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 Motion plastics tour in Mexico comes to an end and the last stop is in Ciudad Juarez Chihuahua

The Motion plastics tour in Mexico comes to an end and the last stop is in Ciudad Juarez Chihuahua. We are in the Monument to the “Mexicanidity” that is a monumental sculpture in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. It is popularly called the X or X Sebastian, both for its unusual sculptural form and  in honor to its author. The colossal monument is located in the Plaza de la Mexicanidad, which bears the same name as the sculpture, and it is located in the north of the city, right on the border with El Paso, Texas and a few meters from the Rio Bravo. The tour has left behind several dozens of people with knowledge of a wide range of products that could help them to get the cost down ..life up effect !.

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.

The igus® car is visiting the city of Leon outside the Pantheon of San Nicholas

We are in the city of Leon outside the Pantheon of San Nicholas which is the oldest of the city. It was opened in 1899, with over 100 years of existance, there are a lot of stories running through its veins, death in life is felt in every one of its graves; 119 years of death are alive in San Nicolas.

Leon is developing various vocations, apart from the leather industry and footwear, which produces over 65% of footwear in Mexico. The industries that reached the city have turned it in a center of attraction for national students, workers and professionals. For instance the tanning industry, automotive, metalforming, chemical, agriculture, highly specialized medicine research, tourism and research centers.

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