Click this link if you cannot read the issue below: Designfax - Tech for OEM Design Engineers
February 26, 2013Volume 09 Issue 08

Image - New Line of Phillips Pan Machine Screws
New Line of Phillips Pan Machine Screws
Micro Plastics has added a new line to their inventory of 250 million parts! The Phillips Pan Machine Screws are molded in tough, resilient, and corrosion-resistant Nylon 6/6 material. Thread sizes included are: 4-40, 6-32, 8-32, 10-32, 1/4-20 and 1/4-28. Available in 25 standard lengths ranging from 3/32 in. up to 3 in., Micro Plastics also offers an extensive line of machine screws, including head styles such as Binder, Binder Combination, Fillister, Hex, Pan, Round, Socket, Flat, Oval, and Thumb Screws, as well as Studs, Grubs, and Flat Head Wing Screws.

Click here for more information.

In this issue of Designfax

  • The embedded systems revolution in cars
  • Salvaging cylinders with tube hone
  • Designing lightweight sensors for UAVs
  • Wheels: Corvette uses engineered 'smart material'
  • Mike Likes: Android-based portable spectrometer
  • Engineer's Toolbox: Solar cell triple-junction design
  • Platinum Series pushbuttons
  • Optimize power transmission performance
  • Spin motors in minutes
  • Oil-less compressors for OEM applications
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • CAD design with touch on iPad
    • Flex OLED displays create new design possibilities
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • What do drones see?
    • Tiny satellites for all
    • Mike Likes: Most energy-efficient LED light bulb?
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: Reinventing the automobile with embedded systems [Illustration: National Instruments]


MIT researchers build Quad HD TV chip

NASA and Autodesk collaborate on sustainable building performance monitoring

Consumer Reports tests find many small turbocharged engines fall short on fuel economy promises

Miniaturized atomic clock could support military missions in absence of GPS

Image - Protomold Demo Mold
Protomold Demo Mold
As part of our commitment to continually provide our customers with design-related resources, we created the Protomold Demo Mold. This simulated mold demonstrates specific mold and part features we refer to in our ProtoQuote interactive quotes. Request a no-cost Demo Mold with mold terminology glossary today.

Click here to request a Protomold Demo Mold.

Feature articles
How engineers are reinventing the automobile with embedded systems
The presence of embedded software in your vehicle is completely revolutionizing the way cars operate, not to mention the way they're designed, developed, and tested, says Noah Reding, automotive industry product manager, National Instruments.

Modern luxury vehicles are estimated to run on up to 100 million lines of code. Compare that to the avionics system in the F-22 Raptor, the current U.S. Air Force frontline jet fighter, which consists of about 1.7 million lines of software code.
Read the full article.

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See what happens when engineers combine a skateboard with a tank.

The rebuild trend keeps going:
Caterpillar dealer salvages cylinders with tube hone

Rebuilding heavy equipment makes good economic sense, particularly for the hydraulic components on construction and earth-moving machinery. In fact, the trend since 2008 has been strong enough to support the addition of a machine shop as part of the existing hydraulics shop at Caterpillar dealer Whayne Supply in Corbin, KY, where re-surfaced cylinders save customers 80 percent or more over the cost of a new barrel.
Read the full article.
New aerial platform supports development of lightweight sensors for UAVs
A research team at the Georgia Tech Research Institute is developing an airborne testing capability for sensors, communications devices, and other airborne payloads. This aerial test bed, called the GTRI Airborne Unmanned Sensor System (GAUSS), is based on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) made by Griffon Aerospace and modified by GTRI.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Chevrolet debuts lightweight 'smart material' on Corvette
Chevrolet debuts lightweight 'smart material' on Corvette

GM's first use of a heat-activated shape memory alloy replaces a heavier motorized part on its new seventh-generation Corvette.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>Android-based portable touch spectrometer
Mike Likes:
Android-based portable touch spectrometer

Saelig Company has introduced the GL SPECTIS 1.0 Touch Mini spectrometer, a reliable, precise, and intuitive handheld device for a wide range of spectral light measurement needs. The world's first smart, touch-enabled portable spectrometer allows dependable light measurements to be made on the go, yielding results as accurate as sophisticated benchtop analyzers. The Android-based unit is easy to navigate and comes preconfigured and individually calibrated for fast, reliable results. A pricey but very cool tool.
Click here to learn more.
Engineer's Toolbox:
NRL designs multi-junction solar cell to break efficiency barrier

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory scientists in the Electronics Technology and Science Division have proposed a novel triple-junction solar cell with the potential to break the 50 percent conversion efficiency barrier, which is the current goal in multi-junction photovoltaic development.
Read the full article.

