Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ALR Aluminum Rings Are Ideal For Light Load Applications

These HepcoMotion® ALR Aluminum Rings offered exclusively through Bishop-Wisecarver are perfect for light loads since they weigh 54 percent less than similar-sized steel rings. These cost-effective rings are anodized to make them corrosion resistant. ALR comes in four sizes, from 148mm to 300mm in diameter and work with our signature DualVee® polymer guide wheels! Ring options include gearcut, timing pulley and internal vee. They're great for non-magnetic, aerospace, semi-conductor, vending and commercial uses.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bowling Robots, Science-Savvy Students and Fierce Competition: Must be FIRST Season, and We're Very Excited!

Our linear motion components are building blocks used by more than just mechanical engineers in the work force! Future engineers use our products too!

We've donated products to be used in the 2012 FIRST competition, making us corporate "Diamond Sponsors" of an organization created by renowned inventor Dean Kamen that is laying the foundation for students to pursue careers in science and technology. We think that's pretty cool!

We are also excited to be separately sponsoring high school teams from both FRC (large robots) and FTC (small robots) competitions — a company tradition since 2007. The photo on the right shows California High School students working on their robot before the 2010 FRC competition. As part of the design, UtiliTrak, a compact linear guide using DualVee Motion Technology, was used to move parts of the robot back and fourth. Exciting stuff!

[ For a little background, here's a column Bishop-Wisecarver President Pamela Kan wrote about FIRST last year for Product Design and Development ]

What's FIRST all about? FIRST regionals take place every year across the country between participating high schools in both FRC and FTC competitions — thousands of teams compete in games with autonomous or remote-controlled robots, and the games are fierce and fun! Winning teams then move on up to the national championships for the big winning title.

The idea is to make science, technology, engineering and math (or STEM, as we say) exciting for kids. If you've ever been to a FIRST event, then you've seen that vision realized. We love seeing the focus, involvement, passion and creativity students display when preparing and competing in these things.

We haven't announced which teams we are sponsoring just yet, but we get to meet the students and teachers from one of these teams later this week. Watch out for our video and blog posts to follow. Exciting! In the meantime, we've been reading up on this season's competition, and it looks pretty intense! The championship takes place in the spring, but students have already started designing, building and programming their robots. A lot of time, effort and thought go into perfecting the designs and tweaking the robot.

One of the FTC team advisers we spoke to said his students are figuring out how to optimize their robots for the theme (each year students are faced with a new theme). The name of the FTC game has been announced, and this time around it's called "Bowled Over". The goal? Get your robot to move racquet balls into crates and then stacking those crates for extra points. Sounds like a challenge, but we're sure our teams are up for it! Ready to rock 'n bowl?!

The larger robotic competition, FRC, will be announced on Jan. 7 next year from a NASA-televised event in Manchester, New Hampshire. This 2012 kickoff will mark the beginning of the design and build season for students all over the country. Good luck to all teams! May the "FRC" be with you.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Top 10 Twitter Posts — Thanksgiving Edition

Well, Thanksgiving wasted no time getting here! Like a lot of you, we've wrapped up our work week a couple days early. But that doesn't mean we'll end it without our regular top tweets post! We're creatures of habit. Thankfully, there's a ton of Turkey Day convo buzzing through our Twitter feeds. Here's a sampling of the chatter, which you can add to by following us on Twitter @BWCnews (but you should know that by now) ...

Credit: Jason Willome
1. Grow the Mo! via legions of tweeps: OK, so we kept seeing the #Movember and #GotheMo hashtags pop up on Twitter, but didn't check what it meant until this week. It's actually pretty cool — a bunch of dudes grow their mustache for the entire month to raise awareness for men's health issues, like prostate cancer and depression. [ Here's a site for the U.S. "Mo"-vement, in which "mo" is short for mustache ]

2. Fab Tech a Huge Success on We can certainly attest to that! This link popped up in our news feed and we had to share it because it's a cool little wrap-up of videos, photos, news and other highlights from this year's massive metal industry trade show. Awesome experience!

3. 2012's Megatrends in Manufacturing Contest on A little extra cash is something to be thankful for — and here's one way to earn some! Just log in there to start a discussion on the Manufacturing Exec. forum about what you think will be the biggest manufacturing mega-trend of the coming year. Sign up, get your social circle involved in the discussion and you may just win a $150 prize. Sounds like a good deal to us!

