Friday, June 29, 2012

Top 10 Twitter Posts: Odd Jobs, Virus-Fueled Cars and 'Minimum Rage'

If you're in the U.S. then you're probably dreaming of how you'll spend your Fourth of July day(s) off already .... mmmm beaches, BBQs, fireworks, picnics, the whole shebang. But our summer holiday planning hasn't kept us from checking out the latest and greatest on Twitter! Follow our day-to-day convos at @BWCnews — just dive in (the water's fine)!

Credit: PayDayOne
1. Unusual Jobs and Their Paydays on Ever thought of being a submarine cook? An airplane repo guy or gal? A crop duster pilot or crime scene cleaner? Yeah, they're not really professions that come immediately to mind when you consider what you want to be "when you grow up." But they're out there, and if you're curious about how much they pay, here's an interesting infographic that gives you an idea of how they're compensated.

2. iPod Magician Marco Tempest on YouTube: In a mash-up of technology, sleight-of-hand deftness and storytelling, this magician delivers a close-up show like you've never seen. It had us wondering how he pulled it off — like any good magic would leave you wondering.

3. Minimum Rage: College Grads in the Service Industry in Utne Reader: Apparently the average restaurant worker made $15,000 in 2009 and the average manufacturing employee raked in somewhere around $74,000. It's a startling disparity and one that's artfully addressed in this article, which profiles service industry workers who for years consider their jobs "just temporary." But if people are keeping them for years on end, maybe it's time to start advocating for workers rights in that arena? Or maybe it's just a reminder of the value of nurturing manufacturing as a domestic job sector.

4. My Dream: To Drive a Virus-Powered Car on BBC News: Well that's one way to put a harmful thing to good use. Better than it attacking our fragile immune systems! BBC reported this week on an advance that would allow vehicles to run on viruses that "construct powerful new batteries, clean hydrogen fuels and record-breaking solar cells." Read on to find out how.

5. A Sip of Soda: How Soft Drinks Impact Your Health on If you needed any more convincing about how much havoc soft drinks wreak on your body, here's a reminder. Asthma and dissolved tooth enamel?! Yeah, might want to opt for the iced tea next time ...

Credit: Area Development
6. Advanced Manufacturing Will Drive the U.S. Economy on Area Development Online: Though advanced manufacturing already grows at a steady clip, it needs hundreds of thousands more workers to keep up with heightening demand. The inability of companies to find machinists, engineers, craft workers, distributors and technicians has put a damper on productivity, despite the industry's upswing in momentum. It raises the oft-repeated question: How do we fix that?

7. Some Tips to Better Brainstorming on Fast Company: Got a brilliant idea? OK, what about the second-best idea? Sometimes thinking outside the box, brainstorming, involves thinking aloud to the point where not everything you say is going to be top-notch brilliant. That's part of the whole process, though. And it's an important part of it. Thinking out loud in a group is how mediocre ideas get refined into something better. Don't be shy!

8. Edible Books to Tackle World Hunger on BBC News: What, so you're telling me I can have my book and eat it, too? Hmmm...

9. Oxygen Foam Could Buy Breathing Time on Scientific American: There's a new way to get oxygen to your blood in the event of an emergency, like if your windpipe's blocked. It's with tiny-bubbled foam, which gives your bloodstream a needed dose of air — buying precious minutes that could save someone's life.

10. 30 Days of GOOD on GOOD Magazine: We're always on the lookout for more ways to improve the way we eat, whether that's opting for a la carte over a full entree or nixing the yummy-but-fattening fried stuff. That's why we're inspired by this series on GOOD magazine the offers all kinds of creative ways to breakaway from your mundane or unhealthy eating habits. We'll give some of these challenges a try!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Connect with the Bishop-Wisecarver Team on LinkedIn

Communication is important to us, and that's pretty evident if you check our social media chatter! We constantly work at making ourselves available to our customers, peers and the community at large through various channels including LinkedIn. Since the sleeping social media giant recently made some changes to its interface that's made it easier to use, we were inspired to talk about it. If you have a chance, check out our company page and company group — it's a good way to keep in touch with our team!