Image - New Platinum Series pushbuttons
New Platinum Series pushbuttons
Do these look sweet, or what? The new Platinum Series Pushbuttons and Selectors is now available from Automation Systems Interconnect. This line has a sophisticated, sleek design that offers quick and easy installation, reduced total inside panel depth, and low bezel profile. Clearly visible reference indications make snap-on fitting between the actuator and mounting adapter simple. Protection is offered in IEC IP66, IP67, and IP69K; UL Type 4X. Can be mounted in any position.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Optimize your power transmission performance
Optimize your power transmission performance
SKF offers an extensive range of standard and customized couplings engineered for high performance and reliability in power transmission applications. A wide variety of coupling types combined with a wide range of sizes and bores equips users with ideal solutions to mechanically connect two rotating shafts and transmit power from one shaft to the other. They can also compensate for shaft misalignment that otherwise could adversely affect velocity and acceleration of the driven shaft.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Spin motors in minutes with sensorless, brushless DC motor drivers
Spin motors in minutes with sensorless, brushless DC motor drivers
Texas Instruments has introduced two 3-phase, brushless DC (BLDC) motor drivers that allow designers to spin motors in minutes rather than months. Traditional BLDC motor designs require five to 10 components, along with firmware. The sensorless 5-V, 680-mA DRV10866 and the 12-V, 1.5-A DRV11873 cut this component count to one with no firmware required, significantly reducing board space and system costs while helping to speed time to market. The devices also provide the lowest operating voltage and standby current to reduce power consumption by up to 75 percent.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Dependable, quiet oil-less compressors for OEM applications
Dependable, quiet oil-less compressors for OEM applications
The GSE model ZW400 oil-less air compressor offers OEM engineers a viable option for applications in the medical, instrumentation, environmental, industrial, and food-processing markets. With high flow output, the most demanding design specifications will be covered. Structural parts are aluminum, providing a lightweight yet robust assembly. Valve and electrical components are balanced for smooth, quiet operation. The ZW400 from GSE International provides a versatile long-life solution at an economical cost. Max flow is 4.8 cfm (135 lpm), and max pressure level is 30 psi (2.1 bar).
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - What do drones see?
What do drones see?
Wow. In this brand new PBS NOVA video clip, an engineer describes the super-secret (up to now) 1.8-billion-pixel surveillance sensor called ARGUS used by some high-level UAVs. The sensor makes for the world's highest-resolution camera. UAVs equipped with the device can see objects as small as 6 in. on the ground from 17,500 ft up, stream all their video in real time, and also record everything spotted: up to 1 million TBs of video a day. Wait a sec for video to load after clicking.
View the video.
Tiny satellites for all:
Crowd-funded, DIY spacecraft to float into low-Earth orbit

A Cornell-based project called KickSat is set to launch more than 200 tiny satellites, nicknamed "sprites," into low-Earth orbit as part of a routine NASA-administered mission in 2013 to the International Space Station. And unlike traditional, big government space exploration, KickSat is truly a launch by the people.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>World's most energy-efficient LED light bulb?
Mike Likes:
World's most energy-efficient LED light bulb?

Three young innovators got together and pitched their NanoLight project on Kickstarter. They reached their goal of $20,000 in project seed money in the first three days. What's so cool about the NanoLight? It's a super-economical, omnidirectional 12W LED bulb created from folded PCB boards that puts out the equivalent light of a traditional 100W bulb (1,600 lumens) and has a lifespan of 30,000 hr. Better yet, this device needs no heat sink. Check out this unconventional but very cool design.
View the video.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
CAD design with touch on iPad
An engineer and an architect in London, U.K., have created an impressive CAD app called "cado" for iPad that may soon have engineers in the U.S. producing quick, detailed vector-based designs with just a touch here and a swipe there. Check out the demo produced by their company, Orange Juice Studios, and see if you think their claim to be able to draw anything from "microchips to milkyways" on an iPad will work for you. The patent-pending OMouse keeps your on-screen accuracy and control in check. App release date is 2Q 2013.
View the video.

Video Image
Flexible OLED displays create new design possibilities
During the keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show 2013 in Las Vegas in January, Samsung announced its Youm Flexible OLED Displays, which use pliability to their advantage and create new design and user-function possibilities. What if the edge of your phone, for example, could be a display too?
View the video.

Video Image

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