4. The Best Way to Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance via @ForkLiftSystems: At Bishop-Wisecarver, we're grateful to work for a second-generation family-owned company. This article offers some good advice about how business owners can maintain a healthy work-life balance by getting family involved, whether it's bringing them on business trips or asking for their advice on your successes and mistakes. Interesting read — what do you think about the author's suggestions?

Credit: Libby's
5. BPA Studies Throw a Wet Blanked on Thanksgiving Tradition on the Todd McPhetridge Manufacturing Daily: Apparently, there's some debate about the accuracy of recent studies saying that there's toxic BPA epoxy resin in canned food like Libby's pumpkin pie filling. This article says the toxicity was overblown and that the chemicals found in those food cans actually protect us from deadly pathogens like E.Coli. Hope that doesn't put a damper on your Turkey Day spirit!

6. Chevrolet's Century on the New Yorker: We bet the folks at Chevy are thankful for the press in this very prestigious magazine, one of the first places the manufacturer actually advertised! Looks like the car maker celebrated 100 years in business this month — the actual date was Nov. 3. The New Yorker pulled some vintage Chevy ads for a slideshow retrospective in honor of the century anniversary. Pretty cool slice of American manufacturing history!

7. Manufacturing Issues Heat Up the Campaign Trail via Our presidential election is about a year out, but manufacturing and trade policy are key issues right now for the GOP presidential candidates. Some candidates have taken pretty strong stances on the topic — read this Politico article for more on that. It'll be interesting to see how the debate shapes up in the coming months!

Credit: On Orbit Watch
8. Interview with an Astronaut via One of our Twitter followers, Chartered Mechanical Engineer and author Dr. Lucy Rogers, tweeted about an old photo of her that keeps popping up online and linked to this article. Well, we know she was just commenting on the snapshot, but we couldn't help but read this entire interview with her where she talks about space junk — good stuff! And if you'd like to follow her, too, find her at @DrLucyRogers.

9. Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos or "Einstein — Give the Guy a Break!" via @UnknownSymmetry: Self-described "armchair particle physicist, sometime rocket scientist [and] educator of young minds" Charles Simpson is new to the Twitterverse (welcome, by the way!). At the behest of Dr. Lucy, we're now one of his new followers so we spotted this link to his blog where he muses on the implications of neutrinos reportedly traveling faster than the speed of light. What does this mean for Einstein's elegant equation, he asks? Good question!

Credit: Bob Brittain
10. Wild Turkey — No, We're Not Talking About the Bourbon on @BWCnews: Did you know we actually have a family of wild turkeys around the Bishop-Wisecarver facility here? And they're no small birds either! On that note, Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here! See you on the other side of this weekend!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Our Weekly List of Top 10 Twitter Posts — Week 46

Wow, time flew crazy fast this week thanks to the flurry of excitement at Fab Tech! Good times. Before heading into the weekend, we'd like to share some noteworthy tweets culled from our very robust Twitter feed @BWCnews and the Bishop-Wisecarver Daily curated newsletter. If you don't follow us now, why not? Give us a shot... all the cool kids are doing it.

1. Robots Creating Jobs for Humans via the Bishop-Wisecarver Daily: Robots entered the industrial world to relieve people of repetitive tasks — they do actions quicker and more accurately than humanly possible. Because of their ability to outshine us, people used to worry that they'd put folks out of work. Well, that myth's been repeatedly busted. This study, for example, shows that industrial robots will actually add millions of jobs in the near future for a variety of industries including plastics, pharmaceutical, packaging, food and beverage and automotive because they reduce costs and improve efficiency for manufacturers. That cost-saving and improved productivity is bound to have a ripple effect, so that's good news for every industry!

2. A Pocket Chainsaw? via Product Design & Development: Sock this Think Geek gadget away as a holiday gift idea for that guy or gal on the go. We're talkin' 28 inches of heat-treated steel you can use to cut stuff like firewood or, uh, sandwiches.

3. High Unemployment and Few Qualified Candidates? It's a Teachable Moment via Industry Week: It's a question bandied about in news stories and among manufacturing executives — how can the national jobless rate teeter that close to the double digits yet so many manufacturing positions remain unfilled? This article says the discrepancy underscores the importance of reinforcing science, math and technology in elementary school education to prevent a second generation of skills shortage. Very informative read!

