Thursday, 22 June 2017

Roxana's epic summer edit for Enuff Skateboards...

Summer's well & truly arrived folks & who better to put a spring in your summer step than 
Roxana Howlett! 

Well, what can we say apart from we LOVE this kid & her dedication to skating 💗

Check out her summer edit for sponsor Enuff Skateboards (& we get a little mention too! 😉)

Roxana is off to Nass Festival in Bristol in the next couple of weeks & is really looking forward to the experience of skating with some top female skaters at Girls Skate UK

you can expect to see  some of the best skaters in the UK including Josie Millard, Lucy Adams, Rianne Evans, Helena Long and many many more. This competition is not to be missed!  We are sure that Roxana will wow them with her skills!  

In the meantime you can see loads more of Roxana's edits at YouTube or on Instagram & trust us, Roxsk8girl is well worth following.  

We're so proud that our skate bearings help to keep her rolling in style! 💞 

Thursday, 18 May 2017

F1 in Schools team Tiro Racing, photo diary...

Ever wondered what it takes to win an F1 in Schools National Final?  ðŸ†
Well, take a look at these photos from Tiro Racing team & wonder no more 😄

All hail the UK F1 in Schools England National Champions 2017!!  

We are delighted to sponsor Tiro Racing,  a team of six engineering apprentices from Kingston College, SouthWest London, competing in the 2017 F1 in Schools competition.

Meet the Tiro Racing team!

They first competed at the London and South East Regional Final, held at the CEME centre in Rainham, East London on the 8th February. Here, against 25 other teams from around the region, they emerged in 2nd place in the Professional Class as well as winning the award for the best team 
identity.  Due to this success, they then qualified to represent the area at the UK National Final.

The F1 in Schools UK National Final took place at the internationally acclaimed Silverstone GP Circuit on the 29th and 30th of March 2017. The National Final consisted of the best 30 teams from 11 different regions across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The level of competition over the two days was extremely high, with quite possibly the highest standard ever reached
for a UK National Final. The stakes were undoubtedly high with the top 3 placed teams overall, along with the Home Nation Champions, being able to progress further in the competition to the World Finals...
Tiro Racing showing off their trophies.

After the two days of competition, Tiro Racing were crowned English National Champions and were awarded with the prestigious Best Engineered Car, as well as being placed 2nd overall in the UK.

England Winners!!!

Tiro Racing's "Best Engineered Car" 2017...
Therefore, they go on to represent England at the forthcoming 2017 F1 in Schools World Finals in Kuala Lumpur in September, with the goal of becoming World Champions.  Additionally, they are the first ever apprentice team in the history of the 14-year competition to reach the World Finals!

Tiro Racing meeting with local MP meeting James Berry...

MP James Berry (centre) being presented with his very own Tiro Racing team top

Tiro Racing facing the judges panel at the F1 in Schools National Finals

Demonstrating the car to the judges...

Ready for launch...
Ready to race!!

The pit display, part of the branding & team image that Tiro Racing were judged on

Tiro Racing are such a dynamic team of young people & we'd like to wish them every success in this fantastic STEM event - we hope that we can help them to progress to the top in the forthcoming World Championships in September! 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆

To keep up to date with the latest news from the team you can visit the Tiro Racing website, 
or you can follow them on Twitter (@TiroRacing) or check them out on Facebook ðŸ’«

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Aaron Skippings, SMB's very own downhill skateboarding whizz...

Our technical whizz Aaron Skippings is also a downhill skateboarding whizz!  Last weekend saw the  tremendously successful downhill skate event "Rumble at the Peep", a British Regional event (which adds national BDSL ranking points to competitors' profiles) which was organised by Aaron himself!!

Aaron hard at work at SMB...

The event was attended by 30 national competitors, so there was a really strong challenge for the top spots, but Aaron managed to pip everyone else to the post & came first (boo-hiss to those that say it was rigged!! 👅).

Top of the event, Aaron (pictured left) celebrates & finishes top of the BDSL rankings too!

This small but dynamic sport is always looking for new starters to join the fray - if you're interested in getting into the sport you can start by visiting the BDSL FB page for more information, or just dive straight in & go to HogHill Event at Redbridge Cycling Centre in London (which is specifically designed for beginner riders).

A slight verge detour on the descent - Aaron cruising past on the right of the picture

Hitching a ride back uphill after the downhill! Credit to Kai Menneken for the photos...

Later on this year, Aaron is heading off to Canada to compete in the L'Ultime Descente - Top Speed Challenge - the aim of this crazy game is to skate down the one of the steepest descents in the world, without killing yourself, at around 75 miles per hour - easy, right?!  We'll nervously bring you all the news from this challenge in September...

Aaron in our technical suite at SMB...
Until then, you can see what Aaron's been up to in the last year or so in this little slideshow:

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Introducing F1 in Schools competitors Tiro Racing...

