Friday, December 23, 2011

Top Tweets of the Week — Holiday Edition, Last of the Year!

Omigosh, we're closing in on our holiday break and\ won't be back until next year! Since we're out of the office this coming week, we expanded this holiday tweets-of-the-week edition to top 15. Consider it our gift to you. You're welcome. And another "you're welcome" is in order if you join the other 2,000-plus other followers keeping tabs on all our tweets @BWCnews. Happy holidays, friends! See you on the other side!

1. A Different Kind of Christmas Story on The BWC Prez posted this hopeful little blog in time for the holidays. Her hope? That 2012 turns into a banner year for manufacturing. And that kids in U.S. schools hear the message that there's a bright future in engineering, machine shop work and anything else related to math, science and technology. Cheers to that!

2. 'Catvertising' — the Future of Marketing? on Youtube: What goes viral faster than a mention on Tosh.0? Almost without fail, it's funny cat videos. Our furry purr buckets are just inherently hilarious. Here's a link to some faux marketing company in Canada that claims to have opened an entire division dedicated to creating cat advertising vids. This video itself actually went viral a while ago. Case in point, eh?
3. The World is Coming to an End — Blame Twitter via Find out how the microblogging giant is killing the world, one tweet at a time. Yipes! If that's true, then we've certainly done our fair share of damage ...

4. A Year in Manufacturing in 40 Links or Less on the Bishop-Wisecarver Daily: The folks at Pennsylvania-based cutlery manufacturers York Saw and Knife Company posted this year-in-review blog on their site this week. It's a great month-by-month breakdown of manufacturing news and views in 2011. Good content, you guys!

5. What Does $40 Mean to You? on The #40dollars Twitter campaign blew up the web this week, demonstrating the raw power of social media. It's one of several examples this year of regular folks gaining national attention using free info-sharing platforms. The idea behind this one is to spark feedback from people on what $40 means to them — the equivalent of the weekly cost per person if the powers that be allow a tax cut to expire. The answers ranged from the frivolous ("For #40dollars from 962 of my friends, we can afford a single ticket to an Obama fundraiser") to the heartbreaking ("#40dollars is the cost of my monthly blood test to make sure my #Crohns meds aren't making me sick"). What does $40 mean to you?

6. San Bernardino County Makes the Case for Manufacturing on The Sun newspaper: With the number of jobs in the sector opening up and an oft-reported skills shortage, it's encouraging to see this California county encouraging people to get into manufacturing. It's a wonder more people aren't interested in skilled machine shop and manufacturing work considering the average yearly salary starts at $73,000. That's incentive enough!

7. Aerial Photos of Airports via It's prettier than it sounds, you guys! Some of these shots actually look like abstract paintings.

8. Morphology, a Clay-Morphing Test on Vimeo: Ooh how cool is this video to watch? It's a crazy claymation video that has no plot but it's a treat to look at.

9. Macy's Shares the Secret Sauce for Creating Loyal Customers tweeted by @peekan: We got a lot our of this article about how the national retailer engages customers to keep them coming back time after time. Even though we're not in the retail/service business, a lot of the same truths apply.

10. What Was the Word of the Year? on a SF Chron blog: If you could sum of the year in a word or quick phrase, what would you say? Occupy? Tsunami? The 99 percent? It's interesting to see what others voted. Tell us your word of 2011 in the comments below for a chance to win a WD-40 pen!

11. Heavy Metal is Back — The Best City for Manufacturing on Any guess on the prime spot for the industry? It's Houston, according to this article, which based its findings on the growth rate of what they're calling the "heavy metal" industry in specific cities. The runners-up: Dallas and Oklahoma City. Interesting!

Credit: Time Magazine
12. A Brief History of the Ugly Christmas Sweater shared by Time Magazine: Just in time for Christmas, a very informative background story on the ubiquitous holiday trend. They used to be in style, maybe, but the horrendously ugly holiday garments have been resurrected — ironically this time for ugly sweater holiday parties. We had a little contest of our own at the office earlier this month. Nice to know we upheld a longstanding tradition!

