April 28, 2020 Volume 16 Issue 16

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New cable reel with worm guide increases safety in assembly areas

igus has just introduced a clever cable reel that can guide cables and hoses for the transmission of energy, media, and data without interruption. The e-spool flex increases safety at manual workstations and operating panels. For quick installation of the cable reel, the developers opted for a worm guide. The cable is inserted in a few simple steps, and the e-spool is ready for use. No complicated slip rings are required, so bus cables and hoses for air and liquids can also be guided without interruption. Both manual and automatic return options available. Extension lengths to 15 m possible.
Learn more.


Self-lubricating polymers improve surf machines

A company in Brazil that designs fitness training equipment that simulates the movements of a surfboard reduced costs by 70 percent by switching to bearings manufactured by igus, the Germany-based motion plastics expert. The bearings also cut down on maintenance significantly.
Read the full article.


CNC machining for prototypes or low-volume parts

For plastic parts, CNC machining allows you to test the form, fit, and function of prototypes prior to tooling up for the injection molded production parts. For both plastic and metal, CNC machining provides fast turnaround and low cost for small quantities of parts. Learn all about ICOMold's CNC machining capabilities, which typically include tolerances to within +/- 0.2 to 0.3 mm for plastics and +/- 0.05 mm for metals. Parts that are CNC machined can also exhibit better structural integrity than those that are 3D printed, due to the nature of the manufacturing process. Secondary processes also available from ICOMold.
Learn more.


Reverse engineering software with never-before-seen features

3D Systems' Geomagic Design X 2020 combines robust 3D scan processing and complete CAD design functionality to enable faster, more accurate, and reliable reverse engineering. Using the software's newest features, engineers will benefit from streamlined modeling workflows as well as expanded modeling pathways for complex, revolved parts. The newest Geomagic Design X release includes an Unroll/Reroll function that enables an engineer to unroll the mesh to automatically extract a 2D sketch, make the modifications needed, and then re-roll the sketch for additional engineering. Wait, what? Wow. The software also includes a new Selective Surfacing feature that combines very fast organic surfacing with high-precision feature modeling methods.
Learn more.


Great Resources: One guide for all your retaining ring questions

Finding the best possible solution for your design challenge is no easy task. Smalley engineers have created a brand new Ask the Expert - Retaining Ring FAQ E-book that answers all of your retaining questions in one simple guide.
Get the guide today.


All about lead screws and how to apply them

Lead screws use the helix angle of the thread to convert rotary motion to linear motion. Learn all about their benefits, performance characteristics, design choices, life cycles, and more in this in-depth article from Thomson Industries.
Read the full article.


No Drip Spray Nozzles sanitize, clean, and cool

EXAIR's new 1/2 NPT No Drip External Mix Air Atomizing Spray Nozzles work in the same way the company's standard atomizing nozzles do, but have the added benefit of positively stopping liquid flow when compressed air is shut off. External Mix Air Atomizing Spray Nozzles have the highest flow rates and allow the air and liquid flow to be adjusted independently. They can be used on liquids above 300 centipoise. The patented No Drip design requires no additional air line to control the No Drip feature.
Learn more.


New from Ruland: Slit couplings

Reliance Precision Limited is now offering its slit couplings through Ruland's eCommerce platform and extensive worldwide distribution network. Slit couplings are zero-backlash and manufactured from a single piece of aluminum with intermittent slit cuts, allowing for high torque and torsional stiffness capabilities, low inertia, and long life. Reliance's design uses a proprietary slit pattern that has radiused as opposed to squared edges, reducing stresses that build up during misalignment conditions and torque loads. Equipment designers in industries such as packaging, scientific, semiconductor, solar, medical, and automation benefit from the wide range of sizes and performance characteristics offered by slit couplings.
Learn more.


Function-integrated machine frames from Rexroth include internal cable guide

Bosch Rexroth's new function-integrated profiles (FIPs) include a completely internal cable guide that allows for the safe and space-saving laying of cables, data lines, and hoses. Thanks to the new profile junctions, they can even be laid through profile connectors. The FIP range comprises four profile cross-sections with a host of accessories to build on the modular system. The entire solution can be combined with the established Rexroth modular profile system and provides an unprecedented level of design flexibility.
Learn more.


Intelligent chain monitoring avoids downtimes

Developed in-house by iwis, the non-contact chain elongation monitoring system (CCM-S) continuously measures the wear elongation of chains during operation and gives maintenance staff a timely warning that a chain needs to be replaced. If chains stretch and wear as a result of temperature and load, or if chains running in parallel have different lengths, even a deviation of one percent from the nominal chain pitch can lead to problems in a machine. With CCM-S, users can continuously monitor the elongation of chain drives using sensors without having to compromise production because of interruptions. Can be used with simplex, duplex, and triplex chains.
Learn more.


Hood latch comes in new ultra-slim design

SOUTHCO has refreshed its successful line of hood latches to accommodate the space limitations of next-generation servers, data centers, and similar applications. The new and improved HH Hood Latch features a thin profile, maintaining robust performance with a form factor of just 8 mm. The redesigned latch features an easy-to-use pop-up handle for intuitive operation. This unit offers a dual-engagement hole-mounting design, allowing for convenient installation with pin allocation at either location.
Learn more.


