igus donates to the Gosset Ward

Matthew Aldridge, igus UK Managing Director, with the Mayor and some of his congregation at The Guildhall (Northampton) charity morning.

igus donates to the Gosset Ward

Click here for more images from the event itself

iglidur outside The Guildhall

Presentation inside included Matthew Aldridge, The Mayor of Northampton and Dr Nick Barnes (The ward paediatrician).

Typically British tea and cake were served.

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

 

Video of the Week – igus expands its xiros polymer ball bearing range

New products for a wider range of applications

 

For more xiros information visit the igus website on: http://bit.ly/1piTaVI

Bearings specialist igus expands its xiros range to meet the requirements of a wide range of industries. Also available are versions manufactured from hazardous-free materials for the food industry which ensures that no harmful substances come into contact with any of the product, whilst bearings made with detectable materials are created so that they can be quickly found in the event of a system failure.

Video of the Week – igus expands its xiros polymer ball bearing range

igus’ xirodur cages are cost effective, and ensure the balls within the bearing are optimally spaced to maximise quiet operation, in addition they can have FDA conformance where required to ensure further versatility.

The new axial polymer caster bearings, developed for use in conveyor systems, enables higher loads to be processed whilst reducing the risk of external damage to delicate products being transferred.

Goodbye Japan

During the last three weeks, we explored some of the major parts of Japan. We drove about 1300 kilometres south until we reached Mount Aso, the largest active volcano of Japan. From there, we made our way 1700 kilometres north again. If you add this to the daily driving, then you come to a total number of about 5200 kilometres. Our bearings endured this distance as easily as they did the previous 17000 kilometres.
Whilst driving north, we passed the Miyagi prefecture. Miyagi is north of Tokio and hit the headlines in 2011, when the Tsunami damaged large parts of the coast. Ishinomaki was one of the cities that suffered near the sea shore, about 80% of the buildings got destroyed.

The sign marks the height of the 2011 Tsunami wave

A lot of work has been done within the last three years with all rubble being removed and new building being erected.


The sign shows that this house can stand a possible Tsunami. In an emergency case, people can climb up the roof

Life goes on. At the first glance you can’t tell that this city grew out of ashes again. However, if you know about the tragedy, then you can still see some leftovers of the Tsunami with huge parts of the former urban land still abandoned and some of the remaining houses derelict.

As some citizens never turned back, neither did some employers. Many facilities that got destroyed were never built up again (or at least not in the city). Some people not only lost their homes but also their work. Some of them are still living in temporary houses that are often too small to provide sufficient privacy.
The Hatachi fund is one of the foundations that are helping in particular children with the aftermath of the disaster. Hatachi means in Japanese “twenty-years-old”. They accompany children until they are twenty years and therefore officially adult. Hatachi serves as an umbrella for a various kind of foundations. Each is specialized on a certain aspect of aid. One of them is the “Chance for Children foundation” (CFC), which focuses on education.

igus Japan will support their work with one euro for each driven kilometre.

The money will be used, for instance, for study rooms where children can learn, play and get help with their homework. Also, they give out an “education-voucher”. The children use this voucher as a method of payment. A wide range of institutions such as cramming schools, sport clubs, music schools, museums etc. accept the voucher. They change it later with CFC to actual money.

This section of the tour has come to an end. I want to use the chance to say “adigato gozaimasu” to my Japanese colleagues, who were showing me great hospitality and support. It was a great tour.

We are on the way to Tokyo. From there the car will departure to the other site of the world. The next time I will write to you will be from Brazil.

Yours Sascha.

 

 

 

Driving North

We are still driving north. Soon, we will reach our most northern destination Sendai.

On our way we passed Fukushima, where the Tsunami of 2011 hit a nuclear plant. It is well known that this resulted in the meltdown of three of the plant’s six nuclear reactors. The clean up is still in motion and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. As the radiation is very high in the proximity of the reactor, robots are replacing humans wherever possible. One model of a robot, that is in use to remove rubble, uses our triflex® R chain. triflex® R ensures the energy supply by guiding and protecting the cables. triflex® R are three-dimensional cable carriers for robots of which not only offer multi-dimensional movements but are also very easy to assemble, in particular in combination with the tensioning device (triflex® RS).

triflex® RS is a very compact universal module that is mounted on fastening points available on the robot. Thanks to the low installation height and the triflex® R chain guide parallel to the robotic arm, applications with extremely low installation space can also be realized.

Heading north led us mainly along the coast.

At one point we reached the grave of the first Shogun of the Edo period (Kunozan Toshogu).