13. Another Earth-Sized Planet Found via the Bishop-Wisecarver Daily: Cool! Astronomers found two earth-sized planets orbiting the same star. Definitely another milestone for NASA's Kepler mission, if only to prove that our solar system isn't unique.

14. Cleaning Up Air Pollution with Glue on BBC News: Yup, it sounds fantastical but it's a real solution London's considering. If the mayor OK's the plan, the city would spray an adhesive calcium solution into the air in the dead of night to make particulate pollution stick to the roads. It's drawing some criticism, but maybe it'd help keep smog in check. We'll see how it pans out!

15. Hack Your Productivity on Fast Company: "A time management geek's 10-minute solution" explains how you, too, can have the most productive week ever. The secret involves mapping out strategies and goals on a regular basis. It's cool to see what worked for this author — can't wait to try it out for our 2012 goals!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Celebrating Innovation, Entrepreneurs and Living the American Dream — Contest Awards $25,000 to Winner

We were geeked to read that in the spirit of out-of-the-box ingenuity, [ Design World ] and a small business advocacy group recently awarded a generous chunk of cash to a few inventors through a "Live Your Dream" contest that addressed an important topic on all of our minds during these tough economic times ... Is innovation alive and well? YES! Check out the winners:

We've got a soft spot for innovation, so this tugs on our heart strings. Since its inception, Bishop-Wisecarver has upheld two fundamental themes: Motion and innovation. Each of our products exist because it was an answer to some unmet need in the industrial space, like our signature double-vee linear guide wheel. This product line came to life because a customer came to us with some failing packaging machinery. How could this machine's moving parts operate in harsh environments without clogging? This led to the solution that we later dubbed DualVee Motion Technology®. When you work with your customers hands-on, you discover these types of problems. And it's creativity that breeds these cutting-edge solutions. That's what problem solvers do — like our founder Bud Wisecarver. Engineers are think tanks. So are artists and scientists. And entrepreneurs.

We spoke with BWC President [ Pamela Kan ] about the contest since she grew up with an inventor, her father, Bud. She told us it's important to encourage innovation and help innovators market their ideas. Efforts like the "Live Your Dream" contest go a long way in adding value to the marketplace, she added As a second-generation owner of her father's company, Kan grew up understanding the value of inventiveness.

"I didn't realize at first how different my family was," said Kan. "I didn't think about how other dads may not just fix things around the house or build stuff from scratch. I was fortunate that way."


Kan's father taught the importance of finding your unique ability and perfecting it, she said. It's a way of being that's touted by many life coaches, including Dan Sullivan, founder of [ Strategic Coach ]. It seems counter intuitive — to bolster your strengths instead of devoting a bunch of time and energy to fix your weaknesses — but it puts you in a place where you're more likely to get paid for what you love to do.

"You're more likely to be successful if you're doing something you're really passionate about," said Kan, a member of Strategic Coach for more than six years. "You work harder if you care about what you're doing."

That's how her dad, who turns 84 in January, can still show up to work regularly without being tempted to officially retire, she said. To him, inventing stuff is a hobby. A way of life. As long as he's allowed to do that, he's more than happy to pass off the company's leadership role to his daughter, whose strengths lie in management and marketing.

"I have to think about how to market innovation," Kan said. "My dad created such a simple, elegant product [ Dualvee ] — he provided that foundation. Now my challenge is how do I multiply that out."