Link up and reach out to us whenever you need help.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Motion Monday: Engineering Bootcamp a Success

Engineering Bootcamp a Success
By Eleanor Huddart, Markeitng Intern

Last week Bishop-Wisecarver participated as a sponsor with a booth set up at Diablo Valley College’s Science and Engineering Camp. This camp was geared towards high school students who are interested in engineering, manufacturing and construction. Bud Wisecarver, BWC’s founder and creator of the DualVee wheel, assisted the students with the assembly of robots and also gave a presentation to the camp participants about his background in engineering and how he came up with the idea for the DualVee wheels. He made sure all of the students knew how vital it is to do what they love for a living because if they do, "They will never work a day in their lives." 
[ Here's a bit more we wrote about the camp last week ]

The students who took part in the camp participated in a week full of fun and informative engineering-related events. Students assembled robots that were used in a competition with the goal of being the team to push the most tennis balls through a goal built using our tracks and also visited Hewitt Power Plant to learn more about solar energy and its applications. On the final day of the camp, the students were given the opportunity to participate in a career day. To help facilitate this event, a  few of us from the marketing team, along with Bud, set up a booth to answer the kids’ questions about linear and rotary guided motion technology and future careers in engineering. We also showcased a few of our products. The students had a lot of fun testing out our linear slide and rotary guide demos!

We interviewed some camp participants to get their feedback on why they wanted to learn more about engineering, what their favorite part of the camp was and what new skills they picked up over the week. We also probed them on their experiences of building the robots and participating in the robot race on the final day of the camp. Learn more from the students about how this amazing camp influenced them in this Q&A!

 What inspired you to learn more about engineering? 
Tyler S: My parents and brother have always been good at math and pushed me to focus on it. I’ve loved the camp and I have learned so much. I now know which area of engineering I want to focus on because of my experiences this week.
William N: I wanted to broaden my knowledge so I could do a double major in college that involves Mechanical Engineering. In the future I want to be able to build cars.

Which camp activity have you enjoyed participating in the most and why?
Tyler S: I enjoyed the Hewitt power plant and tour. It gave me insight into what types of alternative sources of energy exist and how society can use them.
William N: I enjoyed the robotics competition. It was interesting to work with my associates in a group project that helped us learn more about robotics.

Had you built, worked with or studied robotics before this week? If so, what did you know about robots?
Christian D: I had not worked with robots before this week. We learned how to put all of the pieces together and Mr. Bud helped us build the robot and gave us ideas and strategies to follow.  He was really smart and a good helper.

What new skills have you picked up this week?
Christian D: I learned a few different skills … one of them was critical thinking. We came up with making a scoop and attaching it to the end of the robot to move the balls through the net. Collaboration with other teammates and communicating with them was important. We worked hard to make a strong team. One more skill was be professional and always be a role model for everybody.

OK, now for a little #MotionMonday challenge to wake up your brain! Scan what you just read one more time, then try your hand at our weekly word search! Need an answer key? Just hit up Jenn at for your shot at winning a prize! [ Download ] and good luck!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Top 10 Twitter Posts: Alien Rocks, Ethics and Sci Channel 'Oddities'

OK, so it's finally summertime and it just now started getting chilly again here in NorCal. What gives?! Still, it's a nice break from the otherwise unbearably hot spring weather. Here's a quick summary of some of the conversations, articles, videos and other thoughts that kept us entertained this week. Don't miss the buzz next time — follow us at @BWCnews for all things awesome in linear motion!

Credit: Lauren Pond
1. Implicated? Or Merely a Witness? on Photojournalists — journalists in general, actually — follow a code of ethics that bars them from influencing events as they unfold. They're there to document history as it happens. But what if something terrible, something fatal happens right in front of you? Your professional ethics may dictate that you sit back and watch, but that doesn't mean the tragedy of it doesn't tug at your emotions. Read about this one photojournalist's assignment that ended in the subject's death. What do you think about the thought process behind the reporter's hands-off approach?

2. A Strong Online Presence Increases Opportunities in Linear Motion on Power Transmission Engineering magazine: Our very own Marketing Manager, Elizabeth Griffin, shared her thoughts with the publication on why it's so important for manufacturers to maintain a strong online presence. It's basically meeting your audience where they already are in their personal and professional lives — on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and countless other social media channels. Not keeping up with an online presence means companies will lose out and fall out of touch with customers, both future and existing.

