September 11, 2012 Volume 08 Issue 34

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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Want to make your factory wireless? NIST how-to guide

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published the first-ever set of science-based guidelines to help users select the best wireless system for any specific industrial environment, custom-design the setup to make it work, successfully deploy it, and then ensure that the network performs as needed. The publication is called, "Guide to Industrial Wireless Systems Deployments." By eliminating physical connections such as wires and cables from a facility's communication network, wireless technology offers many manufacturing, chemical processing, and utility organizations a means to run their entire operation more efficiently, more productively, and at less cost.
Get the guide. No registration required.


Mike Likes: Fixed-mount infrared cameras help you analyze the heat

For precise research, science, and engineering applications, just seeing heat is not enough -- it needs to be measured and analyzed as well. The new Fluke RSE300 and RSE600 Infrared Cameras are the first fully radiometric, fixed-mount cameras from Fluke with advanced features including MATLAB and LabVIEW software plug-ins to easily analyze thermal data. These cameras continuously stream up to 60 frames of data per sec, allowing for detailed monitoring of temperature patterns and variances. With the included SmartView desktop software, users can remotely focus the camera, auto-capture images, adjust level and span, and analyze infrared videos frame by frame. The software also makes it easy to edit images, generate customized reports, and export images to multiple formats to share thermal data quickly.
Learn more.


LED controller for automotive lighting designs

Texas Instruments (TI) has introduced the first 3-channel high-side linear automotive light-emitting diode (LED) controller without internal MOSFETs, which gives designers greater flexibility for their lighting designs. The TPS92830-Q1's novel architecture enables higher power and better thermal dissipation than conventional LED controllers, and is particularly beneficial for automotive LED lighting applications that require high performance and reliability. The LED controller's flexible on-board features give designers the freedom to select the best MOSFET for their system requirements. With this new approach, designers can optimize their lighting power designs more quickly and efficiently for automotive system requirements and desired dimming features.
Click here to learn more.


New ultra high-brightness LCDs for outdoor viewing

The Tianma Group has introduced two new LCDs: a 10.1-in. WXGA and 15.6-in. WXGA, both with ultra-high luminance. These modules are ideal for industrial applications needing superior viewing in outdoor or other high ambient light environments such as ATMs and payment terminals. The 10.1-in.-wide model has a luminance of 1000 cd/m2, and the 15.6-in.-wide model has a luminance of 1250 cd/m2. The ultra-high luminance of these models results in displays with vivid colors and excellent visibility, even in direct sunlight, and further expand Tianma’s extensive offering of industrial products.
Click here to learn more.


Mouser Electronics New Product Insider

Mouser Electronics specializes in the rapid introduction of new products and technologies. As the industry leader in New Product Introductions (NPIs), Mouser makes it a priority to stock the newest products and technologies from their 700+ manufacturer partners, giving customers an edge and helping speed time to market. In 2017, Mouser launched a total of 2,326 new products. Last month, Mouser launched more than 270 new products ready for same-day shipment. Latest products include: Linear Technology/Analog Devices DC1962C-KIT Starter Kit step-down DC/DC controller; TE Connectivity AmbiMate Sensor Module MS4 Series that provides motion, light, temperature, and humidity sensors plus optional sound; andON Semiconductor RSL10 Multi-Protocol Bluetooth 5 System-on-Chip.
See the latest from Mouser Electronics.


LED panel-mount indicators are all about flexibility

Visual Communica-tions Company’s (VCC) 90 Series panel-mount indicators are designed for an extended life and quick installation, and they are unique because they deliver enhanced design flexibility through three termination styles: cartridge, bi-pin, and wire leads. They save time during installation and maintenance and require less-frequent replacement. The P80 Series LED panel mount indicator is designed to streamline installation with a snap-in mounting design that requires no additional hardware. It is offered in six single LED colors (red, orange, amber, green, blue, and clear). Five lens colors are also available: red, amber, green, blue, and clear.
Click here to learn more.


Flexible Printed Circuits Design Guide

Tech-Etch manufactures high-reliability flexible printed circuits on polyimide substrates using advanced manufacturing processes to create circuits for today's sophisticated electronic applications. Special processes include the ability to selectively plate a single circuit with two different finishes, contoured circuits with variable metal thickness, semi-additive and subtractive techniques to manufacture trace patterns, BGA pad arrays, and open window or cantilevered contact leads. Surface mount technology (SMT) for component assembly is employed for both prototypes and full production runs. Tech-Etch specializes in flexible circuits for medical device, medical implant, diagnostic ultrasound, telecommunications and patient monitoring applications, in addition to telecommunications, aerospace, semiconductor, industrial, and other high-reliability electronic applications.
Learn more and download the guide (no registration required).


