Photos of the day!

Where would be the best spot in Switzerland for a press conference? How about the top of the Schilthorn – the nearly 10,000 feet high summit in the Bernese Alps?!

Perfect!

Now… how do we get the iglide car up there?

Helicopter?

Helicopter!

…And before we knew it…

Photos of the day!The iglide car carrives at a platform 9,744 feet above sea level

With all the wind, the car lost its tiny hood in flight! No big deal – all the bearings are still where they’re supposed to be!

Photos of the day!.2New hood on order and 56 plastic bearings still intact! 

Both Swiss journalists and members of igus’ team in Switzerland participated in the event, and were more than a little surprised at the choice of venue!

Photos of the day!.3

And not to be left out, the dry-tech box joined us to take in the unbelievable views from above the fog.

Photos of the day!.4

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

Honky-Tonkin’ through Music City, USA

Last week, iglide on tour took to Music, City, USA – Nashville, Tennessee – let’s go back and see what happened!

After leaving Cleveland, Ohio, the car drove over 500 miles to Nashville, the capital of Tennessee. A large center for music, publishing, healthcare, and transportation industries, Nashville is also home to a large number of colleges and universities. The city’s name came from Francis Nash, a general during the American Revolutionary War.

Honky-Tonkin' through Music City, USA

The iglide car was able to make its way to the Grand Ole Opry – known as the home of American country music, and though the car couldn’t quite fit through the doors, the bearing-filled dry-tech box took its spot inside. The Grand Ole Opry began as a weekly radio broadcast in 1925, and is still among the longest-running radio shows in history. Live concerts by country music’s biggest stars are performed each week on what has been dubbed “The Show that Made Country Music Famous,” attracting millions of visitors every year.

Honky-Tonkin' through Music City, USA.2

On a tour through the Opry, the dry-tech box was able to get a backstage peek at the venue, including onto the stage itself, where a circle of older looking wood surrounds the main microphone. This circle of oak is in fact part of the original Opry center stage, which was recovered after the venue flooded in 2010. This circle, where many of the most famous names in country music have stood, was built into the replacement stage to continue the tradition.

Honky-Tonkin' through Music City, USA.3

A number of igus’ Motion Plastics solutions are found backstage in many venues around the world to help move stage equipment, sets, lighting, and more reliably and quietly. The liftband energy supply system can vertically expand more than 42 feet, lifting at more than 3.2 feet per second.

The E-Z Triflex Energy Chain included in the system allows cables and hoses to be installed and exchanged very quickly and easily, and nylon tapes allow for a nearly unlimited filling weight, allowing even the most complex stage equipment or set pieces to be moved as needed for the best possible performance, night after night, and in the Grand Old Opry’s case, decade after decade!

Honky-Tonkin' through Music City, USA.4

After leaving the Opry, iglide on tour headed downtown to check out Nashville’s Broadway, a renowned entertainment district and gathering place for country music lovers of all kinds. The street is lined with small bars and music venues, as well as dozens of cowboy boot Shops.

Honky-Tonkin' through Music City, USA.5

Many of the bars lining Broadway have a real “honky tonk” feel – that is, they cater to the die-hard country music fans that live and visit Nashville with live performances nearly every night of the year. One of these venues was the portable Nashville Pedal Tavern, which seats 16 patrons – who pedal the bar around the streets of Nashville while enjoying their drink of choice! When the iglide car pulled up beside this pedal-powered pub, one woman was so excited to see the orange car she started a dance party for it, only stopping to pedal away once the traffic light turned green.

Honky-Tonkin' through Music City, USA.6

During its time in Nashville, the car attracted much more than just dancing drinkers, however. Around each corner people would ask about the car’s story, and where it was traveling over the course of it’s journey, which had brought it nearly 37,000 miles to Tennessee!

Honky-Tonkin' through Music City, USA.7

From Nashville, the car carried on in the American South – stay tuned to read about the next adventure of iglide on tour!

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

The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, Canada

Let’s look back a few days as iglide on tour took on the USA/Canadian border yet again!

After leaving Chicago, the iglide car racked up a few more miles and headed to Kalamazoo, Michigan, marking the 10,000th North American mile of the tour. The car started in Anchorage, Alaska with 25,000 miles on it, and has reached 35,000 in just six short weeks! Time flies when you are driving the iglide car across the country!

