Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!


From us all at SMB Bearings
we'd like to wish you all the best for the festive season & for the coming year!  

Our very own warehouse elf, Colin...

Nelly, SMB Bearings biscuit eating director & office mascot...
 We look forward to bringing you news of all our adventures in 2015 - 
including the move to our new premises (scheduled for next summer).

SMB's current home, pictured in the snow...

Friday, 12 December 2014

Schaeffer Mclean, Skateboarding Snowman...

Love this...

 If this doesn't get you in a festive skateboard-y mood then nothing will!  Nice one Schaeffer :-)

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

SMB Bearings pre-Christmas delivery update...

Don't let the pre-Christmas post delays disrupt your orders! 

There are severe seasonal delays to all Royal Mail services & the last posting dates for Eastern Europe have now passed (& are fast approaching for Western Europe & the UK) but SMB Bearings still have a range of options to get your orders to you next day, or within a few days.  Spending just a fraction more now can save a whole heap of frustration later (especially as 1st class post/airpost services are not trackable)!

Please contact us before submitting your order & we'll advise you on a whole range of delivery options.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Photo of the day - featuring Joe Baldwin & Aaron Skippings...

Joe Baldwin (left) & Aaron Skipping (right) - gosh darn it they're lush aren't they?!!

Check out this awesome image of our two favourite gents, chilling out after Pike's Peak,
 in their BTR leathers.   At SMB Bearings, we are very pleased to grace such finely-honed legs - chiseled by years of downhill skating! It is also very nice to see some sunshine (as we're officially in bleak mid-winter phase now) :-)

GLEN POINTON FLY FISHING BLOG: kelly Kettle moment good for the soul,

This is a lovely fishing blog, with lots of interesting tales from the riverbank - well worth a read.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The techies guide to Father Christmas...

We love this...
But please don't worry kids (& concerned adults), this is all just a theory - we all know that Santa uses magic, so the laws of physics don't really apply!

The Physics Of Santa

Monday, 1 December 2014

Race Report from F1 in Schools World Finalists, Team Robus...

We've just had this great season round-up & race report from our friends at Team Robus, who we supported with precision miniature bearings for their F1 in Schools challenge this year.  They're just back from their World Finals adventure in Abu Dhabi...

"Hello everyone! 

Team ROBUS are back from Abu Dhabi, fresh from competing in the F1 in Schools World Finals 2014 as the official Scottish team. We all had a fantastic time showing off our work to the judges and other teams, and we have also had a great deal of fun throughout the project, particularly our time in Abu Dhabi! 

With 37 other teams competing, it was fantastic to meet so many new people and we have made many new friends. During the networking session at the start of the event, we had an opportunity to introduce ourselves to another 240 students from across the world, having interesting discussions about our journey to get to the World Finals, and our hopes and expectations.

It was also extremely enlightening to see everyone else's work and the variety of ways in which the other teams interpreted the regulations. There were no similar pit displays or cars as everyone had their own ideas and their own ways of fitting their designs around the rules set by the competition judges. 

One of the most striking things about the competition was the good spirited nature and support for other teams.  As everyone has gone through the same struggles, all the participants encouraged each other across the competition days, with some superb examples of teams assisting each other. There was so much good spirit between everyone, whilst still maintaining that competitive edge that it created an excellent buzz which lasted throughout the duration of the challenge. This was most evident at the awards ceremony, as applause roared out for everyone who won an award or was even nominated! 
On this occasion, we were unlucky not to collect any awards, but genuinely believe that we became winners from the second that we qualified for the World Finals.  The number and variety of skills we have developed, refined and applied to the various elements of the challenge is truly astounding. From literacy to numeracy, sciences to engineering or design to marketing, the challenge has pushed us and ensured that these skills were not just taught, but applied and that we can use them in later life. It could be said that this has been the real award from our team taking part in the challenge. 

