The Finale for North America

2 months, 13,670 miles, 30 out of 50 states and one smart car later the North American tour has come to a close. This tour has been an overwhelming success for our customers, for our company and for our little orange iglide® car. Through this journey we visited 43 companies, met with hundreds of customers and received many new potential projects. I can safely say, igus® is a company that prides itself on quality for their customers and this tour proved that message to them. From first hand experience I can say that customers were beyond impressed by the iglide® car tour. It made engineers who have never heard of igus® come outside, look at the dry-tech® box and say, “I have been looking for this exact product for a project I have.”

The unique part about the US is that the car has driven through various climates and a variety of terrains. It started in Anchorage, Alaska winding through the mountains and sliding on mud roads. Many people say their cars (meant for those conditions) do not make it through the Alaskan Highway, but the iglide car surpasssed all expectations. It then drove down the sunny west coast and crossed into the midwest. The car drove through deserts, hail and wind storms and dry heat. Then it was time to head east where the roads are busier and the drivers are aggressive. The car ended in one of the busiest cities in the world and probably the most dangerous city to drive through in the US. From the mud and dirt in Alaska to the congested, pot-hole filled streets of Manhattan, the bearings did their job.


The road conditions of Alaska


The iglide® car in the Yukon


Do you see the iglide® car in Times Square

The iglide® car cruises past the Naked Cowboy in New York City 

On Friday, October 3rd, the iglide® car made it to igus Inc. in East Providence, RI (before heading to New York), after driving 13,670 miles across North America. We had a very busy day with local press visits in the morning from the Providence Journal and WJAR Channel 10 News. Also, Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, Mayor Allan Fung of Cranston, RI and Congressman David Cicilline, all stopped by to join the festivities and to experience a little piece of the tour. Friday night ended with a reception to celebrate the success of the North American tour, iglide 30, and igus 50.

The Finale for North AmericaVice President, Rick Abbate, and Senator Jack Reed at igus® USA

Throughout this tour I spent many hours with igus employees all over the country and I want to personally thank everyone who I had the utmost pleasure of meeting and working with on this tour. The people I have met on this trip have turned into family.

Thank you to the people who loaded my 6 suitcases in and out of the van countless early mornings and late nights, to the person who drove around for an hour trying to find me a laundry mat, who dedicated their long weekend to drive with us through Wyoming and South Dakota, who invited me into their home, who stayed up until 2 in the morning to repack the van so I wouldn’t have to, (these are just to name a few) this tour wouldn’t have happened without you. It takes a team to make something like this possible. And that is what igus® is, a team.

Now it is once again time to pass the torch to the next group of adventurous souls who will be taking the iglide® car throughout Europe for its final leg of iglide® on tour. The three gentlemen are Karl Weinmeister, head of the blog, Nils Schneider, filmographer and driver, and Sandor Meierjohann, filmographer and driver. To all of you, I wish you the absolute best and will be following your exciting journey!

It has been my pleasure being apart of this tour and being able to share this experience with all of you,

*For the last time*

Thanks for reading,

Kayla

Rhode Island, Boston, and New York City.

Let’s go back a few days at the iglide car’s touchdown at igus’ North American Headquarters!

After 13,500 miles and nine weeks of driving, iglide on tour finally reached it’s North American target – the East Providence, RI headquarters of igus Inc.!

Rhode Island, Boston, and New York City

While in Rhode Island, the car traveled around the state, and into Massachusetts visiting local igus customers, and exploring Southern New England. One igus customer that received a visit from the iglide car manufacturers material handling robots, which use igus plain bearings in their lifting systems.

igus bearings are very strong, and hold up to the very heavy loads that the robotic lifting systems must endure. High temperatures, edge loads, vibration levels – all are no match for specialist iglide plastic bearings! Some materials, like the iglide T500, can withstand more than 20,000 psi of static pressure!

While driving through Massachusetts, the car made a quick stop into Boston – known as the “Athens of the New World.” Boston was founded in 1630, and for more than a hundred years was America’s largest, richest, and most influential city. The home of America’s first police department, public park, and subway system, the city has certainly impacted the development of the rest of the nation!

Boston Skyline - 1920x1080

The Boston Skyline (photo credit)

While in Boston, the iglide car had to stop by the incredibly famous and beloved Fenway Park. The oldest baseball stadium in Major League Baseball, and the home to the Boston Red Sox, Fenway has been a Boston icon since it’s opening in 1912.

After leaving Boston, the car headed down the coast of Rhode Island to Newport, a beautiful historic seaside city 23 miles South of Providence. Known as a New England summer get-away spot, Newport is lined with beautiful beaches and amazing homes of the rich and famous, including past US Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy.