Compact angle sensor for robotics and other applications

See the robotics video demonstrating ease of programming and robotics application of certain angle sensors from Novotechnik. Novotechnik’s Vert-X 1600 Series of angle sensors (shown here) features easy mounting in tight spaces with a 16 mm diameter body. The sensors measure 0 to 360° with linearity ≤ ±0.3%, 14-bit resolution and repeatability to 0.1°. A variety of analog and digital output options are available.
View the video.


M8 12-pin connectors with gold-plated contacts

Binder USA has added the M8 12-pin to their Series 718 & 768 lines of M8 Connectors. The 12 gold-plated contacts allow for more data connections in a small-form connector, making it easy to combine multiple connections into one connector to save panel space. The IP67-rated connectors are typically used with automation-related products including photoelectric, proximity, and temperature sensors. Available in male or female molded cable and panel-mount connectors with cable lengths of 2 m and 5 m and standard single-wire length of 200 mm.
Click here to learn more.


Full line of industrial laser modules

BEA Lasers' full line of ruggedized Industrial Laser modules are now available for use in factories, machine shops, and other harsh environments for alignment and positioning of products, components, and machine parts. The laser diode modules (Series MIL, GPL, SEN, MIC, IND) each include a housing and cable apparatus to alleviate hard wiring for replacements. All are offered with a choice of green or red laser light and include laser dot and line patterns; many available with a crosshair pattern. Most Industrial Laser families are available with 1-, 3-, or 5-mW output power. In addition, BEA’s "Yellow Sub" and "Yellow Torpedo" lasers can be used for leveling. Other laser applications include drilling, event detection, edge detection, security, cutting, vision systems, metrology, bar code readers, education, robotic control, and laboratory or test operations.
Click here to learn more.


Microcontroller for automotive and industrial radar systems

Mouser Electronics is now stocking the S32R274 radar microcontroller from NXP Semicon-ductors. Engineered to meet the high-performance computation demands required by modern beam-forming and fast chirp-modulation radar systems, the S32R274 combines signal-processing acceleration with a multicore architecture to provide up to four times the power performance in industrial and automotive applications, compared to previous generations of products. This device offers a multifaceted solution for general software tasks and car bus interfacing. Combined with radio frequency (RF) front-end technologies (RFCMOS or BiCMOS), the S32R274 provides designers a scalable solution that addresses ultra-short-range, short-range, mid-range, and long-range radar systems.
Click here to learn more.


New option for flexible heater applications

Rogers Corp. has introduced ARLON raPId polyimide substrates, a new, innovative solution for streamlining manufacturing and improving performance of flexible heater applications. These substrates incorporate the benefits of polyimide heater dielectrics with the flexibility and usability of a silicone adhesive system. This makes a big difference during manufacturing, because the innovative thermosetting silicone adhesive system locks the foil-etched circuit in place, minimizing circuit "swimming" during capping, while minimizing delamination and voids. This solution is ideal for high-reliability applications as a replacement for acrylic or FEP adhesives in polyimide flexible heaters.
Learn more.


Cool Tools: Rugged smartphone with built-in thermal imaging

The ruggedized Cat S61 is equipped with FLIR Lepton, the industry’s smallest, lightest, and lowest cost thermal imaging camera core. This smartphone enables users to see in total darkness and visualize heat that is invisible to the naked eye. The new model includes a variety of technical improvements, including an increased temperature range of -20 to 400 C (great for things like vehicle diagnostics and asphalt monitoring), upgraded visible HD camera and thermal image processing, and live thermal imagery streaming for sharing results in real time. Available 3Q 2018. Under $1,000.
Click here to learn more.


Faster, cooler-running new Raspberry Pi unit -- still $35!