We ended our time away on an exceptional high, with a desert safari, Grand Prix Qualifying and the Grand Prix itself! There was also a sneaky chance to see The Who live in concert...it was fair to say that there were some very envious staff and students back at Deans whilst we were in Abu Dhabi!

We would like to thank all of our sponsors, who offered an exceptional range of support while we were taking part in the challenge - from financial support to assistance with manufacture or printing our pit display boards, to painting our car and even providing folding cardboard trucks; we couldn't have asked for a better network of sponsors.  The assistance that you have all provided us with throughout the last year has been exceptional, and we would not have got to Abu Dhabi without your support. Thank you to you all.

Our thanks also go to our parents, teachers and peers as we couldn't have got as far as we have without you. 

Our congratulations go to all of the teams who won an award and to the top three teams: Boreas Racing in third, Gamma Raycing in second and Colossus, the new world champions. You all did amazingly well, but be warned...with a far better understanding of the competition rules and regulations, future teams from Deans, West Lothian and across Scotland will be far better prepared in the future when attending the World Finals....watch this space!

It's not all over for us, in fact it has just begun - with two new teams from the school competing in the 2015 regional finals and our Legacy Project starting in December! We are very excited about being able to give Primary 7's a taste of the F1 in Schools Challenge and hopefully we will be able to inspire them to take part in future years. Our dream is to be able to have Scotland not counted as a region of the UK in the challenge, but to have it split into its own regions as England is. Here's to making this happen in the next few years!"

Congratulations to Team Robus from us all at SMB Bearings.
It's been a pleasure to support this great team & we admire their valiant efforts greatly,
watch out for these future industry leaders - they'll go far for sure!

Friday, 28 November 2014

How do bearings work? An animated guide...

This cool little video explains to budding techies how the use of radial ball bearings & specifically the steel balls inside them can decrease friction and increase efficiency in a bearing, allowing a wheel, or other spinning component, to spin freely.  

If you'd like to see more technical information on bearings, please visit our website's technical pages, which are jam-packed with useful information on a range of topics & includes advice on material selection, bearing fit, lubrication & much more...

Monday, 24 November 2014

Marie Bougourd (Spoky Woky) is 2nd in 2014 IDF rankings...

Spoky Woky chilling out during her American tour earlier this year

We'd like to send massive congratulations to our friend & downhill skater Marie Bougourd (aka Spoky Woky), who has had an exceptional 2014 downhill skateboard race season, & it's not over yet... :-)

Race action from the Catalina Classic 2014

Several important victories have seen her bag a mightily impressive 2nd place in the IDF world rankings for the 2014 race season to date.

IDF rankings showing Marie (Spoky Woky) with an astounding season points tally

Could Marie now top the season standings?  Maybe!  As she is now jetting off to South Africa for Hot Heels Africa 2014 - a world cup event that could see her on top of the world, so GOOD LUCK!!

Wishing Spoky Woky every success at this event...

Everyone at SMB Bearings is so pleased to be a small part of Marie's success & we look forward to continuing that success into the coming 2015 race season - you ROCK Marie!!!!

Latest from Aaron Skippings, downhill skater...

Aaron in action in California earlier this year

We had a lovely message from our friend Aaron Skippings at the weekend:

"I wanted to say a massive "thank you" to SMB for helping me so much this year and I am so grateful!   It's done a lot for me and helped me skate as fast as i can! Looking forward to next year!" 

Thanks Aaron!  We are so glad that our skate bearings have helped your 2014 downhill skate season to go with & bang & we can't wait to see how you progress in 2015.

Schaeffer Mclean's been busy - again!

Check out the latest action from our mate, sponsored skater Schaeffer Mclean:

What a busy guy!!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Schaeffer Mclean tours local skate spots...

Epic skateboarder Schaeffer Mclean continues his tour of local skate spots...

You can follow this junior genius on Facebook, Google+, Twitter & a host of other social media sites.

And for a bit of "throwback Thursday" check out this vid of him when he was just four years old:

Super cute & super cool :-)

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Marie Bougourd's American adventure flies her up the IDF rankings...

