Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Application Feature: Motorized Two Axis Gantry Vacuum System

Bishop-Wisecarver Group Engineering Team (left to right): 
Azhar Khaderi, Garrett Diulio, Ben Domingo, Naasik Akkas


A company in the Food & Beverage Industry needed to add a vacuum tray cleaner to an existing piece of equipment for their post-production cleaning process. This vacuum tray cleaner needed to integrate with the customer’s operations software and meet physical constraints.


In this application, a motorized linear actuator needed to move a vacuum cleaner up and down, left to right, to remove any residue left on the tray.


Bishop-Wisecarver Group (BWG) subsidiary, WRW Engineering, designed and built a motorized, X-Z gantry system along with the electrical interface to be installed in the customer’s existing equipment.  When the interface sensed that the tray was moved into the “clean” position the Z axis actuator lowered the vacuum system down to tray level.  The vacuum was activated and the X axis actuator moved the vacuum across the surface of the tray to be cleaned.  Once the tray was cleaned, the vacuum was raised back to the ready position and the tray returned into the production sequence.


With the help of our WRWengineering team’s  expertise, they were able to design and build a custom motorized gantry system that consisted of  two axes. They used multiple Bishop-Wisecarver product lines, LoPro and DLS actuators as a solution.


Got another application you'd like to share with us? We're all ears! Email your linear and/or curvinlinear motion application story to and it might just get featured here on our blog!

Monday, July 14, 2014

5 Ways to Fundraise for Your FIRST® Team (or any school program!)

Being sponsored by a big name corporation like Apple, Google or Boeing can be an awesome achievement for your FIRST team, but sponsorships like these are difficult to obtain. Unless you know someone within the company who can point you to the right people, you may get the run around which can waste your time and cause unnecessary frustration. While persistence is key, what happens when you still can’t through to these companies? You may be asking yourself are sponsorships the only way to raise money for my team?

The simple answer is no. There are other ways to raise money for your school program besides fishing for well-known companies. Here are 5 ways to fundraise for your FIRST team:
  1. Research Crowdsourcing Opportunities: You can crowdsource through various websites like crowdtilt or kickstarter. These websites were created to help collect, fundraise or pool money. It’s easy to start these webpages and you can easily share these through social channels like Facebook, Twitter and email. While there is a small fee that you have to pay to the websites, which usually is 2.5-5% of the funds raised, the physical work required to raise money is minimal.
  2. Host an Event: Whether it’s a carwash, talent show, dance show; the sky is the limit on what type of event you want to host to raise money! Invite your family, friends and neighbors to attend, reminding them that the proceeds are to help your school program. You can also maximize the funds collected by selling water, snacks and other goodies at your event!  
  3. Coordinate an Electronic Recycling Drive: There are recycling facilities that are willing to buy your e-waste. Invite your community to donate their electronics to your school. Not only are you funding your program but you’re helping out the earth!
  4. Partner with Local Companies: Eat for a cause. Team up with your local restaurant that can host a fundraising event on your school program’s behalf. Some chain restaurants that offer school fundraising opportunities are: Panda Express, Chipotle, Chili’s and more!
  5. Have a Garage Sale: Ask family and friends to donate goods they no longer need or want. In-kind donations (physical items) are just as good as monetary donations!

Lastly, don’t lose hope or give up on your fundraising efforts. It’s not an easy task especially if it’s your first time! What successful fundraising ideas are you using to raise money? Please share by commenting below!

Bishop-Wisecarver Group (BWG) embraces and promotes initiatives focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).  These programs are vital for increasing the vibrancy of the American economy and our industrial manufacturing base. Organizations such as FIRST help to bridge the gap between education and the business world by engaging participants in hands-on learning challenges. BWG provides consistent and increasing support of FIRST since 2007 through support of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), and we are proud to continue our support of FIRST future seasons!

If you're interested in being sponsored by Bishop-Wisecarver, please check out our corporate sponsorship page!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Four Keys that Every High School and College Graduate Needs to Know for a Successful Job Interview

It’s that time of year where students are throwing their caps in the air as they celebrate their graduation.  Although there is so much joy found in graduations, it can be a scary time for graduates as they prepare to interview for their first job or internship. In today’s competitive job market, job seekers are expected to possess the knowledge, skills and relevant job experiences that will set them apart from other applicants.  It is also very important to have a great interview to land the job or internship.
Here are 4 tips every High School and College Graduate Needs to Know for a Successful Job Interview:

1) Research the Company

Before you go on a job interview, it’s important to find out as much as you can about that company. By doing this research, it will help you prepare to answer interview questions and to ask the interviewer questions.  Also, research the location of the company and where you will be having the interview. Map the route you will take to get to the interview ahead of time and keep in mind any traffic or construction that you may encounter that can affect your travel time.

2) Dress for Success

Make a lasting first impression. Don’t wait until the last minute to make sure your interview clothes are ready.  Dress accordingly in business attire; make sure it fits well, looks professional and is wrinkle free.

3) Practice Interviewing

Take the time to practice answering interview questions that may be asked during a job interview. Ask a friend or family member to perform a mock interview so you can framework your responses. By doing so, you avoid scrambling for an answer during the interview.

4) Say Thank you

Follow up your job interview with a thank you note reiterating your interest in the position. Consider this thank you letter as another form of letting your interviewer know your interest in the job and how you will make a significant contribution.

You are sure to have a successful interview if you follow these four tips. Good Luck!