4. What Happens When You Crack an Egg Underwater? on YouTube: Probably something you'd never type into a search engine, but now that you're curious, check out this quick little video of some underwater egg-cracking. Kind of cool how it floats off like some bright yellow jellyfish!

Mo taking a lunch break after a busy day at Fab Tech.
5. Mo's Adventures at Fab Tech on Storify: People! Have you met Mo, the latest powerhouse addition to the Bishop-Wisecarver team? He's our go-to guide wheel when we need some direction, like help navigating the maze that was Fab Tech this week. Since we had so much fun getting our move on with Mo, we memorialized it in this photographic timeline. Cute, isn't he?

6. The 100 Best Innovations of the Year according to Popular Science: The future is now, you guys, and this list confirms it. This article highlights some of the most incredible technological and engineering feats of 2011, from the world's longest train tunnel to the U.S. military's fully autonomous drones. Amazing stuff!

7. Science Ink: A Taxonomy of Tattoos Inspired by Science also on Popular Science: A cool mash-up of art and science here! Check out this photo gallery of science-inspired body art, from an inked-on rendering of the brain's neural network to the makeup of a luvic acid molecule. Very interesting!

Metallic microlattice/Credit: Dan Little
8. World's Lightest Material Developed posted on This metal formed from a teeny tiny lattice of hollow tubes is incredibly resilient because of its lightness. This new material "redefines the limits of lightweight," the article reads. It'll be interesting to see what uses lie in store for it!

9. Why Manufacturers Need Flex Time on BWC President Pamela Kan makes the case for allowing California manufacturers to offer flex time to their employees. What's your take on the issue? And what does your state say about allowing flex time?

10. Sustaining Lean? Stay Thirsty, My Friends via the Bishop-Wisecarver Daily: Interesting post on how companies can stay motivated to improve efficiency. It's important to keep setting new goals, understand that you work with people not Energizer Bunnies and regularly audit the way employees manage their time. Your thoughts?

Application Spotlight: Pick 'n Place Robots

Our linear motion guides and systems are building blocks for a countless number of application types — probably more than we even can even imagine! To demonstrate that versatility, we occasionally spotlight specific product applications. Got an application story you are proud of that you'd like to share with us? Tell us and it may turn into another lil' featurette here!

PICK 'N PLACE GANTRY: A fundamental function of robotics is to take over repetitive tasks, ideally freeing up people for more thoughtful work. Modern industrial robotics arose from that need soon after the first personal computers hit the consumer market in the 1960s. "Pick and place" is one of these repetitive tasks we programmed robots to do for us — a process of moving items from once place to another over long periods of time that was too exhausting for any one person.

For a fascinating bit of history on the origins of robots — even why they're called a "robot" — check out this website! Just [ click here ] to learn more.

Pick and place systems aren't always driven by motors and electronics. Again, using linear motion guides and slides similar to our GV3 product line, a mechanical designer can also create a manual system for an operator to use that still combines two of the simplest robotic features: a gripper to secure an object and a linear slide to move it somewhere else. These designs provide users with an ergonomic alternative, reducing exposure to physical strain.

From automated to manual processes, pick and place systems provide companies in many industries the ability to increase productivity and improve quality.

Credit: Jelene Morris
WHERE TO FIND IT: Since that back-and-forth pick-and-place motion system is a basic concept today, a better question is where won't you find it? Think about the last time you watched "How It's Made" on the Discovery Channel or "How Stuff Works" online ... chances are you caught a glimpse of one of these robots placing and packing food into boxes. Or go to the shipyards and you'll see a giant case-in-point in the form of a crane moving massive shipping containers. Even your local grocery store probably houses one of those impossible-to-win carnival crane machines! Ever win a prize from one of those things? I sure haven't!

Anyway, just a quick tour of our own facility brings us face to face with several examples of pick and place processes, including a ceiling-mounted X-Y gantry we use to lift our crates onto big ol' semis. What's an X-Y gantry? It's basically an H-shaped setup allowing for side to side movement in four directions. You will also see X-Y-Z gantries that include up and down movement like this one using our [ UtiliTrak linear guides ].