Not every inventor gets the support — moral or financial — to turn their ideas into a sustainable business the way the Wisecarver family did. A lot of creators have these unique problem-solving strengths but can't gain enough marketing momentum needed for take off. That's why it's so cool Design World and the Council of Smaller Enterprises gave $40,000 to these inventors — it could be the hand up that changes their world forever and hopefully give them the drive to keep on creating.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice — Check Out This Podcast

Damian Harris
Such a pleasant surprise on the internet today! We discovered some flattering words on Twitter about us by Australian power transmission blogger Damian Harris. Read what he had to say about our savvy social media ways in his latest podcast:
Of all manufacturers using social media, Bishop-Wisecarver does one of the better jobs of engaging with its community. The Pittsburg, CA, manufacturer of linear motion guide wheels is all over Twitter with close to 6,000 tweets, has an active YouTube channel and, of course, actually has a Facebook page. I wouldn't call linear motion guide wheels the sexiest technology to be in, yet these guys do a fantastic job that I'm sure creates more in sales than it costs per annum.
This comes on the heels of an episode that mentioned BWC President Pamela Kan regarding her membership of the Power Transmission Distributors Association Board of Directors and how the industry is generally male-dominated. Interesting stuff. Thanks, Damian, [ @ozptpodcast ] for the shout-out! And if you have a second, readers, check out the blog at

Friday, December 16, 2011

Our Weekly List of Top 10 Twitter Posts — Week 50

Got all your holiday shopping in the bag? Yeah, neither do we. But you've got one more weekend before the big holiday of the year! In the meantime, keep yourself entertained and informed during this final week of pre-holiday goodness by following us on Twitter @BWCnews.

Credit: Fast Company
1. Suit Simulates the Effects of Aging on Ever wonder what it feels like to be 70 years old (if you aren't already)? Well some researchers at MIT have created what they're calling an "empathy builder," a suit that limits mobility, vision and speed the same way aging does. Talk about walking a mile in someone else's shoes ...

2. The Graily Dind via @GrailyDind: We're workaholics but still chuckled at these slacker tweets filed under a Spoonerism'd handle. It's an entire Twitter feed dedicated to jokes, quips, quotes and other tidbits about life as a working stiff. Whether you love your job or not, there's a gem in here for everyone. Our faves? Some of the cheesier jokes: "What did the papa buffalo say to his son before leaving for work? 'Bison.'" Or "Any tool, when dropped, will always fall to the least accessible corner." Teehee!

3. Inspiring the Next Generation of Female Engineers on How do we encourage young women to pursue manufacturing degrees and careers? Professor Cristina Amon, a Dean of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto, has made it her mission to inspire her young counterparts to stick with science. She gives a good interview here — and it's interesting to see how she moved from one accomplishment to the next.

4. What's Santa's Carbon Footprint? on Is Santa a carbon-glutton? According to this fancy infographic, the old man inflicts more than his fair share of environmental damage. Instead of leaving lumps of coal, for one thing, the guy could leave some form of alternative energy like a mini wind turbine pinwheel, the graph suggests. Jeez, Santa, who's the naughty one now?

5. Engineer's Motion Control Library on Where do you find some of the latest white papers on motion control systems? Right here in one convenient spot thanks to this blogger. They update this online library several times a year. We'll definitely keep checking back!

6. Promoting 'Rage-Free' Packaging on Some retail giants are putting the heat on manufacturers to come up with more user-friendly packaging, especially in time for the holiday shopping season. Sounds like a fine idea to us — 'cause seriously, how many times have you had to whip out a pair of scissors to open up a blister-packed pair of new ones?

7. Top 12 Hot Design Technologies for 2012 on Wonder what's about to blow up in the coming year, design-wise? Well here's a cool little preview of some of the latest technological trends you'll start seeing pop up in the headlines in coming months, from wireless sensor networks to cell phones doubling as electronic wallets to new applications for super-strong-and-conductive graphene. Exciting stuff!

8. How Cheap WiFi Can Help Dissidents Evade Censorship on Wired Magazine: A government grant-funded project to create a wireless network that anyone can tap into has moved its testing grounds to the Occupy DC encampments. The idea is to give protesters around the world their own wireless network that oppressive government regimes can't censor or tap into. Will it work out?

9. The $300 House on the Bishop-Wisecarver Daily: Here's another brilliant idea that could help the less fortunate — designing a super-cheap home for the otherwise homeless. The folks behind are asking thinkers and creators to help them refine the idea. We hope it works out — and we'll keep tabs on the idea as it evolves!

