Friday, October 26, 2012

Top Five Twitter Posts: Pack Expo, Molecule Measuring and the Joy of Making Things

Packaging and processing are on our minds as we prep for the big Pack Expo trade show in Chicago next week. Our sales, executive and engineering team will be there in full force with thousands of other suppliers and buyers in the industry. We know it will be a crazy-busy week, which we excitedly anticipate. Keep up with all the chatter by following the #PackExpo hashtag on Twitter ... and be sure to follow us at @BWCnews for pics, posts and other updates live from Chicago!

Credit: Pack Expo
1. It's Showtime for Pack Expo 2012 via PMMI: A couple days from now, the big Pack Expo show kicks off at the McCormick Convention Center in downtown Chicago, where tens of thousands of folks in the packaging-processing industry will stream through to witness the latest innovations in machinery, process and material in the packaging sector. PMMI is keeping up a blog about the show, which we've linked to here. Check back for updates on each day of the event. Of course, you could also check this blog, too, since we'll be wandering around the 1.1 million-square-foot show space next week. There are bound to be tons of pictures!

2. Measuring Molecules with the Naked Eye on Product Design & Development: Evidently, liver cancer causes a slight change in a person's bloodstream, upping the density of a specific molecule by 10 parts per billion, according to PD&D magazine. That tiny difference is tough to notice without state-of-the-art lab equipment. But a new technology created by a professor at Brigham Young University could change that. His "lab on a chip" shows low concentrations of the molecule in question, making it much easier to diagnose the disease. Incredible work!

3. LoPro® Linear Actuators on We asked you on Twitter to name one of our linear guides that come with the actuation options of AT series belt, ANSI roller chain, lead screw and ball screw — LoPro! These actuation linear motion systems are based on our DualVee linear bearings, the building blocks for a wide range of our guided motion products. LoPro units are also available in non-actuated versions. They're durable, tough, cost-effective, low profile and low friction — you get why we call it the "LoPro" now don't you? Click the link to download CAD files free of charge.

4. Linear Guides Help Paramedics Do Their Jobs Quickly, Safely on We were pretty happy to pick up a November copy of Design World and find a story printed about a customer of ours who used one of our linear guides to build a patient handling system for ambulances. In this story, we spotlight the effort of Ray Crawford to help mitigate the problem of handling heavy patients in emergency situations. How did he manage? Click through to read about his novel solution to a growing problem in U.S. emergency response.

5. Introducing Kids to the Joy of 'Making Stuff' on Manufacturing Executive: A factory tour isn't enough to get kids hooked on the joy of manufacturing. To do that, you have to give them something more hands-on, a project of their very own. "The reason is that a predisposition to manufacturing usually comes from the childhood experience of 'making stuff,'" Everette Phillips writes in this column. "And, unfortunately, 'making stuff' has slowly disappeared from school curricula over the past few decades. There are even kindergarten classes and preschools where 'making stuff' has been removed from the day-to-day activities of students." So how to we reintroduce the joy of manufacturing to the next generation? It's a key issue — and the future's at stake. BWC founder Bud Wisecarver started tinkering around with manufacturing at a very early age, building go-carts and other gizmos before he was even a teenager. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this issue! Tell us in the comment box!