3. Baltic Sea 'Alien' Discovery on LA Times Science blog: OK, so it's probably just a rock. But a discovery on the other side of the world has people pondering the possibility of it being something of otherworldly origin. Crazy talk, right? The Times had a good post about it earlier in the week.

4. The iBeamer on The Economist: Even the swankiest of luxury cars comes in fuel efficient version. Take this stylish BMW with a price tag of about $120,000. Yipes! Still, it's one of the nicest electric cars you'll find. Even nice to just look at.

Credit: Loved to Death
5. 'Oddities' to Air on the Science Channel: We obsessed about this show when it aired the original East Coast version, so we got super stoked to see the previews of a San Francisco spin-off to air later this year. It's basically a reality TV series that documents the oddballs who run a curio-taxidermy-antique boutique in the world-famous Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and the odder-balls (is that even a word?) who frequent the shop.

6. The Actual Cost of Making a Penny on Investment News: It takes 2.4 cents to make a new copper coin. Yeah, frealz.

7. Picasso Work Gets Vandalized at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: Another news story right in our backyard — and an sad one to hear too. Someone made the dubious effort of tagging a 1929 work by the painting legend ... and still another person had the guts to film it.

8. We're Hiring! on As we grow, we have to beef up our staff to keep up. We just posted some new job ads this week — one of them for an opening in our ever-expanding IT department. Check 'em out to see if you qualify ... we'll keep an eye out for your applications!

9. DOE Awards $54mil for 'Transformational' Manufacturing Ideas on American Machinist: The federal agency identified 13 manufacturing projects to award tens of millions of dollars. Find out what made the cut ...

10. When Your Home Becomes Smart on BBC: As the world gets smarter, so will our homes. Here's an interesting photo essay that gives you a little glimpse of our domestic life in the future ... possibly.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Watch, Read, Listen, Do: Bamboo Buildings, Leaders in Engineering and That Movie Everyone's Talking About

We're in the business of invention, putting your coolest designs in motion with linear slides and rotary guides, so we naturally also make it our business to stay on top of the latest science, engineering and tech news. Here's our mid-week round-up of notable multimedia gems, from videos and articles to contests and podcasts. Let us know what you thought of them too!

[ WATCH ] regularly posts awesome videos about various topics, from crustacean battle armor to manned missions to asteroids and transparent smart phones. The latest is an architecture-themed snippet about bamboo structures. Bamboo, which is technically a grass, is a highly sustainable building material, grows so fast and is super abundant in some parts of the world.

[ READ ] Prometheus had its plot holes, its randomly choosen character quirks and some cliched sci-fi thriller gimmicks, but one of the film's saving graces, undeniably, was the visuals, the costumes, the makeup, the hard effects. We found this stunning photo essay that gives you a glimpse of how the movie makers worked their magic behind the scenes.

[ LISTEN ] NPR never fails to bring it when it comes to science podcasts... why aren't more people making those, by the way? This week, they aired a segment on how undeniably cool robots are — they're definitely the main draw at science fairs and, in our experience, at trade shows we attend.

[ DO ] Sorry for the shameless plug here, folks, but it is our blog and we can't help but overtly share a little about ourselves every now and then. So, Design World magazine is holding its annual Leadership in Engineering contest and we're nominated in the motion control category. We need your help, though, to vote for us periodically so we come out ahead. Click through to cast your vote. Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Volunteering at Summer Camp for Science, Manufacturing and Engineering

Bud Wisecarver working with students.
Bishop-Wisecarver founder Bud Wisecarver has volunteered in the local academic community for decades — it's a practice he struck up in his 20s and has continued ever since. Today, in his mid-80s, he's still going strong. This week, he's donating his time as mentor at the annual Engineering, Construction and Manufacturing Summer Camp for high schoolers at Diablo Valley College here in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Dozens of kids looking to earn some college credit over the summer signed up for the weeklong camp, which gives them a chance to explore manufacturing and engineering theory and practice. In addition to Bud's time, Bishop-Wisecarver also donated aluminum extrusion for the students to use in their designs. The students are using the profile as a guide for the robots (right) they are currently building for a race held later this week.

Students are building robots
for a race held at the end of the week.
Throughout the years, about 400 students from upward of 25 local high schools have enrolled in the camp, according to organizers.

