As the iglidur® car approaches its last week in the US, it becomes nostalgic and thinks back to the beginning of the North American tour in Alaska.
As the iglidur® car approaches its last week in the US, it becomes nostalgic and thinks back to the beginning of the North American tour in Alaska.
This years igus annual summer intern, Tobias Feth, came over from Germany to the igus UK with the intention of finding out more about the automotive industry alongside, of course, improving his English.
Tobias, 22, previously worked at an automotive dealership as their intern for 3 years, gaining experience within administration, customer service, marketing and warehouse operations. With his passion to succeed within the automotive industry increasing, he applied to igus for an internship.
Of particular interest to Tobias were the visits made to two prestigious UK automotive companies, with our Automotive Project Manager, Mr Dave Spence.
The first, was a manufacturer of braking systems where the manufacture and logistics of this industry was shown in all it’s complexity. The second stop of the day was to a prestigious factory of a luxury car manufacturer. After the initial security checks, access was allowed to the production and development areas where the future of manufacture and design is applied. Many igus products are used within the prototypes for this manufacturer’s new release.
Whilst working at igus UK, Tobias was subject to the ‘One team, one igus’ mantra being included and welcomed into igus which included many social events. In terms of work, his experiences have not only made it clearer in his own mind that he wants to pursue a career in the automotive industry, his skill set for organisation and working towards deadlines has improved.
After completing his internship, Tobias spent a few days in London before travelling back to Germany, looking forward to study economic automotive business at a private University near Kassel.
Samba, Caipirinha and football: most people associate these words with Brazil. So far, our colleagues are not dancing samba and drinking Caipirinha for the whole day. It’s world cup and everyone in Brazil from young to old and men to women, everyone is crazy about it (but lets remember the World cup in Germany. Everyone, even those not interested in football at all, were suddenly watching it).
A unique world cup feeling could be felt by all, the Brazilian football obsession, at public viewing in Sao Paulo.
The cheerful atmosphere turned tense when Chile caught up and forced Brazil into penalty shootout.
In the end everyone was relieved and in the “party-mood”, when Brazil finally made it.
I don´t want to put my focus on the world cup today as we will deal with it regularly on the immediate tour. I want to present you another cup. Hidden and pushed into the background is the RoboCup world cup that will take place in Brazil (Joao Pessoa) from the 19th to 25th of July. igus® is taking part putting forward a robot, that will have to compete against the best robots of the world in several disciplines. One of these disciplines is robot football.
The University of Bonn, in cooperation with igus®, constructed a Humanoid robot that makes use of several iglidur® bearings and plastic components that were made by igus® using the laser sintering process.
In the next step the robot will be equipped with igus® chainflex too.
While iglidur® bearings ensure smooth, noise-free motion and help to reduce the weight of the robot, igus® chainflex cables will be a space saving solution that ensures the energy supply. The plastic parts, for instance the body, that were made by igus® in the laser sintering process, make the robot extremely light in weight and robust. This gives him a big advantage over competitors.
I´m referring to it as “the robot” as he still lacks a name. On http://goo.gl/mkYJ54 you can help him to get one. In the course of the following weeks, we will tell you more and more details so that you can get to know him a bit better. Then put a name on our Facebook page. You can win a prize if both igus® and the University of Bonn agree on your name.
As I already mentioned, I´m in Sao Paulo right now. Sao Paulo is the economic stronghold of Brazil and with 20 million inhabitants the largest metropolitan area in the southern hemisphere.
Unfortunately, the car is 700 kilometer north of here in the vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro. The customs in Rio is specialized on such imports and therefore much faster than the one in Sao Paulo.
The car at customs in Rio
In the course of this week, we are taking a plane to Rio de Janeiro, from where we start the tour. We will take drive south until we reach the border with Argentina.
I will keep you guys up to date,
Today, I would like to show you the truck that is accompanying us during the trip within China, in more detail.
For more information about iglidur on tour, visit the igus website here: http://bit.ly/1kOWYZ4
The truck is attracting a huge following reach and crowds and alongside the car, is becoming a huge success. To be blunt, it is a normal truck that has been modified. Within five minutes we can turn the truck into an exhibition booth where we are showcasing a wide range of igus products, currently in China.
For our customer we offer the “whole package”. On the truck he not only can have a direct look at our products, but also approach us with technical questions.
Every day dozens of customers are handing over their contact details (and this not only due to the famous igus® cups they get as a reward afterwards)
Usually, after the visit of the booth, we turn the attention to our iglidur® on tour project. For everyone we offer a drive with the car. Most people think about the project as a great idea, but often add that it must be a real adventure to drive with this certain city car once around the world.
Two days ago we arrived with iglidur® at the yellow sea in Quingdao. To be honest, I haven´t heard of the city before, but I got to know that it is a famous beach-holiday mecca for Chinese and other Asian tourists. For sure, it is growing fast. When you are coming close to the city you only see construction work going on everywhere.
