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

 

With igus® to a greater height

Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan, is well-known worldwide for its magnificent skyscraper: The Taipeh 101, which has been the tallest building in the world for six years that is until the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010.

The 101 floors of the building, that comprise to give the building its name, reach a height of about 500 meters. No one would dare to trade the fastest elevator in the world for the stairs that total to over 2000. (The lift takes 40 seconds from ground level to the 89th floor). No one except Görge Heimann. Görge Heimann belongs to a sports elite who avoid elevators not due to claustrophobic reasons, yet due to the passion of running stairs. The teacher from cologne, has been participating in so called Tower-running for many years.
A jury measures the time for each runner that is running up a building. Görge is one of the fastest and therefore belongs to the top ten worldwide. This time he runs under the flag of igus®, while challenging his colleagues in the elite run of the Tower-running World Cup Grand Prix in Tapei. Two that belong to the world elite, each seeking for perfection, found together.

It took him only 12:46 minutes to run up the 2046 stairs (in comparison, the Cologne Cathedral has only 533 steps). The following picture was taken in the Tower-running Grand Prix in Las Vegas:

He followed the Australian Mark Bourne (10:54), who won Gold, on rank six.

While Görge needs a break once he arrives at the top of the buildings, igus® products can work day and night continuously without a break. No professional tower runner takes the same way down. To get down safely they rely on the elevator. igus® bearings not only ensure the smooth motion of elevator doors, but igus® e-chains also protect the cables that ensure the power supply.

For instance: The elevator cables hanging under this elevator car (Bonn, Germany) were exposed to constant air draughts caused by a forced-air system for the smoke alarm installation and this resulted in undesirable lateral motion. The combination of an igus® E2/000 E-Chain® and a sheet-metal duct now provides the necessary stability for the energy supply system.

Although Görges time was really limited due to his flight back the same evening, he didn’t want to leave Taipei without sitting in our iglidur® on tour car. While Görge tests his limits by climbing stairs, the car is doing the same by driving 100000 kilometres around the world instead.

Taiwan a paradise for mountain bikers

Taiwan has an incredible diversity in nature and stunning landscapes, such as the huge mountains that are dividing the island. You can find many hiking and bicycle trails that are turning Taiwan into a paradise for mountain-bikers. Some of these trails are very steep, next to slopes, slippy etc., just very dangerous. If the bike fails, this can have fatal consequences for the health of the biker. igus® improves the performance of your bike so that you can rely on your bike and are able to concentrate on the trail that is ahead.

 

You can find igus® everywhere in your bike, from the brake to the pedals to the hub. Big bike manufacturers such as GIANT, SRAM and APRO TECH have been associated with igus® for many years. If you ask them about advantages, all will stress the light weight properties of igus® plain bearings and that they are self-lubricating. APRO Tech, a Taiwanese based manufacturer, have been using iglidur® for more than five years in their suspension fork. They see the smooth running and long life of igus® bearings as a point that makes us standing out of the mass.

 

You can find iglidur® in suspensions in all kind of bikes, often in the best and most expensive ones. For example, mountain-biker Sabine Spitz (Beijing 2008 Olympic gold medallist), relied on igus® bearings in a sensitive suspension fork. Our plain bearings are used to face repeated shocks and very high edge loads (for more information, check: http://www.dpaonthenet.net/article/56139/Mountain-bike-suspension-poses-extreme-test-for-bearings.aspx).

SRAM, an American based company, is manufacturing a wide range of bike components. In most components they rely on igus® plastic bearings. The Asian headquarter is located in Taichung. There we met one of the leading engineers who has been associated with igus® for many years and expressed how she really appreciates the good support and reliability of the local igus® sales team.

Driving through Taiwan is not only an adventure by bike but also by car. A must-drive road is the one that is leading through Taroko National Park passing the most famous canyon of the island. Before you reach the canyon, you pass the divine tree that is presumed to be about three thousand years old.

 

From the divine tree, it takes about one hour through an ocean of trees before you arrive in the valley that marks the entrance to the canyon. During the drive through the canyon, you see many small temples digging their way through the stone.

 

From the divine tree, it takes about one hour through an ocean of trees before you arrive in the valley that marks the entrance to the canyon. During the drive through the canyon, you see many small temples digging their way through the stone.

 

Once we have left the canyon the weather turned quite bad. While the West is partially protected by the mountains, the East is facing all the storms from the sea. Here, our car was facing heavy wind and tropical rain. Bad for us, no problem for the water proven iglidur® bearings. We are currently on the way south. While doing this we were passing a famous cave.

 

 Unfortunately, you cannot go by car but only by climbing stairs.

 

I felt a little anxious, when my colleague suddenly drew my attention to a snake that was beneath the stair on which I was standing only a few minutes after we had passed a sign warning visitors of poisoned snakes.

Okay, that is all from me today. I will write you guys once we have reached the South.

Yours Sascha

Sun Moon Lake

Finally, the car arrived in Taichung, not only the third largest city (about 2,6 million citizens) but the home of igus® Taiwan Ltd.

From Taichung, we start to explore the entire island, a very green island with a sub-tropical and tropical climate. This goes hand in hand with an extraordinary high humidity that at this moment, the atmosphere is at a humidity of 80%.
Despite the small size (about 58 times smaller than the adjacent country China), the island offers a high variety of landscapes. We plan to drive to drive a mountain road terrain up to more than 3000 meters, to visit National Parks, tropical beaches and stunning waterfalls. While doing this, we will meet many of our customers from a wide range of industries.

The last days were determined by organizing the immediate tour and by freeing iglidur® from Taiwanese bureaucracy.

Although we spent most of the time dealing with this issue, I did however get the chance to discover parts of Taichung. The night markets in Taiwan are definitely not to be missed!

Within these night markets, a high variety of food shops, that are offering well known Asian food as well as specialties such as a cake made out of rice and pig blood (not my favourite food but better than I had initially thought) line the pavements invitig you to try traditional dishes.

As the first of May is also a bank holiday in Taiwan, we decided to take a trip to the sun moon lake; the biggest lake in Taiwan and a famous tourist attraction (in particular for visitors from the neighbouring country).

The name of the lake comes from that the east side resembles a sun while the west side resembles a moon. The bright colour in the water and the moon-like shape of the lake in general combined to make quite an eye-catching collaboration.

Already the way to the lake is eye-catching. As soon as you leave Taichung, everything turns completely green and becomes hilly. Due to the lake being situated in the centre of Taiwan, you come close to the green mountains that divide the island.

After a short half an hour drive, the impression and general feeling if being in the middle of the rainforest was already prominent.

A sign warning visitors of poisoned snakes and huge “killer” bees, only reinforced this feeling of being within the rainforest.

People that are living in the forest, predominantly know three ways to create income: Either they harvest the betel palms that are everywhere along the streets, they pick Bambus or they live out of the trade with black tea.

 

A black tea field near Sun Moon Lake

What really surprised me was that, despite the impression of being far away from every kind of civilization, suddenly a magnificent temple appeared out of nowhere.

The Kong Ming temple dates back to 1901. The temple has the largest image of Kong Ming, who was a well-known leader and became famous with the title of best strategist of his time.

I’m really excited to explore more of the island. I will keep you up to date and show you more of beautiful Taiwan soon.

 

yours Sascha