We are delighted to introduce to you F1 in Schools team Tiro Racing
made up of six dedicated engineering apprentices currently attending Kingston College
who are competing in the F1 in Schools competition with high ambitions this year!

Tiro Racing team...

The team say:
 "F1 in Schools is the world’s largest multi-disciplinary STEM competition. Students must form teams of 4 - 6 members to design, manufacture and test a model Formula 1 car complying with a stringent set of regulations. Alongside this, teams must consider team identity, branding, marketing and sponsorship, similarly to how a real Formula 1 team would operate. These teams must then compete against each other at a Regional, National and International Level, putting their handiwork through the tough scrutiny of a panel of judges.

Tiro Racing pit display...

We competed at the London and South East Regional Final at the CEME Centre, Rainham on the 8th February. We were successful in winning the award for Best Team Identity and placed 2nd overall, as well as having the fastest car. Due to this result we will be representing the region at the UK National Final at the Silverstone GP Circuit on the 28th-30th March. Here we will compete against the best teams from around the country to determine the 2017 UK National Champions, as well as deciding who will progress through to the 2017 World Finals!
Tiro Racing's car for the regional finals...

Our goal is to become National Champions, so make sure to keep checking our website and social media (Facebook and Twitter) for regular updates on everything Tiro!
Thank you for your support and we hope to see you at the UK National Final!"

We are happy to be a small part of helping Tiro Racing achieve their goals & are delighted to be sponsoring the team throughout their F1 in Schools adventure this year.  We were so impressed by their dynamic approach, we just couldn't say no - we have sent them our very finest precision EZO bearings & hope this goes some way to giving them the winning edge this year 😃  

All the best from us all at SMB Bearings, to the epic crew at Tiro Racing!

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Introducing skateboarder Roxana "Rox Sk8 Girl" Howlett...

It's always great to hear from young people with a real dedicated passion for their chosen hobby, so we were delighted to get a message recently, introducing us to Roxana Howlett.  

Roxana with a little bit of SMB booty to get her 2017 off to a flying start 💫

We were so impressed with the progress that she's made in just one year of skateboarding that we were delighted to immediately make her part of our little SMB skate family!  We will be looking forward to bringing you her news & updates as she continues her skateboard journey, but in the meantime you can follow her on Instagram @roxsk8girl or on her YouTube channel Rox Sk8 Girl.

Her very proud Mum, Emma, says:

"My daughter Roxana is 7 years old. She has been skating for less than a year and has a real passion for it. After school each day she runs straight through the house and out the back door onto her miniramp.  She skates every day without fail!   I'm not sure where she gets her talent from as none of our family skate so it's purely driven by her love for skating. 

Enuff skateboards are Roxana's deck sponsor and she features on their riders page here"

We are sure that Roxana will be a star of the future, if she continues working just as hard as she is right now at her passion for skateboarding, & we're looking forward very much to being a small part of her journey.

Big loves from us all at SMB Bearings Roxana!

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

All of us at SMB Bearings Ltd would like to wish our colleagues, 
customers & friends the very best for Christmas & the coming year! 😄


We will close at midday on 23rd December & re-open at 9am on the 3rd January 2017 - see you in the New Year!

Friday, 16 December 2016

SMB's new non-magnetic bearings brochure...

We're delighted to be starting work on a new brochure, to showcase our non-magnetic bearings - we have plastic (acetal resin), ceramic & 316 grade stainless steel bearings available for a diverse range of applications...

Sometimes applications require bearings to be non-magnetic or non-conductive. Such bearings may be required in medical equipment such as MRI scanners, electron beam process equipment, semiconductor equipment, liquid crystal manufacturing, magnetometers and other areas of the electronics industry for example.

Acetal bearings with glass balls

Acetal bearings with 316 stainless steel balls

Different materials for rings, balls and cage are required where a bearing is required to be non-magnetic or non-conductive. We have various options. Our semi-precision acetal resin bearings have either 316 stainless steel balls or glass which fit these requirements. 

Flanged plastic/acetal bearings...

We can supply full ceramic bearings most commonly made from zirconium dioxide or silicon nitride or, alternatively, austenitic stainless steel bearings made from 316 grade stainless steel. The cages are made from non-magnetic and non-conductive material such as acetal resin or PEEK and the balls are either 316 stainless steel or ceramic.

Ceramic bearings ...

316 grade stainless steel bearings

If you'd like to find out a little more (before our swanky new brochure is unveiled 😉) then please contact us or you can find more details at our website.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

What a year for Ian Emery, RC Heli pilot...

Another year has passed (well, almost 😉) & it's been another year of excitement & brilliant achievement for our friend & British F3C team-member Ian Emery.  At SMB Bearings, we're always delighted when we get to hear how our bearings are being put to use & Ian certainly used them in fine style in 2016!  We'd like to say a big thanks to Ian for taking the time to share this fantastic season summary with us:

Ian at the controls...

