August 01, 2017 Volume 13 Issue 29

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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Connectors: High-current DC power in compact design

Amphenol Industrial Products Group now offers a versatile connection system that distributes high-current DC power in a compact design. Designed to connect wire to wire, wire to board, and busbar terminations, the Amphe-PD series distributes higher currents with less heat than similar-sized connectors on the market. Ideal for use in datacenter equipment, robotics, and industrial automation, the Amphe-PD series connectors offer wire terminations ranging from 12 AWG to 4 AWG.
Click here to learn more.

Cool Tools: Wireless digital micrometer

The new 40 EWRi is the latest addition to Mahr's Integrated wireless family of products, including digital calipers, indicators, and depth gages, which allow users to measure faster, more easily, and more reliably. Measurement data is transferred to an i-Stick on a computer without any interfering data cables, and MarCom software makes data acquisition simple: Just take a measurement and transmit measuring data directly into MS Excel or via a keyboard code into any Windows program or existing SPC application.
Click here to learn more.

EMI shielding gaskets offered in many materials

Tech-Etch offers EMI shielding D-Connector gaskets in a wide variety of materials. Five standard sizes of 9-, 15-, 25-, 37-, and 50-pin configurations are available in Stainless Steel; Beryllium Copper; X-, Y-, Z-axis Conductive Foam; and Metalized Fabric consisting of a metalized fabric over a polyurethane foam core. Additionally, four conductive elastomers fill out the D-Connector product line: Series 1000 Supershield silicone elastomer filled with conductive metal particles; Series 4000 Multishield composite material environmental seal; Series 5000 Monoshield for applications where the gasket is limited to 0.02-in. thickness and gap irregularities do not exceed 0.003 in.; and Series 5500 Weaveshield composite (woven aluminum wire screen impregnated with either a neoprene or silicone elastomer), and EMI shielding and pressure seal gasket material used for very small gaps. Custom gaskets can be manufactured.
Click here to learn more.

Wi-Fi high-temp air flow monitor for hazardous environments

Wind Probe LLC has introduced a high-temp air flow monitor Wi-Fi instrument for large- and small-size ovens. This instrument combines the latest advances in materials, process control, and microprocessor technology and hardware and software design. The model 200 is small, lightweight, and suitable for harsh environments seen in high-temperature curing ovens. One of the most exciting markets includes air flow monitoring at 200 deg C in carbon composite honeycomb ovens. The software permits selecting data rates and running averaging in both temperature and air flow. The software is easily updated, and reference tables can be uploaded using the RS-232 communications interface.
Click here to learn more.

New Canfield Connector magnetic sensor adds reliability and safety to vehicles, machines, systems

The rugged Series CS Cylindrical Threaded Mount Sensor from Canfield Connector senses magnetism and triggers action in a variety of applications. The sensor’s first field application equips a cement truck, where it picks up a signal from a magnet mounted to the mixing drum and controls how much the drum rotates. In an industrial automation setting, the sensor can detect the closure of a door and allow a machine to run, enhancing safety. The CS Sensor can also react to magnetism that identifies changes in liquid levels or positions of parts in a wide range of vehicles, machines, and systems.
Click here to learn more.

Industrial cybersecurity for small and medium-size businesses

The International Society of Automation, at the request of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has developed a white paper designed to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) recognize their vulnerability to industrial cyberattack and forge an effective cybersecurity plan based on established standards and practices. “Industrial Cybersecurity for Small and Medium Sized Businesses: A Practical Guide” leverages ISA’s in-depth knowledge of industrial automation and control systems (IACS) and subject-matter expertise in industrial cybersecurity.
Get this valuable resource.

SNAP-TOP fasteners hold printed circuit boards securely without mating screws

New PEM SMTSS ReelFast SNAP-TOP standoff fasteners from Penn-Engineering hold printed circuit boards securely in assemblies without requiring mating screws or other loose threaded hardware to complete attachment. These unthreaded standoffs promote streamlined production by easily installing in boards in the same manner and at the same time as other surface-mount components prior to the automated reflow solder process. They ultimately enable precise and reliable mounting and spacing of boards using less hardware and fewer operations.
Click here to learn more.