We are delighted for Marie (aka Spoky Woky), as her 2014 IDF downhill skateboard race season continues to see her advance up the international rankings & who knows, as she continues onto the final leg of the race tour in South America next month, maybe she'll even make it to the top?!

Marie is flying up the IDF rankings after her US success & she's hoping to continue the rise
on the South American leg of the IDF tour...
Good luck Marie & big loves from everyone at SMB - we're with you every step of the way :-)

Spoky Woky/Marie Bougourd in action at Pike's Peaks last weekend...

Friday, 29 August 2014

SMB's bearings are going to the movies...

It's always a delight to see new uses for our bearings & we're thrilled to have been in discussions with Dynamic Mounts International, manufacturers of camera stabilization & mounting equipment - our precision miniature bearings are on their way to Hollywood (well, sort of)!

Dynamic Mounts' movie & non-film credits read like an real Oscar winning performance.  From Disney, to Star Wars & James Bond onto the the Olympics - these guys have provided the camera equipment for it all.
Dynamic Mount's rig used for the James Bond film "Quantum of Solace"

We're proper chuffed to be a part of something so exciting :-)


Thursday, 7 August 2014

Joe Baldwin, downhill skater supremo (& supermodel)!

Check out these absolutely gorgeous pictures of downhill rider Joe Baldwin, taken by the extremely talented Robyn Harvey Coggans...

Joe Baldwin - one of the UK's top downhill skateboarders...

for Thrill Magazine & BTR (Born to Ride)

You can find out more & follow Joe's downhill adventures at his Tumblr page.


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

3D printing, a possible future for bearing production?

Well, maybe... for one-off/bespoke items, but at the moment prohibitively expensive compared to conventional steel bearings which can be produced in bulk at just a few pence each!  

An exciting concept though & one worth watching as new materials are added to the 3D printing portfolio.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Cool use of bearings, in a 3D printed watch!

Bearings are often used in clock making & here's a beautiful, 3D printed example,
]created by Nicholas Manousos.

Of the bearings, Nicholas says:
"The ball bearings are the only movement part not made in house. At the large scale I work with it makes most sense to use ball bearings rather than traditional jewels. I experimented with printing jewels using high-strength polymers with acceptable results but found ball bearings to perform much better".

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

SMB's New Facebook Page...

At SMB Bearings Ltd, we've been using Facebook since 2010, to hang out with our friends, but we've finally launched a proper grown-up Facebook page!  

We'll continue to update & entertain our existing Facebook friends on the friends page  & the new page will feature more technical aspects of our bearings & any company news that we have.
 Please like us & help us to spread the word on our fantastic range of precision bearings!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Epic skate videos from two of SMB's favourite people...

We're thrilled to share the French delight that is Spoky Woky (aka Marie Bougourd) with you.

Spoky Woky with her 3rd place board at the Almatrieb after party...
 Spoky has just clinched a brilliant 3rd place in the finals of IDF's Almatreib event this weekend.
See her in action here...

And here we have the incomparable wonder that is Schaeffer Mclean, only nine years old but already a legend on the international skate scene...

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Ian Emery, RC Helicopter pilot, competition update...

SMB Bearings have been friends (& fans) of Ian Emery for over two years now - the RC Heli pilot shares his F3C season update with us here:

"With a short break in the competition season I thought I would take the chance to let you know how I have been getting on.  This is my first year in F3C having moved up from Sportsman’s so I knew that this year was going to be a big challenge.

The first Competition of the year was held at Lendelede, Belgium over the weekend of 10/11 May 14. We got there nice and early on the Friday hoping to get some much needed practice in before the Competition started on the Saturday.  It turned out that you can plan everything down to the last letter but you can never rely on the weather.  

