Farewell, India!

It’s unbelievable how fast my time in India flew by. The tour of India is already over. It feels weird, after more than five weeks, to hear no one using the horn on the streets. I guess that’s one thing that I’ll always relate to India.  🙂

Of course, igus India organized a proper goodbye event for the iglide car. One day before we handed the car over to customs we had the goodbye event, and I’d like to share the night with you:

At the beginning, a traditional south Indian band welcomed the car in front of the igus team, guests, and journalists.

After opening the evening with a traditional dance show…

Farewell, India!

… we began our program. First, the manus winners were presented. It seemed appropriate to combine the closing of our tour with the awards celebrations.

First prize and 100,000 Rupees went to the late Mr. Harshwardhan Gupta, who tragically died the night before he was announced as the winner. His daughter attended the ceremony to accept the prize on his behalf (pictured right). Mr. Gupta had perfected a file cutting machine using DryLin® along with many other parts at Neubauplan Automation.

The silver and seventy-five thousand Rupees were awarded to Mr. Munir Pansare, who works for Tata Motors. Mr. Pansare received the award for his application of applying iglide® JVSM for noise reduction in a car’s steering column. (pictured center)

Last but certainly not least, Mrs. Manhari Govankop of Mahindra & Mahindra was awarded the bronze and fifty-thousand Rupees for a tractor application utilizing igubal® WHRM spherical bearings.

After this, the volunteer network we partnered with during our time in India, Make a Difference, received a donation from igus for almost $14,000. If you don’t remember earlier posts about Make a Difference, they support children living on the streets and in shelters and orphanages in India. We agreed to donate 100 rupees for each kilometer driven during our Indian tour; we originally estimated a 4200 km drive, but we drove closer the 4600 km! This money will help ensure that dozens of children will be able to attend school.

We had an amazingly successful start to our tour. This is due to the extrodinary organization and hard work of the igus India team.

Thanks also again for the hospitality and your support. You made me feel welcome from the very first moment, and I will surely be back to visit.

My next stop with the iglide car will be Shanghai. I’ll see you guys there in a few days.



The end of our tour through India

What a finale for our tour of India. Our car met his creator!

About a hundred people were there to welcome us as we arrived at the Mercedes Benz Research and Development headquarters.

Most employees were amazed when they learned that (what felt like) their own car, improved with iglide bearings, of course, were being sent on such an exciting world tour.

We visited Mercedes on our way back from Chennai. Chennai is located in Eastern India along the Indian Ocean. Imagine you are in a sauna. Now, in this sauna, there is not only 100% humidity, but there are a few million other people living there along with you.  That’s a pretty accurate description of the climate in Chennai.

We took off from Bangalore at five o’clock in the morning to make sure we had time to make the six hour drive, as well as stop along the way to visit customers as well as find some good spots to shoot some photos. In this entry I think I’ll omit the customer visits and show you more of our travels.

Up on a hill, overlooking the entire city is a small church. Five or six hundred feet past the church square  you have a stunning view of the city, and the parking lot there is the highest you’re allowed to travel by car – any higher requires a special permit.

We went into the church to meet with Reverent Father Aeja, who runs the church. Father Aeja works closely with Make a Difference, the Indian charity we have decided to sponsor on our tour through the country (we are donating 100 Rupees, or about $1.65, for every kilometer we drive in India). While he wasn’t interested in our bearings, Father Aeja, while not interested in our bearings,  did share a connection with us through our shared fondness for helping children. Not only did he give us the special permission necessary to drive up past the car park to the church, he also came along for the ride!

The next day we were up and off at five again. Being on the East Coast, we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to get a picture of the car against the sunrise.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the car as close as we wanted to the water, so we continued searching for a better spot. A few miles west of Chennai is a small fishing village where we tried our luck again.

We took our time there as an opportunity to remind you that our bearings are able to endure not only heat and humidity, but also sand and salt water!

It was still quite early when we took off for our second stop of the day. A colleague told us about a hill with stunning views overlooking a valley. Initially, we though about stopping there shortly before continuing to Bangalore, but we were so delayed by traffic that we decided to stay the night. The hotel wasn’t the greatest, but the morning view certainly was!

I can hardly believe that our trip through India has come to an end. The last five weeks flew by so incredibly fast! The time has come for me to say goodbye. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to my Indian colleagues and friends. With your great hospitality and support, you made my experience here one I know I will never forget.

In the plane on the way here from Germany, I sat next to a man who already traveled there four times previously. When I asked him about India, he only said one sentence: “Once you go to India, you always go back!” I agree with him on this for sure. I know I will come back to see all the friends I’ve made, and to explore more of incredible India!

The next time you guys hear from me, I will be writing to you from China. I’ll be taking a few days off from the blog-writing business in the meantime. See you guys in Shanghai!


Pune to Bangalore (2500 miles)

Currently, we are in Bangalore, where the igus India offices are located. We drove straight through from Pune to Bangalore, which took us a total of 17 hours, our longest leg of the trip so far

Pune to Bangalore (2500 miles)

Bangalore is the capital of the state of Karnataka, and is the third largest city in the country, after New Delhi and Mumbai. Although its further South than Pune, it’s a little cooler here in Bangalore (not cool enough that I didn’t get a sunburn!). Since we arrived later than planned at our hotel on a Friday, we kept things slow with our customer visits. One of those we visited was Dynaspede.

Pune to Bangalore (2500 miles).2 Pune to Bangalore (2500 miles).3

Dynaspede manufactures electro-mechanical components, as well as custom machines. Just tell them what kind of machine you need, and they can build it for you. We had the opportunity to get an inside look at one of their machines, an engine tester for a major Indian Auto manufacturer.

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The machine needs to be able to fix, and therefore move, the engine. For this, the engine is mounted on four shafts embedded in beadings. At this time, Dynaspede regularly had problems with scoring on the shafts. Scoring is surface damage produced by the movement of the shaft of the bearing. To reduce the problem, the shaft had to be regularly lubricated and even hardened.

In order to eliminate these inconveniences, Dynaspede changed their traditional bearings for a DryLin R-FJUM 001-30 flange bearing, which, like all our products, is self-lubricating and maintenance –free, resolving the scoring problem for the engine test machine.

Pune to Bangalore (2500 miles).5 Pune to Bangalore (2500 miles).6

Inside the testing station, there is a shaft to put on the gear-shifter of the engine. The shaft is then able to shift the engines gears throughout the test. Through this, they are able to measure the engine’s performance. The shaft is guided by iglide J, which has a low wear and a low friction coefficient.

We could also see our Energy Chain on the machine, they are used to guide and protect the machine’s moving cables; most of Dynaspede’s machines are equipped with them.

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The last few days have been all about driving and visiting customers. We made it more than 600 miles and have visited about 25-30 our our awesome customers. Yesterday, I checked our mileage gauge for the whole trip – 2485 miles!! –  and another 400 or so tomorrow as we travel on to Chennai, the automobile hub of India.

Today I have no exciting trips through the jungle or across the desert. Just highways that seemed to be in pretty good shape. I can’t even tell you about Bangalore, I haven’t had time to explore it – it seems to be a very nice, modern city as far as I can tell, however.

Next time I’ll tell you more about our travels. We’ll have some time to explore Chennai a bit and show you some of the highlights.

Pune to Bangalore (2500 miles).8

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