We saw countless more demonstrated at the Fab Tech Expo this week in various machines used for cutting, milling and welding. We wonder how a gantry system will be used in the future. What creative applications come to your mind?

How about pick and place pancake stacking?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Other Ways to Mount the DualVee Guide Wheel

TODAY'S TOPIC: More DualVee mounting options.

In a recent blog post, we touched on a few basic ways to mount DualVee guide wheels [ click here in case you missed it ]. But there's more! We turned to our Project Engineer Brian Burke to tell us about some other possibilities. Here's our takeaway from that chat.

JOURNAL mounting comes in handy for adjusting wheel positions from behind an obstruction, like a plate or machine part. Because journals are sturdy and durable, some customers prefer to use them even when standard and low-profile bushings would do the trick. Burke sketched this example of both eccentric and concentric offset mountings to illustrate what he's talking about:

HEPCO BLIND HOLE FIXING TYPE mounting allows you to fasten onto a solid machine base where you can't mount through holes or where the mounting plate is just too thick. Basically, for when you can't get to the wheel side of the installation to adjust the eccentric offset, to put it in Burke's words. 

The blind hole fixed mounting type is the preferred solution when it's required to adjust the eccentricity from the front, or wheel side of the installation and when access to the opposite side is restricted. It comes in fixed concentric type or adjustable eccentric — for more on that, [ go to page 29 in our GV3 catalog ].

And there to your right, we have another one of Burke's lovely drawings! We might need to frame this bit of original artwork!

This blind hole-type mounting can be utilized in numerous applications such as gantries and wide platform sliders with heavy duty load requirements or covered tamper-proof carriages or slides fixed to tubular frames. For more examples, flip to [ pages 8 thru 13 ] of the GV3 catalog.

The best mounting option depends on the application — maybe you found a novel way to assemble our products. Our application engineers frequently encounter unique and innovative solutions. What's your story?

Linear Guide Wheels in Action for Pipe Cutting at FabTech!

Didn't take long cruising the floor at the FabTech Expo this week with our linear guide wheel tour guide named 'Mo' to find our products in action! The massive metal industry trade event features hundreds of vendors, many of them showcasing their newest technologies for the first time, and we found DualVee guide wheels and track in quite a few pipe-cutting machines on display. How cool!

[ We're one of about 1,200 FabTech vendors, by the way. Check us out at booth #5133 if you're here ]

These DualVee-guided machines use vee bearings and track parts to guide air cylinders up 'n down and back 'n forth, as well as to horizontally line up varying lengths of pipe to cut. In some cases, these machines need our ring and journal components to adjust the cutting head used to bevel angles in the pipe. Naturally, manufacturers who create this kind of machine need long-lasting components that withstand harsh conditions. Hey, that's our specialty! We wonder what other applications we'll see this week at FabTech ... it's our own little game of "I Spy!"

Ultra High Pressured Waterjet Cutters on Show at the FabTech Expo

Cutting difficult materials like armor plate, glass, granite and marble with a waterjet system can get messy. Even soft materials like aluminum, plastic, copper and brass. Check out this photograph taken on the floor of FabTech from a manufacturer of waterjet cutting systems using our DualVee linear guide wheels. These large machines are designed for heavy duty precision and rigidity to keep up with the demands of high productivity, so it's imperative that the linear motion system used can handle the exposure to moisture and debris. Learn more about the process of waterjet cutting on [ Wikipedia ]

The history is quite interesting too. According to Wikipedia, a forestry engineer named Norman Franz was the first to experiment with a form of what we know today as waterjet cutting back in the 50s. Franz used this process to cut lumber, yet, the technology was rough. Over time, abrasives were added to the water, later leading to the development of very high pressured waterjets and abrasive waterjets. These machines were implemented in the industrial scene as preferred methods with cutting, drilling, milling and even automation in a variety of industries such as aerospace, robotics, defense and automotive applications.

Waterjet cutters are even used in the food industry for cutting poultry, vegetables, frozen meals and even your favorite pastries. Oo, maybe even candy bars? Yum! The uses seem endless, and many professionals can benefit from the use of a good waterjet cutting system. Even artists! Think about the imaginative works you see on the streets of San Francisco or Chicago. Artists are often commissioned to make art made out of glass and metal.

