A big announcement

We have just passed the Canadian border. For the first time, I am with the car on a picture, the reason being; that I want to make an announcement. The U.S. tour will be my last one. At the end of August, I will leave this tour to pursue studying in Paris. I have had an amazing journey so far, but it is time to go back to reality. I will inform you about my successor soon but as a sneak preview, she/he is already traveling with me. Anyway, we still have more than two weeks together. I will keep you up to date. Yours, Sascha.

 

Big final in Sao Paulo

The press conference for iglidur® on tour in Brazil, for the first time to date, the conference was after and not prior to the trip. Many journalists showed up to see the car that had been travelling around their country for three weeks while driving in excess of 6000 kilometres. Marcello Pimenta, country manager of igus®Brazil, welcomed the journalists and introduced igus®.

His presentation followed Marcio Marques, bearing product manager in Brazil, who presented the wide igus® product range and the use of iglidur® bearings within the automotive industry.

Marcio also guided the journalists to the highlight of the conference: The introduction of the car!

I took over with some explanations about the retrofitting and the tour itself.

At the end, Marcello turned the attention on the charity organization that received one euro for each kilometre that was driven. The money will contribute towards the equipment at a children’s hospital that specialises in cancer therapies. The hospital was born out of the initiative of two parents. Their child was suffering with cancer and they were complaining that they had to travel across the entire country for treatment. After their child could finally be cured, they found the hospital that carries out all treatments in one place, so that expensive travels were a thing of the past.

The press conference concluded with a lively discussion.

From the venue, the car left directly to the airport making tracks towards the cold, icy Alaska. We will spend two months travelling the whole United States and Canada.

I will keep you up to date,

yours Sascha

 

Rio Grande do Sul

We have left Santa Catarina and are now in Rio Grande do Sul. It is the most southern state in Brazil. It borders with Argentina in the West and Uruguay in the South. Rio Grande de Sul is famous for its’ endless sandy beaches that are only broken by the estuary of two huge lakes.

At one of these lakes lies the capital city of the state and home to 1,5 million people, Porto Alegre.

 

Regarding to a comparative study of the United Nations, is Porto Alegre, the city with the highest living standard in whole Latin America. This also reflects the well functioning public transportation system. For instance, there are exclusive bus lanes in the median of main streets. They ensure that buses arrive on time despite facing heavy traffic in rush hours. One manufacturer that is supplying cities with urban but also regional buses, is the Brazilian company MarcoPolo.

 

MarcoPolo focuses on bus bodies. They produce more than half of the bodies made in Brazil and export their products to more than sixty countries. They have been associated with igus® for about 1 and a half years and are making use of iglidur® bearings in their door system.

 

The bearings have been working to such a high standard that the leading engineer has plans to equip other parts with iglidur® bearings too. He appreciates the high quality and long life of igus® products stressing in-particular the self-lubrication of iglidur® bearings and their advantage over conventional bearings.

iglidur® within door hinges is a very common application. iglidur® bearings are not only maintenance-free, yet additionally have a high compressive strength, are dirt resistant and very cheap.

 

 

Part of our tour in Brazil includes visiting specific universities. Here, students have the opportunity to get to know our products and receive support if they already make use of them.

 

igus® offers a young engineering support (Y.E.S).. Y.E.S. provides help and comprehensive packages for those who would like to research, create and develop (Get to know more on http://www.igus..co.uk/YES).

Porto Alegre was a host city for the World Cup. On the way to our customers, we passed the stadium which can hold about 51000 people.

 

Here, five World cup matches took place (For instance: France vs. Honduras or Germany vs. Algeria).

 

The stadium is located next to the lake. The lake bank offers space where people can relax and escape from the stressful city life.

 

 

Porto Alegre is more or less the most southern point of our tour. We will only have a short stopover in Argentina and then head towards the stunning Foz do Iguacu waterfalls.           
As this is being written, we are in Bento Goncalves. The town Bento Goncalves is the centre for Italian immigration. This goes hand in hand with the fact that it became famous as the wine capital. Most Italian immigrants dedicated themselves to the grape and wine production.

 

We leave the city to take our last big journey.

I will keep you up to date,

 

 

yours Sascha

 

igus improves the performance of agricultural machines

Brazil is one of the largest producers of agricultural products in the world. Every year, millions of tons of soybeans, grain, sugar cane, ethanol or coffee are harvested.

For this, a lot of machines are needed. igus® parts help improve the performance of agricultural machines such as field sprayers, hay sprayers, tractors etc. Especially in agricultural applications, you need solutions that can stand up to rough conditions, such as dirt, shock and edge loads. The absence of lubricants and a long service life are equally important, which makes igus® bearings the perfect solution for any kind of agricultural machine.

Kuhn is one of the leading manufacturers of farming machinery. The company was founded in 1828 and nowadays has more than 3000 employees.

We left Sao Paulo and made our way South. On the way, we passed Curitiba, the biggest city in Southern Brazil with around 1.7 million habitants. Curitiba was an official city for the FIFA World Cup, where several matches took place such as Spain vs. Australia or Ecuador vs. Honduras.