10. Wacky Office Supplies on It's almost Christmas, so a bunch of us here at the "Bee-Dub-Cee" are perusing the offerings in Think Geek's office supply section. Should make for an interesting post-holiday work week with all those crazy "cube warfare" prank gifts on the loose! Should we be nervous?

Supporting Our Troops This Holiday Season — Thank You, Patrick!

While many of us will spend the holidays cozied up by the fire in the company of loved ones, 24-year-old U.S. Army Sgt. Patrick Thisius and the few-dozen soldiers he's stationed with in a remote corner of Afghanistan just have each other and whatever comes through the mail from folks back home.

This Christmas will be the third one Thisius spends apart from his wife and family. To help ease the pain of separation, Bishop-Wisecarver put together a big care package for Thisius and his band of brothers and sisters stationed halfway across the world this holiday. It's the least we can do to thank them for their service!

"This time of year is really, really tough on him," said Thisius' mom, Sharel Thisius. "He's missed out on a lot of things, like his sister's wedding and family activities. That's one of the hardest things about this trip. These guys miss out on all those little things we take for granted."

It's a struggle for them to not feel left out ... you can hear it in their voices when they call home, she added. So to get these boxes packed with things like wet wipes, toiletries, clothes, books and DVDs means a lot, especially for soldiers like Thisius who grew up in a large family with strong holiday traditions.

Thisius will likely spend another several months on a small, isolated operating base without access to a convenience store or the luxury of entertainment, his family said. A bunch of soldiers there recently ran a marathon in Santa hats just to break up the monotony. So, receiving mail or gifts of any kind turns into a big event.

Bishop-Wisecarver President Pamela Kan was inspired to send a care package to Thisius and his companions by fellow members of the Women Presidents Organization (WPO) chapter who had been sending some to them for several months.

"It's important to thank these guys for what they're doing, especially this time of year," Kan said. "I have a deep appreciation for them because of all the travel I do — I go all over the world and every time I come back it reaffirms how much I value the freedoms we have at home."

On the flip side, Thisius and his colleagues get to soak up the attention from friends, family and strangers stateside, said his mom, who staged a very early Christmas for her son during his last leave in September.

"It means so much, this generosity, because they lead such hard lives out there," said Ann Blackburn, Thisius' aunt and another WPO member. "They sleep with their boots on and wake up to a world with no trees, all desert and nothing familiar."

So in the spirit of the season, we'd like to extend not just those gifts, but also a sincere "thank you" to the military men and women stationed overseas during the holidays ... you're not forgotten!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Staple Gun in Motion with DualVee® Linear Guide Wheels

I see linear guide wheels <insert ghostly "Sixth Sense" tone> Muhaha!

We were just tagged in this photo post by B&B Bearing and Electric Motor Ltd. on Facebook.The caption says, "Our customer made this amazing staple gun using Bishop-Wisecarver's versatile linear bearings." That's one heck of a staple gun! Such a great application, guys! Thank you for the share. We'd love to learn more about it.

Our Weekly List of Top 10 Twitter Posts — Week 49

Eggnog latte with an extra shot? Check. Scented holiday candle? Check. Weekly wrap-up of all the news that's fit to tweet? Let's do this! And just so you don't miss out on all our brilliant Twitter chatter in the future, make like a stalker and follow us @BWCnews.

Credit: PD&D
1. New Planet Eerily Similar to Earth tweeted by @PDandD: A planet we just found on the outer edge of our solar system actually sounds like a pleasant place to live, according to this Associated Press article. Called Keplar-22b, the new world basks in a comfortable 70-degree glow from a sun-like star. Vacation destination of the not-too-distant future?

2. Unemployment Drops in Regions with Manufacturing on the Bishop-Wisecarver Daily: While national jobless figures remain more than a little depressing, states with thriving manufacturing sectors are seeing an uptick in employment. Good news — and proof that it pays to invest in industries that actually create things, not just supply a service. This LA Times article says the auto industry's driving the recovery. In the spirit of that recovery, do your part — buy your mom a car for Christmas!