In Quingdao we met one of our suppliers who delivers us with goods for exhibitions (By the way, the main street is not called “Marktstraße” any more, but something in Chinese).
Sascha Kurtenbach, born in cologne, has been living in Quingdao for about ten years. Although he speaks Chinese fluently, he mentioned that he only knows about 3500 signs. This is not enough to read a newspaper (the average Chinese knows about 5000 signs and a professor at a university about 10.000). For me every word sounds the same and for this reason I imagine that learning the language must be extremely hard.
Mr. Wang is 35 years old and father of two children. He is from Henan province where we are going to visit a famous temple soon. Although he has been working as a professional driver for decades, it is his first time seeing a truck like this. I asked my colleague to ask him about his opinion. For him it is very special to be part of this project as he can do more than just driving. When the truck has transformed, he always helps us at the booth. For instance, he hands over leaflets or guides customers to someone who can answer technical questions.
iglidur driver himself, Sascha, continues to give us his hands-on insight into the all around the world tour:
The Indian igus office is based in Bangalore, which is where we are now. We took a direct route from Pune to Bangalore which was, by the way, the longest we had so far. All in all it took us about 17 hours.
Bangalore is the capital of Karnataka and with about 8,4 million inhabitants, the third largest city (following Delhi and Bombay). Furthermore, it is the Silicon Valley of India. Although, it is further south, it is not as hot as Pune (nevertheless, still 30 degrees and sufficient for a painful sunburn).
As the following day was a Saturday, we kept it a bit slower with customer visits and made only five in total. One of the customers was Dynaspede.
They manufacture electro-mechanical components and machines for a wide spectrum of industries. You tell them what machine you want and they build it for you. We had the chance to get an insight view in an engine-testing machine, which is designed for a leading Indian car manufacturer, analysing the performance of engines.
They need to fix and move the engine. For this they put the engine on four shafts that are embedded in bearings.
Originally, they made use of THK bearings (Japanese company). At this time, they were facing many problems with scoring marks. Scoring marks are scratch marks on the shaft that are owed to movements. They occur when the friction between shaft and bearing is too high. To diminish this problem, they always had to lubricate as well as to use a hardened shaft. Eventually, they tried our Drylin® R FJUM-01-30 Flange housing instead, take a look at the igus flange housing for yourself: http://bit.ly/1hltyAD.
We supplied them directly with shafts and bearings at the same time. This not only decreased their number of vendors and therefore their administrative work, but also helps save money. As our products are self-lubricating and maintenance free, they solved their problem of the scoring marks. Thus, they have been using Drylin® R for years. They got rid of annoying work besides the actual work and could save costs. Nowadays, they don’t need to pay for the hardening of the shaft and for lubricating any more.
Inside the testing rid the engine is lifted and fixed both vertically and horizontally. There we have supplied jsm-6065-50 and jsm-20-23-20 for servo actuator and ejector pin respectively (horizontally). Inside the testing station is a shaft that they put on the gears-shift lever of the engine. The shaft is then moving the shift. Through this they are enabled to measure the performance. This shaft is guided by iglidur® J, which is characterized by a low wear with shaft materials and a low coefficient of friction.
We could also see our e-chains®. They are used for guidance and protection for moving cables. Most of their machines are already equipped with them.
The last days were entirely under the banner of driving and customer visits. We made at least another 1000km and visited about 25-30 of our beloved customers. Yesterday, I checked how many kilometers we have covered so far. About 4000! And there will be about 700km more as we are heading tomorrow towards Chennai, the other automobile hub of India.
Thus, I kind of cannot present you incredible adventure trips. No beach, no jungle, no desert etc. Just highways that were in a very good shape. I even cannot tell so much about Bangalore, just that at first glance, it seems to be a very modern and nice city.
Next time I will tell you more about the tour again. We’ll have some time in Chennai to discover a bit of the city, the culture itself and to visit some nice places.
As always I will keep you guys up to date,
For more information, go onto the igus website: http://bit.ly/1aiIKyf
Sascha continues to update us on his all around the world tour adventures with iglidur:
The upcoming week is all about the Auto Expo in New Delhi, which opens its doors on Thursday. One final big event before the trip continues.
Do not worry I will not bother you with a blog entry on the preparations for the fair. There is always here and there a little time for other things.
Despite the tight schedule, we still had time for a customer visit to JCB in Faridabad. JCB is a leading manufacturer of construction vehicles that uses igus ® plain bearings in the steering and the loading mechanism of its vehicles. We can now provide storage for two additional application areas in the hinge and the joystick. Due to the very limited time that JCB mustered for us to introduce briefly our “iglidur ® on tour” project, we did not have time to fully explain. JCB is the first of many customers, which we will visit on our trip.