The stadium, which provided space for 4000 fans, is equipped with thousands of chairs that comprise of self-lubricating iglidur® GLW bearings.

Each of the newer white chairs has six igus® bearings, two that ensure the motion whereas four are at fixed points.

iglidur® GLW is a very cheap, self-lubricating bearing for mass production. It is mostly used in applications with static load, where the bearings are just moving occasionally.

The older chairs are to be replaced soon. In the match plastic vs. metal, plastic is ahead and about to win. We also had the chance to take the car onto the field.

If you are one of the few followers that is able to understand Portuguese, check out the article of the residing football team Atlético Paranaense: http://www.atleticoparanaense.com/site/noticias/detalhe/34937/Carro-da-Igus-que-passar-por-30-pases-esteve-na-Arena.

After and before matches, fans were able to relax at the nearby botanical garden.

From Curitiba we travelled further South to Joinville. Joinville, not very well-known to most people, is THE city for those interested in ballet.

Joinville has the only subsidy of the very famous Bolshoi ballet academy (Moscow).

Here, they have students from all over South America. Once the dancer has passed the selective test (they take 40 of about 500 applicants), the school will pay for the accommodation as well as the flat and living costs of the student.

Joinville is not only famous for this school, but also marks the beginning of a part of Brazil that is full of Germans.

Brazilians with German descendents are living in the entire country but the overwhelming majority lives south of Sao Paulo. If you consider all German dialects together, then they make up the second most spoken first language in Brazil after Portuguese. The Brazilian government conducted a census in 2000, which came to the result that about 12 million citizens have German roots. The first Germans settled there in the 19th century. The failed German revolutions of 1848 resulted in a wave of German immigrants. Many of them arrived in the state Santa Catarina, where they founded the cities Joinville, Pomerode and Blumenau.

Nowadays, Pomerode is considered the most German city as about fifty percent of the citizens can speak German.

German is still the first language they learn in school along with German traditions, such as the annual “Pommernfest”, that they have been keeping alive for decades.

Some of the citizens even have gnomes in their garden, which is very German indeed, and many of the old houses are half-timbered.

The following house is the oldest in Pomerode and built in 1860.

Not far from Pomerode is the bigger city Blumenau. Once in a year, the “Deutsche Ville Park” is the venue for the third largest Oktoberfest worldwide.

We were able to present the car at the entrance. Many people were curious about the car driving around the world, with even the princesses of the last Oktoberfest showing up for a picture.

Currently, we are on the way to Florianopolis with the route leading along the coast. On the way, we passed by this stunning beach.

I will keep you up to date,

yours Sascha.

igus bearings in the Curitiba world-cup stadium

This is the former World Cup stadium in Curitiba, where matches such as Spain vs. Australia or Ecuador vs. Honduras took place. iglidur is ready to face the challenge of equipping the remaining chairs with self-lubricating bearings. So far, all the white chairs are relying on each six igus bearings.

For more information on igus bearings, visit the website here: http://bit.ly/1nBjNSC 

 

Santos

Sao Paulo is the economic centre of Brazil but the city has one problem: there is no direct access to the sea. Thus, all goods that are manufactured in Sao Paulo and the surrounding are transported to Santos, the closest port city.

 

Although Sao Paulo has about forty times more inhabitants than Santos (20 million vs. 1/2 million), Santos is of equal importance. In the 19th century, ships avoided docking there due to yellow fever that the city was struggling with. Nowadays, ships are docking at every possible moment and the former “port of death” is the biggest in South America. In proximity to the port, a countless number of logistic companies are handling a large portion of the world’s coffee exports, as well as a significant number of steel, oil, cars, oranges, bananas and cotton. Once a container arrives by truck, Reach-Stackers unload them.

 

In order to make the handling easier, the driver is able to extend the length of the telescopes arms.

 

 It is only possible to extend, to drive them out respectively, by using a lot of grease.

 

This grease can be a thing of the past. With self-lubricating iglidur® plates, these plates can be put between the rail and housing to ensure smooth, noise-free motion. They are available in seven thickness options and are not only lubricant free, but also chemical resistant. Furthermore, they have a high wear resistance and low humidity absorption.

 

Once the Reach-Stacker has done its job, huge cranes load the container onto ships. Such cranes need a large amount of energy. In order to protect the cables against any kind of weather, and therefore to ensure the energy supply, igus® offers Energy Chains. igus® power chain systems are a good alternative to bus bar, fastenings and reel systems.

 

They are in operation on more than 10,000 port equipment applications. Unfortunately, we were not able to access the port but those cranes in South Korea (Busan) work like the ones in Santos.

 

Santos is not only the most important South-American port but also a Mekka for tourists. As the bearings in the car can handle sea water and dirt without any problems, we took the car to the city beach.

 

 

Close to the seashore is a hill famous for paragliding. Sometimes, the airspace above the hill is so full of people paragliding, that it is a wonder that they are not crashing into each other.

 

 From the top of the hill, you have a fantastic view over the entire city. 