The program is organized by Diablo Valley College, the Contra Costa County Office of Education and the Contra Costa Economic Partnership. The culminating event on Friday is expected to draw more than 100 people, including parents, teachers and student peers. The hope is that by exposing kids to the fun of hands-on challenges in engineering, they be will inspired to stick with it in the academic years ahead — ultimately choosing it as a focus in trade school or college.

"High school students and their parents are often not aware of the educational training paths and job opportunities available in the building trades, construction and engineering industry sectors," the community college website reads. [ Check out other snapshots we took this week at camp ] on our Flickr wall!

Motion's the Best Medicine: Linear Bearings, Guides and Slides in the Medical Device Industry

MOVING MEDICAL RESEARCH Our linear and rotary motion control products move things from one point to another — a simple task. Yet, you'll find them in some of the most complex and cutting-edge medical devices in the industry. Here are a few ways some engineers and researchers used our products ...

VASCULAR GRAFTING A design engineer faced the challenge of building a linear actuator setup that could wind vascular grafting material within extremely precise specifications. Exactness was important here because the material had to last and function after surgery. Our linear guide technology fit this bill.

STAINING Our linear guides were needed to support the parallel workflow processing of walk-away lab analysis automation to improve lab efficiency and staining quality. LoPro linear actuators made the machine in this application faster and more efficient.

VERTICAL MOTION A contract manufacturer of custom high-value medical carts, consoles and tables needed our vertically mounted linear guides to easily raise and lower a support shelf on a card designed for a portable device. The solution needed to be cost-efficient and provide smoother operation and stability when the cart was in the fully raised position.

THE CHALLENGE And now to test your reading retention! Every week we have a #MotionMonday challenge and this one tests your word search skills. Still need some help? Email us at for an answer key. All the best!

[ Click here to download this week's puzzle for a chance to win a prize! ]

Friday, June 15, 2012

Top 10 Twitter Posts: Bed Making Robots, Cold Viruses Fighting Cancer and Linear Guide Wheels for Radial Loading

Happy Friday everyone! This week has flown by, probably because we had a great time — laser tag, pizza luncheon,  birthday celebrations and company anniversaries! What does that leave for the weekend?

We're more than just your friendly manufacturer of linear slides and rotary guides, we're also your ear to the ground. If you follow us on Twitter then you might have seen these stories already, but here's our top ten wrap up of posts, favorites and retweets.

1. A Catch-up with our Engineering Interns on We interviewed our engineering interns on Monday to see what they have been up to for the last few weeks and we found that they have been very busy! From designing test apparatuses to engaging in modal analysis, read more about what projects the interns are working on and what they like most about working at BWC!
Credit: Discover Magazine

2. NASA’s Bake Sale via Discover Magazine: It seems that bake sales are not only tools used by schools and local charities to raise money. NASA employees have been selling cupcakes and cookies to make people aware of budgetary cuts. Read this article to learn more!

3. [ VIDEO ] Linear Guide Wheels for Specified Loading Conditions on We have a new video posted on the website! Check out this quick 60 second clip of our recently released radial wheels for applications with specified radial loading conditions.

4. A Cold Virus that can Treat Cancer on There have been a lot of scientific breakthroughs documented this week such as how bacteria can actually improve our immune systems and details about a potential cure for blindess, but the one that most sticks out in our minds is the cold virus that could serve as an effective treatment for cancer. This article details how the virus, after being injected into the blood stream, kills tumors and also stimulates the immune system. What a discovery!

5. A Secret Weapon: The Double Acting Profile Driven Unit on  As part of our Motion Monday blog, we detailed the fantastic benefits the HepcoMotion DAPDU2 provides to its users such as large load capacity, durability and quiet operation. Read the blog to learn more about this product and its applicability!

6. An Exact Replica of an Austrian Village in… China?! on China is in the process of creating  a town that is almost the exact replica of a town named Hallstatt in Austria. This Disneyland-esque creation, while very similar in look to its counterpart in Austria, is still distinctly Chinese. Read the article to find out why!

7. A Solution to the Annoyance of Bed Making via Time Magazine:  Do you hate the dreaded morning task of making your bed? Well, now you don’t have to! Mechanical arms will do it for you.  Read up on this fantastic new invention to avoid morning hassle!