Rhode Island, Boston, and New York City.2

Seeing all of Newport, the car drove down the historic Bellevue Avenue, making stops at some of the famous mansions that line the way. Built by some of America’s most influential families like the Vanderbilts and the Astors.  One mansion the car made a stop at was Rosecliff, which was built in 1898 during Newport’s “Gilded Age.” You may recognize the building from the 1974 “Great Gatsby” film, as well as the movie “Amistad.”

Rhode Island, Boston, and New York City.3

From the Bellevue mansions, the car took a leisurely tour of Ocean Drive, enjoying the view from the Castle Hill Lighthouse, which looks out over the bay and Newport Bridge. The area is a favorite picnic and kite-flying spot for both locals and tourists throughout the year.

Not one to stay in one place for long, the iglide car left Rhode Island and headed to what is quite possibly America’s most famous place – New York City.

Described as the cultural and financial capital of the world, New York is America’s most populated city, with over 8.4 million people living in just 469 square miles.

While in “The Big Apple,” the iglide car could not pass up the chance to have a photo shoot in Times Square, which is one of the world’s busiest intersections. More than 330,000 people cross through Times Square each day, making it a never-ending center of activity. While in Times Square, the famous, guitar-playing “Naked Cowboy” helped spot the car as it arrived in the square, and serenaded the car for a minute as it passed.

The car traveled across the Brooklyn Bridge to see the other side of the city, spotting the Statue of Liberty in the distance.

Rhode Island, Boston, and New York City.4

After waving goodbye to Lady Liberty and cruising through Brooklyn’s artist-packed streets, it was time to head off on the final journey in North America.

Look for us on the road,

Kayla

The Nation’s Capital to Niagara Falls

Let’s go back a few days to review iglide on tour’s travels from Washington DC to Niagara Falls, some of the most photographed areas of the United States!

After more than 2 months on the road across North America, iglide on tour finally made it to the United State’s capital, Washington DC. DC, short for District of Columbia, is a 68 square mile area between Maryland and Virginia that serves as the capital city of the United States. The city is a perfect representation of the US’s “Melting Pot” nature; the city is home to more than 170 embassies and international cultural centers. Local colleges and universities host about 20,000 international students each year, and 15% of DC residents speak a language other than English at home. All that diversity surrounds countless memorials, statues, and icons that represent American history and heritage.

The Nation's Capital to Niagara Falls

While in DC, the iglide car visited the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and the White House, likely the three most famous landmarks in the country. The Lincoln Memorial, seen above, is a monument dedicated to the US’ 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. Showcasing a seated Lincoln, surrounded by engravings of two well-known speeches by Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address, and his second Inaugural Address, the memorial has been the site of many famous speeches, including Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

The Washington Monument was built to commemorate George Washington, the first President of the United States of America. The monument, which is made of marble and granite and stands a massive 555 feet tall, is the world’s largest stone obelisk.

The next stop in the nation’s capital was the White House – where the President of the United States lives while in office since 1800. Many Presidents throughout the country’s history have put their own mark on the White House, including Thomas Jefferson’s expansion of the house, Theodore Roosevelt’s relocation of the offices to the famous West Wing, and the rebuilding after the British burned much of the building during the War of 1812.

The Nation's Capital to Niagara Falls.2

Heading North out of Washington DC, iglide on tour traveled to another city filled with US history, Philadelphia – home to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and more modern landmarks like the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Reading Terminal, and a statue of famed movie boxer Rocky Balboa.

The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American Independence. Commissioned in 1752, the bell is inscribed with the words “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” The Bell, which was originally used to alert lawmakers of legislative sessions and to notify the public about meetings and proclamations. The bell cracked when it was rung for the first time, and despite multiple repairs, the crack remains.

Color photo showing the Liberty Bell, from the shoulder down to the lip, with a focus on the crack.

Independence Hall, where the Liberty Bell was originally housed, is the site where America’s founding fathers gathered to sign the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the document announcing that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with Great Britain, regarded themselves as thirteen newly independent sovereign states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. 11 years later, representatives from those states came together to create the US Constitution.

The Nation's Capital to Niagara Falls.4

There is more than just history in Philadelphia, however. One of the most famous American sports films, Rocky, notably took place in Philly, using the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art as a training area.  A statue of Rocky, a fictional boxing legend, has been added to the bottom of the iconic 72 stone steps.