 

Just one hour drive from Sao Paulo and nearby Santos, is the small city Guaruja. In Guaruja you can experience white sand beaches, bars, palms and sun, such as you would expect to find rather in the Caribbean than nearby the biggest Brazilian city.

 

 

Autumn and winter see a very peaceful and tranquil atmosphere whereas in the summer month, the beach is completely overcrowded with tourists.

 

We are currently heading South, taking the same route as the countless Argentinians who came to support their team in the World Cup. 

I will keep you guys up to date,

yours Sascha

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

Once a year, usually in February, Rio de Janeiro turns into the biggest carnival party in the world. Every day there are around two million people on the streets with the main attraction being the colourful parade that is filled with revellers, floats and adornments from numerous Samba schools.

 

The Samba schools are competing against each other not only in dancing but also in playing drums, creativity of costumes etc. The parade only goes through a certain street. Thus, you must buy a ticket if you wish to see it. For those not able to get one, cameras are recording everything, some are remote controlled and can move a few hundred meters along the parade. In the picture below you can see a rail for cameras at the top of the stage.

 

This rail is equipped with a 320 meter long cost-efficient DryLin® rail that ensures the smooth, noise-free motion of the cameras. See here for more Drylin information: http://bit.ly/1fljKqg

 

DryLin® WS 28 guarantees that no camera sticks whilst moving with speeds up to 60km/h. The TV channels have been relying on our rail for about four years. While doing this, the rail has been unprotected throughout the entire time and had to face rain, sun and incredibly high humidity. A diverse range of environmental conditions and of course, it still works perfectly.
Example of DryLin® W rail for cameras:

 

 

 

 

Rio de Janeiro

We went from summer to winter. As we changed from the northern to the southern site of the earth, we changed the season too. Well, theoretically it is winter but I don´t feel it. At least not in Rio de Janeiro.

 

It´s about thirty degrees and my face is completely burnt (despite sun protection 50). The bearings of the car endure this heat better than I do. They are working perfectly. It is not surprising as they are used to facing much harsher environments. One of our bearings, iglidur® X, even feels comfortable in hot environments up to + 250C (long run).

 

After we had picked up the car from its’ inspection, we directly went visiting one of our beloved customers. 
Located in the outskirts of Rio, is the factory of the biggest Latin-American and Brasilian TV network. There, they manufacture all equipment that they need for their TV shows, movies etc. For chairs, that are in use for a singing show, they rely on iglidur® PRT.
Four coaches, all recording artists, listen to the contestants in chairs facing opposite the stage so as to avoid seeing them. If a coach likes what they hear, they press a button and the chair rotates. Thus, the coach signifies interest in working with the contestant.
Our Polymer slewing ring bearing ensures the smooth, noise-free motion of the chair while rotating (At the visit, only the base was available).

 

The smooth motion is not the only advantage, yet also that all igus® products are maintenance free. The coaches can sympathize with countless contestants without that the need for lubrication.

 

The fabric as well as major parts of the city are embedded between mountains.

 

 

One of the most famous mountains is Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf Mountain), that is rising 396 meters above the harbor.

 

If you don´t want to climb the steep walls, then you can take a cable car up to the top of it, from where you have a stunning view on the city.

 

From Pao de Acucar you can also see the symbol of Rio de Janeiro. The statue of Christ, located on the peak of Corcovado mountain (altitude of 700 meters), is overlooking the city since 1931.

 

Initially, they built the 40 meter high statue for the one hundred anniversary of Brazil´s independence from Portugal (1922). Due to financial problems, they took nine years longer.

 

Did you know that there are more statues alike? For instance, another statue of Christ is placed in Lisbon.

 

We visited the statue at sunset. The colors of the sky were beautiful and the view stunning. 

 

 

As a tourist in Rio, there are currently two Brazilian passions visible at the first glance. Obviously, one is football, in particular as it is World Cup. A very good place to experience the football obsession is at the FIFA Fan Fest at the Copacabana.

 

The Copacabana is one of the most famous beaches worldwide. It is only four kilometer long but so wide, that they were able to build the entire Fan fest, containing thousand of visitors, entirely on sand.

 

 

Nevertheless, when Brazil plays, then also the Fan fest is too small and the party extends over the whole beach.

 

At the Fan Fest you can also experience the second passion, Samba. In the half as well as before and after matches you can listen to Samba music everywhere. The following picture is showing Brazil´s most famous Samba school Mangueira.

 

The school is located at the edges of the Mangueira favela, one which is spreading from the school up to the stadium in which Germany defeated France last week. 

 

Favela is the Portuguese word for slum. They are part of Rio as the Copacabana and Pao de Acucar. Often, the inhabitants of Favelas are wrongly presented by media. Usually, not the majority of normal people is in focus but only the criminals that are operating there. In 2010, the government implemented a controversial program that aims at decriminalizing these neighborhoods by expelling gangs and establishing police stations.

 

Rio de Janeiro has many faces and is surely one of the most beautiful cities worldwide.

Soon, we will leave Rio and head towards the South until we reach the border of Argentina.

I will keep you guys up to date,

yours Sascha 

Page 4 of 9« First...23456...Last »