Friday, May 31, 2013

Top Five Twitter Posts: How Tool-Making Is Pivotal in Innovation, 3D Printers Gracing the Hands of Kid Inventors, and More!

We are rolling quickly through 2013 – nearly halfway into the year – and we are still keen on all things motion-related and that which pertains to innovation inspired by 3D printing, space travel, founding father Bud Wisecarver, and engineering! Beyond linear and rotary motion solutions, we explore NASA milestones, innovators in the news, Design World nominations, and engineering lingo. The conversation doesn’t stop here, though, so feel free to join us at
@BWCnews for additionally engaging updates!

1. Revisiting the Art of Toolmaking: Toolmakers Matter, But Why? In this video Q&A, Bud Wisecarver explains to us the significance of toolmaking, illuminating his nuts-and-bolts, hands on approach to work: getting the job done. Getting past the ideas and concepts behind manufacturing and design, Bud couldn’t have been more on target: true creation is about doing, making, and fabricating, not about merely about thinking. “It doesn’t matter how many philosophers you have, how many great engineers you have – if you don’t have a toolmaker, you don’t have anything.”

2. On May 29, 1999 the NASA Discovery made the first docking to the International Space Station The NASA Discovery launched two days prior in 1999 and successfully docked later for the first time at the International Space Station. Not only was it was the second longest space walk ever recorded at the time, also, 3.8 million miles were traveled in 9 days, 19 hours, 13 minutes, and 57 seconds. At  approximately 16,000 mph speeds, that is some amazingly quick motion! 
3. A Boy and His 3D Printer: Additive Manufacturing – It’s Not Just for Adults! Believe it or not, Andrew Man-Hudspith is an inventive 11 year old who successfully convinced his family to purchase a 3D printer. Man-Hudspith took the initiative of creating a PowerPoint presentation which discussed the reasons why they should acquire a 3D printer. You can tune into this quick documentary to find out more about this young innovator!

4. Bishop-Wisecarver Nominated for Design World’s Leadership in Engineering Award in the Motion Control Category Bishop-Wisecarver has been nominated for Design World’s Leadership in Engineering Award once again! Last year we were fortunate enough to place first in the Motion Control category! Whether or not history will repeat itself, we are fortunate and honored to be considered by Design World!

5.  What do the terms “Yaw”, “Pitch”, and “Roll” Mean, Anyway? 
On our FAQ, we begin to break out many engineering and product related questions in order to assist in all of your engineering needs. Don’t see your question on our page? We can still help! Give us a shout at and we’ll get back to you shortly to answer your application questions.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

High School Students Discover Manufacturing During Job Shadow Program

A group of select students from Pittsburg High School visited the Bishop-Wisecarver Group facility earlier this month as part of a job shadow program focused on encouraging students to discover careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The BWC team hosted a variety of events for the students which included Q&A sessions with staff, a facility tour, product demos, and on-the-job mentoring.

Students toured the BWC facility with Bud Wisecarver
and Vice President of Manufacturing Aldo DeAmicis
“What’s the hardest part about the job?” asked a student during a group interview with Ali Jabbari, Vice President of Engineering. The students were divided into two groups, one led by Jabbari and the other by Aldo DeAmicis, Vice President of Manufacturing — Jabbari’s hosted discussion was focused on engineering design and all things related to the day-to-day work of the applications engineers.

“Well, the hardest part is the communication of engineering and figuring out how to present the information so that it is understood by others,” Jabbari continued. “The technical part is the easy part.”

Myron and several of his friends standing nearby stood nodding, listening intently. The group convened next with the applications engineers directly.

“What type of education is required for this position?” Another student asked.

“A Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering would probably be the minimum education,” offered Applications Engineer Ariel Oriel. “Both of us, Dan Fletcher and I, have each earned that degree,” Oriel explained.

Fellow Applications Engineer Dan Fletcher went on to describe what the job is like. “We assess and critique customers’ designs, so it’s a lot of problem-solving, and seeing what will work best for the customer — it is hard work, but it’s a lot of fun,” Fletcher explained.

Aldo DeAmicis toured students through the assembly
department, showing wheel plate assemblies
Out on the manufacturing floor, a second group was touring the facility with DeAmicis who described different types of manufacturing to the students; for example, the distinctions between additive and subtractive manufacturing.

After the groups swapped places and met with other members of staff including CAD Designer Donald Wright, a long-standing BWG member of the Engineering Department, students enjoyed a fun-filled lunch held on-site.

“An important aspect of the day for these students, aside from getting to learn engineering and manufacturing, is understanding that manufacturing in this day and age is really a sub-sect of technology,” Barbara Williams explained, Executive Assistant to Bishop-Wisecarver’s President Pamela Kan.

