus® car received a small make-over between the Midwest and Colorado. The car’s new eye-catching addition, a set of Lamborghini doors, now allows the doors to open vertically, as well as horizontally. The doors have been a very popular attraction with our customers, especially with the automotive industry.

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The first stop the igus® car tour made was to an OEM of convertible tops and other automotive parts. As a current customer already familiar with igus®, many employees—including the company’s new CEO came to visit the car.

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The igus® technical sales team and engineers were able to discuss the potential for new projects and further opportunities for collaboration.

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Their marketing department was also very curious about the igus® car’s world tour, and said they were inspired to contemplate starting a similar car tour of their own!

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The next visit was to a current customer, an OEM of Laser Engravers. The area was very windy, and our tent almost blew away, but the engineers and employees were still excited to see the igus® car and visit the booth.

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Opportunities arose for projects involving DryLin® W, lead screws, and a custom iglide® flange nut. There are also exciting prospects for E-Chain® and ReadyChain at this Company.

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The third customer visit in Colorado was the morning after a snowstorm. The cars were covered in 5 inches of snow. Luckily the weather warmed up and the snow melted by the time the visit started.

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The visit was to an OEM of packaging equipment, which is used primarily in the injection molding industry. Several potential projects were discussed, including opportunities for DryLin® W and R, and Chainflex® CFPE.

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The next stop was to a customer which designs analyzers for the medical industry. Engineers and designers were enthusiastic about various opportunities, as they have had great success with igus® products in the past.

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Many possibilities were discussed, such as DryLin® T on a new analyzer, potential for DryLin® W on an agricultural project, and an E-Chain® E-2 Micro application.

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Next, the igus® car had a busy visit at a company that manufactures drive-through car-washes. Four E-Chains® are already successfully in use on these car washes.

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One gantry system is used, and moves horizontally across the top of the machine, feeding the water line.

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Two E-Chains® are used as support chains, feeding electrical and chemical lines.

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The final application along the side of the car wash feeds the entire car wash. As engineers took interest in various products, they spoke about an application for DryLin®, as well as potential for the use of igus® ReadyChain.

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The final stop in Colorado was to a small company which makes adjustable ergonomic work stations for call Centers.

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Their young and energetic team was very enthusiastic, and spoke about creative applications which would help their clients move about during the work day. Once again the engineers were very interested in DryLin® N and W.

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Heading north into the Teton Mountains, the car’s next stop was Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Thanks for reading,

Kayla and Bridgette

Minnesota

October 26th-30th.

In Minnesota the igus® car continued to make visits as the weather got colder. The first visit was to a manufacturer of credit cards, driver’s licenses, passports, and company badges. The mechanical engineers were very enthusiastic and familiar with igus® products because they currently use small E-Chains® in their machines.

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The technical sales team recognized great potential for Chainflex® and the company’s electrical engineers were impressed that igus® fiber optic cables are rated for continuous flex, as they often use fiber optics in their products. They were also excited to learn that the sales team they met with was local and could easily meet to discuss potential projects and uses for igus® products.

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In addition the company will be redesigning one of their products utilizing DryLin® N rails and carriages in the near future. Other engineers expressed interest in custom applications, new E-Chain® E7 liners, DryLin® and igubal® products.

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The igus® car also visited a manufacturer of cardiovascular, spinal and neurosurgery MRI and CT imaging equipment. They currently purchase our iglide® 240 series, B17 and 27i E-Chains® and control cables.

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Many engineers were very engaged with the Chainflex® samples displayed and potential advantages for their applications.

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The Robolink® display was also very popular, sparking new opportunities for applications utilizing iglide® 300 parts and linear bearings, in addition to a PRT application.

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Continuing through Minnesota, the igus® car visited the largest North-American manufacturer of a wide variety of stone working equipment, including CNC saws and routers.

Minnesota.11During this visit, the Midwest winter started to kick in and hail began to fall. The customer had us set up in a weather shelter to avoid the freezing conditions. 

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One of the highlights was meeting their new Vice President of engineering, who attended the event and spent a significant amount of time talking with the technical sales team and looking over the wide range of products igus® offers.

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The VP noticed the potential for fully harnessed Energy Chain® systems for their new sabre saw. There was also a recognized potential for new projects using E7 liners, in addition to DryLin® R, PRT, and slide tables.

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The next visit was to a manufacturer of packaging equipment where iglide® and some E-Chain® products are currently in use. The technical sales team recognized the opportunity for Chainflex® products in the future at this manufacturer, as well as Triflex® which was discussed with engineers visiting the booth.

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A number of new projects were generated for iglide® products utilizing DryLin® R, Xiros products, PRT, and various slide tables.

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The last visit in Minnesota was to a systems engineering firm specializing in automated manufacturing and material handling equipment. This long-time customer recently installed a robot in a commercial setting which interacts directly with customers to deliver products on demand (in 30 seconds!) using E-Chain®.

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During the visit, applications for an articulating robot project and vending machines were discussed, along with applications for ReadyCables, E-spool, slide tables, and a high temperature application for iglide® X6 bearings.

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As the winter began to descend upon Minnesota, the igus® car saw some snow, and started to drive West, toward the Rocky Mountains. Next stop; Denver, Colorado!

