July 09, 2019 Volume 15 Issue 26

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Build your own mini synchronous drive systems

With the Miniature Synchronous Drive System from Stock Drive Products (SDP), you can put your own 1-, 2-, or 3-mm design together in a snap. The tiny timing belts and pulleys are engineered and manufactured to give high accuracy and smooth, dependable operation in 3D printers, moving security cameras, med devices, robotic surgical equipment, self-service machines, and more. Advantages include no-slip synchronization, accurate positioning, high torque transmission with low backlash, quiet operation, and long belt life.
Learn more.


Motorized puller assemblies provide out-of-the-box productivity

Versa Motorized Puller assemblies include all components for out-of-the-box productivity for a wide variety of downstream handling requirements. Available in Pinch Wheel or Caterpillar designs, pullers are mounted on a 12-in. x 14-in. base plate for easy positioning of feed materials and include a choice of either AC or DC motor, drive, and a remote Operator Control Station (OCS) that can be mounted wherever desired. A variety of speed ranges are available, with pinch roll or belt materials to suit a broad range of product requirements. These puller assemblies are ideal for many applications, including downstream handling of pipe, profiles, and tubing as well as wire/cable, steel materials, and more.
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Reduce belt-driven spindle failures with precision load limiter

Setco's TensionSet is a load-limiting device that ensures proper belt tensioning on motor drives, protecting shaft bearings and other components from premature failure. The patented and easy-to-install product rotates like a nut to generate pull force on a threaded rod. The pull force increases the distance between the pulleys on the motor drive and creates belt tension. When pull force exceeds the load setting during tightening, TensionSet disengages internally to prevent over-tensioning. Positive reverse drive causes the TensionSet to rotate in the reverse direction, removing tensioning load. This product helps increase belt life, leading to less downtime for machine maintenance, and is retrofittable to many spindle brands.
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Quick-release heavy-duty ball lock pins in stainless steel

JW Winco has expanded its line of GN 113.10 Heavy Duty Ball Lock Pins Stainless Steel, with Stainless Steel Shank AISI 630. These rapid-release pins have an extreme load capacity and are used for quick fixing, connecting, and locking of various parts and workpieces. A typical application for the Ball Lock Pins is where they may need to be regularly moved in and out of position when connecting two components, but a more secure hold is required of those two components. By pressing the spring-loaded push button, both balls are unlocked. By releasing it, the balls are locked again.
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Top Tech Tip: Self-locking retaining rings from Smalley

Smalley self-locking rings allow the ring to operate at high speeds, withstand vibration, function under rapid acceleration and absorb a degree of impact loading. The self-locking feature utilizes a small tab on the inside turn "locking" into a slot on the outside turn. The self-locking option can be incorporated for both external and internal rings.
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Fiber sizings improve performance of carbon fiber composites

Michelman fiber sizings are available for a variety of application types to dramatically improve fiber-polymer interface adhesion. This technology helps industries such as automotive, transportation, construction, aerospace, energy, and sport improve the quality and performance of composites. New offerings include Hydrosize Carbon 200 Series (an APE-, solvent-, and VOC-free solution perfect for fiber-reinforced nylon composites where greater thermal stability is required, like coolant pumps) and Hydrosize Carbon 400 Series (for extreme processing temps that many high-temp thermoplastics require, such as PEEK, PPS, PEI, and others used to produce various composite engine components).
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New vacuum soft gripper for delicate objects

A new, vacuum-based soft gripping tool called piSOFTGRIP has been developed by Piab with food industry automation in mind. This three-fingered unit will grip sensitive and lightweight objects of odd geometries and/or an unusual surface. Bin picking of small, irregularly shaped objects, such as toys, is another potential application. The cost-effective soft gripper can handle objects with a diameter up to 50 mm (1.97 in.), but larger units are in the works. Combined with Piab's end-of-arm vacuum tool piCOBOT, the piSOFTGRIP offers a powerful and flexible plug-and-play extension for collaborative robots. As both piCOBOT and piSOFTGRIP offer compressed air-saving functionality, virtually no energy is needed to perform a grip and release.
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New Modular Mounting Systems from Ruland

Ruland Manufacturing now supplies a large selection of modular mounting components that designers can combine to make complete systems for positioning sensors, scanners, reflectors, cameras, coolant pipes, air nozzles and more. The diversity of component sizes and materials allows them to be used in many different industrial, food processing, and packaging environments. Parts that make up modular mounting systems include mounting brackets, bracket clamps, tubes, rods, tube end caps, mini-clamp tube connectors, swivel clamp tube connectors, mounting bases, portable magnet bases, clamping lever kits, and adjustable spring joints. The wide range of modular mounting components enables designers to customize systems to whatever the application requires.
Learn more.


Great Resources: 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.


Innovative rod seals enhance hydraulic and electromechanical aviation actuator performance

Rod seals for cylinders and actuators seal the applied system pressure toward the atmospheric side. They perform a critical function in preventing external leakage that may contaminate the immediate environment. The rod seals LB and LS from Parker Hannifin have been specially developed for the safety-critical applications in aviation and offer high reliability and wear resistance due to their seal geometry and material selection.
Read this informative Parker blog.


Right-sizing valve manifolds linked to smart machine design

Valves are generally sized by cylinder bore, actuation speed, and required pressure. In the past, the entire valve manifold would be sized based on the largest force/speed requirements of the pneumatic system, or by splitting between two manifolds (low and high pressure/flow). However, this methodology results in waste, both in terms of compressed air and the expense and size of the manifold, not to mention the labor needed to install two manifolds.
Read this informative Parker Hannifin blog.


