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July 25, 2012Volume 08 Issue 28


Image - Wire and harness protection gets colorful
Wire and harness protection gets colorful
Micro Plastics has added color to their polyethylene and nylon lines of wire-routing split loom. All six of the standard sizes (1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, 3/4, and 1 in.) are available in orange, which is especially great for safety. Red, yellow, and green are other options. Extruded from durable materials, these highly flexible, kink-resistant corrugated tubes have an easy opening seam for simple and quick insertion and removal of wires. Organizing cables and managing cords into color-coded bundles never looked so good.

Click here to learn more.


In this issue of Designfax

  • Motion control for robotic movie dolphin
  • Distribution center uses beverage conveyor tech
  • Textured surfaces help dissipate heat better
  • Wheels: Volvo Trucks' novel gear-changing system
  • Mike Likes: Seal rings handle extreme designs
  • Engineer's Toolbox: Plastic gear design
  • Quick Look: Sub-miniature sensors for machines
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • Two-armed lab robot
    • Wow! Quadcopters put on light show in Cannes
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • New blue compound cools buildings, cars
    • Wheels (and wings): Engineered for failure
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: QuickSilver Controls in dolphin made for movies

News

Motors from maxon fly into outer space on board the Dragon spacecraft

Lighter parts on a national scale: Stratasys and Oak Ridge National Laboratory partner to advance additive manufacturing

It takes 75,000 lb of rock, but Navy Research Lab brings inertia of space to robotics research

Researchers one step closer to new kind of thermoelectric 'heat engine' based on magnetics



Image - Tiny but tough mini compression springs
Tiny but tough mini compression springs
BANTAM Mini Compression Springs are Lee Spring's unique line of miniature springs. These stock products are offered in wire sizes .0040, .0045, .0050, and .0055 in standard outside diameters of .025, .040, and .057. BANTAM Springs are offered in a range of free lengths from .005 to 0.625 inches. Stock BANTAM Mini Springs are made of Elgiloy, a corrosion-resistant cobalt-nickel alloy known for its high strength (10% stronger than Type 316 Stainless Steel). Great for med devices, aerospace, firearms, automotive, precision instruments, and more.

Click here to learn more about BANTAM Mini Compression Springs.


Feature articles
Unusual motion control projects:
Robotic dolphin for the movies

Ever wonder how motion control is developed for movie animatronics? Well QuickSilver Controls can tell you a thing a two. The Corvina, CA, company was contacted a while back by KNB EFX Group for motion control help on a fast-turn project: developing the motion control system for the robotic dolphin used in "Dolphin Tale."
Read the full article.
Beverage industry conveyor pours on advantages in distribution center
Motion Industries' two new Canadian distribution centers have no bottling lines, but that didn't stop the company from adopting a conveyor solution widely used in the bottling industry, where the system's low-friction components have proven to reduce operating costs.
Read the full article.
It's all about texture:
Special surfaces could help dissipate heat better

Researchers at MIT have found that relatively simple, microscale roughening of a surface can dramatically enhance its transfer of heat.
Read the full article.
Wheels:
Novel gear-changing system helps Volvo Trucks cut fuel on hills

The truck industry is always searching for solutions that cut fuel consumption. One method is to use the vehicle's kinetic energy to propel the truck. Now Volvo Trucks has developed I-See, which operates like an autopilot and takes over gear changing and utilizes gradients to save fuel.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>Seal rings can handle extreme designs
Mike Likes:
Seal rings can handle extreme designs

A Smalley Laminar Seal Ring is a metallic labyrinth seal consisting of multiple rings in a groove. These rings are often an alternative means of sealing components in assemblies from contamination. The arrangement and specific orientation of the rings are dictated by the application and the severity of the environment. Since they are produced from metal (not rubber, neoprene, or other non-metallic material), Smalley Laminar Rings can withstand higher temps (up to 450 degrees F), more corrosive environments, and other extreme conditions than common O-rings or conventional rubber seals. Standard parts from 5/8 in. to 50 in. and 15 mm to 1,300 mm. Special seals manufactured with No-Tooling-Charges.
Click here to learn more about Smalley Laminar Rings.
Engineer's Toolbox:
Getting into plastic gear design

As design tools and techniques become more sophisticated and the arsenal of available resins grows, plastic continues to replace other materials in a variety of applications. Gears are among the mechanical parts being made increasingly of plastic.
Read the full article.

Image - Quick Look: <br>Sub-miniature sensors for high-density machines
Quick Look:
Sub-miniature sensors for high-density machines

Pepperl+Fuchs introduces F76 sub-miniature inductive sensors with 500-mm PVC cable. They feature a 5.5-mm x 8.0-mm low-profile, surface-mount housing to complement the company's robust family of rectangular-style sensors. Their tiny size and reinforced mounting make them well suited for use in a wide variety of compact industrial and commercial machinery where space is at a premium. These sensors provide a 2-mm nominal sensing with switching frequency to 1,500 Hz. They are available in 3-wire NPN and PNP models.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue
New blue compound could become significant factor in cooling buildings and even cars
A new type of durable, environmentally benign blue pigment discovered at Oregon State University has also been found to have unusual characteristics in reflecting heat - it's a "cool blue" compound that could become important in new approaches to saving energy in buildings.
Read the full article.
Wheels (and wings):
Aircraft engineered with failure in mind may last longer

What if aircraft and other complex systems could be designed from the outset to operate not in the optimal scenario, like is traditionally done, but for suboptimal conditions?
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
Two-armed med-tech robot is redefining lab testing
What does freedom feel like to an android? What about seven degrees of freedom - in each arm? Well the Mahoro robot isn't telling. It's too busy doing twice the tedious and precise lab work in the time it takes a human technician to sample, test, and repeat. Developed by automation specialist Yaskawa and Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), this white-coat worker is one to watch.
View the video.

Video Image
Wow! Quadcopters put on light show in Cannes
Remember that super-excited little-kid feeling you had when the Mother Ship suddenly appeared in Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Well get ready to feel it all over again. Watch a troupe of 16 quadrotors (flying robots) from KMel Robotics dance to and manipulate sound and light at the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors' Showcase 2012 event in France called "Meet Your Creator." Smoke-and-mirror gadget magic never looked so good.
1. View the video.

2. Read an interview with the project creators and see additional backstage video footage.


Video Image

New products

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