In addition to their precision, practicality and affordability, waterjet systems are considered a green technology because they use natural elements — water and abrasives — so there's no hazardous waste cleanup.

What have you created or produced using a waterjet cutting system? Is this your preferred method or is there something else on the market that's even better?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Dispatches From FabTech — We'll Be Here All Week!

Day one of the FabTech Expo in Chicago and we're thrilled to be here! This is the largest metal industry event in North America — literally tens of thousands of attendees are expected to come through the McCormick Place convention center throughout the week to check out the 1,200 vendors.

[ Click here for a recent blog we posted about the event ] Luckily, we've got a friendly little tour guide/sidekick to help us navigate the maze of booths. Everyone, meet Mo (he's got style):

If you're at FabTech this week, come visit us at booth #5133 to check our cool demos, pick up some Ghiradelli chocolate squares and WD-40 pens or chat it up with one of our engineers. We'd love to meet you!

[ Oh, and don't forget to check in on FourSquare once you reach our booth! ] 

FABTECH runs through Thursday, so we'll post more photos and news from the floor all week. We're also Twitter-happy, so don't miss our live tweets @BWCnews! The official hashtag, for all you tweeps out there, is #fabtechexpo, although we also saw a lot of folks using just #fabtech. Follow those threads to converse with us and keep up with Mo's adventures at FABTECH ... he's on a roll!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Our Weekly List of Top 10 Twitter Posts — Week 45

So much going on this week! Last-minute preparations for the FABTECH EXPO, planning for the new year and staying abreast of all the news and views bubbling up in the Twitterverse. There's always something to share — so here's our weekly list of attention-grabbing tidbits we found through Twitter. [ On that note, you should totally follow us @BWCnews ]

1. When an Engineer Writes ... on This one had us in stitches! It's a play on the detail-obsessed engineer stereotype. Click through to find out what would happen if you told an engineer to re-write this sentence: "I went to the grocery store to buy some bread, a case of Mountain Dew and a copy of Swimsuit Nerds."

Credit: EPA via
2. A New Island Emerges via the Daily Mail: We loved these photos of magma bubbling up by the Canary Islands. The Daily Mail reports that the molten lava has been spewing up to the sea's surface for days, attracting onlookers who don't mind braving the overpowering smell of sulphur. Check out the video at the end of the article to see it in action!

3. Sweeter Bud Light on Chem Info News: The Associated Press reports that American brewing company Anheuser-Busch plans to release a sweeter, more alcoholic version of its popular light beer. Um, not so sure about this chemistry experiment. What about you?

4. Hovercraft Ferry Service? in the Contra Costa Times: We had to read this story because it involves our local transit agency. We're based in California's Bay Area, where transportation officials are considering using air-cushioned hovercrafts to carry passengers back and forth between a few waterfront cities and San Francisco. The appeal of hovercrafts? They're potentially more fuel-efficient and can travel along shallower waters — even onto the beach!

Credit: Baseline
5. What's Your Worst Excuse for Missing Work? on Baseline Mag: Would you tell your boss that you can't come in to work because a deer bit you? Or that a fridge fell on top of you? Or that you drank antifreeze by mistake? Well, according to this little slideshow, those are some actual excuses people used to play hooky. But maybe some were true ...

6. The Original Beard Hat found on OK, OK, we're in California so the temperatures don't drop too low — to us, anything below 40 degrees Fahrenheit borders on unbearable. As we close in on the winter months, this quirky lil' knit cap looks more and more attractive.

7. CNC Mentor an open source CNC community: A Twitter friend of ours — @CopperDropDsgn — tipped us off to this online forum for folks interested in CNC (those are computer-controlled machines, like ones used to etch out dog tags or sculpt ice). It's a pretty cool website! Plus, the founder says he uses our products a lot — good to hear! Thanks, Jason!

Credit: Yahoo News
8. Living Below the Earth's Surface on the Bishop-Wisecarver Daily: Would you live below ground? Or work in an office without any windows to the outside? These renderings of below-ground "earthscrapers" — the skyscraper's antithesis — circulated around the internet this week. It's an interesting idea and perhaps a solution for some of the more crowded corners of the planet. What do you think: Cool idea or an architect's pipe dream?

