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Sue Witkowski

Driverless cars: impact on design and driver

Author: Sue Witkowski, Marketing services manager

18th Jul 2016

No longer a futuristic luxury, driverless cars are now very much a thing of the present. With companies such as Mercedes, Bentley and Tesla all introducing their concepts to the public, automotive design is changing at a rapid pace.

A Business Solution

It isn’t just manufacturers who are getting involved with autonomous vehicles; companies such as Google and Uber are utilising this emerging technology to increase their business offering.

An issue Uber is currently facing is the lack of drivers to keep up with demand. Autonomous technology not only combats this, it also opens up the opportunity to increase the efficiency of their business.

The Idea

BMW’s 100th Birthday celebration was the chosen platform to introduce their new research vehicle, Vision 100. This works to ‘maintain an emotional connection between the machine and its driver in a world where self-driving cars are expected to be the norm.’

With 48% of people saying they would not purchase a car they liked if the technology was too hard to use, it is important to maintain this relationship between driver and vehicle.

Volvo’s CEO also released a statement with their introduction of Concept 26 accepting ‘full liability whenever one of our cars is in autonomous mode’ meaning there is a realisation that with this generation of cars comes the need to prioritise safety and reliability.

Aspects of Design

Integrated design brings these concepts to life - combining the best of biomimicry with classic construction in one harmonious design. 4D printing is incorporated to add a responsive element to design, enabling adaptive responsive behaviour to bring the structure to life. Combine this with geometric symmetry, innovative materials and colour pallets that are inspired-by-nature, and you have the next generation of seamless automotive design.

LED lighting, which adds a three dimensional depth to aspects of the design, plus rotating and reclining chairs for both passenger and driver all bring an enhanced level of travelling experience. All passengers, including the ‘driver’ can relax comfortably as they head to their destination. As drivers, we will have access to more spare time while in the car.

Many of these concepts operate using a range of ‘modes’ to determine which elements of the car can operate at any given time. Whether introducing screens to watch films or the news or allowing the driver’s seat to recline horizontally to get comfortable, this breed of intelligent car takes away the stress that can go with driving.

Opening Opportunities

Self-driving cars have the ability to take 80% of cars off of the road, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology report, improving traffic conditions through cities and built up areas. This technology also has the advantage of offering independence for those with visual impairments or disabilities, where driving hasn’t been an option before. So potentially these autonomous vehicles will not only reduce traffic and significantly reduce accident rates, but also create the opportunity for independence.

Moving Forward

This technology is adapting quickly. It is anticipated that the fully autonomous car, where passengers can go from A – B without human interaction, will start to be seen on our streets from 2019.

But before these can be introduced for consumer use, there are still a few kinks which need to be worked out. Night driving and trickier road conditions such as rain, fog and ice mean there is still a long road ahead before this technology will be easily accessible on the automotive market.

Public trial for driverless cars beginning in Milton Keynes. 11 October 2016

Sue Witkowski

Hiding a kitchen behind sliding doors is simple.

Author: Sue Witkowski, Marketing services manager

4th Apr 2016

I’m designing a kitchen in a studio flat and want to hide the kitchen behind tall doors. Any suggestions on the type of sliding door hardware I can use?

Using tall sliding doors in kitchen installations is becoming very popular and the Accuride 1432 pocket door slide will do this job very nicely.

It has been designed for doors up to 2.3m tall and up to 34kg in weight and the anti-racking cable system synchronises the top and bottom slides so that doors open evenly. The cable system is very simple to install and prevents any door sag, keeping them parallel with the cabinet.

Accuride’s pocket door slides allow an opened door to be retracted back inside the cupboard space into a ‘pocket’ created by the side wall of the cabinet and an optional parallel internal panel.

1432 pocket door slide for tall doors

The pocket conceals the door, maximises access to the cabinet interior and at the same time minimises the obstructive nature of conventionally opening doors.

Read more about how the 1432 pocket door slide can be used - this time in a TV and display cabinet.

Go to the web page to download the 1432 datasheet, the hinge recommendations and drawings.

If you need further help please contact us by emailing or call your local Accuride office.

John Whittlesea

Can an Accuride full-extension drawer slide be used as a flat mounted slide?

Author: John Whittlesea, Technical support manager

16th Mar 2016

Some full-extension (100% travel) slides can be flat (horizontally) mounted, but there will be a reduction in their load bearing capacity.

Typically this will reduce to 25% of the side mounted load rating.

For example, if we state that a side mounted slide can take a 100kg load, then the load will be reduced to 25kg if it is flat mounted.

Look for this symbol on the datasheet to see if the slide can be used in this orientation.

The Accuride 100% extension slides that can be flat mounted are:

DS0330, DZ3301, DZ3307, DZ3308, DZ0301, DZ0305, DS0305, DS3031, DZ3507, DZ5417, DZ7957, DZ9301, DP9301.

Some of our 75% extension slides can also be used in the horizontal position. See the individual datasheets for more information.

Read more about horizontal mounting here.

Sue Witkowski

Two-way travel slides

Author: Sue Witkowski, Marketing services manager

3rd Feb 2016

Normally you would expect a telescopic slide to move in only one direction.

For example, a drawer is usually opened from just one side. But a 2-way travel slide allows that drawer to be opened from both the front and the back of the cabinet.