3. 'Mythbusters' Cannonball Crashes Through a Roof, Into a Minivan on the San Francisco Chronicle: So this one hits close to home (pun intended) ... the Mythbusters of Discovery Channel fame are based right here in the San Francisco Bay Area. So, they do a lot of their crazy experiments in the area near us, literally a half-hour-or-so drive from the Bishop-Wisecarver headquarters. This week, one of those crazy antics went awry when a cannonball missed the mark and crashed through a residential roof. It made headlines and top stories on all the local TV news stations. We're glad those homeowners are safe. And come on, it's kind of a cool story to tell the grandkids!

4. Beemer Drivers are Road Roage-aholics on The Telegraph: Speaking of loose cannons! A survey concluded that BMW drivers were the most volatile on the road. So keep your eyes peeled, commuters, and resist the urge to cut in front of drivers of fancy German cars.

Credit: Ted Sabarese
5. People Who Look Like the Fish They're Eating via We geek out over weird art over here so this headline grabbed our attention. It's a photo essay of, well, exactly that — people lookin' all fish-like in front of their similar-looking pescatarian meals. It's like an off-the-wall spin on the popular observation of people looking like their pets. Creepy but riveting, no?

6. World's First Fully 'Rapid Prototyped' Air Vehicle in the Product Design and Development mag: Engineers flew the first-ever air vehicle of its kind this week as part of a project to create an unmanned platform to probe the earth's atmosphere. The balloon-borne pod took its maiden flight on Wednesday in front of a bunch of students. Must have been cool to see!

7. Great Minds on Innovation Featuring Dean Kamen on We haven't signed up for this webinar yet, but it's definitely on our to-do list! Dean Kamen is a renowned inventor, design engineer and storied founder of the FIRST robotics nonprofit. We sponsor a few local FIRST teams and we're 100 percent behind Kamen's vision to encourage innovation in our youth and in our country as a whole. If you take the on-demand webinar, tweet us your thoughts about it!

8. How to be a Social Media Powerhouse on Obviously, we're pretty passionate about social media marketing, especially for niche markets like manufacturing since we've seen so many good things come out of it. This article picks the brain of some very influential social media mavens who discuss the importance of online network-building and personal brands. Good read!

9. Factors That Contribute to Back Injuries tweeted by @ToyotaEquipment: One of our Twitter BFFs Kyle Thill — a.k.a. @ToyotaEquipment — posted a link to this write-up about how to avoid back injuries. Since we're a manufacturer, we got a lot of folks out on the floor operating machinery, lifting heavy equipment and doing all that needs to be done to make our motion control products. So their physical health is a definite concern  and this article offers some practical advice on how to keep your back in tip-top shape. Straighten up!

10. Theater Seats Set Aside for Twitter Users on the LA Times blog: How cool! As hardcore tweeps, our ears perked up when we heard this. Designated "Tweet Seats" seem like a win for everyone. Why? Whoever is putting on a show gets free publicity, the rest of the audience doesn't get distracted by the blue-white glow of cell phone screens and the Twitter addicts get to unleash their 140-or-less-character quips on the world. Good times are had by all!

Credit: LA Times

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Catching Up on Math and Science Through FIRST® at Heritage High School — Female Club President Gets Involved

Until recently, math and science never came easily to Holly Kraeber. The 17-year-old says her smarts are more creative and managerial than technical. But that didn't stop her from stepping up this year as the first-ever female president of Heritage High School's robotics team, which she plans to lead through a series of FIRST® robotics tournaments culminating in the national championship in St. Louis, Missouri.

"I joined this club last year because my friends did," said Holly, a senior at Heritage High School in Brentwood, Calif. "But I started to get more and more involved ... it definitely helped me catch up in math and science because I got to see their practical applications."

