Yukon & British Columbia

Where have igus parts been used within the car? Find out here: http://bit.ly/1uWKWUU

We have started our journey into the Yukon, driving along the famous Alaskan Highway. The Yukon is known for its miles and miles of undisturbed wilderness, which includes many species of animals, countless lakes, creeks, and other unexpected surprises along the way.

The Yukon Territory is the shape of a right triangle, bordering the state of Alaska. There are very small towns and villages along the way, with hours of driving in between. We spoke with some local people, one man told us that he was sick and had to drive over twenty-three hours to the closest hospital. There is also very limited internet and cell phone reception in these towns, so if anything were to happen, you have to use your resources – a survival of the fittest lifestyle is important when living in an area like this.

The iglidur car has travelled miles and miles through rocky, muddy, winding roads. Many other vehicles many have broken down, but the iglidur car has had no problem travelling through these conditions. Surely this is because of the iglidur bearings we had retrofit into the car, like iglidur G in the brake pedal.

iglidur G is the all-around (the world!) performer, excellent for most applications; maintenance-free, self-lubricating, wear-resistant, and cost-effective. It is resistant to dirt and dust, which is all the car has seen since it arrived in Alaska!

We’ve made a few stops in Whitehorse and WatsonLake over the 3 days it took us to drive through the Yukon. Along the way, we were able to see a mother black bear and her 3 cubs…

As well as a heard of antelope, wild horses and bison, a porcupine, multiple moose, and a reindeer! It was amazing to be able to see these animals completely surrounded by their natural habitat.

There are so many hidden gems in the Yukon. One of the highlights for us was the hot springs in Liard, which is the second largest hot spring in Canada.


This hot spring is unique, as the hot springs are on one side, so on that side, the water is extremely hot, but cools down as you move further away. We swam in the hot spring for over an hour – just the relaxation we needed after 3 longs days of driving.

As we headed out of the Yukon and into the Rocky Mountains, we left behind the gravel roads and found ourselves surrounded by turquoise rivers winding for miles along massive mountains. But, as usual, this was no challenge for our iglidur car as it continued cruising through winding, twisting roads up into the cliffs. While the car is still running great without any problems, the exterior is looking a little rough.  What started out as a bright orange on arrival in Alaska has now turned a light brown!

The iglidur Car with the Rocky Mountains

Keep your eyes peeled for us in Vancouver, where we’re heading next!

We will keep you 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:

 

 

 

 

One country, one passion

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,

yours Sascha

The last obstacle

The iglidur car participated in the Automotive Engineering Exposition in Yokohama. This is an annual exhibition that has attracted around 400 visitors for over 20 years! Even though there was an overall high volume of stands and exhibitors, finding the iglidur car was not hard due to the amount of bright orange igus bags visitors walked around with. The closer you got to the car, the higher the density became of people carrying the bags and as the day progressed, they were everywhere. Around 3,000 bags were distributed to customers during the 3 day exhibition, that gives you an indication.

 

Of course, at the show you could also find some of our customers. This big car manufacturer is indirectly one customer. We deliver to the company that is supplying the air conditioning system (AC) for a similar car model.

While switching on the AC, the blades at the front are opening. iglidur® plain bearings in the hinges ensure that the motion of the blades are smooth running. The dirt-resistant, self lubricating and maintenance free properties of iglidur® bearings, combined with the fact that they are seven times lighter than metal bearings, combine to make a reliable and long-lasting solution for the supplier. iglidur® bearings ensure a quiet and smooth motion throughout the entire time, despite facing wind, dust and dirt.

igus bearings can easily endure dirt and flies that are hitting the car while driving, whereas apparently the headlights cannot. The workshop told us that one of our headlights is not working anymore. A broken headlight is only a minor damage which won’t interrupt the tour at all. While the car underwent modification in the workshop, I took the opportunity to explore the huge city.

Although Tokyo is really modern, it still has some old buildings. For instance, the main station, which is in the centre of the financial district. Although, these older buildings do not fit in being surrounded by really modern architecture.

 

Also a leftover of the “old” town is the Tokyo tower, which was the highest building until the opening of the Skytree.