On it’s way out of Philadelphia, the iglide car made a stop at another customer, this time, Pride Mobility, a leader in the design and manufacture of mobility products, including power lift chairs and mobility scooters. Pride uses iglide bearings in a variety of their mobility products like wheelchairs. Because they are extremely wear-resistant and require no maintenance, iglide plastic bearings are an excellent solution for products that need to be used long-term, day after day, like wheelchairs and other personal mobility products. In the lift and tilt mechanisms of their wheelchairs, Pride uses igus’ iglide G300 bearings, and also uses DryLin J linear bearings to help tilt the seat. In addition to being a long-lasting solution, igus plastic components are also immune against water, dirt, and other outside elements that can affect typical ball bearings. By using components that are strong against the outside elements, Pride Mobility customers can trek out into the wild without worrying about bearing failure!

From Philadelphia, the car continued on until it reached Niagara Falls, one of North America’s most beautiful landmarks, also marking iglide on tour’s 3rd passage over the Canadian border. Made up of three waterfalls on the Niagara River, The falls are split between New York (USA) and Ontario (Canada), and include the Horseshoe Falls, which is the most powerful waterfall in all of North America.

While at the falls, the iglide bearings got the chance to go by boat around and behind the falls, getting drenched in water. Unlike metal, there was no chance of rust from the waterfall!

From Niagara, it was time for iglide on tour to head East towards New England, the final stretch of the iglide tour across North America!

Look for us on the road!

Kayla

 

Pictures of the Day!-1

The iglide® car made it to igus® USA yesterday after driving 14,000 miles across North America. igus® USA had a busy day yesterday with press (local news stations and newspapers), Rhode Island Senator, Jack Reed, and the mayor of Cranston Rhode Island, Allan Fung stopping by to hear about the car journey. The night ended with a party to celebrate the success of the North American tour and to recognize those who spent countless hours and endless time on this project.

From West to East- iglide on tour reaches the Atlantic!

Let’s go back a few days to see iglide on tour’s journey through North Carolina and Virginia.

From Nashville, the iglide car drove East through the Smoky Mountains towards Charlotte, North Carolina, officially marking iglide on tour’s arrival at the East Coast! 

From West to East- iglide on tour reaches the Atlantic!

Although Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina, Charlotte is larger both in size and population, the largest city in the state. North Carolina is the furniture capital of the world, and is home to some of the most renowned furniture companies in the world today. During it’s time in the state, the iglide car found some sizeable examples of the state’s most famous exports!

From West to East- iglide on tour reaches the Atlantic!.2 From West to East- iglide on tour reaches the Atlantic!.3

In Charlotte, the car came across “Metalmorphosis,” built in 2007 by artist David Černý. The giant mirrored head weights in at 14 tons, and stands 22 feet high, created of layers of steel that rotate individually, deconstructing and re-building itself right before your eyes. The statue is so popular that it even has its own live webcam!

From West to East- iglide on tour reaches the Atlantic!.4 From West to East- iglide on tour reaches the Atlantic!.5

While in North Carolina, also known as the “Tar Heel State,” the car made a visit to a customer that specializes in woodworking equipment. igus’ lines of bearings, linear systems, and cable management systems are all exceptionally tough against flying wood chips, sawdust, and other debris that is unavoidable in these types of applications. In fact, igus has developed a special Energy Chain cable carrier to protect cables and hoses against even the harshest debris-filled environments.

The RX tube from igus is the perfect solution for ultimate cable protection – even against chemicals or hot metal chips. The tube’s smoothly rounded contour prevents chip accumulation,  is almost air-tight, and can be opened easily at any point. Check out this quick video to see how much protection an RX Tube can provide:

https://youtu.be/Su8y8oWmKYw

From Charlotte, iglide on tour headed to Richmond, Virginia, a city filled with American history. In 1609, Western settlers colonized in Jamestown, located to the Southeast of Richmond, creating the first permanent Western civilization in the United States. During the American Civil War, Richmond was the capital of the Confederate States, and was the site of many battles. Currently, these battlefields serve as public parks scattered across the city, many still holding canons used during the war more than 150 years ago to serve as reminders of the lives lost there.

Richmond is a small city with a centrally located downtown area and quaint colonial suburbs. Downtown Richmond is also home to America’s first shopping mall!

During its stay in Virginia, iglide on tour made one more stop, this time to visit the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics students of Hanover High School. igus works closely with many students across North America as part of its YES (Young Engineers Support) Program, which donates products to students all over the continent who are working on engineering projects. The entire iglide team had a fantastic time talking with students, who were very excited to get inside the tiny orange iglide car!

The YES Program donates products to thousands of students each year, including participants in FIRST Robotics, BEST Robotics, and a variety of other popular STEM Competition programs. To learn more about the YES Program, please visit the YES page on the igus website.

From Virginia, it was time to continue North for iglide on tour – check back to see what adventures were in store next!

Look for us on the road,

Kayla

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