9. Are Shop Owners Born or Made? on the Bishop-Wisecarver Daily: What type of person leaves the corporate machining world to create their own shop? This columnist delves through his own anecdotal experience to talk about the various reasons and personalities that lead someone to become an independent machine shop owner. Some interesting thoughts here!

10. Our YouTube Channel's Taking Off! on the Bishop-Wisecarver Daily: Now for a little shameless self-promotion, for good reason. Our YouTube channel ticked up past the 120,000-view mark this week! This makes us super excited about all the videos we plan to share in the coming year ...

New Network, New Opportunities

Credit: PMMI
We've got some great news to end the week with, here at Bishop-Wisecarver! We are one of 22 companies voted in this week as members of the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute. Excellent!

We're honored by the inclusion and look forward to using this [ membership ] to connect with leaders, customers and partners in the industry.

Our PMMI peers include more than 600 U.S. and Canadian companies that make packaging, processing and related machinery and components — looks like BWC is the only new member specializing in guide wheels and guided motion technologies!

PMMI is the trade association that hosts PACK EXPO in Las Vegas, Chicago and Mexico City. By the way, we'll be at the one in  [ Chicago ] next year!

“I’m excited to welcome all of our new members to PMMI, and share all that we have to offer with these 22 companies ... this might be one of the best overall years for membership I can remember,” PMMI President Charles D. Yuska said in an online statement.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Application Spotlight: Lights, Camera, Action!

Our products are simplistic, but their application usage is complex with imagination. To give you a glimpse of the possibilities, we like to periodically feature some of those uses here on our blog. Hopefully you will be inspired to share your own creative application stories with us!

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: Videographers who need to capture smooth, steady shots often use mechanically guided remote-controlled cameras. You'll find a similar set-up in theaters, where stage lights and props coast along ceiling-mounted guides.

That's where the HepcoMotion GV3 fits the (play)bill! This highly accurate, low-friction linear slide absorbs vibration — perfect for filming precision footage in an intense scene or aiming a spotlight center stage just as your main character reveals a climatic truth to the audience.

We've got an FAQ section on our site dedicated to just this particular line of linear guidance and transmission system components [ Click here to read all about GV3 ]

So, next time you nab a backstage pass somewhere, turn your gaze upward — you may spot a smooth-sliding GV3 overhead. That's the power of linear motion done well!

While browsing the 'net, we found this video clip about an entire museum in Israel dedicated to the history of stage lighting. Apparently during the Renaissance period stage hands would place candles behind tinted glass to create colored lighting. From torches and candles to fancy sliders, linear guides and mechanical rigging, this art has come a long way!

Pretty cool, right? End scene.

Monday, November 7, 2011

What are the Mounting Options for DualVee Linear Guide Wheels?

TODAY'S TOPIC: Mounting DualVee guide wheels.

We sat down with Mechanical Design Engineer Leslie Lui to discuss the various ways DualVee can be mounted to an application. Over cappuccinos fixed up by our very own marketing department (we're baristas, too) we broke this topic down to a few key points.

At first glance, the typical mounting options for DualVee guide wheels are straightforward. Leslie pointed us to [ page 22 ] of the DualVee catalog for reference (you can also visit our digital copy of the DualVee catalog here).

INBOARD mounting is when the guide wheels are placed on the outer edges of a track plate with the vee-edge tracks fitted into the vee-groove. For example:

OUTBOARD mounting also fits the vee-track into the guide wheel groove but instead of the wheels being on the outer edge of the track plate, the vee-tracks fit the outer edge of the wheels. This setup puts the wheels inside the aligned vee tracks. Like so:

EXTERIOR mounting involves an entirely different track. These tracks have a groove of their own so the outer edge of the DualVee fits in the track valley, creating a diamond-shaped space between track and wheel. Here's what it looks like:

All of these mountings are created using bushings (standard or low profile) and journals available in both concentric and eccentric versions. This allows for the best possible adjustment for each application. Our application engineers recommend that wheel plate assemblies be constructed with concentric bushings on one side of the plate and eccentric bushings on the opposing side.

But that's just the basics of guide wheel mounting. At Bishop-Wisecarver, we're always looking for out-of-the-box applications. Our imaginations get hungry for something different!

One of our customers doesn't use a track plate at all, Leslie said, instead they use DualVee wheels as guides for wire feeds. Another customer mounted size-0 DualVee guide wheels onto a circular tensioner to wrap paper around transformers. His creative application won one of our video contests — check out the video from last year.

