Pamela Kan, President
A lot has changed in the world since the year 1950. The POTUS can no longer lead for more than two terms, businesses can perform multi-million dollar transactions at the click of a button, and athletics is no longer a pastime but a full-time occupation.
However, there has been one constant. Nearly 70 years into its inception, Bishop-Wisecarver remains a family-owned, American company committed to earning the trust of customers by delivering customized motion control solutions that thrive in the harshest conditions. The emphasis on “customized” is warranted, given that Bishop-Wisecarver started as a machine fabricator that built customized machines for a wide range of customers. Although its solutions have evolved to include subassemblies, engineering support, unique product customizations, and supply chain services, Bishop-Wisecarver has retained its core philosophy toward manufacturing. “When we engage our customers, we build and design solutions from their point-of-view, to ensure that the solution fits their exact needs. Building customized machinery is in our roots and remains at the heart of our culture,” says Pamela Kan, the President of Bishop- Wisecarver.
The customized solutions would not be possible without the numerous technologies invented by Bud Wisecarver, father of Pamela and the founder of the company. In 1968, Bud achieved a significant breakthrough when he designed Bishop-Wisecarver’s patented DualVee guide wheel that enables a 90-degree bearing to run on a 90-degree track. The first-of-its-kind technology continues to help manufacturers and automation solution providers meet motion guidance requirements by pairing a self-aligning track with the constant sweeping actions of Bishop-Wisecarver’s linear vee guide bearings.
Besides a host of linear track components, guide systems, and actuators, Bishop-Wisecarver’s product suite includes specialty bearings that allow clients to integrate additional features and components. Each Bishop-Wisecarver product is designed to survive and thrive under harsh and extreme environments, be it freezing cold or debris-filled conditions.
So, how exactly do Bishop-Wisecarver’s products stand the test of time?
The self-cleaning DualVee guide wheels traverse gaps easily, travel at high speeds, use internal rolling elements that stay lubricated for life, and feature smooth and quiet movement due to their low coefficient of friction. Furthermore, Bishop-Wisecarver’s products are built with an eccentric bearing feature that allows for easy replacement of the guide wheels and wheel plate. As for Bishop-Wisecarver’s clients, the durability of the products equates to increased production, decreased downtime, lowest cost of ownership, and faster time-to-market. “Other forms of linear actuators cannot withstand harsh environments,” adds Pamela.
Take the example of a firm in the agriculture sector. Before approaching Bishop-Wisecarver, the client struggled to run its machine—for purposes of automation—in harsh conditions plagued by heat, dirt, and moisture.
Building customized machinery is in our roots and remains at the heart of our culture
Bishop- Wisecarver designed an actuator that adapted seamlessly to the client’s processes and farming conditions. In fact, the actuator could withstand multiple farming cycles, as opposed to other components on the field that had to be replaced every season.
The farming company is one of over 25,000 customers across the world that has reaped the benefits of a Bishop- Wisecarver-engineered solution.
Personalized Approach to Customer Service
The technological prowess aside, Bishop-Wisecarver’s success can be attributed to its hallmark Signature Experience, which promises every customer expert guidance, confidence, and 100 percent customer satisfaction. In the age of automation, when most service providers rely on digital platforms to serve customers, Bishop-Wisecarver prefers the personal approach of 1-on-1 interactions. Pamela delves deeper, “We always invite the client’s design engineer to have extensive conversations with our engineers—allowing us to understand their feeds, loads, and what the machine processes strive to achieve. Our approach has always been customer-centric, and we collaborate as much as possible to build the perfect solution.”
This collaborative approach is further highlighted in the fact that Bishop-Wisecarver serves as more than “a provider of metal parts.” By assuming the role of a partner, Bishop- Wisecarver’s engineers work as an extension of the client’s team and are available at every juncture of a project—from the initial design concept, building the first prototype, performance testing and evaluation, and late product lifecycle cost reduction. The strong support system doesn’t end there! Bishop-Wisecarver offers additional support services such as the sourcing of processes, raw material certifications, product serialization, and inspection documentation to help clients enjoy a significant improvement in streamlining their product realization efforts.
Empowering the Next Generation
Bishop-Wisecarver’s customer-centric philosophy is also a reflection of its work culture. Pamela, like her father, prefers to empower and promote her own people and goes the extra mile to serve the local community. During the first Friday of every October, Bishop-Wisecarver observes National Manufacturing Day by opening up its production plant—at Pittsburg, CA—to hundreds of students. The purpose of the event is to enlighten the youth on the opportunities of a manufacturing career as well as giving them firsthand access to the state-of-the-art equipment.
If the last 70 years are any indicator, Bishop-Wisecarver is destined to scale greater heights. Although headquartered in California, the company is proud of its long-term association with distribution partners in Japan, Korea, and other parts of Asia, where it serves clients across sectors such as packaging, medical device manufacturing, and semiconductor fabrication. Despite its sustained success, Bishop-Wisecarver has no plans to slow down and will continue to grow its portfolio with new patents, mechatronics, and forward-thinking solutions. To better serve its global clientele, Bishop-Wisecarver recently launched two new tools. Its Product Selector Tool allows customers to answer five short questions through a web-based form to quickly find, and order, the best solution. The company also launched their Product Configurator tool that helps customers design their own LoPro system, with custom lengths, a variety of options and add-ons, and quickly order it online.