After a two-year wait since its last upgrade, Raspberry Pi released a new and improved version of its wildly popular single-board computer on March 14 -- Pi Day, of course. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ boasts a 200-MHz increase in peak CPU clock frequency, roughly three times the wired and wireless network throughput, and the ability to sustain high performance for much longer periods. Features include: a 1.4-GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, dual-band 802.11ac wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.2, faster Ethernet (Gigabit Ethernet over USB 2.0), Power-over-Ethernet support (with separate PoE HAT), improved PXE network and USB mass-storage booting, and improved thermal management.
Learn all about the new Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.


Cool Tools: World's fastest digital ultra-high-speed camera

Vision Research has introduced the Phantom v2640, the fastest 4-Megapixel (MPx) camera available. It features a new proprietary 4-Mpx CMOS image sensor (2048 x 1952) that delivers unprecedented image quality at up to 26 Gpx/sec, while reaching 6,600 frames per second (fps) at full 2048 x 1952 resolution, and 11,750 fps at 1920 x 1080. This is an excellent tool for researchers, scientists, and engineers who need to capture clean, high-resolution images at super high speeds. Go to the Videos tab on the product webpage to see it in action.
Click here to learn more.


Laser revolutionizes sheet metal cutting at Army Depot

Corpus Christi Army Depot's new laser cutter zaps through metal to create parts for Army helicopters.

By Brigitte Rox, AMC

Nobody works on more Army helicopters than Corpus Christi Army Depot in Texas, so when it comes to repair and overhaul, they cut a lot of metal.

Gone are the days of hunching over a pristine sheet of metal, meticulously drilling holes and patterns by hand. Now, depot artisans are a step closer to automating the entire sheet metal manufacturing process at Corpus Christi Army Depot, or CCAD.

Corpus Christi Army Depot's new laser cutter zaps through metal to create parts for Army helicopters. [Photo Credit: Ervey Martinez]

 

 

"This automation will increase quality, reduce manufacturing times, and allow one standard time allotted for cutting and deburring patterns and formatting aircraft sheet metal parts manufactured at CCAD," said Roland de la Fuente, a sheet metal mechanic supervisor.

Their new laser was put into production in 2010, but it went virtually unnoticed next to the bus-sized fluid cell press that normally steals the show.

"It takes having to see the laser in action to really get the 'wow factor,'" said de la Fuente of the new laser cutter.

The fixture is described by the manufacturer as a high-performance linear motor that delivers high-speed cutting for fast, continuous processing of high-quality parts.

The laser cutting fixture is used to cut sheet metal patterns that are later formed with the fluid cell flex press or power brakes before they are put on a helicopter.

With a cutting speed of 40 m per min, the laser is faster than producing patterns by hand. The laser can cut through several thicknesses of different material, including plate steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. Patterns are guaranteed to cut within tolerance, with a repetitive accuracy of .0008 in.

A Corpus Christi Army Depot sheet metal mechanic operates the new laser cutter. The machine revolutionizes sheet metal cutting by making it safer, faster, and more accurate than ever. [Photo Credit: Ervey Martinez]

 

 

 

 

Aircraft sheet metal mechanic Jeremy Garcia has noticed a big difference in the time it takes to produce parts since they started using the new fixture.

"It took us 24 hours to manufacture by hand," he said. "Now manufacturing takes only eight hours."

In the past, a sizable product like a UH-60Black Hawk helicopter bulkhead required the part to be pressed by hand in multiple sections. It all changed with the new fixture. The laser cutter can cut a pattern in as little as 5 min.

"It's one run and that's it," said Garcia.

The advantage of the new laser comes with the computer technology. The laser is controlled using a computer and CADMAN software. The CADMAN is a computer-aided drafting program that specifies the laser's cutting path.

"The laser is the first member of a fabrication cell I am developing to support the fluid flex cell," said de la Fuente. Plans for another laser, a turrent punch, and two power breaks, all using the same CADMAN software, are in the works.

By utilizing the same CADMAN software, all the machines will be able to communicate with each other. According to software maker LVD, the CADMAN programming software offers offline integration of the key sheet metalworking processes of laser, punching, and bending.

"This will allow the artisans to create pattern-cutting and forming programs at the instant the flat pattern is drafted in CADMAN," said de la Fuente. "The artisan can then transfer the pattern-cutting program to a punch or laser or even transfer a brake-forming program to the power brakes without having to leave his seat."

"The laser has performed superbly thus far," he said.

The laser-cutting fixture and the subsequent automation implementations will allow CCAD to schedule accurately and allow the training of a more technologically proficient workforce to meet unpredicted surges in demand.

Published September 2012

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