FUTEK mini load cells take on Shark Week

On the Discovery Channel’s special “Shark School with Michael Phelps” last week, the team engineers at Peacock Productions used three FUTEK Donut/Through Hole load cells as well as FUTEK instrumentation to test a great white shark’s bite force. The three LTH500 Donut/Through Hole Load Cells were placed in a special mold that mimicked the shark's prey. By combining the IHH500 Digital Hand Held Display and IAC200 4 Channel Summing Junction Box with the load cell setup, the production team was able to accurately measure the force of the great white shark's bite, which registered at 10,000 Newtons -- equivalent to a car crashing into a wall at 100 mph! The force reading was unprecedented; it was the first shark bite to register above 6,000 Newtons.
Check out the FUTEK setup for the Discovery Channel's "Shark School."
Watch the Discovery Channel's bite tester in action.

Everything you wanted to know about heatsinks

How well a heatsink performs depends on particular aspects of its design, such as the thermal conductivity of the material it's made of, its overall dimensions, fin type used, airflow rate, and system. A theoretical model can be used to predict performance, or it can be measured experimentally. But because of the complex 3D nature of today’s electronic systems, engineers often use the numerical method via computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to determine the thermal performance of a heatsink before prototyping. This informative blog post from Mentor features two on-demand webinars to run through the basics of heatsink design and considerations.
Read the Mentor blog on heatsink design.

Mike Likes: Unit Conversion Tool

Convert popular spring units such as force or retaining ring thrust capacities into metric units with Smalley’s engineering tools. Convert units such as mass and weight, angular measurements, velocities, temperatures, pressures and densities, and more.
Click here to learn more. You should bookmark this one.

Mike Likes: TI doubles power density with motor control

Texas Instruments recently introduced two new device families that help reduce size and weight in motor drive applications. When used together, the brushless DC (BLDC) gate drivers and power blocks require half the board space of competing solutions. An 18-V compact BLDC motor reference design demonstrates how these components can drive 11 W/cm3 power and enable engineers to jump start their designs for smaller, lighter weight power tools, integrated motor modules, drones, and more.
Read the full article.

Cool Tools: Laser scanner for reverse engineering

The new FARO Laser Tracker Vantage product family sets a new price/ performance standard for addressing challenges in large-scale metrology such as assembly alignment, part and assembly inspection, machine installation and alignment, and reverse engineering. Two high-performance Vantage models are available: E model (operating range to 25 m) and S model (operating range to 80 m). Both compact units offer industry-leading portability with an integrated master control unit (MCU), hot swappable batteries that eliminate the need for AC power and cabling, and industrial-grade Wi-Fi. A single carrying case makes for easy transport.
Click here to learn more.

Specifying intrinsically safe remote monitoring sensor systems for hazardous environments

Josh Schadel from SignalFire Telemetry lays out the plan for how to specify remote monitoring sensor systems for hazardous environs such as a tank- or well-level monitoring application that involves the storage of dangerous or volatile materials. Intrinsically safe (IS) equipment is designed so that energy levels are low enough not to generate an arc, spark, or temperature that could ignite an explosive area. IS equipment differs from explosion-proof (XP) systems where ignition is contained within an enclosure so as not to ignite the explosive environment.
Read Schadel's informative blog post.

Passive component design kit for IoT

The new Passive Components for the Internet of Things Design Kit (Part No. KIT-IOT) from AVX allows engineers to quickly identify effective solutions for IoT devices with widely varying requirements for power, data-processing speed, form factor, and price. The kit contains RF microwave components (capacitors, inductors, circuit protection, and SAW filters), input voltage filtering and decoupling devices, and high-precision crystal products to address a wide span of IoT applications including: wearable devices, smart-home applications, medical electronics, industrial automation tasks, connected cars, and traffic control.
Click here to learn more.