Two-component adhesives revolutionized with light fixation

DELO has developed light fixation two-component epoxy resins that provide unprecedented process speed -- only 5 sec irradiation time! Thanks to the hybrid chemistry of DELO-DUOPOX DB8989, users will realize faster, less complex production processes and simplified logistics. Reliable final curing, including shadowed areas, is done the same way as regular two-component products, either at room temperature or at a faster speed by using heat curing at 80 C for 60 min. The adhesive is able to achieve a tensile shear strength of 28 MPa on aluminum. Applications include structural bonding of rare earth magnets in electric motors. It is also suitable for opto-electronic applications in cameras for automated driving due to low outgassing and shrinkage.
Learn more.


How to store epoxy adhesives properly

Check out this tech tip by Master Bond's experts on the proper techniques and methods for storing epoxy adhesive systems. Learn some of the specific requirements for one-component, two-component, and premixed and frozen systems in order to maximize shelf life and optimize performance.
Read the Master Bond tips.


Stratasys introduces 3X-faster industrial-grade FDM 3D printer for office

The new F120 Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) machine from Stratasys brings industrial 3D printing to the masses, featuring simple controls, remote self-monitoring, exclusive 3D-printing hardware, and extremely high levels of reliability and repeatability. The F120 makes it simple even for the novice to get started.
Read the full article.


Mike Likes: Small diameter retaining rings and wave springs from Smalley

From medical devices to electronics, the world around us is getting smaller. "How small can you go?" This is a question a Smalley engineer hears all the time ... but a better question is how small do you need? As The Engineer's Choiceâ„¢ for Wave Springs and Spirolox® Retaining Rings, Smalley has the answer! Smalley's manufacturing capabilities now allow them to design and manufacture Wave Springs and Retaining Rings down to 0.165", 4 mm diameters!
Learn more.


Breakthrough in new material to harness solar power could transform energy

The most affordable, efficient way to harness the cleanest, most abundant renewable energy source in the world is one step closer to reality.

The University of Toledo physicist pushing the performance of solar cells to levels never before reached made a significant breakthrough in the chemical formula and process to make the new material.

Working in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab, Dr. Yanfa Yan, UToledo professor of physics, envisions the ultra-high-efficiency material called a tandem perovskite solar cell will be ready to debut in full-sized solar panels in the consumer market in the near future.

Dr. Zhaoning Song holds a perovskite solar cell minimodule he developed with Dr. Yanfa Yan. The higher efficiency, lower cost solar cell technology could revolutionize energy generation around the globe.

 

 

Perovskites, compound materials with a special crystal structure formed through chemistry, would replace silicon, which -- for now -- remains the solar-cell material of choice for converting the sun's light into electrical energy.

"We are producing higher efficiency, lower cost solar cells that show great promise to help solve the world energy crisis," Yan said. "The meaningful work will help protect our planet for our children and future generations. We have a problem consuming most of the fossil energies right now, and our collaborative team is focused on refining our innovative way to clean up the mess."

The new research paper, which is published in the journal Science, outlines how the photovoltaics team is fine-tuning a mix of lead and tin to advance the technology closer to its maximum efficiency. Efforts have currently brought the efficiency of the new solar cell to about 23 percent. In comparison, silicon solar panels on the market today have around an 18 percent efficiency rating.

Scientists used a chemical compound called guanidinium thiocyanate to dramatically improve the structural and optoelectronic properties of the lead-tin mixed perovskite films.

"Science is the top academic journal in the world, alongside Nature, which published other research by Dr. Yan only five months ago after he discovered a single material that produces white light, which could boost the efficiency and appeal of LED bulbs," Dr. Sanjay Khare, professor and chair of the UToledo Department of Physics and Astronomy, said. "His significant sustainability work at The University of Toledo can help power the world using clean energy."

About five years ago, Yan's team at UToledo identified the ideal properties of perovskites, and he has since focused his 20 years of experience on producing an all-perovskite tandem solar cell that brings together two different solar cells to increase the total electrical power generated by using two different parts of the sun's spectrum.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded Yan a $1.1 million grant to continue his research in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Lab.

"This is the material we've been waiting for for a long time," Yan said. "The solar industry is watching and waiting. Some have already started investing in this technology."

Yan is an expert in theory of defect physics and electronic properties in semiconductors, materials synthesis, and thin-film solar-cell fabrication.

"Our UToledo research is ongoing to make cheaper and more efficient solar cells that could rival and even outperform the prevailing silicon photovoltaic technology," said Dr. Zhaoning Song, research assistant professor in the UToledo Department of Physics and Astronomy, and co-author on the study. "Our tandem solar cells with two layers of perovskites deliver high power-conversion efficiency and have the potential to bring down production costs of solar panels, which is an important advance in photovoltaics."

While Yan's team has improved the quality of the materials and the process to manufacture them at a low cost, more progress needs to be made.

"The material cost is low and the fabrication cost is low, but the lifetime of the material is still an unknown," Song said. "We need to continue to increase efficiency and stability."

"Also, lead is considered a toxic substance," Yan said. "I am determined to work with the solar industry to ensure solar panels made of this material can be recycled so they don't cause harm to the environment."

Source: The University of Toledo

Published May 2019

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