We were greeted by very strong winds with gusts of 38mph, not the ideal way to start my journey in F3C.  We all decided that it would probably be better not to fly so that we had a helicopter left to fly for the Competition.  Unfortunately the weather was extreme to say the least for the remainder of the weekend.  Somehow I managed to be drawn out of a hat to fly the calibration flight (this is to make sure the judges singing off the same hymn sheet).  A mixture of the weather and nerves my calibration flight was awful.  

Thankfully I managed to recover and put in a half descent round for my first round.  The second round, the wind had got worse again and it was touch and go whether we should stop flying. The wind was just inside the limits imposed by the FAI so it was voted on that we should continue.  Trying to keep the model still for the hovering manoeuvres was a nightmare, I decided to try the Aerobatic part of the schedule but it was just too much for me so I came in to land and save the model.  The final round on the Sunday was a little better.  Some of the flying by the other pilots was exceptional, especially the World Junior Champion Pierre Gutierrez and Arnaud Poyet from France and Steve Roberts from the UK.  I eventually finished 14th, but learnt some very valuable things over the course of the weekend.

The next completion was the Scottish Heli Nats just south of Aberdeen at the beginning of June.  Thankfully the weather was much better.  The whole weekend was very enjoyable as always.  I was doing quite well with my flying also lying in 3rd place going into the last round.  For some reason I had a mental block going into the penultimate manoeuvre putting in all of the wrong collective inputs to compensate for the wind earning myself a big fat Zero for that manoeuvre dropping me down to 5th.  It finished very close with only a few points splitting 3rd to 5th. Very disappointing from my perspective but these things happen and hopefully you learn from them and move on.  

The following weekend we made the long trip to Toldijk in the Netherlands for the second round of the Euro Heli Series.  Everything was looking good for a good weekend - a beautiful setting, fantastic weather and amazing hosts.  I felt as though I was really starting to get somewhere with my flying and my model setup,  managing to put in 3 good rounds on the Saturday leaving me in 6th.  There are always areas for improvement but I was happy knowing that there was just 1 more round to fly on the Sunday.  I dropped one place after the round on Sunday but was very happy to finish 7th but from a personal view my scores have steadily been improving throughout the 3 competitions.  

By time we had got home we had travelled over 2000 miles in just 10 days and was very much in need of a break."

Thanks for the update Ian, what an amazingly busy season so far!  We'll bring you more news on Ian's escapades as the season progresses.

Friday, 11 July 2014

SMB's bearings are helping to style the world's hair...

Our bearings are being used in hair stylers - how exciting!!!

As you know, we love hearing where our bearings end up & one of our lovely customers has just advised us that they have developed a curler/styling product for a very well know retail hair-care brand (we've been sworn to secrecy over which one) & our bearings are an integral part of the end-product.  


Tuesday, 8 July 2014

SMB Bearings on Instagram!

Yes folks, you can now check out images of SMB Bearings on our Instagram page!

You can also follow our news & updates via our blog (of course!),

 as well as Facebook, Google + & also Twitter - check us out, getting all high-tech! :-)

Friday, 27 June 2014

F1 in Schools Competition 2014 - Team Robus

We're delighted to have been contacted by the lovely young folks at Team Robus from Deans Community High School in Livingston, who are participating in this year's F1 in Schools Competition

The main objective of F1 in Schools is to help change the perceptions of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people aged 9-19, by creating a fun and exciting learning environment for them to develop an informed view about careers in engineering, Formula One, science, marketing and technology.

Team Robus

Team Robus have done a brilliant job already, having stormed to a proud Scottish victory at the F1 in Schools National finals held in March this year:

"After our regional success, we were invited to the National Finals at the Big Bang Fair in the Birmingham NEC. We were again judged on our car design, race, pit display, portfolio and a verbal presentation. Andrew Denford, the F1 in Schools Chairman informed us that we were the highest scoring Scottish team and were therefore invited to represent Scotland at the F1 in Schools World Finals at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi in November. We are all so happy with our success and we hope that we can do ourselves, the school, and Scotland proud at the World Finals later this year".