Williams continued, “What most people don’t realize is that there are very few, if any industries, that aren’t linked to manufacturing. And considering how fast technology is moving, the two are merging at a rapid rate.”

To learn more about Bishop-Wisecarver Group’s sponsorship programs, classroom lectures, and facility tours, visit us online at

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Double Product Feature: Paper Towel Transfer Unit & Spool Handling Unit

DOUBLE FEATURE Too much of a good thing is a very good thing, and in today's application spotlight, we're featuring two HepcoMotion products back-to-back. Check out how two different products were used for motion without limits.

Twin back-to-back oval tracks have carriages joined with support rollers, with connecting links for driving, that move paper towels from one place to another. This assembly combines the PRT2 (precision ring and track) and DTS (driven track system) product lines.

The durability and strength of HDLS (heavy duty driven linear system) lies in its capabilities. The beauty of HDLS is that it utilizes heavy duty slides and actuates them by AT series belt. Both the narrow unit and the wide HDLS units feature left, right, and dual
output shafts, and gear boxes may be supplied directly coupled to units. Extended output shafts on gear boxes are also possible to drive two systems in parallel.

Optional shock absorbers and rubber buffers are available for HDLS systems. In this application example the gripper holds a spool of kevlar fiber tape during the production of high performance composite storage tanks. The spool gripper rotates on a ring and moves on the HDLS unit.

To learn more about these application stories and
others, visit us online:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Linear Actuators and Rotary Guides on SlideShare

Check out our latest uploads on the Bishop-Wisecarver Group SlideShare channel. We recently posted a three part series on our latest product release. Learn more about our seamless rotary guide design and other great information in our new, easy-to-use slideshow.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Watch, Read, Listen, Do: 3D Printing Human Body Parts and Cursory STEM Education

Albert Einstein said, "Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere." Just as it's critical to keep your thinking skills and logical abilities sharp, it's even more crucial to foster your imagination. Part of what lights up our creativity here at the Bishop-Wisecarver Group is how well we keep current on the world around us. We're checking in on social media channels for the good and the great because we're more than just your linear slide and rotary guide specialists! We're also a specialty contract manufacturer and engineering service provider — a bustling family of solutions looking for inspiration that will spark new creative ideas. Here's a bit of what we found inspirational in the world of science, technology, engineering, art, and manufacturing. Where do you dial in for the latest news?

Photo Credit: DesignNews
[ Watch ] Elizabeth Montalbano, Design News contributing author, informs us of the ways in which the 3D printing revolution poses solutions for many medical dilemmas. Moving forward into the future, for example, burn victims can have skin cells 3D printed to resolve damage to their bodies. What other creative applications of 3D printing are they making a reality? Check out this slideshow!

[ Read ] According to Pat Reynolds of Packaging World, by 2020, only 20 percent of equipment mechanically constructed in 1980 would would be mechanical, with electronics taking their place. With that, "mechatronics" engineering training will be more important than ever.

[ Listen ] An experiment conceived a half century ago has confirmed Einstein's general relativity predictions of the spacetime effects of Earth's mass and spin, Karen Hopkin reports. Tune into this fascinating podcast.

Photo Credit: Bricks4Kidz
[ Do ] Calling all parents! With locations all over the United States and Canada, there are plenty of opportunities for your children to play at Bricks 4 Kidz, which provides an atmosphere for children to “… learn… build… and play…” with LEGO® bricks. Programs are designed by engineers and architects, with exciting themes such as space, construction, and amusement parks, and specially designed project kits and theme-based models provide the building blocks for the Bricks 4 Kidz approach to educational play. At Bricks 4 Kidz, we believe that kids learn best through activities that engage their curiosity and creativity.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Motion Monday: Inventions and Innovations Coming This Weekend at the Maker Faire

PDF Download: Click Here
Bishop-Wisecarver was founded on the ingenuity of Bud Wisecarver. His passion for invention and innovation grew into a company, and today we are celebrating more than sixty years of business.

All because one person was driven to do something great!

That's why were excited every year when the Maker Faire comes to the San Francisco Bay area, "The Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth" where makers from all around the globe come to share and celebrate their creative visions, imaginative projects, and DIY fun (May 19th and 20th).

It's a family-friendly festival focused on invention, creativity, and resourcefulness — truly a celebration of the good and the great known to many as the Maker Movement.

In honor of the big weekend coming up, we've created a fun word search of terms related to all things Maker Faire. To learn more about the Maker Faire, visit

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Watch, Read, Listen, Do: Motion Control for Halloween Props and the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth

Albert Einstein said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Just as it's critical to keep your education up to date, it's even more crucial that your imagination be fed daily doses of inspiration. Part of what lights up our creativity here at the Bishop-Wisecarver Group is how well we keep current on the world around us. We're checking in on social media channels for the good and the great because we're more than just your linear guide specialist! We're also a specialty contract manufacturer and engineering service provider — a busy family of solutions looking for inspiration to spark new creative ideas every day. Here's a bit of what we found inspirational in the world of science, technology, engineering, art, and manufacturing. Where do you dial in for the latest news?