Cool Tools: New Fluke motor diagnostics tool incorporates machine learning

Fluke and Veros Systems have collaborated on asset performance and condition monitoring technologies to increase visibility into the efficiency and reliability of electric motor-driven machines. The Fluke 438-II Power Quality and Motor Analyzer is the first tool to result from that partnership. It analyzes three-phase power-quality measurements and uses an innovative method developed by Veros to calculate motor output torque, speed, horsepower, and efficiency. Using this information, engineers and technicians can evaluate system performance and detect overload conditions while the motor is operational, without the use of any mechanical sensing devices such as tachometers, strain gauges, or other intrusive sensors.
Click here to learn more.

Imaging breakthrough reveals magnets' internal patterns

A new imaging technique has helped scientists make a breakthrough in how they visualize the directions of magnetization inside an object.

Magnets play a vital role in everyday life, are used in everything from hard drives to energy production, and scientists have already been able to study the structure of thin films of magnetic materials. However, imaging the inner structure of thicker forms of magnets has remained an experimental challenge until now. A better understanding of magnets could contribute to the creation of better motors, more efficient energy production, and hard drives capable of holding more data.

In a new paper published in the journal Nature, scientists based in Scotland and Switzerland describe how they have used tomography and high-energy X-rays, combined with a novel reconstruction algorithm, to peer inside and reconstruct the magnetic structure of a micrometer-sized "pillar" of gadolinium-cobalt magnetic material for the first time.

The scientists, from the University of Glasgow and the Paul Scherrer Institute and the ETH Zurich in Switzerland, observed complex internal magnetic patterns and quickly realized that they consisted of tangled fundamental magnetic structures. They were able to see "domains," or regions of homogeneous magnetization, and "domain walls," the boundaries separating two different domains.

They also observed magnetic vortices, which have a structure analogous to that of tornados, and all of these structures intertwined to create a complex and unique pattern.

One specific kind of structure stood out and gave additional significance to the scientists' results: a pair of magnetic singularities, or so-called "Bloch points." At a Bloch point, the magnetization abruptly changes its direction and locally points in all possible directions on the surface of a sphere, reminiscent of the spines on the back of a curled up hedgehog. Bloch points were predicted theoretically in 1965, but the structure directly surrounding them has only now been observed with these new measurements.

The structure of Bloch points, like that of other singularities such as black holes in space, can be measured through the effect they have on their surroundings. The team has measured particular configurations -- twists in the magnetization -- that had been predicted to give away the presence of the singularities.

Dr. Sebastian Gliga, Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow, played a key role in interpreting the measured magnetic structure based on micromagnetic theory and state-of-the-art simulations.

Dr. Gliga said: "In ferromagnets, where the magnetization can be considered continuous on the mesoscopic scale, these singularities are points where this description breaks down.

"Bloch points constitute monopoles of the magnetic charge, and although they were first predicted over 50 years ago, they have never been experimentally observed before.

"This is a breakthrough in magnetic imaging, and I was thrilled to collaborate on understanding the observed magnetic structures."

Lead author of the study Claire Donnelly, who developed the reconstruction code and performed the experiments along with her colleagues at the ETH Zurich and the Paul Scherrer Institute, is originally from Glasgow. In fact, she was a project student at the University of Glasgow before moving to the ETH Zurich for her PhD.

Donnelly said: "Lower energy soft X-rays have already very successfully been used to achieve a similar map of the magnetic moments. But soft X-rays hardly penetrate such magnetic materials, so you can only use them to see the magnetization patterns of thin films or at the surface of bulk objects."

Principal investigator of the study Professor Laura Heyderman, of the Paul Scherrer Institute and the ETH Zurich, said: "Many people did not believe that we would be able to achieve this 3D magnetic imaging with hard X-rays.

"We really feel like we are diving inside the magnetic material, seeing and understanding the 3D arrangement of the tiny magnetic compass needles that give rise to the magnetic structure."

The team's paper, titled "Three dimensional magnetisation structures revealed with X-ray vector nanotomography," is published in Nature (doi:10.1038/nature23006).

Source: University of Glasgow

Published August 2017

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