The iglide car meets is man-powered match!

While traveling through the Netherlands, the iglide car came across a new friend – a velomobile!

A velomobile is a human powered vehicle, many, like the example above use three wheels, and the frame is usually covered by a weather-protective shell.

Very similar to bicycles (which we went over in this post), velomobiles are able to take advantage of iglide bearing’s unique characteristics that set them apart from their competitors. In a weight comparison, an iglide® plastic bushing weighs approximately 80 percent less than a PTFE-lined bushing.

  •  iglide® G300 plastic bushing = 0.0144 pounds per piece
  •  PTFE-lined bushing = 0.0750 pounds per piece

Because of this weight reduction, less force is required by the velomobile’s driver in order to power the vehicle. Low coefficients of friction, coupled the the ability to absorb shocks from uneven terrain make iglide bearings a unique component solution for a very unique vehicle!

Learn more about iglide bearings with this free white paper, available here.

Photo(s) of the day!

Does a collage count as one photo, or four? Either way, here’s a look at Friday’s Open House at igus Headquarters in Cologne, Germany!

Top Left: A donation of 25,000 Euros was made to Tatort-Straßen der Welt, an organization that helps disadvantaged children; Left: Sascha Laufenberg (Former “iglide on tour” driver) with Klaus J. Behrendt and Dietmar Bär (Tatort – Team Cologne);Right – Selfie with Nils, Sandor, Frank Blase (CEO of igus GmbH), Gerhard Baus (General manager of iglide bearings), Felix (Host) and I; Bottom – Panorama with Cologne band Kasalla on stage. 

 

All about the iglide car

Some of you have asked about our small orange friend – the iglide car! Of course, it is a real member of the team and should have it’s own introduction as well.

All about the iglide carHere is the iglide car in front of the Ars Electronica Center in Linz, Austria. 

Our car is a normal compact vehicle – but with a few modifications. Most noteably, it was painted that distinctive orange hue, and given some official igus logos. With the outside ready to catch everyone’s eye, we had to make the inner-workings just as exciting. Along with the University of Applied Science in Cologne, Germany, the German Technical Inspection Association, and igus team members, the car was completely deconstructed. Using results from millions of bearing test cycles over 30 years of development, igus bearings were retrofit one by one, each chosen for specific characteristics in the automotive application.

All in all, 56 iglide bearings were exchanged in the following areas:

  • Seat adjustment
  • Brake pedal
  • Gear shifter
  • Emergency brake
  • Window regulator
  • Convertible roof pivot points
  • Windshield wiper mechanics
  • Alternator
  • Throttle Valve

All about the iglide car.2Some of the iglide bearings retrofit inside the car

After being reassembled, it was time for the car to hit the road, traveling through India, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Brazil, United States and Canada – more than 30,000 miles so far!

All about the iglide car.3Just a glimpse of all that the iglide car has experienced the past several months

Now, it is time for the car to conquer Europe, starting here in Austria!

The Upcoming Journey

Today, it’s time to present the schedule of iglide on tour as it makes its way through Europe.

 

An overview of all the countries we will visit over the next six months

The tour will be divided into two parts, separated by Christmas and New Year’s Eve. To finish up 2014, we will travel through Austria and continue to the United Kingdom by driving through the Netherlands and Belgium. From the UK, we will spend more than 3 weeks in France and continue on to Switzerland. After celebrating the New Year, we will start 2015 off on a chilly start in North Europe, starting in Norway and Sweden. Afterwards, the car is scheduled to drive South from Poland to Hungary and Turkey. Finally, we will finish with South Europe, having a look around Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

Well, this is going to be quite the journey – these are only the major destinations, we will still be stopping at customers and landmarks along the way. Nevertheless, we are curious and excited about the things we will see, experience, and discover. Equipped with our cameras, the dry-tech box, and plenty of fuel, we are officially on our way!!

Check back for our first video from the road,

Karl

Introducing the team!

Hey, it’s me again!

While we are on the road visiting customers, I would like to introduce you to my teammates for the European leg of iglide on tour.

Introducing the team!The crew from left to right: Sandor, myself, and Nils. 

Sandor is 19 year old, and loves to travel and discover foreign countries. With his driver’s license in his back pocket, he is responsible for the iglide car, and is ready to drive around Europe, safely, of course.

Nils is 19 as well, has a vocational certificate in media design, and loves music and photography. Therefore, I have chosen him to assist me by taking photos along the way. Nils also has experience in videography, so will help with making movies as well.

Now you know who we are, but where are we going?

Find out next time,

Karl

May I introduce myself?

Hello everyone, and welcome to the beginning of iglide on tour’s journey through Europe.

My name is Karl, and I will be the next driver of iglide on tour on it’s way across Europe. Over the next six months, I will take pictures, record videos, conduct interview, and post all that information back here for you to follow. You will be able to read about the places we discover, and the cultures we experience. Because I have my Master’s Degree in mechatronics, I’ll also take a close look at many technical aspects of the tour and our customer’s applications as well. Our customers and their applications are our major source of innovation, and so I’m curious to get the whole story of how igus parts can solve their problems, and make life easier. Additionally, igus has also developed a number of web tools to simplify the configuration of their products based on real life testing and customer specific requirements.

All in all, I will report on a daily basis from our travels, and I’d love to hear from you as well! Don’t hesitate to leave comments below, or contact me if you have any feedback or want to know something in more detail.

May I introduce myselfThe iglide car, the dry-tech box, and me. We will all get to know each other well over the next six months. 

Yesterday, the iglide car was having routine maintenance done before heading out across Europe, so the dry-tech box and I had a look around Frankfurt.

The Main Tower is one of Germany’s highest skyscrapers, reaching a height of 787 feet, and is used as an office building. 26 elevators take visitors to a platform located 650 feet above the ground at a speed of 15.6 miles per hour, making them the fastest elevators in Germany, and The Main Tower is also Frankfurt’s only skyscraper with a public viewing observator. They dry-tech box made it up to the top, and enjoyed a look over Frankfurt’s financial district.

May I introduce myself2The dry-tech box on top of the Main Tower. It was very cold and windy at 650 feet up! 

At the end of the day, the iglide car was able to leave the service center refreshed and ready to conquer Europe. We are already on the road, with the next stop ahead. Where to next? Find out tomorrow, when I introduce my colleagues tomorrow, and our plan for the tour the day after.

So, let’s join the igus celebration of innovations around the world!

Karl

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

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