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.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

SMB, Camera, Action! A case study in bearing lubrication...

We all know that bearings are used in an amazing array of products, but we thought it would be interesting to focus on how important the correct lubrication can be to efficient bearing use (& how the wrong choices can be disastrous for customers' final products).

We asked Chris (our MD & technical wizard) to give us an example:

"A manufacturer of security cameras approached us with an urgent problem.  In certain weather conditions, particularly colder weather, a mist was appearing on the inside of the camera dome, blurring the image.

 After some discussion, we realized that the problem was caused by out-gassing (releasing gas previously trapped in the lubricant) of the bearing grease.  The bearings in the motors that controlled the camera were becoming warm during operation and this was enough for the grease to give off a very fine oil mist which condensed on the inside of the colder camera dome.

The customer needed to solve the problem and ship out products within a matter of weeks.  They were not satisfied with the level of support from their existing supplier and had been quoted long lead times for bearings with non-standard grease (this can often be many months).

They approached SMB Bearings Ltd as bearing re-lubrication specialists and, after researching potential replacement greases with a number of lubricant manufacturers, our in-house re-lubrication facility allowed us to quickly supply samples of different bearing types containing various specialist greases.  With the help of our high precision weighing equipment, we were even able to offer a choice of non-standard grease fills for the customer to test .

In a short time, we were able to identify a grease type and grease fill that cured the oil misting problem and saved the customer weeks of downtime".  Thanks Chris.  So next time you're caught on camera, you can think of our bearings!

If you need any help with bearing or lubrication issues, please contact us & we'll use our years of specialist technical knowledge to help resolve your issues.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

SMB Bearings Ltd on Engineering Arena!

SMB Bearings now features on Engineering Arena - a directory for all the engineering products & services that you could possibly need...

Monday, 2 June 2014

Busy downhill weekend...

Some of our friends have obviously had a busy weekend... :-)

Awesome pic of downhill adventures by Philippe Dupuy

And Spoky Woky (aka Marie Bougourd) getting ready to ride before Sunday lunch...
Aaron Skippings hitching a ride on Rob Borek's board at the weekend (photo by Erik Derycke)