A fantastic view upon a nearby temple adds to the many characteristics of the city.

 

The last obstacle was the long lasting registration process of the car. Apparently, it was confusing that I wrote my street name with the German letter “ß” and in another document, with “ss” (which means the same). Somehow, we could clarify that both addresses were the same. In the end, we got the driving permission and could start our exploration of Japan and plan to leave Tokyo on Thursday, after the press conference.

 

I will keep you guys updated,

Yours Sascha

Welcome to the land of the rising sun- Tokyo

We arrived in the most popular metropolis on earth, Tokyo. About thirty six million people are living and working here. Just to get a feeling for the dimensions, imagine more than half of the British population living in a city that is 4,5 times larger than London.

Although we were able to get iglidur® through customs easily, obtaining the driving permission proved to be more complex.

The anticipated start date for the tour was set to the 28th. However, before we were allowed to travel through the land of the rising sun, it was required for us to obtain countless numbers of documents. For instance, we needed a “parking certificate” for Tokyo (everyone who wants to register a car must bring prove of an existing parking space. This is one measure of Tokyo´s government to reduce traffic in this mega city). Not only dozens of documents are required but also a modification process of the car (For example, the headlight must be changed to left side driving). Another essential element was to pass the inspection and exhaust gas test. After this we were then able to receive driving permission. In the time between modification and inspection, the car featured as part of our booth in an automotive exhibition.
Thus, the fist thing I had seen of Tokyo, were well organized state offices, including the German embassy whom had to verify my identity for the Japanese driving license.

Tokyo gave off the first impression of being a very clean and organised city, with a dirt free pristine clean city centre. In the metro stations, that to add are also extremely clean, each train stops perfectly on time at the same place (you wait at the point saying door 5 and you can be absolutely sure of door 5 opening at exactly the point you are standing). The extreme organisation is most likely due to the complexity and volume of people in the city, it is essential that areas such as transport run smoothly. A famous example that highlights the extreme population of Tokyo is the street in front of Shibuya station. Thousands of people cross the main road and streets on a daily basis.

Tokyo could be said to be quite diverse: on the one hand Tokyo is very modern, yet on the other hand it has a very old and traditional sight too. An example for the modern site is Akihabara district, the “electronic city” of Tokyo. Here you find dozens of anime and electronic shops.

Only a few districts further, is the old and traditional part of Tokyo where the streets are very narrow and full of traditional houses.

The core of this district features a big temple.

Here you can experience the two sights of Tokyo, as in the background of the old temple you can see modern houses and the futuristic Skytree.

With a height of 634 meters, the Skytree overlooks everything, which comes with the territory of being the tallest tower in the world following Shanghai tower as the second largest building worldwide.

A colleague invited me to participate in the annual Sanja Matsuri, a traditional religious festival (Buddhism).

The Sanja Matsuri features about one hundred mikoshi (portable shrines) in which gods are symbolically placed into and paraded about the streets to bring good fortune to the local businesses and residents.

I had the honour to carry one of these shrines, although they were incredibly heavy.

As the day went on, I started to understand that the ceremony I was participating in was an extremely important ritual for the locals. A Japanese visitor told me that it is a great honour for every Japanese to participate in this event and that he unfortunately has never had the chance.

I will keep you up to date,

Yours Sascha.

Video of the Week – Press fitting iglidur plain bearings made easy

Expanding on the range to press smaller bearings into place

For more information on igus bearings: http://bit.ly/1nBjNSC

Polymer specialist igus has developed a simple to use press fitting tool for plain bearings. This updated and improved version of the original press fit tool PT-1350, which is designed to be used for bearings with an internal diameter of 13 to 50mm, is to now include the smaller PT-0620 which is suitable for fitting bearings with an internal diameter of 6 to 20 mm.

Both fitting tools ensure that bearings are pressed into the housing within the H7 tolerance. They are easily adjustable ensuring that the bearing is held in position during fitting.

The self-centring positioning fingers ensure that the bearings are accurately aligned before being pushed into place. Being made from high-impact strength polymer means the push-in aid will not break, even when fitting the bearing with an impact tool while reducing noise, thus meeting the needs of those customers who require quiet operation.