Bishop-Wisecarver Group (BWG) is an advocate of partnering with and supporting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education, non-profits and their community, which in turn, helps them become a better company. Last month, BWG was involved in several local career preparation events in the San Francisco East Bay Area to help students prepare for job interviews:

Laney College Manufacturing Career Fair - Oakland, CA

Pittsburg Chamber Interview Project – Pittsburg, CA

Junior Achievement Job Shadow – Pittsburg, CA
Bishop-Wisecarver also offers internships in Engineering. Please fill out an application for more information about the  Bishop-Wisecarver internship program.   

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Influencing STEM Education in Africa

A once in a lifetime experience of Bishop-Wisecarver sponsored candidate Janelle Jolley

Bishop-Wisecarver Group (BWG), a woman-owned family of WBENC certified companies that strive to support students, women, and programs related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, recently has sponsored Janelle Jolley on a 2 week tour to influence STEM in Africa.  Take a look at Janelle’s journey to promote women empowerment and STEM education.

In an act of camaraderie and collaboration, a group of female change-makers across technology and the social impact space embarked on a two week innovation excursion across Africa. The uplifting journey promoting women’s empowerment and global entrepreneurship granted the women and other distinguished guests the opportunity to meet with fellow entrepreneurs, attend pitch parties and government meetings, enjoy cultural excursions, and connect with innovators across Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. Bishop-Wisecarver was involved by being a sponsor of Janelle Jolley, a trip nominee and attendee.
Janelle Jolley is the CEO and Founder of Sidewalk District, a social enterprise connecting local independent retailers with their consumers through an eCommerce marketplace in order to increase their impact on hyper local economic development. She has a background in journalism and public policy, but eventually found her way to technology. Her passion for local independent retailers and their ability to spur economic development in communities across America is what led her to pursue the Sidewalk District platform.

One of Jolley’s biggest takeaways from her experience in Africa was the opportunities for technology/IT solutions across all sectors that are endless throughout the continent. Africa is ripe for disruptive technological solutions as well as technological solutions which make entire business sectors more efficient and modern.

Jolley also discovered that just as in the more modern West, the pipeline for STEM & technologists needs to be diversified throughout Africa. More women and people of color in Africa need to be made aware of and trained in STEM so that they are the driving forces of the change and wealth creation happening throughout the continent.

Lastly, iHub, Nariobi’s innovation hub for the technology community, has built the most impressive startup ecosystem she has have ever seen anywhere in the world. Jolley has never seen as comprehensive an approach to an end to end, integrated organization for startups ever in her life. There is literally anything that anyone would ever need to build and grow a successful company at iHub.

Jolley’s overall experience was a wonderful and educational experience. With her efforts and the efforts of all STEM influencers, there are hopes to increase the awareness of STEM education for women, minorities and youth across all continents.

Check out some of the photos below captured from her trip:


The group's first full day in Lagos, Nigeria. This morning, group attendees Claire and Yasmin are outside of the hotel waiting on transportation recapping some of the opportunities for business which they identified in Accra, Ghana which was the first stop on the expedition.

Hassan and Caleb at the headquarters of one of Nigeria's biggest tilapia farms. Saheed Olakunle is the owner of the headquarters and founder of the Nigerian Tilapia Association. He is a STEM success story and applied his knowledge and training in aquaculture to make Nigeria one of the biggest players on the global scene for farm raised tilapia.

DeShawn Jenkins of the Africa to Atlanta initiative at Georgia Tech and Sandra Hirschberg of GirlTank sitting and discussing the ecosystem being developed at Co-Creation Hub in Lagos with Femi Longe, their Director of Programs.

Monday, March 10, 2014

“Make Mistakes, Learn From Them and Move Forward”

Q&A with FIRST Team 3470 President Logan Dorsey

Bishop-Wisecarver, a Diamond Supplier of the FIRST® Robotics Competition, is committed to inspiring future innovators and supporting Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics (STEM) by sponsoring three local teams in Northern California. In this blog, we are proud to feature President Logan Dorsey of Heritage High School Robotics FRC Team 3470, The Patriots, located in Brentwood, California.

A senior at Heritage High School, Logan has participated in his school’s robotics program since his freshman year.  As if this wasn’t impressive enough, Logan has interned at Google in the video production department, and currently works on side projects that involve programming and building robots. He aspires to attend Yale this fall to study computer science.

Logan, without a doubt, has the talent to be a future innovator in his field of expertise. Learn what he had to say about what it takes to be the President of a FIRST robotics team.

Question:  We understand that the FIRST program has a lot to offer. What do you think about the program and what skills have you gained from it?

LD: I think it’s a great and rewarding program. I have been a part of the robotics team for four years and I’ve gained a lot of skills that I can apply to both school and home. To name a few, I have learned to manage my time, be patient and maintain a good worth ethic. I’ve even gained the skill set to open my own software company.

Question: What challenges have you run into as President of Heritage FRC Team 3470?

LD: When I was appointed as President, I didn’t realize how challenging the position would be. I was the team’s software engineer before taking this leadership role, so I had no idea where to start. Thankfully, I had the guidance from our coach/mentor Mr. Pardi. He’s taught me the importance of team work, how to manage a small team and coordinate the many processes that needs to come together to building a robot. Mr. Pardi has encouraged my own personal growth as well as our team’s that we had him nominated for the FIRST Compass Award, which recognizes his outstanding guidance and support. We were ecstatic that he won!

Question: As much challenges your team has run into, what would you say your team’s greatest accomplishments are this season?

LD:  With scheduled restrictions and commitments it has been very hard to get the team together, however, we’ve taken long strides since we started this season. We’ve improved our building process from building one part of the robot at a time to dedicating different members of the team to sections of the robot. We’ve change an important mechanism of our robot in three weeks and we placed 14th out of 36 teams at the Northern California FTC Championship on February 22nd in Newark, CA.
Question: With this being your last year, what would be your advice to your teammates?

LD: Make mistakes, learn from them and move forward.