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

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 igus® car is visiting the city of Aguascalientes

The igus® car is visiting the city of Aguascalientes , where customers in the Agricutural and Automotive industry confirmed the benefits of no corrosion, dirt and high load resistance of Drytech products. The car also visited the “Plaza de Toros Monumental de Aguascalientes” is a bullring in the city of Aguascalientes Mexico. It is currently used for bull fighting and concerts. The stadium holds 16,000 people and it was inaugurated on November 23, 1974. Its the 4th largest bullring in Mexico.

The igus® car is visiting Puebla, México

The igus® car is visiting Puebla, near the monument to Ignacio Zaragoza, he was declared Meritorious of the Mother country in heroic degree, his remains were exhumed from the Pantheon of “San Fernando” in Mexico City to be transferred to the city of Puebla. Now they are located in the area of the “Fuertes de Loreto y Guadalupe”, where a memorial was built. The remains of his wife, Rafaela Padilla, were also buried in the monument in 1979.

Pirámide de la Luna en Teotihuacán México

The igus® car has crossed the Atlantic again, and traveling across Mexico, visiting customers and landmarks like the Pyramid of the Moon, the second largest pyramid in Teotihuacan!

#iglideOnTour #MotionPlastics #igusMéxico

El coche igus® ha cruzado el Atlántico una vez más, y está viajando a través de México, visitando clientes y algunos puntos de referencia como la Pirámide de la Luna, la cual es la segunda pirámide más grande de Teotihuacán!

#iglideOnTour #MotionPlastics #igusMéxico

iglide on Tour Comes to an end at the Hannover Fair

After 62,283 miles (100,240 km), four continents, over 30 countries and 14 months of travel, iglide on Tour has come to an end.

Just to recap the tour, the car was equipped with 56 of our bearings in a range of different applications including; the convertible top, throttle valve, alternator, window regulator, windshield wiper, handbrake, brake pedal, gear shift and seat adjustment.

The car ended its tour on display at the Hannover (Messe) Fair in Hannover, Germany. Hannover Messe is the world’s biggest industrial fair. Typically there are around 6,500 exhibitors and 250,000 visitors.

As promised, the applications were removed from the car on stage at Hannover and presented to the audience.

The results were as expected; none of the 56 assembled bearings had a trace of wear or tear.

The individual bearings weren’t dismantled from their individual components because of the danger of damaging them, but they were examined by igus experts and they all were working properly.

The car received high attention at the fair. 44 top journalists from engineering and automation media joined the press conference about the tour. People were even seen taking selfies with the car.

The car has traveled through extreme conditions while on tour; deserts and potholes in India, dirt and mud highways of Alaska, 80% humidity in Iowa, winter in the Netherlands and the congested streets of some of the biggest cities in the world (NYC, Chicago, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro and Beijing.) It traveled by boat, by plane and even via helicopter to make it to all of its destinations. This tour truly put the bearings to the test.  Our bearings were able to withstand all of these different environments to prove that plastic bushings are not only equal, but better than metal.

The iglide car has been re-retrofitted with new bearings and is free to be used to make local customer visits in Germany.

Maybe the car will come back to the U.S. for another visit?

Stay tuned!

Across Eastern Europe

We’ve been spending our time tracking along Eastern Europe, taking in the cold weather and the beautiful scenery along the way. In the Czech Republic, we visited some customers and met up with the eForce Prague Formula team, who organized a race against the iglide car, take a look at the vehicles involved and see if you can guess who won!

Across Eastern Europe

Guess again – in an unlikely (more like straight lucky!) turn of events, the eForce Formula car had a small technical error, leading iglide to victory!!

No competitors here – just friends!

After the race, we spent some time with our customers, showing them the iglide car and explaining about our whirlwind journey – its hard to believe that our little car has now been on the road for a year, and has crossed the 80,000 km mark!

Across Eastern Europe.2

Next up, we hit the road for Trencin, Slovakia, along with our colleague, Martin who joined in for the ride. Unfortunately, we had to cancel plans for the afternoon as heavy snow started piling up, making it impossible to continue! We decided to turn back to our hotel, which was only a few kilometers down the road, but took us nearly an hour to reach!

Across Eastern Europe.3

After the snow subsided, we took some time to see the sights in Slovakia, including Nitra Castle – built in the 11th century!!

Across Eastern Europe.4

From Nitra, we drove South to Hungary, beginning our tour of the country in Dunakiliti, a small village in the Northeastern tip of the country. There, we visited automotive customers, and Pannonhalma Archabbey, the second largest abbey of it’s kind. From Dunakiliti, it was off to Budapest, Hungary’s capital. The city’s amazing illuminated skyline stopped us in our tracks in the evening, and you can clearly see why!

Across Eastern Europe.5

Where to next? Stay tuned to find out where iglide on tour is due to travel!

Until then,

Karl

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