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Things I don't understand - Part One of Many

Today the modern version of Biro's pen, under the brand name BiC Cristal, sells 20 million pens throughout the world every day.

OK, I know how many things are made including how you forge chain links, I know how you brick up a well from the top down, how you get ships into bottles - but how do you make ball bearings? I understand how shot towers worked; I also know how specialist Ball Bearing factories were hugely valuable during the War when Germany relied on Swedish production. But how do you make millions of them every day to high standards of accuracy? Cast them and then grind them a bit? Please tell me - I have been trying to find out for years.


And a quick google reveals all!

That one had me puzzled too.


We made millions a day at a large GM auto parts plant I was a manager at.

A hundred machines slamming the basic shape out 16 hours a day. My favorite part was the lapping procedure...there was something cool about making something within a couple of millionths of an inch, over and over again. We made round bearings as well as tapered (used for automobile wheel bearings)

The bearing surfaces of inner and outer races were finished to the same precision.

Testing to failure for some of these bearings could take months...simulating 100's of thousands of miles of travel. We made them mostly for cars, but also made them for railroad cars...big heavy monsters with individual bearings the size of a twinkie.

I've got a largest finished bearing on my desk as I type used for a paperweight.

I personally love Bic biros and even make a point of putting little sticky labels on the body and tops of my new pens, reading, "Adnan's pen - do not chew!". Amazingly, the little labels not only ensure nobody nicks off with my pen, but nobody chews it either - and nobody gets offended in the process!

Anyway, I noticed these here new Bic crystal gel pens in the supermarket the other day. "Great!", I thought,"I love Bic pens and I love gel pens - I'll but some!"

Well, I have bought four pens so far and after using them on shift at work, they stop working shortly after using them for the first time. no matter what I do, they just stop working.

That's my experience with the new Bic gel pens. Don't buy them!

Bic Biros... Why is it they stop working shortly after taking the lid off yet another brand new one? This is soooo frustrating... is it just me or this is a massive con?

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