Last days in Taiwan

The leg of the trip within Taiwan has unfortunately come to an end an it’s time for us to move onto the next part of our adventure. For two weeks we have been exploring the whole island, driving more than 2700km. One aspect, other than the beautiful scenery, that stands out is the outstanding volume of scooters on the road. They literally rule the street. igus® helps increase the lifetime of the most popular transport vehicle in Taiwan. AEON, a well-known scooter manufacturer, relies on igus® for both the suspension at the front and the back and for the throttle valve.

The smooth motion of the throttle valve is ensured by two iglidur® bearings. They not only withstand extreme weather conditions such as in this case the hot environment without any problems, but are also light in weight and cost effective. This results in them being a perfect alternative to conventional, heavy metal bearings. iglidur® bearings in throttle valves are becoming increasingly common for use within scooters as well as the automotive industry in general. Similarly, the ‘iglidur® on tour’ car has been relying on two iglidur® bearings in the throttle valve for more than 150000 km so far, driving through heavy tropical rain in Taiwan, incredible heat in the desert and cold in the mountains. A definite cert for an all round material.

iglidur® plain bearings within the suspension help dampen the force that occurs whilst hitting a bump. If the force is too high, the suspension changes its angle to suit this. On the picture below our bearings are not visible as they are located internally. The bearings, that are guiding the suspension, are facing high edge loads and fast strokes. They have been doing this for many years without any problems.

It doesn’t matter what the environmental conditions are, it could be pouring down with rain, scooters are still on the road in their great quantities. Although, without any question, it is best to ride the scooters when it is sunny. As you become closer to Kentig in the South, the more you can see the sun. While driving along the coast and chasing the sun, more and more rice fields appear.

The south of Taiwan is a number one choice for holiday destination for the Taiwanese and also Chinese.

Beautiful beaches can be found at ease, however the main issues is the popularity of those mean getting a space to sit and relax could end up being slightly slim.

Kaohsiung is the major port city in the South. As iglidur® is universally applicable, you can also find us in boats (such as our drylin® linear guides in boat interior (tables etc.)). Thus, we also had a booth at the famous boat show that was held for three days in the brand new exhibition hall.

Coincidentally, the last day of the boat show was mothers day and to get iglidur involved within this theme, you could write an iglidur® on tour postcard to your mum, an offer which even the mayor of the city was making use of.

Not only did we visit customers on our trip, but also two kindergartens. The teacher read and heard about an orange car that is travelling around the world. Drumming up excitement within the school, the children asked if iglidur could pay them a visit. More than 130 children between the ages 3-6 welcomed us with a special dance performance when we entered their playground.

Fully loaded with self-made balloons, our car arrived at the office in Taichung.

We had an incredible two weeks. Yet now the time has come to say goodbye and move onto the next leg of our journey: Japan.

As usual, I will keep you up to date with the latest on our tour,

 

yours Sascha

 

Video Of The Week – igubal is everywhere!

Fits Multiple Applications From Extremely Diverse Areas

Take a look at applications where igubal has been used here: http://bit.ly/1kLGLUv

igubal, from polymer expert igus, is a versatile, light weight and corrosion free pivoting bearing material that is pivoting a great fit for multiple applications, from textile to automotive industries.

Video Of The Week - igubal is everywhere!

Thanks to its wear-resistant properties, igubal is ideal for applications such as food machines and linear systems, while its great resistance to dirt makes this state-of-the-art polymer material suitable for conveyor belts, road sweepers and stone processing.

Packaging machines and animatronic attractions are some of the many other applications that igus igubal can successfully fit thanks to its unique vibration dampening characteristics.

Self-lubricating and corrosion-free, igubal parts also help adjustment mechanisms move quietly and glide smoothly, as well as lifting platforms and mobile cranes- to mention a few possible applications.

To find out more about igus igubal’s multiple applications, please watch this video: www.igus.co.uk/igubalAllRoundApplication

For more information on igus products and to request free product samples, please contact igus on 01604 677240. For regular updates, follow us on www.twitter.com/igusUK, watch our videos at www.igus.co.uk/youtube and connect with us at www.igus.co.uk/facebook.