And that's where SMB Bearings hope to lend a hand!  With our technical bearing knowledge, we hope to help Team Robus maintain their winning edge on the world stage.  

The team in action

Our bearing expertise will mainly be used to help Katie, the team's wheel designer & engineer (whose current wheel assembly has already been extremely effective), tweak the design to get the best possible results from a strong, speedy & super-light assembly.

A wheel assembly, ready to be installed into the balsa wood car frame.
We hope to help Team Robus build on their success & go to the next level for the F1 In Schools World finals, being held in Abu Dhabi this October, where the team will be facing competitors from 40 other countries.  We can't spoil all the fun by telling you exactly what bearings we'll be using, but hopefully the precision bearings will inject some magic into race days for Team Robus!  

Team Robus design concept for World Finals car.

We'll bring you more news from the team as competition day draws closer.  You can also follow their progress via their websiteTwitter pages.  

Monday, 23 June 2014

Aaron Skippings video montage...

The lengths a man has to go to to get a good video of himself these days!
We'll let Aaron do the talking - well, skating!  

You can find more Aaron-inspired adventures on Youtube
Aaron's competing is Germany & the US of A this year, we can't wait to hear how he gets on

Friday, 20 June 2014

Ron Flemming & his morse code keyer machine...

We had such an exciting visit today from our lovely customer , Mr Ron Flemming.  He's been visiting us recently (to get bearings to repairs his grandchildren's scooters) & on his last visit Ron mentioned a prize winning project he'd created, using our bearings. 

Prize winner (& awesome customer) Ron Flemming, pictured with some of his trophies 
We always love seeing what our inventive customers use our bearings for, so we were a bit cheeky & asked if he'd be able to send us a picture of the morse-code keying machine that he'd painstakingly built by hand in his workshop.  

You can imagine our delight then, when he turned up with this today:

"Hi, As promised  I have attached  some photos of a morse code keyer shown in various stages of construction,  that I built  using your small bearings SR144ZZ.

I am a licenced Radio Amateur with the call sign of "G0 BNC".
The morse keyer was built using scrap materials, plus your Bearings. The keyer is completely  my own design, and  can be used as 3 separate types of keyers.  As far as I am aware there is not a keyer available commercially that can do this. 

Materials used are:
  • Base: oak over 50 years in my possession...

  • Alloy Arms: scrap window frame,   

Finger Keys and Front Arm:  are from a used electronic printed circuit board,  Transmitting Contacts: cut from a electrical relay, then soldered onto the end of brass bolts,   

  • Key Adjusters:  brass screws, brass screw cup washers, compression springs. 

  • The Electronics and Batteries are cut into the base, and Speaker is under the arms.
  • Plus your SR144ZZ bearings that 2 top ones can be seen with  1/8”brass brazing rod centre pivot pins with brass screw cups on the tops.

With this I won the 2012 annual construction  contest. The entries normally have only a few votes separating the first, second, third places, but one of the adjudicators advised me I received well over 50% of the votes. To make it better still, an ex military  operator advised me it`s as good as his expensive keys, and another friend paid over £1000  for his, and the difference is hardly noticeable. One of the reasons is because of the smooth operation of the bearings. One problem I found was because they are so small and smooth, I lost a few between the garage and house (they rolled so well)!

There are a few pics of the cup/trophy to keep, and the annual trophy that is kept for one year with a tag fitted with previous  winners details. (also in pic is the annual new years day direction finding trophy which I won, then  the annual construction contest in February. The main  trophy was donated by the family of G2HIF  who was one of the leading pioneer designers of radar detection systems.

Thank you for your excellent and knowledgeable  friendly service.  Kind Regards,  Ron Flemming."

 Well, Ron - what can we say, apart from thank you, thank you, thank you!  
It is such a delight to see our bearings in use & especially so when they have been used in such a unique way. Ron Flemming is truly a home-build star & obviously a force to be reckoned with in the world of engineering.