He established the Tokugawa clan that had been ruling Japan from 1600-1868. The Shogun (literally “military commander”) was the leader of the Samurai and technically appointed by the emperor. Although the emperor in Kyoto was still the legitimate ruler of Japan, the Shogun controlled Japan. Thus, de facto, they ruled the country. People who worship the shogun sometimes donate something to the grave or shrine respectively. For instance, one company donated these barrels full of Sake (famous Japanese rice wine).

Another one donated plastic figures that are manufactured in the region.

Further north, we visited the national symbol of Japan, the famous Mount Fuji. Mount Fuji is with 3776 meters the highest mountain in Japan.

The altitude is not so special, but rather that the volcano (last eruption 1707) is standing completely alone making the mounting look huge.

The mountain has been added to the world heritage list in 2013 and has also been selected as a “cultural” heritage site rather than a “natural” heritage site. As per UNESCO, Mount Fuji has not only inspired artists and poets but also been an object of pilgrimage for centuries. Unfortunately, we could not spare time to take the car up the mountain although our bearings would not have been fazed having to face snow and cold. They are used to harsher environments.

One of our customers with the iglidur® on tour flag

Alternatively, we visited the nearby lake Kawaguchi.

The tour in Japan is already coming to an end. In the course of the week the car will leave the land of the rising sun to take the long way to Brazil.

I keep you up to date,

Yours Sascha.

Fire and Ashes

When you travel thousands of kilometres, it is important that the seat is robust and comfortable. iglidur® bearings enable the driver to maintain a comfortable sitting position. Worldwide, manufacturers are using igus products to improve their seating in vehicles.

A seat manufacturer from Japan, who makes use of iglidur®

Seating manufacturers make use of iglidur® in several elements including seat height adjustments, backrest angle adjustments, crash-active headrest and adjustment motors.

 

iglidur® bearings are convincing with smooth motion. We make use of iglidur® for the seat in our car too. Our bearings help adjusting the seat without making any noise.

Although it can be said to be dependant on the weight of the person, the bearings must endure a high static load. With 100N/mm² iglidur® bearings could even carry the heaviest sumo wrestler. However, the quality of being able to carry a heavy weight does not compromise on the weight of the bearing itself; they remain light (about seven times lighter than conventional metal bearings). They are a cost-effective and reliable bearing solution for any kind of seat.

Japan comprises of four large islands, of which includes the mainland with Tokyo and Hiroshima. From Hiroshima we travelled right to the southern island Kyushu.

Kyushu is the third largest island, famous for its numerous hot springs. Pillars of white steam can be seen everywhere. Hot springs seem frequent, whilst we were in Taiwan, one of our bearings we immersed in boiling hot spring water for more than one hour, the result; the bearing was no different to before it went in! The clouds you can see in the background are not those of the usual kind, yet from hot springs in the mountains.

The unique geography of Japan (being situated at the edges of three tectonic plates), encourages the high percentage of springs. Here, the Pacific Plate, Philippine Plate and the Eurasian Plate are meeting, resulting in Japan not only a centre for hot springs, but also to one of tsunamis and active volcanoes. As our bearings can easily endure high heat (For instance: iglidur X is suitable for temperatures of +250 °C (long-time) and up to +315 °C (short-time), we took the car to Mount Aso; not only the largest active volcano in Japan, yet one of the contenders among the largest in the world. As the soil near a volcano is very fertile, the surrounding is very green.

Already from far away, while passing the lowland below the volcano, you can see the pillar of smoke.

The last eruption of Mount Aso was in 2011.

An eruption at our visit would have been surely more dangerous for us than our bearings. They are all dirt and heat resistant.

From Mount Aso, we travelled North again where we passed a chain of small islands near the mainland.

From there, we drove straight about 800 kilometres to the coastal city Nagoya.

In Japan, we have already coveredabout 3000 kilometres.

I will keep you up to date,

yours Sascha.

Video of the Week – iglidur on tour – Our Journey So Far

 


A car with plastic bearings travels the world to celebrate 30 years of iglidur

To celebrate 30 years of iglidur materials, polymer specialist igus has retrofitted a car with iglidur bearings which is currently travelling around the world. The iglidur bearings have replaced bearings in applications such as the windscreen wipers, brake pedal pivot point and throttle valves, thus demonstrating the durable and robust nature of the iglidur materials. The self-lubricating iglidur bearings provide a more efficient solution for car designers looking for dirt and chemical resistant bearings that operate more quietly than their metallic counterparts. Whilst reducing weight and eliminating the need for maintenance.

The iglidur car has nearly completed the first leg of its tour, travelling through India, China, Taiwan and Japan visiting customers and spreading the ‘plastic for longer life’ ethos, and of course, doing a bit of sightseeing! Through its already vast journey, iglidur has proven its reliability by travelling in some harsh environments, from dirt tracks to wet and humid locations throughout.