DualVee has also been used for applying a moving load in a press application (pictured below) — no guide tracks needed! Instead, the wheels are being used to apply pressure against a matching 90 degree edge. Now that's different!

Those are just a few examples, but we know more are out there! Our application engineers talk to you every day, and it's always fascinating to us to hear about these unique designs.

Tell us how you reinvented the wheel, so to speak ... or at least reinvented how the wheel is being used. Comment here or email us and we'll feature your feedback on our blog! We will talk to BWC's Project Engineer Brian Burke this week about your feedback and will feature the story in another edition of "Coffee Chat."

*Click on the photo to enlarge* Leslie sketched out for us the various ways a DualVee linear guide wheel can be mounted. You can see in his drawing the different mounting types: "Integral, Swaged and Journal Assemblies," "Integral Bushing” and "Standard” for concentric only, eccentric only and both.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Our Weekly List of Top 10 Twitter Posts — Week 44

Really, is it November already? First Friday of the month's here and with it our first top 10 tweets of the week update. This is a collection of notable articles, photos, videos and other stuff we found through the Twitterverse this week. If you don't follow us on Twitter, you're missing out! Talk to us via @BWCnews — we'd love to hear from you!

Credit: Food in Canada/Canadian MFG
1. Scientists Give Meat a Jolt on the Bishop-Wisecarver Daily: Caffeinated beef jerky? Yup, it's a new superfood the U.S. government wants to feed soldiers to supply quick energy and protein. Wonder if they'll start selling 'em at gas stations soon — sounds more marketable than a Slim Jim!

2. The Real Cost of Commuting via How much money do you spend driving to and from work? We stumbled upon this sticker-shock-inducing infographic, which illustrates the actual price some of us pay to get to work. Sure makes bicycling seem more attractive ...

Credit: New York Times
3. Blue-Ribbon Ideas Emerge at SEMA on the New York Times automotive blog: The annual Specialty Equipment Marketing Association is a huge deal for car lovers, tech geeks and mechanical engineers of all stripes. Our company president, Pamela Kan, was there, perusing the event's state-of-the-art car displays and networking with some of our customers. Check out the NYT's coverage, including a rundown of some award-winning innovations that debuted at the Las Vegas expo.

4. American Picker on Product Design & Development: Who knew old billboard vinyl works as a waterproof tarp? Or that defunct street-sweepers make for great livestock scratchers? I know that last one sounds pretty odd, but those are a couple examples of how some folks creatively reincarnated old junk. There's an entire website dedicated to putting throwaway industrial scraps into the hands of folks who can find another use for it. "It's not recycling, it's repurposing," reads this article. Pretty cool, huh?

5. 10 Roads to the End of the Earth on Popular Mechanics: It's strange to imagine that in a day of GPS navigation, information overload and geographic accessibility that there exist roads too remote for all but a few drivers. This photo essay shows the most isolated corridors, scattered around the farthest or highest reaches of our planet. Awesome visuals here.

Credit: Popular Mechanics
6. A Gecko-Inspired Robot via Discovery News: Geckos are unique for their ability to adhere to a surface on a microscopic level, without hooks or suction cups or any of the trappings we'd need to, let's say, scale a skyscraper. Well, some Canadian researchers found a way to mimic that gecko-grip and apply it to the tracks of a robotic tank. Check out this video to see the gecko-bot in action!

7. Robot Helps the Paralyzed Walk in It's incredible that we live in a day when this exists — a fix for the wheelchair-bound. Toyota announced this week that it plans to release this healthcare robot to consumers in a few years. Click through the link to see a photo of one in action!

8. Slinky: Imitated but Never Duplicated on CNN Money: Did you know that every slinky in the world comes from the same place? Follow that link to find out where ...

Credit: NASA
9 . Ancient White Stars image from NASA: Astronomers released this stellar photo (pun intended) earlier this week. It's a snapshot of some of the oldest burned-out stars in our galaxy. Incredible!

Up, Up and Away ... on Product Design & Development: We loved these photos of some dude in a lawn chair hooked up to 150 helium balloons drifting up into the sky. It's like that Pixar movie "Up" but on a smaller scale. Love it!