The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, CanadaThe iglide car on the first day of the North American tour in Alaska. Little did the car know that it would have racked up 10,000 more miles six weeks later.

In Michigan, the car made a large number of customer visits to an incredibly wide range of companies. The iglide car met customers that use igus products in medical beds, amazing welded assembly systems, and, being in Michigan, a number of automotive applications!

While iglide bearings are used in a number of applications inside the iglide car, and millions of other automobiles manufactured each year, a number of igus products are also used in the manufacturing process itself!

igus’ line of Energy Chain cable carrier systems are used in a huge range of applications, including on manufacturing robots, like those in car-building plants. Energy Chains guide and protect cables and hoses that supply energy and other resources, without the risk of snagging on the many other moving parts in any busy plant. Triflex Energy Chain Systems allow for multi-axis movement – like the twisting motions of a robotic arm – without compromising cable protection.

igus’ line of linear products, known as DryLin, are also widely used in manufacturing plants. DryLin linear bearings and slides use the same self-lubricating properties of our iglide bearings, making them a reliable, clean solution. They will not attract dirt and dust, as they don’t require sticky lubricants, and unlike traditional ball bearing systems, any dirt and does that does find its way into the bearing will either be pushed aside by the sliding motion, or will meld into the plastic material without increasing the coefficient of friction.

Despite the wide range of applications and industries, the iglide car is still well received at all customer visits.

The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, Canada.2Customers are always so intrigued by how spacious the little car actually is. They are always surprised at how much legroom there is! 

The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, Canada.3

From Michigan, iglide on tour headed North to Detroit, and crossed the International Ambassador Bridge into Canada. The suspension bridge is privately owned by Grosse Point billionaire Manuel Moroun thorugh the Detroit International Bridge Company in United States, and the Canadian Transit Company in Canada. The bridge is the busiest international border crossing in North America in terms of trade volume. More than 25% of all merchandise trade between the US and Canada cross over this bridge.

The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, Canada.4 The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, Canada.5When the cars cross the bridge they cross over the Detroit River, they pass through two countries on one bridge. 

As the car crossed the border, the bridge’s border control was only concerned with one thing – how to enter a German license on their computer system! They loved the idea of the tour, and were curious about where the car was from, and where else it had been. They even took a car-shaped sticker to remind them to follow the blog as well!

The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, Canada.6

Once the car arrived in Canada for the second time along the tour, it was able to see a different side of Canada from the Yukon it explored early in the tour. Expecting to see bison, pronghorn, and mountains, the car instead saw miles of cornfields and dozens of wind turbines. The only animal to be seen was a muskrat!

In Canada, the car made more visits to customers, traveling with igus team members from both the USA and Canadian offices. With skilled staff memebers all over North America, the iglide tour has been like a bit of a family reunion!

The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, Canada.7

After a few more wonderful visits, it was time to travel back over the border to Detroit, where the iglide car spent the afternoon sightseeing.

The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, Canada.8

In Detroit, the car drove to the monument to boxer Joe Louis, known as “The Fist” in the middle of downtown. The statue is a memorial to the famous boxer, who is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. Commissioned by Sports Illustrated Magazine, it represents the power of Louis’ punch both in and out of the ring.

The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, Canada.9

After a long run of international travel, the iglide car headed south, towards Cleveland Ohio, where we met with members of the press who have been following the iglide tour since the beginning!

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

Wisconsin

The first stop in Wisconsin was the city of Milwaukee, the largest city in the state, and the 31st most populated city in the United States. Milwaukee is a funky little city with so many different activities. There is the art museum, beautiful Lake Michigan, Miller Park Baseball field which is home to the Brewers, a downtown area with a canal running through the middle, the Milwaukee Public Market, as well as dozens of eclectic restaurants and bars.

Wisconsin.1.1

As mentioned above, the iglide car drove through the city to experience some of Milwaukee’s highlights, and stopped at the art museum, Miller Park, the public market, and drove along Lake Michigan. The Public Market, located in the historic Third Ward, is half food and half local vendors selling hand-crafted items on the sidewalk. The market also has street performers, and plays live music outside to be enjoyed while shopping.

