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

 

Rocking and rolling through Cleveland

Let’s look back a few days at iglide on tour’s journey through Cleveland, Ohio – the home of Rock and Roll!

The iglide car arrived in Cleveland, home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The city originally blossomed into a commercial hub in the mid 1800’s, due to it’s location, right on the southern shore of Lake Erie, as well as its connection to multiple canals and railroad lines. The city is now home to a wide range of commercial industries, including manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, and biomedical research and development. There is also a large population of industrial publications that are headquartered in Cleveland – and it just so happens, many of them were looking forward to meeting the iglide car in person!

Rocking and rolling through Cleveland

igus is very lucky to have such a wonderful media base to meet with while in Cleveland. The car made stops at two media companies while in town, Penton and WTWH – both hoping that iglide on tour would make its way into their city.  The iglide car’s first media stop was to Penton Media, who publish magazines like Machine Design and Hydraulics & Pneumatics. The car was parked on the roof of the building’s garage – but not for long! Editors and staff had a fantastic time taking the little car for a spin – literally! While the car has had many guest drivers across North America, it has never moved as quickly as it did with excited members of the press behind the wheel! As Penton’s staff took turns whipping the little car around the garage, everyone else had a wonderful time talking about the adventure so far, and where iglide on tour is heading next. One editor, who was visiting from New York City, even planned to meet with the car in Times Square when the car arrives. After a few hours of fun, it was time to say goodbye, and head to the next visit.

Rocking and rolling through Cleveland.2Staff from Penton Media posing with the iglide car and their igus beachballs!

The second iglide on tour press visit took us across downtown Cleveland to WTWH Media, which stands for “Willing to Work Harder.” They are most well known for publishing Design World magazine, among a number of others. This visit gave the iglide car a bit of a big head, as it was like a celebrity for a few hours. Hundreds of twitter posts erupted, all thrilled with the bright orange visitor in the parking lot. The staff of WTWH shot movies, took photos, and drove the car around the large open parking area – everyone seemed to be having a fantastic time. One employee exclaimed “We have been waiting to meet this car since we found out about it eight months ago!”  Now that’s a loyal fan!


At a towering 6’9″, one of WTWH’s editors became the iglide car’s tallest passenger to date! 

During the visit, a familiar friend appeared as the staff of WTWH began filming the car. Their videographer started shooting with a DryLin camera slider, made by igus! The sliders are very popular with photographers and videographers for its very smooth and quiet sliding motion. The DryLin slider systems offer perfectly balanced friction, for the perfect sliding feel, quiet operation by using plastic liners which dampen vibrations, and requires zero external lubrication. A unique 8 bolt design prevents misalignment of the camera slider, keeping shots looking their best, and the system is also completely modular, so adding on extras is simple.

The videographer explained that he find the slider, which he got from igus at a trade show, comes in handy when shooting. “I use this slide all the time! It’s so smooth, and it helps me get the best shots that aren’t choppy or bumpy.”

Rocking and rolling through Cleveland.4A DryLin camera slider, helping to shoot the iglide car! 

Check out the video they shot using the slider, featuring an interview with our iglide Product Manger, Nicole Lang.

https://youtu.be/t9ixDFuyMGI?list=UU_FOwetQ9swJOgSeIYpXbkA

While in Cleveland, the iglide car had to stop at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which is dedicated to archiving the history of the most influential artists, producers, engineers, and others in the music industry. Inside the museum, there are hundreds of iconic pieces of rock and roll memorabilia, including John Lennon’s jacket, Kurt Cobain’s guitar, and collections of items from some of the biggest music festivals in history. One of the newest exhibits features some of Beyonce’s clothes, including her performance costume from the 2013 Superbowl and the “Single Ladies” music video.

Rocking and rolling through Cleveland.5Outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland

Driving outside the city, the car decided to visit another all-american hall of fame – this one dedicated to football. American football that is! Located in Canton, Ohio, where the National Football League was originally founded, The Pro Football Hall of Fame is different from many other professional sports halls, because it does not induct officials into the hall of fame.

Rocking and rolling through Cleveland.6Outside of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

iglide on tour also made a few customer visits while in the Cleveland area, to customers specializing in very different industries, food packaging, and agricultural equipment.

