Sin City, Valley of Fire, and Red Rocks

After a break for the holiday season, the igus® car tour was ready to hit the road! Beginning in Las Vegas, NV, everyone was eager to kick off in the Southwestern region with some more adventure.

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To start, the car took in The Las Vegas Strip for the second time.

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“The Strip” is an iconic 4-mile stretch of bright lights and flashing signs. It’s known for its 24-hour casinos, ornate themed hotels, clubs, ritzy restaurants, elaborate shows, and buzzing energy.

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Fountains of Bellagio at the Bellagio Hotel

2016 is the centennial year for the United States National Parks Service. The National Parks have often been called “America’s best idea” and began when President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill in 1916 creating an agency to conserve the parks.

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The tour landed in the Southwest right at the start of the centennial year, making it the perfect time to visit the parks! The Southwest is home to the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, and Death Valley!

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The car tour visited the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park the first tour through the U.S., so this time was spent visiting other parks.

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The car’s first Southwestern adventure was to Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area.

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It is a world away from the lavish lights of Las Vegas, featuring 197,000 acres of internationally acclaimed rock-climbing, mountain biking, and geological features, as well as diverse wildlife, and Native American encampments.

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The igus® team spotted long horn sheep on their way out of the park!

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A 13-mile scenic loop displays panoramic views of milky-white limestone, alternating with iron-rich red sandstone, each brightly contrasting each other in a rainbow of rocky forms.

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Driving further into the park the mountains become solid limestone, leading to evergreen forest –an unexpected sight in the desert.

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The conservation area is also a protected habitat for the Desert Tortoise, one of which lives at the visitor’s center and is considered the park mascot. The tortoise is named Mojave Max.

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Ready for another park, the car took a trip to Valley of Fire State Park, which is well-known for it’s slot canyons, arches, and unique geological formations.

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Many of the rocks in the valley are a deep rust color, formed from shifting desert sands over 150 million years ago which have since eroded to create the present-day landscape.

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Other rock formations are pink, cream, red, and even white in color, and at certain vista points visitors can admire a multi-colored backdrop stretching for miles.

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Some visitors say the rocks appear to be on fire when it’s very sunny, reflecting the sun’s powerful desert rays.

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The igus® car was feeling very adventurous at Valley of Fire and drove between these two rock formations for a picture

Average high temperatures in the summer reach over 100° Fahrenheit (37°C).

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As the team hiked through the park, many rocks which lined the trails were jagged and rough, opposing the occasionally smooth surface of certain rock formations, which are curved and rounded by millions of years of erosion.

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One example of this phenomenon is the “Fire Wave”, a formation made up of red sand and paler limestone which rounds and curves as if it is moving.

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The trail allows visitors to climb some of the rocks, and the team took the chance to climb up onto some of the steep formations.

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The igus® team stayed until the park closed and got to see the moonrise over the rocks before leaving.

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After lots of exploring, the igus® car was ready to meet more customers!

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Our igus® car made a friend at one of our Nevada customers!

The tour and technical sales team met with a company that manufactures rough terrain construction lifts as well as modular buildings called “cubes”.

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This customer is using Chainflex® on all of their new projects, and one engineer shared his personal experience working on an important project overseas, when he discovered that igus® had the only cable that worked.

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The engineers and team also found an opportunity to use iglide® bearings in the hinges and DryLin® on some slides of the company’s modular buildings.

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The next visit for the Motion Plastics Car Tour was an exciting change of pace. The team visited the University of Las Vegas (UNLV), where many students were gearing up for their spring semester.

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Driving the car through the buzzing campus created curiosity amongst the students. It must not be every day a little orange car zips down the sidewalks of UNLV!

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Even more curiosity arose once the team set up the traveling trade show. Many professors, medical, biology, mechanical and electrical engineering students stopped by to visit the booth.

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The igus® technical sales team gave away lots of samples and let students know that they can receive free products for upcoming engineering projects.

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This seemed to energize many students who were beginning to work on projects for the end of the semester.

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By the end of the visit, the team had spoken to dozens of students who walked away motivated to learn more about using igus® components in the future.

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The next stop for the car was Arizona!

Thanks for reading,

Kayla & Bridgette

Northern California- Mountains, Forests, Land, and Sea

Arriving in California, the igus® car began it’s three-week-journey with a visit to one of the most iconic parks in the United States—Yosemite National Park! Located in Northern California, in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, Yosemite is visited by 3.8 million people annually, covering 747,956 acres.

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View of the valley with Half Dome in the distance Read more…

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.

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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

Province of Québec, Canada.

September 14th- 20th

Our first week in Canada was spent in the province of Québec. The week was busy visiting 7 customers, exhibiting at the REAI (Automation industry) Golf Tournament, and making stops in Québec City and Montreal.

 

REAI, is an organization of Québec’s automation companies working to promote technology and capabilities internationally.  igus works closely with many of the members providing technical assistance as required. The event presented new igus technologies in a unique setting on the green and occasionally having to duck from flying golf balls.

The customers throughout the week ranged from machine tool, material handling, automotive, testing, and transportation equipment.

Our machine tool customer ‘s main market is making machines for the aerospace industry. They use igus e-chain and chainflex cables on their gantry systems that operate in very demanding environments and experience high duty cycles.