8. Make better Decisions by Learning a Foreign Language via Wired Science: Do you have problems making swift decisions? It has been discovered recently that by thinking in a foreign language, choices can be made more quickly and easily! Time to crack open those foreign dictionaries and Language textbooks!

9. The Ever Evolving Art of Advertising via Have you ever noticed that the ads you receive are often eerily reflective of your mood or current interests? Well, this occurrence will become even more prevalent if a major software firm is successful in obtaining a patent to put out ads that are matched to body language and emotional states found through your emails, search queries and other interactions on-line.  Good or bad?

10. Roller Coasters Galore on Check out pictures of the world’s fastest and most fun roller coasters. It is amazing how creative and complex some of these structures are! Are you brave enough to ride any of them? Now that's what we call motion without limits!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Watch, Read, Listen, Do: Robot Spiders, Underground Condos and Manufacturing Webinars

As inventors of linear and rotary guide motion technologies, we keep our finger on the pulse of scientific and technological news, views and breakthroughs every day — we get to be a part of some amazing projects! This post includes some notable multimedia posts, from podcasts to news stories and TV episodes. Got a suggestion for next week's post? Let us know and we may just include it in our next post!

[ WATCH ] Ever wanted to experience what it is like to be a spider? Members of the United States Special Forces will now be able to find out. Students from Utah State University have created a battery-powered vacuum that is able to suction its user’s hands and feet to large walls. Watch this video to see how it works!

[ READ ] It is incredible what an engineer turned entrepreneur can create. A former software engineer named Larry Hall is planning to complete construction on luxury condos that rest 174 feet underground within the next few years! These condos double as bunkers and are intended to protect those who wish to prepare for any future global crises. Read this article to explore Hall’s innovative idea and to learn more about the cool features that will be included in the building.

[ LISTEN ] Remember earlier in the month when Venus passed across the sun and it became a worldwide trending topic? Here's a cool podcast in which a well-known science writer analyzes and explains the phenomenon.

[ DO ] We found a whole library of manufacturing-related webinars on the Manufacturing Institute website, and it's a good collection, with topics ranging from management to how to improve production and implement lean manufacturing.

Catching Up With Our Engineering Interns, Shail and Naasik

Hi everyone, Eleanor here! It's been a couple of weeks since we last caught up with the engineering interns, Naasik and Shail, and since they were last interviewed they've been hard at work on some really interesting projects! We thought it was about time to meet up with them again to discuss what exactly they've been working on, what they've learned since starting their internships, and what they like most about their time here at Bishop-Wisecarver.

1. What types of projects have you been working on since you started your internship?
N & S: BWC is getting into the market of integrated systems containing motors and controllers. We are learning more about how these systems behave in order to recommend the best solutions to customers in this new market. We are designing different test apparatuses to monitor how beams react when they are hit in different places and how they react to different weight loads being placed on them. In addition, we are looking into how an integrated LoPro ] system reacts to different input commands in order to figure out what is the best control algorithm.

2.  What is your favorite part of being an intern at Bishop-Wisecarver?
N: The ability to get hands-on experience in designing control systems.
S: Work experience and getting to work so closely with many mechanical engineers who have a lot more experience than I do. Also, I have really enjoyed getting to know everyone at BWC. People here are so friendly!

3. Are there any concepts/lessons that you learned at university that have been particularly useful when applied to your work at BWC?
N: Mainly subjects to do with control such as data acquisition.
S: In my last project class at UC Berkeley, I had to divide work up and assign tasks. This process occurs a lot at BWC. In fact, Naasik and I work together a lot in order to split up tasks. We work really well together!

4.  What projects are you going to be working on in the upcoming weeks?
N & S: We are going to be designing an integrated system for a customer and finishing up modal analysis and frequency response test benches.

5.  Since your internship started, what new things have you learned about mechanical engineering?
N: For me, I have learned that there is never a limit to the amount of knowledge one can gain about mechanical engineering and engineering in general.
S: I have learned that there is a lot more collaboration and group work involved in mechanical engineering than I initially thought.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

[ VIDEO ] Linear Guide Wheels for Specified Radial Loading Conditions

NEW VIDEO Little more than a week ago, we launched a new product: The MadeWell® Radial Wheel. It's a linear bearing designed for specified radial loading conditions, and it works in almost any industry — transportation, industrial machinery, packaging, engineering services and architecture, to name just a few.