"Wow, what a roller-coaster of a year it's been.  A few days after I wrote my last blog for SMB Bearings I set off on my biggest RC Helicopter adventure to date, which was to the FAI F3C European Championships.

On the practice field...

  Being in a position to represent the British Team in a major Continental competition was a dream come true, a competition where I would be up against the best F3C pilots in Europe including European and former World Champion Ennio Graber. 

Truly a hard-won shirt (& one to treasure)...
It was an early start to drive to Watford in order to meet up with the rest of the Team.  To minimise costs we had arranged to travel together in one vehicle which was a challenge in itself.  We had 4 people, 7 helicopters, 2 generators, 4 cases, 4 Transmitter cases, batteries, chargers and a good selection of spares including a complete bearing set from SMB Bearings just in case.  We just needed a kitchen sink, which as it was a Volkeswagon Shuttlebus I'm sure we could have had one fitted if we wanted to!

Helicopters packed - now where are we going to fit the pilots?! 😅
After the 1100 mile journey to Wlocklawek in Poland we had a quiet night before getting down to business the following day. Our Team manager, Mike Gilfillan was fresh as a daisy after flying out to meet us.  Positions of responsibility has its privileges I guess.  First we went to the Airfield where the competition would be held and what an amazing venue it was.

The British F3C team - what a gang!

We then wandered over to one of the official practice sites and met up with the German and Swedish Teams.  Still feeling a little rusty after missing so much practice time, I flew several flights and began to feel more comfortable and was really looking forward to what lay ahead.  The following day we had Official model processing and Team registration.  Whilst I was confident my model would be okay, I had never weighed it so was just hoping that it weighed less than the 6.5 KG limit. Thankfully we all passed the processing and the Team were officially registered into the competition. 

The following day was the official practice day when each pilot was allocated a 10 minute window to fly at the main Competition site.  It was much cloudier than we had experienced over the first few days and rather than flying a full schedule I just wanted to do a few runs up and down the flight-line to try and get used to the site. At this point I was beginning to feel at ease so did a few of the aerobatic manoeuvres.  Before I knew it my 10 minutes had passed and I had done all that I could.  Round 1 awaited me after what I was hoping would be a good night's sleep.

The flight order had been released and I would have to wait until the end of the day for my flight with only reigning Champion Ennio Graber to fly straight after me.  The day flew past and soon it was my turn to report to the start box.  By this time I was feeling rather nervous, especially as Ennio was looking over my shoulder.  I remember saying to him how nervous I was and he replied "me too" which I thought was a really nice gesture and it did help settle my nerves.  The first flight went much better than I could have dreamed of but it was way too early to see how it was all going to turn out. 

 The next 2 days went really well and I found myself lying in 25th place.  A place in the final was out of my reach at this point but still wanted to put in a good round to try and climb a place or two.  The fourth round score wasn't as good as my previous ones, but it was enough to climb one place and finish 24th which I was elated with as I finished ahead of some great pilots.  This was without a doubt the highlight of my F3C career.  

I met some fantastic people and the memories will stay with me forever.  I had done all that I could, so the remainder of the competition allowed me to watch the finals and cheer on my Team mate Steve Roberts who had made the cut. Steve managed to climb a few places but he had left himself a bit too much to do to reach the podium.  All that was left was the closing ceremony, presentations and banquet before we set off on the 1100 mile trip back home.
The final scores & a magnificent effort puts Ian 24th overall...
The month of August was soon upon us and it was time for the Team trials for next year's Team.  As always it was a very close battle between myself and good friend Roger Mayo.  

Ian & friendly rival, Roger Mayo
Unfortunately, Roger pipped me to the post and secured the third Team place for the 2017 World Championships with me relegated to Team reserve.  Whilst I was bitterly disappointed, the practice time I had missed out on throughout the Year was evident.

There was one thing left to focus on now and that was the last World Cup competition of the season which was held near Abingdon. 

World Cup competitors line-up, Abingdon.
I was ready for this one and was determined to get over the disappointment of not making the team.  After a prolonged period of torrential rain we finally had a break in the weather and got started. After 5 rounds I'm managed to finish in 6th place which I was really happy with.  
Points mean prizes!! 😉

6th place finish at Abingdon - go Ian! 👍
This also meant that along with the points I had gained in Holland and Belgium, I had managed to finish 7th overall in the first ever season of the F3C World Cup.

Now it's time to reflect on this year's high's and low's, perform some much needed maintenance on both Helicopters and work towards next Year's competitions .  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the staff at SMB Bearings for their help and fantastic support throughout the year.  I have had hundreds of trouble free flights thanks to the superb quality of bearings they have available". 

We are so proud of you & your achievements Ian - it hasn't been a perfect year for you but you've proved to everyone that you can still achieve your dreams - you are a real inspiration to us all.  

Best wishes from us all at SMB Bearings Ltd (& may 2017 bring you a sprinkling more luck & another fantastic flying season)!