Holly is one of 20 students in Heritage High's robotics club which includes two participating FIRST FTC teams, and Bishop-Wisecarver is proud to be one of their 2012 team sponsors. It's one of a few teams we're sponsoring, actually, and the first one we met with face to face this year. We also donated some of our linear and rotary motion products to the FIRST for students, which makes us "Diamond Sponsors" of the nonprofit founded by owner-of-many patents Dean Kamen.

THE CHALLENGE BWC's marketing team stopped by Heritage High after school last week to meet some of the students in the robotics/engineering lab. Robert Pardi, their adviser, said the kids are starting to hash out their small robot designs on CAD to meet the championship theme this year: "Bowled Over." The challenge for 2012 is to design robots that could pick up some plastic balls, pack them into crates and stack those crates for extra points.

Students have to design a robot that can scoop, lift and independently maneuver around obstacles in a fenced-off ring against another robot. It's going to take months to contrive, build and tweak a robot that can hold its own in a national contest, Pardi said. But his teams — 4648 and 3470 — have more of an edge than ever.

"They have more experience, for starters," said Pardi. "The entire program [at Heritage High] is about four years old, so we have kids who have been here for years now. They've become really good at this."

Another plus: Heritage High got a sneak peek at the competition when the school hosted the Challenge East Bay Qualifier Robotics Tournament last month, a preliminary contest to the FIRST Tech Challenge in March. As the host teams, they couldn't compete, but they definitely got to see a lot of other robotics designs for the "Bowled Over" challenge.

"We got plenty of ideas from it," said Michael Kintscher, 17, who's in his third year in the robotics program. "We got a game plan ... we've also learned the value of research that others have done before you. We can see what other people have come up with and use that as a starting point to figure out what we can do that's new and different."

We'll keep you posted on the team's progress as the season moves forward. We'll post videos, photos, articles and Q&As of the teams' journey to nationals. And we'll introduce you to our other sponsored teams at California High School and Middle College High — both Bay Area schools — once we meet them in person, too. We can't wait!

[ For more on what FIRST is all about, read this recent blog post! ]

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sloughing Off Sawdust, Wood Chips and Debris with Linear Guide Wheel Technology That Handles Harsh Environments

A company that manufactures and supplies prefabricated log homes created a multi-axis guide machine that carves notches into big, heavy logs. The system is constantly bombarded with sawdust and wood chips because of all the sawing, so the customer needed a sturdy automation system able to endure a heavy duty, dust-and-debris-filled environment.

SOLUTION: To battle this harsh environment challenge, the manufacturer integrated our well-known [ Dualvee® ] guide wheels and track into the guidance machine. Dualvee Motion Technology® was chosen because its bearing elements are self-contained, providing isolation from possible contaminants that could cause bearings to fail. Plus, its 90-degree low maintenance vee shape acts as a velocity gradient, sweeping debris off the tracks. The manufacturer said the wheels showed no wear and tear, even after a full year-and-a-half of operation without lubrication. Now that's pretty incredible!

So What Exactly is a Linear Motion Bearing?

How cool — the folks at Design World just posted a cool new video all about linear bearings! We sponsored this four-minute segment that gives you a basic understanding of linear motion systems.

The gist of it:
  • A bearing normally uses a bushing, pad or roller to move something along a rail that doesn't necessarily have to be a straight line
  • The rail can be pretty much any length, depending on the actuator
  • How long the bearing lasts depends on the load's weight and the speed it's carried
  • Tracks come in different profiles: Flat, round rods or something more complex with polished ground surface
There's more, but it's best explained in the video itself ... enjoy!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Our Weekly List of Top 10 Twitter Posts — Week 48

It's out first Twitter wrap-up of the month! Happy Friday and welcome to December, everyone! We're beginning to think about holiday gift ideas, so you'll see a few of our faves sprinkled throughout the next few top ten lists. Not following us on Twitter yet? No excuses! Come on now, here's our handle: @BWCnews. We talk about more than just linear actuators, guides and slides!