These clever slides are not just for opening drawers – there are lots of ways they can be used.

Have a look at this video. We show 4 different models and some application ideas.

Need more information?

If you want more technical information go to the product web page for each model to download the datasheets and CAD drawings.





These are stock items and can be ordered direct from your local distributor. Go to the Contact us page to find your nearest re-seller or email

17th Nov 2015

I went to see them on a crisp November morning in Poznan and chatted to their Product Manager, Radoslaw Berlowski, who told me about the latest happenings in their company and in the Polish industry generally.

What stage are you at with your new building? What was the main reason behind building it? How has it improved the service to your clients?

As you can see the new building is now completely ready. You came just in time as yesterday we received the final permission to move in. In a few weeks we shall move out of the old building from the other side of the road.

We have significantly increased our warehouse and office areas by more than 3 times. The new office area is 1400m2 and the warehouse 1700m2, which also accommodates 3 storage levels.

We have built an automated internal transport system which will collect parts from the whole stock range. If an order comes through before 3pm, we’re able to ship the goods on the same day.

What are your challenges?

We made a big investment in the new warehouse, which includes production machines for cutting, and also chamfering and grinding for linear shafts and rails.

We hope that the new facility will help us to build up our position in the Polish and European markets.

We want to be one of the best suppliers in terms of product availibity, delivery and technical support.

As a distributor, do you feel supported enough by your suppliers?

A good relationship between supplier and customer is a big part of creating a successful business.

We have seen a trend in the past 3 years where all the brands have extended their efforts to be in touch with resellers. They know our customers and they try to understand our daily problems.

We are happy that we receive this kind of support from Accuride.

What was more important to you when choosing your brand partners – well known names that consumers might recognise or the level of support you'd receive from the company?

This may sound odd, but when we started cooperation with Accuride in 2007, we really didn’t know the Accuride brand. We wanted to include some kind of telescopic slide in our portfolio to widen the offer for our clients with different solutions.

In the beginning we didn’t have any expectations about how much support we would get from a supplier. But I am sure today's success could not have been possible without close cooperation and support. Today we cannot imagine Albeco without Accuride.

Do you see yourselves as a MRO (maintenance repair operation) distributor or as a design solutions provider?

We are mainly roller bearing and linear solution suppliers. We work intensively in the MRO market, but we also have a lot of customers where we can suggest a product for a new application.

We can offer an idea, but at the same time we basically deliver components and not always complete solutions.

What effect does the internet have on your business?

We sell plenty of our products thanks to the internet.

We have approx. 40,000 product lines in stock and from our web shop the clients can very easily and quickly find what they need. This is especially important for the MRO market where drop-in replacement parts can be vital to keep a business running.

Our web shop was primarily created for smaller resellers rather than end users or private individuals. But the on-line world is changing very quickly and we need to be able to cover all kind of market sectors and users, so we constantly need to improve.

Do you see B2B e-commerce taking over the traditional face-to-face meeting with clients? If not, why not?

I don't know how it is in other countries, but in Poland a few years ago young people used to play outside. Now they are sitting inside chatting and ‘facebooking’ with their friends via the internet.

This trend can also be seen in business. Many clients are looking for ideas and solutions from the net. Nevertheless, we need to remember that when faced with more complicated problems and projects, or when specific technical help is required, people still prefer direct contact.

With B2B clients you still need traditional face-to-face meetings.

Which new technologies do you see having an impact on engineering? What’s new in the engineering world, for example, new products and materials?

In general, the biggest pressure is to reduce the price of the final product.

Manufacturers are trying to use cheaper materials, for example, plastics instead of metal, to provide the same reliability.

Obviously not everything is always possible. But using plastics can reduce the maintenance costs by offering better corrosion resistance and reducing the component weight.

What are the new market sectors or trends you expect in 2016 and what effect would these have on your business?

As I mentioned before, many engineers are changing existing products for low cost versions without compromising the functionality or durability of the product.

Trends in industrial industries don’t change as fast as in the fashion or interior design business. The product life cycles tend to be much longer.

We can sell a bearing that has been around for 40 years and if that is what the customer wants and is happy with – great! But of course we keep in touch with the market changes and client needs and react to them and new ideas accordingly.

How is your market looking in general?

The market is still growing in Poland, with no crises on the horizon.

The Polish gross national product is 3,5%. Albeco’s increase is nearly double of that.

In general we feel that it is harder and harder to employ well educated staff in bigger towns. Foreign companies like VW „wipe” the employee market clean. For example, Amazon has organised transportation for its employees within a 90km radius.

What is your favourite Accuride product and why?

In my opinion, the light duty DZ2431 is my favourite. It has a fabulous smooth movement without any noise and almost no friction.

Our top heavy-duty sellers are the DZ9301 and DZ9308 telescopic slides – suitable for just about any heavy-duty application you may need!

What is the most unusual application you have ever come across?

Accuride has a little marketing gadget – the bottle opener.

It is actually a two-way travel slide and it initiated an industrial application. In a modified version, with steel balls and zinc finish, this slide has been used in a train cabin as a guidance lever for the driver.


Planning to buy, install or use a drawer slide?
Our 'What.How.When' guide to ball bearing slides is everything you need.

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