We designed this single-row deep-groove linear guide wheel to meet a specific demand. You asked for a cost-effective solution that could handle only specified radial loading conditions. Why pay for axial loading capabilities if your application design does not require it? We agree, and now you've got even more linear motion options than before. Download cad drawings, product sheets and other useful info for radial wheels on our website.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Motion Monday: This Double Acting Profile Driven Unit is a Linear Guide Secret Weapon

Click on the image to see a larger view

This linear actuator is one of our best kept secrets... the [ HepcoMotion DAPDU2 ] is a double-acting profile driven unit that's built on a robust aluminum beam with two or more carriages running along the inside. The carriages use the same Herculane wheels you'll find in the popular Hepco PDU2 unit, and provide great load capacity and durability while running quietly. The underside of the profile was designed open, so no debris accumulates and jams it up. A strong, accurate toothed belt drives the carriages symmetrically. These units work well with HepcoMotion [ MCS framework ] components as well as with our other drive products, like the [ PDU2 ].

APPLICATION EXAMPLE The DAPDU2 is an ideal linear guide for the doors of an automatic spray booth. In this example, the unit has a total of four carriages — two moving right and the other two left. They fit each carriage with an angled plate and suspended a door in-between each set of carriages. The application also utilized some HepcoMotion track rollers (which you can learn more about in our GV3 catalog) that were fixed to the bottom of each door to control movement away from the wall. Last but not least, a DC motor was used to move the DAPDU2 unit by a right-angled planetary gearbox, which you can find in our PDU2 literature.

Ready to put that new-found knowledge to the test? Just [ download ] our word search, complete it and send in your answers to for your chance to win a cool prize! Good luck!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Top 10 Twitter Posts: New Linear Guide Wheel, Learning a Foreign Language and Mapping Facebook Check-Ins

Happy Friday from your favorite manufacturer of linear guides ;) So much happened this week that it'll be tough to sum up just ten of our favorites. Between a product launch, a new infographic, a trade show in Canada and many other things, the days and all our conversations have blurred together. Here's a look at what caught our interest this week ... hopefully it interests you too. For more of these gems, follow us at @BWCnews. Enjoy your weekend!

1. Radial Wheels the Newest Addition to the MadeWell Product Line on We tweeted like crazy about our new MadeWell Radial Wheels this week, so of course we have to lead with this one. It's basically a simplified linear bearing we created specifically for applications with specified radial loading conditions. Click the link to read about its features and capabilities. Exciting stuff! We can't wait to hear what applications our customers come up with for it!

2. Making Language Learning Social
on Fast Company: It's common knowledge that full immersion is the most effective way to learn a language — beats interacting with a CD recording during rush hour. That's why this new language teaching app called Voxy is so brilliant. It delivers news, articles and other media you consume all day anyway, but presents it in whatever language you're trying to learn. Sounds like it just might work ...
Credit: Forbes

3. A Mapped Visualization of Facebook Check-Ins
on Forbes: We've been obsessed with this guy's infographics ever since we discovered him through some random tweet earlier in the week. This one in particular caught our eye: It's a map that shows locations people cited using the "check-in" app on Facebook. If you didn't already know about Jon Bruner, who's a Forbes editor, check out his personal website. He's a master at minding data and presenting it in an easy-to-understand format.

4. How Prometheus Got Its Atmosphere
on Fast Company: The new Ridley Scott blockbuster may be a work of fiction, but they consulted science to make sure it presented it realistically. Here's an interesting look at how Hollywood and science met in the middle.

5. [ INFOGRAPHIC ] Ten Facts From NASA
on We published our latest infographic this week, so feel free to download, print and hang it up! It's something we did in honor of National Science Month, which actually took place in May. Let us know what you think! Also, tweet us a pic of it taped up in your office!

Triage 2.0 via Fast Company:  Do you hate waiting in line at the doctor’s office or at the ER? Well, now you don’t have to suffer for long! It is now possible to send a picture of any medical problem to your doctor, who will provide you with instructions for care or refer you to another doctor within the hour for treatment. Read this article to learn more about how you can avoid the doctor’s office and get quick treatment. How convenient!