[ Watch ] So Bad So Good writer Alex Wain asks, "Who needs an entire restaurant of expensive chefs, sommeliers, crisp cut waiters or a maĆ®tre d’ when you have an army of 20 robots waiting for your command?" His article features a small restaurant located in Harbin, China that is attracting diners looking for something a little different. Now that's a lot of motion without limits! Check out the photos featured in this write-up.

Photo Credit: So Bad So Good
[ Read ] David Mantey, the Executive Editor at PD&D, recently wrote a cover story titled "Welcome to My Nightmare" that showcases how motion control and automation play a part in the making of Halloween props. The industry known for producing all things that go bump in the night is no stranger to the many imaginative uses of linear slides and rotary guides.

[ Listen ] President of Bishop-Wisecarver Group, Pamela Kan, was featured in the "7 Minutes With" audio series by Modern Distribution Management (MDM) on the impact of sequestration, the value of bringing manufacturing back to the U.S., why social media is part of the manufacturer's growth strategy, and more. Hear what she had to say!

Photo Credit: Bishop-Wisecarver
[ Do ] The Maker Faire is coming to the San Francisco Bay Area this month, so if you're in the area, don't miss out on this inspirational event! From life-size robotic giraffes to CNC routers that will make your woodworking dreams come true, it really is "the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth." Meet the makers and their creative designs in "a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness." Tickets can be purchased online prior to the event.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Q&A for Naasik Akkas, Test and Automation Engineer

Naasik first started at Bishop-Wisecarver
as an intern last year.
Naasik Akkas joined the Bishop-Wisecarver team late last year, bringing with him a mechanical engineering degree from UC Berkeley and with an internship at Bishop-Wisecarver already under his belt. Invigorated by the knowledge and experience that he was able to gain here during the summer of 2012, Naasik focuses his work on mechatronics as a Test and Automation Engineer. Not only was the team excited to have him the first time, but even more enthused that he came aboard after completing his education. Have a question for Naasik? Leave a comment in the comments section below!

Question: Why did you want to be an engineer, and did you always know that this was something that you wanted to do, or was it a decision that emerged later?

NA: My dad is a mechanical engineer and I saw what he got to do, so since I was very young I always thought I wanted to be a mechanical engineer. Once I was in high school I got really interested in physics and learned more about mechanical engineering, and that helped me decide that it was something I really wanted to do.

Question: Where did you receive your education in engineering and in what area did you specialize?

NA: I received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley with an emphasis in controls and robotics. I ended up working on two sizeable projects: the first project was a robot that used computer vision to detect people and follow them around, and the second project was an amphibious vehicle that is able to travel on both land and water.

Question: What kind of job experience did you have before joining the Bishop-Wisecarver team?

Answer: I interned at Bishop-Wisecarver during the summer of 2012 doing job functions very similar to those that I am performing now. Before that, I had an internship in Bangladesh doing work with industrial automation.

Question: What advice would you give to a young person who is interested in a career in engineering? Let’s say a middle school student or a high school student.

Answer: Always try to improve your math and physics knowledge. Those are incredibly important subjects for a mechanical engineer to master. Also, for high school students I would say definitely go above and beyond the normal coursework. Most importantly, try to make real world connections with everything you learn.

Question: What's the most rewarding aspect of being an engineer?

NA: When something you build actually works.

Question: Technology plays a big role in the type of engineering that you do. Is it a lot of effort to stay abreast of recent technologies used in your area of expertise?

NA: It can be, but if you are always interested in the subject then it's easy to stay on top of it. I learn a lot from Ali Jabbari (Vice President of Engineering) and George Anwar (Consultant). So talking to the right people and being around the right people in the field helps. Also, articles on the internet and blogs that discuss technology are very useful.

Question: Which aspects of your role at Bishop-Wisecarver do you appreciate the most? In what areas do you find yourself working the hardest?

Answer: I appreciate the amount of creativity we are able to exercise with selecting components and also in other aspects of decision-making. I appreciate the ability to be able to make these types of decisions, and the level of responsibility that we are given is great because I get to learn more by being tasked with solving these problems.

Question: What’s your favorite quote, or personal motto?

Answer: “Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more.” — Louis L'Amour

Question: Do any of your hobbies outside of work relate to your job, any technical trades, or anything having to do with engineering?

Answer: I play with microcontrollers like the Arduino and the Lego NXT Robotics platform to build small devices and work on personal projects for fun. I like making home automation machines.

Question: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Answer: I want to see myself running my own industrial automation and robotics company.