Although these customers work to create very different products, they both choose igus for surprisingly similar reasons. In the food industry, cleanliness is of extreme importance. Threore, having grease or oil in a food production plant is a big “no-no.” Likewise, in a constantly dirty and dusty world of agriculture, having grease and oil can attract this dirt into bearing systems, causing them to fail. igus’ dry-tech plain and linear bearings are all completely self-lubricating, so there is no grease to spoil food, and no extra attractants for dust out in the field. During these visits, iglide on tour was able to see firsthand some of the customer applications where igus parts are being used. See if you can spot the igus parts in these photos!

Rocking and rolling through Cleveland.7A black and yellow igubal spherical bearing helps keep this application running smoothly

Rocking and rolling through Cleveland.8DryLin W linear slides help move these systems back and forth, dirt and grease free. 

Rocking and rolling through Cleveland.9These lead screw driven linear systems help label food products, while keeping everything sanitary and safe

It’s truly amazing the range of customers that iglide on tour has had the privilege of visiting over the past several months!

Check back to see what adventures iglide on tour had next!

Look for us on the road,

Kayla

Chicago, IMTS, and the iglide car

The iglide car has been very busy as it travels from city to city across the entire United States. Let’s take a look back at the tour’s time in the Windy City!

Chicago – The New York City of the Midwest. The iglide car headed to Chicago, where igus had set up a booth for IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show. Being one of the largest trade shows in North America, over 100,000 people had pre-registered. Hundreds of people buzzed through the igus booth over the course of the 6 day show. In fact, the booth was so busy it was often one of the last to close at the end of each day due to the busy activity.

Once the iglide car appeared outside the show, it began receiving lots of attention as well – from IMTS visitors and press editors from all over the world. The car even had a special treat- being filmed by a German media company, who are using the iglide car in an upcoming television program! They said the car (probably due to its tiny size) was the perfect fit for their film.

Check out the igus booth at IMTS! 

After leaving IMTS, iglide on tour traveled to more igus customers – this time in the Chicago area. The iglide car saw many customer applications where igus’ plastic bearings are used, including in the door systems of large busses.

iglide bearings are used in many automotive applications; 56 have been under the ultimate test over the past several months in applications inside the iglide car, but in fact, iglide bearings can be used in even more automotive applications – just as our customer uses them in large bus door hinge systems. iglide G300, the original iglide bearing, is a perfect solution in hinge systems, as they are able to handle high static loads with ease, are insensitive to dirt, corrosion resistant, and can also compensate for misalignment.

Even with all the activity surrounding IMTS and more amazing customer visits, the iglide car still managed to sneak away and have some fun. The stopped by the famous Chicago Theatre, as well as Millenium Park, which is located in the “Loop” community of Chicago. The park rests right on Lake Michigan, and was opened to the public in 2004.

Although the car couldn’t fit (hard to believe) into the Art Institute of Chicago, our bearings were able to sneak inside and take a peak at the different art displayed in the museum. Some of the most famous paintings in the world are hanging on the walls in this museum. For example, works by Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Rene Magritte and Georges Seurat.

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, by Georges Seurat, is an oil on canvas pointillism painting. Pointalism is a type of pairing where the whole canvas is made by dots to form a whole image. This painting is showing people relaxing along the Seine River in Paris. 

The car also drove down the famous Michigan Ave, equivalent to 5th Ave in New York or Rodeo Dr. in LA. While driving it passed skyscrapers such as the John Hancock Building, the Willis (Sears) Tower and the Trump Building.The John Hancock building has The Signature Room restaurant and lounge on the 95th floor with panoramic views of the city that are indescribable. This building is the seventh tallest building in the US and has America’s tallest swimming pool located on the 44th floor.

The view from the Hancock Building’s Signature Room, located on the 95th floor. 

The Willis Tower,  originally called the Sears Tower, is a 108-story skyscraper. In 1973, when it was competed, it was the tallest building in the world, surpassing the World Trade Center and keeping its title for 25 years. It is now the second tallest building in the U.S. next to the Freedom Tower in New York City.

The Willis Tower

Chicago is known for their famous skyscrapers and also for their unique foods. Garrett’s popcorn is a local favorite. The must have item on their menu is Caramel and Cheddar mix (The Chicago Mix) popcorn. While it might sound… interesting to say the least, people walk out of the store with buckets of it!

Another must eat is the Chicago Style hotdog. The ingredients are yellow mustard, chopped white onions, bright green pickled relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices, sport peppers and a dash of celery salt on a poppy seed bun – the ultimate Chicago classic!

Once the car was able to fully experience the culture of Chicago it was time to head to to Michigan.

See you on the road!

Kayla