The Unique Uses of Bananas and Playdough via MakeyMakey on Youtube: Watch this cool video featuring a banana acting as a spacebar and play dough serving as a gaming pad. You’ll never guess what’s being used to play Dance Dance Revolution!
Credit: Autopia

The World’s Biggest Boeing is Now in theAir! on Wired: The largest plane in the world, Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-8, took flight from Germany this week. However, a bigger plane does not equate to more seats. The aircraft is spacious, with only eight seats taking up the whole of first class. Say goodbye to limited leg room and cramped aisles!

Tips for Recent Graduates via Vocus Careers: From updating important contact information to thanking recruiters and hiring managers after interviews, this blog lists some really helpful tips for successfully carrying out the dreaded task of finding a job after graduation. A must-read for all graduates on the job hunt!

Great Wall of China Even Bigger Than We Thought via Science Channel: The Great Wall of China has always been vast, but it is now estimated to be twice as long as was previously thought. In 2009 it was estimated to extend 5,500 miles. Now, studies indicate that is covers over 13,000 miles. Read this article to learn more about the expansive structure. It is amazing what centuries of hard work can accomplish!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Five Reasons the World Needs MadeWell® Radial Wheels

We're super geeked out about launching a new product this week, and will be sharing several radial wheel-themed blog posts all month long. First up, let's brief you on the top five reasons why the world needs MadeWell® Radial Wheel.

1. Because it meets a specific need. Radial wheels support a very particular purpose, and that's to accommodate applications with specified radial loading conditions. In lots of applications, the center of gravity of the moving parts can lie close to the middle of the vee wheel and track, according to our Senior Project Engineer Brian Burke. This setup requires mostly radial wheel loading and the weight is centered close to the wheel. Single row ball bearings are ideal for those kinds of applications.

2. Because it's economical. Why spec a wheel with heavier axial loading capacity when it's not needed? That's what we had in mind when developing this new product. We gave our radial wheels a simple design and made them from fewer amounts of raw materials, Burke said. Plus, the wheels are more affordable and have lower tolerance features to meet the needs of less demanding applications.

3. Because it has a slimmer profile. The single vee-edged design gives radial wheel a lower profile than its double vee-edged counterpart. That means it fits in tighter spaces. Radial wheels have just a single internal vee with a single row of ball bearings and don't need bushings or journals to mount them. That makes for a narrower profile. "Small components with big capabilities will always be a valuable asset," Burke said.

4. Because it's simple to install. The old adage continues to ring true: Time is money. Since all radial wheels are concentric, end users don't have to deal with adjusting eccentric wheels. Though it may mean end users give up some control adjusting their system's pre-load, it streamlines the build process if those adjustments are specified in advance. When a component is tough to understand, install, adjust and replace, it just adds more labor cost.

5. Because it is part of the MadeWell product line. This product line provides simple solutions to complex engineering challenges in virtually any industry, including transportation, semiconductor, architecture, electronics and engineering services, to name some. Another products fall under the MadeWell name, our carbon steel or polymer crowned rollers.

Want to learn more about our radial wheel offering? Check out this [ white paper ]

Watch, Read, Listen and Do: Science Summed Up, Death of a Sci-Fi Master and a Lesson in Efficiency

As makers of linear slides, guides and rotary motion technologies, we make it our business to innovate, create and constantly educate ourselves on the world around us. This weekly feature will sum up some highlights in science, manufacturing, engineering, technology and academic news. We hope these finds pique your interest as much as it did for us. What did you think?

[ WATCH ] 
It's amazing when something incredibly complex gets paraphrased in a way that inspires an epiphany. That's exactly the gist of this vintage video clip shared recently on NPR in which legendary physicist Richard Feynman articulates the essence of science in 63 seconds.

[ READ ] 
Ray Bradbury, a masterful science fiction writer who tapped into our optimism and fears of technological advances with his imaginative descriptions of the future, died  this week at the age of 91. The New York Times paid tribute to the Fahrenheit 451 author with a compelling profile that weaves in memorable quotes and a fascinating narrative about the literary giant.