Upon leaving Faridabad, we had to make our way swiftly to a neighboring city New Delhi. I knew that Delhi invested heavily in infrastructure, but not that the Metro is extended so far into the “suburbs” (it takes about an hour by car). A taxi driver once told me that here every day 3000 new cars are registered. The number is probably exaggerated, but nonetheless, you can see the boom of India everywhere. For example, in Connaught Place, which was built during the colonial period by the British. There, western shops and restaurants rub shoulders in order to satisfy the ever-growing middle class.
In my first post I said I would like to write in a chronological order, let me so reflect back on the past weekend.
Even though I ‘m not a big fan of dance shows, yet I have quite enjoyed my Saturday night, we went to a traditional Khatak dance show. Khatak is one of eight classical Indian dance forms.
If you are interested in dancing then I can recommend you a show to attend (even if you have nothing to do with dancing, as in my case, it is definitely a great experience). Most of these events are also free! Classical dance forms are usually performed in theaters, which are subsidized by the state. (For a little insight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuBd67p2UJQ) On Sunday I went on a little journey of discovery through Delhi. I’ve talked a lot about the contrasts in the city. I have had this experience again yet on another level. As I went down in the morning in the thick of Old Delhi, I found myself at noon in a different world. If you should once be in New Delhi, then necessarily go into one of the many parks. These places of harmony and tranquility are scattered like green oases in the otherwise chaotic capital. You can find there even monkeys (Well, actually you will find monkeys also sometimes in the city itself, but in the parks they are naturally most frequently encountered). I had not the pleasure of seeing monkeys in the park but should you have the pleasure then takes care of your camera and belongings. They are aggressive. Wild monkeys attacks here and the last thing you want is for you to have already fallen victim.
I had the impression that the people outside Delhi have even more interest in our car. Some even stopped their vehicle to take pictures or to look at iglidur accurately. When so much attention is available in urban areas, will it be the same in the country?
I’m curious to find out. What a week it’s been so far. When we leave the metropolitan area of New Delhi, the next destination is within the direction of Jaipur.
Until next time,
For more information about igus parts in the automotive indusrty see here: http://bit.ly/1aiIKyf
Time is getting short…
…and our car for “iglidur® on tour” entered the last phase of remodelling! The windscreen wiper mechanism bearings still needed to be replaced! Sliding blocks for the convertible top had to be manufactured! There was still a lot of work ahead but on the 20th of January the journey begins. The flight to India was booked. Time was running out!
Work that was involved at this stage:
1.) The sliding blocks that are guiding the convertible top have been redesigned with CAD and the 3D drafts have been printed. Now comes the time to investigate whether the drafts of the new sliding blocks are fitting accurately or not. If not then the convertible top will not move at all and further corrections would have had to have been made.
The part of the sliding blocks which enables clearance to the top was a real challenge for the university students as the redesigned and remanufactured piece was not flexible enough. Though, they came to the ingenious idea to use spring steel instead and to put a sliding layer on it.
2.) At the windscreen wiper mechanism bearings replaced originals to enable the windscreen wiper to move. The bolt where the wiper is located on is mounted in two bearings.
3.) The car is still “naked” and has to be cased again in its sexy, orange car body.
Although there was still a lot of work ahead and time was running out, it should be mentioned that a lot has been accomplished, to note:
The gear-module: At the gear-module, four bearings have been replaced. Two thick-walled metal bearings, which serve to lock the gear in place, have been substituted by igus® bearings. The bearings not only can move around the shaft but also endure the changing radial force. For the shaft they had to take low mechanical properties into account as it is made out of plastic and has for instance low strength and stiffness. Usually this plastic-to-plastic combination leads to a very high rate of attrition. A lot of heat is created that cannot be dissipated. In this case they used an igus® bearing P210 which can endure this hostile environment.
Furthermore two bearings at the upper part of the gear stick have also been replaced. The original “clip bearings”, that were lubricated, have been substituted by dry igus® plastic bearings. These bearings aim at balancing out forces that emerge at the swivel angle when shifting between forward gear and the reverse gear.
The brake pedal: Here they changed two bearings. While braking, the pedal slides along two igus® plastic bearings that are located on a bolt. This bolt connects the pedal with the module that is fitted to the car body.
The seat: Due to the fact that we were not allowed to change things that could affect the safety of the driver, we only changed a bearing at the unlocking mechanism which serves to adjust the seat. igus® bearings are guiding the bar that unlocks the seat in order to be able to move the seat forwards or backwards.
The window lifting mechanism: Before the remodelling, the pulley which is guiding the cable, was directly located on a bolt. Now, an igus® bearing is connecting the pulley and the bolt enabling frictionless Motion.
Hand-brake: It is the same with the hand-brake. Before the remodelling the lever was running directly on the bolt that connects the lever with the module that is fitted to the car body. Now the lever glides over an igus® bearing.
Throttle valve: Last but not least, the throttle valve is now on a moving bolt that is fitted within two igus® bearings.
The end is near!