Robotic strain wave gearboxes

GAM has just announced the release of its new GSL series of strain wave gearboxes. The new gearboxes provide zero backlash and high torque in a small gearbox for robotic and motion control applications. This gearbox uses harmonic gearing for a very compact design that easily integrates into applications requiring high ratios and high precision in a small form factor. The GSL series is available in frame sizes 14 to 40 and reduction ratios 50:1 to 160:1.
Learn more.


How to choose commercially available O-ring cross-sections

There are 400+ standard O-ring sizes, so which is the right one for your application? What if multiple thicknesses are available for the same O-ring size? Dorothy Kern, applications engineering lead, Parker O-Ring & Engineered Seals Division, runs through the key considerations, including compression set, tolerances, contact width, and more. Very good info.
Read this informative Parker blog.


ServoClass Couplings have the advantage

Demanding applications require a coupling that holds up to shock loads caused by rapid acceleration and deceleration, start/stop conditions, and torque reversals in servo-driven systems. The ServoClass Coupling from Zero-Max has a longer-lifetime advantage because it is not as radially stiff as a bellows coupling, which reduces the reaction loads on the connected components and stresses within the coupling itself. Jaw/spider couplings do not perform as well as ServoClass Couplings either. The reason is that a coupling's spider element can deteriorate over time from heat and fatigue, shortening its lifetime. Also, jaw/spider couplings experience torsional windup in higher torque applications and have longer settling times when stopping higher inertial loads.
Learn more about Zero-Max ServoClass Couplings.


How to design the optimum hinge

Although many pin styles are available, Coiled Spring Pins are particularly well suited for use in both friction- and free-fit hinges. To achieve optimum long-term hinge performance, designers should observe some simple design guidelines. SPIROL provides these helpful recommendations.
Read the full article.


UChicago Medicine doctors see 'remarkable' success using ventilator alternatives to treat COVID-19

Doctors at the University of Chicago Medicine are seeing "truly remarkable" results using high-flow nasal cannulas rather than ventilators and intubation to treat some COVID-19 patients.

High-flow nasal cannulas, or HFNCs, are non-invasive nasal prongs that sit below the nostrils and blow large volumes of warm, humidified oxygen into the nose and lungs.

A team from UChicago Medicine's emergency room took 24 COVID-19 patients who were in respiratory distress and gave them HFNCs instead of putting them on ventilators. The patients all fared extremely well, and only one of them required intubation after 10 days.

"The success we've had has been truly remarkable," said Michael O'Connor, MD, Director of Critical Care Medicine.

The HFNCs are often combined with prone positioning, a technique where patients lay on their stomachs to aid breathing. Together, they've helped UChicago Medicine doctors avoid dozens of intubations and have decreased the chances of bad outcomes for COVID-19 patients, said Thomas Spiegel, MD, Medical Director of UChicago Medicine's Emergency Department.

"The proning and the high-flow nasal cannulas combined have brought patient oxygen levels from around 40 to 80 and 90 percent, so it's been fascinating and wonderful to see," Spiegel said.

Mechanical ventilation, the most common treatment for these patients thus far, involves inserting a breathing tube into the windpipe so a ventilator can pump air into the lungs. Using a ventilator or intubation as a last resort -- an approach UChicago Medicine teams call "prevent the vent" -- helps get COVID-19 patients out of the hospital intensive care unit and prevents harmful side effects caused by ventilators, such as lung injuries.

"Avoiding intubation is key," Spiegel said. "Most of our colleagues around the city are not doing this, but I sure wish other ERs would take a look at this technique closely."

This approach is not without risk, however. HFNCs blow air out, and convert the COVID-19 virus into a fine spray in the air. To protect themselves from the virus, staff must have proper personal protective equipment (PPE), negative pressure patient rooms, and anterooms, which are rooms in front of the patient rooms where staff can change in and out of their safety gear to avoid contaminating others.

UChicago Medicine's Emergency Department recently doubled its number of anterooms, thereby doubling its capacity to give high-flow nasal cannula to patients. The main hospital also added negative pressure rooms on two floors, making it safer and easier to take care of COVID-19 patients.

Since the first COVID-positive patient was admitted March 13, UChicago Medicine has successfully treated and discharged 297 patients with the virus. Even as the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has grown, doctors have managed ventilator usage. As of last Wednesday (April 22), UChicago Medicine had 137 COVID-19 patients, but only 27 of them were on ventilators. The medical staff has avoided mechanical ventilation on 40 percent of patients and extubated 50 percent of those who needed ventilators, O'Connor said.

"It's a phenomenal number, because in Italy, the number of extubations was much lower," O'Connor said, who also gave credit to the cross-team collaboration.

UChicago Medicine care teams got an early preview of how COVID-19 treatments were working in China and Italy from the university's hospital affiliates in those countries. When the time came for the Hyde Park-based health system to start caring for COVID-19 patients, they'd already concluded that steroids were an ineffective treatment. The UChicago Medicine teams opted to use less invasive approaches, such as HFNCs or helmet ventilators. For patients who did require mechanical ventilation, the goal was to get those people off the ventilator as soon as possible.

O'Connor and Spiegel agree that the steps the city took to flatten the curve worked. At first, UChicago Medicine was doubling its cases every two to three days, leaving doctors terrified of running out of space, staff, and equipment. Now that the doubling time of COVID-19 patients has slowed to approximately 12 days, it helps the hospital staff generate good outcomes.

"The curve having been flattened has provided us a world of relief," Spiegel said.

Source: University of Chicago Medical Center

Published April 2020

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