If alien life tries to communicate with us, will we have the tools to hear it? The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute — a research facility that's had receptors trained to the sky for decades in search of some signal — recently lost key funding that could shut it down. Tune in to this NPR podcast that nicely sums up the history of the program and its uncertain future.

[ DO ] 
We get alerts for free webinars all the time. This Thursday, anyone's welcome to join this one hosted by Automation World on "How to Increase Batch Plant Efficiency." The free hourlong online seminar targets folks in the automation industry. It starts at 1 p.m. today, and you might still have time to register!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Motion Monday: Radial Wheels, Our Newest Product

READY, SET, LAUNCH! Today's a big day for us here at Bishop-Wisecarver — we just welcomed the newest addition to the MadeWell product line, the Radial Wheel®, a vee-edge linear bearing was designed to support applications with specified radial loading conditions.

These radial wheels are all about simplicity, about streamlining the purpose of a component and making it more economical at the same time. When a machine supports the center of a moving mass closer to the heart of the guide wheel, the load weight is mostly radial. There's basically no need for much of an axial load capacity. So, to buy a wheel with equal axial and radial load capacities in cases like that would be wasteful. 

A MORE SPECIFIC PURPOSE That narrower focus of this brand of linear bearing makes it an ideal solution for the design engineer who knows the purpose of the application is primarily to move a radial payload, like say for a heavy duty door, sliding wall panel or museum display. The possibilities are unlimited and we're eager to see what uses people come up with for our newest offering.

ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES What industries will you find the MadeWell Radial Wheel? That's really an open-ended question. But customers from a variety of industries we already work with have expressed a need for a linear guide wheel like this. Below is a sampling of industries that benefit from this type of wheel:
  • Industrial machinery manufacturing
  • Machine shops
  • Metalworking manufacturing
  • Engineering services
  • Computer and electronic part manufacturing
  • Motor vehicle manufacturing
  • Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing
  • Navigational, measuring, electro-medical and control instruments manufacturing

FINALLY, THE CHALLENGE OK, ready to win a prize? Then give this week's word search a whirl for a chance to win some swag. If you need an answer key, or if you just want to show us your filled-out puzzle to claim your prize, email us at Best of luck!

[ Click here to download the puzzle PDF ]

Friday, June 1, 2012

Top Twitter Posts — Week 23: Sarcastic Computers, Robot Soldiers and Odd Occupations

Since we're pressed for time, we'll keep this week's update pretty short — or half as long, however you want to view it. Thankfully for you, loyal readers, we've plucked some twitter gems here. We hope you enjoy this week's reading list as much as we did! Be sure to follow us in the future at @BWCnews. Happy Friday!

Credit: Science Daily
1. Could Sarcastic Computer be in Our Future? via Science Daily: Language involves way more than just words. Think about all the subtle cues we pick up on to understand inference and double meanings. Well, a new research paper suggests that computers may pick up that skill in the not-too-distant future. Meanwhile, we know plenty of people  who could learn the art of sarcasm. I guess technology's bound to outpace them!

2. Interviews with People Who Have Interesting or Unusual Jobs on McSweeney's: From obit writers to gondoliers to purveyors of fine rats — here's a  fascinating compilation of interviews with folks who make a living at some pretty odd jobs. Eye-opening to see what some people get paid to do. Love it!

3. Craig Venter's Bugs Might Save the World in the New York Times: Some of these tiny buggy beasts will eat up pollution. Others will make food, some fuel. Maybe another variety will combat viruses. It's a vision of the future purported by renowned thinker Craig Venter. I'd explain more, but it's best you read the beautifully written article yourself. If only because it's a good read.

Credit: AlphaDog Images courtesy of Boston Dymamics
4. Robots go to War via The Economist: As technology advances enough for the world's superpowers to send unmanned robots into battle, ethical quandaries start to proliferate. Especially since artificial intelligence makes it possible for robots to make what you could think of as judgment calls. This article nicely frames the issue. What do you think about the U.S. deploying these mechanical soldiers?

5. Improving Part Accuracy on Aerospace Manufacturing and Design: How do we make machine parts more accurate? How do you improve repeatability — and ultimately productivity? This new submission from Fanuc Robotics in the aerospace manufacturing trade publication does a nice job tackling the subject.