Another customer visited is an OEM of large material handling systems.  Their machines are used in handling and preparation of heavy-duty materials. Their main industries are pulp, paper, aluminum and mining. Our e-chains, chainflex cables and dry-tech bearings are used in all moving systems depending on the application requirements.  90% of the machines are built custom to the end users requirements. Our extensive offering of motion plastics products and quick delivery from stock are certainly helpful to customers in this industry.

Our next customer is an OEM of steering systems for ATV, snowmobiles, and smaller vehicle market. They use iglide bushings in a wide range of applications. No maintenance or lubrication and long life make iglide bushings a great fit.

All igus products, e-chain, chainflex cables, iglide bushings and drylin linear bearings are used for all types of motion for an OEM of non-destructive testing equipment.  The testing equipment is used in oil, gas, mining and military applications.

An OEM of mechanical systems used in the transportation industry uses iglide bushings, e-chain, chainflex cables and drylin linear products in their assemblies. High cycles and dirty environments make it a necessity for highest quality products designed to perform in their application.  igus products provided a cost effective solution to this customer with dry-tech products that are lubrication and maintenance free.

Mid week, one of the visits was right outside Québec City. The car managed to do a brief one-hour tour of the city. Seeing Le Château Frontenac and eating crepes were the priority.

One customer we visited also recently celebrated their 30th anniversary, like igus, so a “co-company 30th anniversary cake”, was made to celebrate the special occasion.

After the busy week, the weekend was spent visiting Downtown and Old Montreal. The car drove past the metropolitan skyscrapers and to Old Montreal where the buildings reflected a more European style of architecture.

The car also made a stop at the Notre-Dame Basilica and Le Vieux-Port (Old Port), where “Le Grand Poutine Fest” was happening. Poutine, is a Canadian dish, originating in the province of Quebec, made with French fries and cheese curds topped with a light brown gravy-like sauce.

The car’s next destination is Ontario, Canada.

Thanks for reading,

Kayla

igus Car’s Encore Performance in North America

Rhode Island and Massachusetts:

September 9th-12th

After roughly 11 months of the igus cars’ departure from the U.S., it is back for an encore performance in North America. Already conquering Mexico this past July and August, our igus car is taking on Canada and the U.S. for the next 8-10 months, driving to visit customers and sites it missed last time.

The first week the car arrived in Rhode Island from Mexico, it made local visits in the Massachusetts area, visiting customers in the medical and storage industry.

igus Car's Encore Performance in North America

One of the medical companies uses our DryLin and iglide products in their analytical instruments, genetic and diagnostic testing.

Our Chainflex cables and energy chains are used in the automated sampling storage management systems. These are ultra low temperature storage systems used for medical storage purposes.

The car received an overwhelming amount of attention at the visits. The car even met an employee who was 6’10. He squeezed himself into the igus car and we even had to open the convertible top for his head to fit in the car “comfortably”.

From Rhode Island, the car left for Quebec, Canada and is spending three weeks covering Quebec and Ontario. Stay tuned for the next post from Canada!

Thanks for reading,

Kayla

The Fundidora Park in Monterrey

The Fundidora Park is considered an industrial-archeology museum. It was created with the intention to offer families of Nuevo Leon a place of rest, where you can practice sports, a wide  range of entertainment activities, training, business meetings, commercial, cultural and artistic promotion walkways.  It has a living art cinema better known as Nuevo León film library, an art gallery with two exhibition rooms, media library, children’s workshops and a theater with capacity for 350 people. The fundidora Park  is an interactive museum about the origin of steel which has an exhibition area and a lookout where you can see the center of Monterrey.

The Fountain of Life in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon

The Fountain  of Life is a large bronze sculpture dedicated to water. It is located in the “Macroplaza” of Monterrey.

It was designed by the Spanish sculptor Luis Sanguino and was erected by the State Government in December 1984. The sculpture consists of a figure of Neptune, the Roman god of ancient seas and oceans and eight other figures, including lions , horses and women. The Fountain was made to commemorate the Hydraulic Plan that, among other developments, including the construction of the Cerro Prieto Dam; This hydraulic plan had intended to mainly solve the problem of water supply in the metropolitan area of Monterrey.

The Parroquia of San Miguel Arcángel

The symbolic icon of San Miguel de Allende, incorrectly known as “cathedral”, is a neo-Gothic parish located in the heart of the city, right across the main garden (the Jardín Principal). Make sure not to miss the inside of the church, where a feeling of total peace is percieved. If you are lucky, you might be able to enjoy the beautiful songs of the local choir.

The igus® car is visiting Guanajuato, Mexico

Guanajuato is establishing itself as the most dynamic automotive leader in Mexico. Guanajuato currently manufactures 1 out of 10 vehicles in Mexico, and over the next five years with automotive investments of large companies, there are expectations to be 5 out of 10. In Guanajuato the manufacturing sector employs more than 155,000 people. Leather products, textile,  food and beverage,  petrochemical and machinery  are those that occupy more manpower. This state is known as the country’s most important colonial tourist destination and has several colonial jewels,  architectural beauty besides archaeological zones, centers of commerce and business. It also has 50 beautiful places also known as The 50 Wonders of Guanajuato.