Credit: Laughing Squid
1. Doctor Who Glass Holiday Ornaments on Heck yes! All you hardcore Doctor Who fans probably already ordered them off the BBC Shop with your six-DVD bundle of the British sci-fi series. They're sold separately per set — so buy two, give the extra CDs away to a friend and keep both ornaments for yourself. Because they're that awesome and your friend won't know what he's missing. Happy holidays to me!

2. Stephen Hawking on Time Travel via In 1995, a magazine asked the renowned genius for a time travel formula. Hawking had his personal assistant fax over this very brief response: "Thank you for your recent fax. I do not have any equations for time travel. If I had, I would win the National Lottery every week." Doesn't hurt to ask, I guess!

3. Chewing Gum Aids Focus on Wired: Hey scatterbrain, need a little focus pocus? Chewing gum evidently helps you concentrate on the task at hand, according to this study. Maybe we knew this intuitively because there's definitely always a pack of gum at this desk!

4. Hackers Can Set Your Printer on Fire via our Bishop-Wisecarver Daily: If your HP spontaneously combusts, it may be a targeted attack and not a freak accident. That's according to this Wired article, which says HP laser printers are vulnerable because of a feature that allows you to upgrade the firmware remotely. Great, something else to worry about!

5. Self-Driving Cars Swarming to Future Roads on the Bishop-Wisecarver Daily: Swarm behavior helps fish, birds and even Tour de France bicyclists save energy. Well, according to this Australian industrial engineer, the same principles could drive transportation in the future. Thought-provoking concept there! 

Credit: National Geographic
6. Top 10 Weirdest Life Forms on National Geographic: Ooh yeah, we love end-of-the-year top 10 lists (well, weekly ones, too, for that matter). Here's a look at some of the most bizarre-looking creatures, including a freak-of-nature cyclops shark and a big-lipped amorphous sea worm. They're so weird, they look like made-up animals!
7. Welcome to Robot-ville, Population 20 on New Scientist: Sweet! A zoo just for robots! Turns out a science museum in Europe has a pretty robust exhibit of automatons, including some with a little personality, like iCub the robot toddler. Neat!

8. Entangled Diamonds Bridge the Quantum-Classical Divide again on New Scientist: Two earring stud-sized diamonds got linked in the trippy quantum state the experts call "entanglement." That's when the fate of two or more particles intertwine despite a distance between them. It's observable in very tiny matter, but not on a macro scale (your coworker's coffee mug won't jostle if you pick up your own, for example). That's why scientists made a big to-do out of this pair of diamonds sharing a vibrational state even though they were separated. A case-in-point of science being stranger than fiction!

9. Rebuilding American Manufacturing on the Bishop-Wisecarver Daily: We caught this story on MIT News about how a bunch of bigwigs gathered in Washington D.C. earlier this week to talk about what they called the "innovation gap," where new advances and technologies in the U.S. rarely cross over to become a viable business. The whole discussion is pretty interesting, so be sure to check out some of the video clips along with the article!

10. On the First Day of Christmas, My Geek Friend Gave to Me ... an Evil Squirrel in a Tree! on No, not the actual rodent — we're talking about purveyors of pulp fiction Evil Squirrel Comics, the first gift idea for geeks on this wish list. Love it!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

High-Speed Motion Control for Blister-Packed Razors

  • Assembling and packaging men's razors
  • Create a high-speed conveyor to save time and money
  • Ensure precise indexing from station to station

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: Using the continuous motion DTS to assemble and fill blister-packs, this manufacturer was able to pack up to 60 men's razors a minute. Now that's fast!

The design team utilized two belt-driven track system units — one that's 7-by-2 meters with 56 carriages and another that's 2.5-by-1.3 meters with 20 carriages. The smaller rotary track unit transferred razors to the larger unit for assembly and packing, while indexing drives ensured smooth stops and starts at each station.

You can find systems like this one working 'round the clock at various manufacturing and packaging plants across the globe — when it comes to high-speed packaging, it's important to use linear guides, slides, rotary tracks and segments capable of keeping up with your high demands.

BENEFITS: High speed means more products-per-minute and profitability growth, durability, heavy load capacity and precision locking.