Pamel Kan Pi-Day Bishop-Wisecarver
Pamela Kan, President
Photo: Melsha Nicole Photography

Full disclosure, math is not my best subject, in fact it ruined my chances at becoming a pharmacist, but when 3.14.15 comes around only once in a century, we need to celebrate! While I may not be stellar at math I love STEM and making sure our kids are getting a great STEM based experience in school. So we combined two of our favorite subjects – math and food – and built the first ever Bishop-Wisecarver Pie Making Machine in honor of Pi Day 2015. You won’t find it added to our sales catalog just yet, but you can check out what products we used to build it in a list I’ve included below.

Who says manufacturing, math and technology can’t be fun? We made pies, had a pie eating contest and then threw, smashed and “gently placed” pies in the faces of our colleagues. No matter what method was used, the pie made its mark. You can’t fake this kind of fun and you can check out the results in this short video.


We had fun with this historic event and made a big deal of this at our California headquarters – specially designed bright blue Pi shirts worn by all, towels filled with whip cream from wiping faces and lots of laugher echoing on the plant floor. I think I had red icing in my eyebrows for a day! Sounds like a kindergarten class, but that’s what I love about our company – we know how to work hard and play hard together.

Our Pi Day 2015 event highlights two of the many reasons I love leading the Bishop-Wisecarver team. First, we enjoy what we do and the people we get to work with on a daily basis. We spend a lot of hours, days, months and years with some colleagues and these relationships help us get better personally and professionally, as individuals and as a company. When I look at our silly video, I see the smiling faces, but I also see the “stories” of each of the people represented. I know when they started working at Bishop-Wisecarver, the projects they’ve helped make successful and the extra hours they’ve put in to helping a customer realize success. We don’t think it’s old-fashioned to say we are like a family here – that connection makes a positive difference in everything we do. And, it’s why we can smear a pie in someone’s face and then go enjoy a beer or a round of golf together.

Bishop-Wisecarver Employees at PiDay
The Bishop-Wisecarver Family
Photo: Melsha Nicole Photography


Brian Burke
Brian Burke, Product Manager
Photo: Melsha Nicole Photography

Secondly, this event is just one of the many ways we try to show students that subjects like math and science, and industries like manufacturing, don’t equate to a boring career. Learning how to build a pie making machine wasn’t part of my high school curriculum, but when I tell students about our machine, or they see the video, it will open up possibilities and ideas they hadn’t considered. Helping students understand the opportunities in our manufacturing world is one of our top priorities at Bishop-Wisecarver. We talk in classrooms, welcome tours of students, mentor in a variety of programs and sponsor local science and engineering events as well as several FIRST Robotics teams locally. We are very proud to also sponsor FIRST robotics at the national level. We do all of this as a way of serving and educating the students of today who will be the employees and inventors of tomorrow. And tomorrow is coming faster and faster all the time! So we made pies, made a mess and celebrated our love of food and math. Pi Day 2015 was truly a celebration for the century!

The automated pie making machine is based upon a LoPro® Linear Actuator. The primary linear axis is a lead-screw driven LoPro with a rotary axis made of HEPCO Motion PRT2 360-degree ring. Both axes are driven by servo motors via LabVIEW development software. The machine also has independent mechanisms for applying whip cream and frosting.

PiDay Pamela Kan Scott McClintock
Pamela Kan, President
Scott McClintock, VP of Marketing & Technology
Photo: Melsha Nicole Photography