Thanks for reading,

Kayla

Wisconsin

October 19th-October 22nd.

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The first traveling trade show in Wisconsin, was a joint visit with two customers in attendance. The first is a technology development and product design firm. They currently use igus® E2 and all iglide® products. Two new potential projects were recognized with one of the customers. The first is a ReadyCable application, and the second would utilize the Triflex® R RSE-40 retraction system, to be used on a medical device they are Engineering.

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The second company is a security and audio video integrator who is not a current customer, but have experienced cable management challenges and took an interest in our Triflex® TRL and E-Spool.

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They were also interested in a project for Drylin® telescoping slides, which would be used to pull drawers out of cabinets for a robot pick and place system. There was also interest in gantry systems. This company was keen on the idea that they can do their own programming to suit their specific needs instead of buying from other suppliers that already have the programming paired with the System.

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One of the engineers mentioned that PRT tables, iglide®, and DryLin® products would be of particular use for custom security camera applications the company designs.

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The second visit was to a manufacturer in automated machinery used to make residential glass for windows and doors. They took an interest in Chainflex® M for non-flexing applications, Triflex® R for Robo Sealer, and twisterband for sealer machines. Some of the engineers also realized the advantages of iglide® and igubal® for conveyor applications.

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Another highlight from this visit was a meeting between our technical sales and assembly employees who had questions regarding the use of our products with their applications.

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The traveling trade show also visited a plasma cutting machine company, which mainly uses igus® E-Chain® and Chainflex® products. Two new potential projects were recognized as a result of the visit for E-Chain® and Chainflex®. The first is a project for an RSE application into a TwisterBand, and the second is an opportunity for a drive cable.

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The igus® car then visited an internationally acclaimed/recognized medical company, which provides medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, and performance solutions Services.

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igus® is currently assisting in their design for a new generation model of their main MRI machine. The visit also triggered a new Triflex® R opportunity.

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An engineer who stopped by the booth, inquired about high-speed material in addition to our Xiros product line. We provided material data for iglide® L500 and L250 materials.

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Continuing through the state as the cold weather began to set in, the igus® car visited a robot integration company that currently uses E-Chain® and iglide® products.

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During the visit an E-Spool application came to light as well as a potential application for Chainflex® cables, lead screws and belt drive tables, for manually positioning sensors inside a bagging machine.

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Some of the engineers also took interest in DryLin® Q and PRT tables.

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Finishing off it’s visit to Wisconsin the igus® car had the privilege of visiting a leader in American motorcycle manufacturing, popular around the world.

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Two projects resulted from this visit, including a project for foot levers using iglide® JSM-1416-20, which would be used in manufacturing 38,000 motorcycle models a year, using two bushings per motorcycle.

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The second potential project is for in-house fixtures using igus® lead screw tables.

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Next the igus® car moved onto Minnesota!

Thanks for reading,

Kayla

Illinois

Illinois – 10/12-10/16

After stopping in to see the sights in Chicago, the car visited six igus® customers as it traveled around Illinois, including manufacturers of fitness equipment, food packaging technology, and automatic assembly Systems.

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One of our first stops was a visit with a manufacturer of automotive robotic cells, which has been using our Triflex® multi-axis cable carriers, and was one of the first users of our new Triflex® RSE retraction system. igus® self-lubricating linear systems are also being used by the company on some automated machinery for a car manufacturer.

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Next, we stopped by a gantry system manufacturer which caters to the aerospace and auto industries. Recently, this customer, which has been purchasing igus® Chainflex® cables for years, has started ordering fully-harnessed ReadyCable® systems, which include the cable carrier, cables, connectors, and accessories, all fully tested and ready to plug in. This visit also sparked some new ideas about using DryLin® linear products in a new door application.

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When the car visited Ingersoll Machine Tool, a manufacturer of large scale machine tools used for metal cutting and composition fabrication, the igus® team was given a tour of the facility. igus® E-Chains® are used to guide cables along multiple axes of motion throughout the machine.

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An automatic medical equipment company we stopped by chatted with our product experts about the possibilities of igus® E6 Energy Chains® for use in cleanroom and medical environments, and reviewed the performance of the E2 chains they are already using in their applications.

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A few customers we visited are involved with the food industry, both in processing, and packaging. Both rely on iglide® plastic bearings, which are available in food-safe materials. One of these customers also found new potential for using our Energy Chain® and cables in a new toaster application which would require cable management.

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One of our last visits through Illinois,  we stopped in at a leader in manufacturing fitness equipment, who happen to use iglide® bearings in their machines. Their engineers talked with our team about our new Tribo Tape, a self-lubricating film, for a treadmill application. Another new possibility is for using Energy Chains in the seat of a machine.

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After Illinois, it was up further North to Wisconsin, stay tuned to hear where the car travels next!

Thanks for reading,

Kayla

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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.

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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

Photos of the Day!

We hopped on a plane (for hours and hours and hours) to follow the car all the way to Anchorage, Alaska.

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It is summer here, so instead of being covered in snow and ice, the entire landscape is lush and green. Stay tuned as we begin our travels from Alaska, through the Yukon, and on to the USA!

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