Wisconsin.1.2 Wisconsin.1.3Downtown Milwaukee; the canal lined with restaurants and Shops

Wisconsin.1.4 Wisconsin.1.5

The market’s founders drew inspiration for the development from the Pike’s Place market in Seattle (which the car got to visit a few weeks ago).

Wisconsin.1.6The car posed with Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes in North America

The car stayed at the Pfister Hotel, rated among the top ten most haunted hotels in the country by Travelocity. It was owned by Guido Pfister and his son Charles, and opened in 1893 after its $1 million construction. It currently has the largest hotel collection of Victorian Art in the world.

Wisconsin.1.7In front of the hotel

The halls of the hotel are eerie; doors creak open, and as you walk you can feel the presence of ghosts around the corner. There have been many encounters by guests of the hotel, but it is rumored that the ghost of Charles Pfister leaves the hotel’s staff alone, and they have a good relationship.

Wisconsin.1.8Not a still from “The Shining,” but a look at The Pfister’s eerie halls

The car was sad to leave Milwaukee and the haunted hotel, but it was time to head north to Appleton to visit customers.

Just outside Appleton, we stopped in at a manufacturer of car wash systems which use igus Energy Chain cable carriers. As the car wash moves, the Energy Chains keep the cables and hoses that supply the car wash safe and tangle-free. The iglide car took a drive through the wash, looking pristine on the drive to the warehouse after getting its wash.

Energy Chains working hard to clean the iglide car

Wisconsin.1.10The car inside the customer warehouse, where igus cable carriers are being filled and sent out for use inside car washes

Our next customer visits were to companies that specialize in agricultural and lawn equipment. These customers take advantage of iglide plastic bearings to run consistently and reliably in their equipment to help their reputation for dependable, long-lasting equipment.

Because of their resistance against chemicals, iglide bearings are not affected by the chemicals and fertilizers that can be prevalent in agricultural applications, and they are also unaffected by unavoidable dirt and dust that can clog and seize traditional ball bearings.

Manufacturers and at-home engineers both love that igus has no minimum orders, and more than 90% of all orders placed ship within 24 hours.

Wisconsin.1.11

From Milwaukee, it’s off to Chicago for the IMTS trade show – Look for us on the road!

Thanks for reading,

Kayla

Across Iowa

From Minneapolis, the car headed south to Iowa. The state is known for their corn, which the iglide car has seen much of! Iowa is often referred to as “America’s Heartland,” and borders the Mississippi River.

In the 2nd half of the 20th century, Iowa’s agricultural economy expanded into a wide range of manufacturing, processing and financial industries, and anywhere with a large range of industries is a great place for igus to be!

We had time to stop at a few of our Iowan customers, like one manufacturer of packaging equipment that uses igus’ DryLin R linear bearings and iglide j plain bearings in their machinery.

Used in many ares of packaging, including in food and drug production plants, igus products are extraordinarily safe and long-lasting, as they are not affected by crumbs, sugar, or other material in these types of facilities. igus products also are not reliant on grease, and with no grease, there is no threat of contamination from bearings!

Across Iowa

While in Iowa, the car took a drive to the Original Field of Dreams, a baseball field and pop-culture tourist attraction, featured in the movie Field of Dreams.” Upon pulling in the long dirt driveway, the car was greeted by the farm’s owner, Don Lansing.

Across Iowa.2

With sun flower seeds in his shirt pocket and his Field of Dreams baseball cap on, Mr. Lansing told the story of the day Hollywood knocked on his door 25 years ago, interested in filming a movie on his property.  Mr. Lansing said “If you build it, they will come, and they sure do” in regards to how many people come from all over the world just to see this field used in the 1989 movie.After the movie came out, people from all over flocked to his field, making their way from as far as Eastern Europe and Japan to walk on this beloved field.

Across Iowa.3 Across Iowa.4

Before passing through Iowa, a stop at the Mississippi River was in order. The chief drainage system for the entire United States, the Mississippi flows for 2,340 miles across the country, making it the 4th longest river in the world.

Next stop from Iowa is north to Milwaukee!

Thanks for reading,

Kayla