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October 22, 2013Volume 09 Issue 40


Image - Molded Nylon Special Standard Round Spacers
Molded Nylon Special Standard Round Spacers
Micro Plastics announces a new product line of Special Standard Round Spacers. The new line of molded nylon round spacers includes over 250 sizes, with diameters of 1/8" through 1 1/2" and lengths from 1/8" to 2 3/4". These tough, resilient spacers can be used in a variety of assemblies. Useful in electronic and electrical applications, they may also be used as bushings, bearings, rollers, gliders, and bumpers. They are resistant to vibration, abrasion, and corrosion; are electrically insulating; and have a high strength-to-weight ratio.
Click here to learn more.

In this issue of Designfax

  • Printable pressure switches in new electric drill
  • Next-gen high-speed picking solutions
  • Researchers raise the IQ of smart windows
  • Wheels: Diagnosing car noises
  • Mike Likes: Moving magnet voice coil actuator
  • Engineer's Toolbox: More sensor users using digital output
  • Tubeaxial fan sets new performance standards
  • High-strength, vibration-resistant lockbolt fastener
  • Overhung load adaptors for hydraulics
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • Boston Dynamics unleashes WildCat robot
    • 3D-printed RoboHands shared with the world
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Inflatable space antenna
    • Wheels: E-bike torque sensors and bearings
    • Make your own Liquidmetal parts?
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: Hyundai and SM Instruments improve sound camera tech

News

Survey: Consumers more likely to use self-driving cars from tech companies over automakers

In Europe, tire purchasing decision increasingly influenced by EU Tire Label

Natural gas/gasoline bi-fuel Chevrolet Impala sedan in the works

Rubble-rouser: NASA, Homeland Security test portable radar disaster recovery tool based on spacecraft-tracking tech



Feature articles

Image - Printable pressure switches used for variable speed control in new electric drill design
Printable pressure switches used for variable speed control in new electric drill design
At Peratech, touch technology is a sensitive subject. It's how the North Yorkshire, U.K., company makes its money: creating ultra-thin pressure-sensing Quantum Tunnelling Composite (QTC) technology and licensing it to other companies to incorporate into their products.
Read the full article.

Image - Next-gen high-speed picking solutions optimize flexibility and throughput
Next-gen high-speed picking solutions optimize flexibility and throughput
A new generation of automated goods-to-person picking solutions called the Perfect Pick aims to set a new standard for ultra-efficient, high-speed piece picking in high-volume distribution centers.
Read the full article.

Image - Researchers raise the IQ of smart windows
Researchers raise the IQ of smart windows
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have designed a new material to make smart windows even smarter. Their thin coating of nanocrystals embedded in glass allows for dynamical control of visible light and heat-producing near-infrared (NIR) light, so windows can maximize both energy savings and occupant comfort in a wide range of climates. Their work is the cover story in the Aug. 15 issue of Nature.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br> Diagnosing car noises with visualizations
Wheels:
Diagnosing car noises with visualizations

How have Hyundai vehicles scored J.D. Power Initial Quality Study top ratings year after year? By evolving their quality testing procedures and equipment again and again. In one instance, Hyundai has helped to make dramatic improvements in a portable sound camera it uses for buzz, squeak, and rattle studies based on LabVIEW and FPGA. A sound camera visualizes sound in color contours similar to the way a thermal camera visualizes temperature.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>Linear actuator with moving magnet offers precise positioning
Mike Likes:
Linear actuator with moving magnet offers precise positioning

Moving magnet actuators lend themselves to applications that require moderate speed and controllable, gentle stop points, functions not achievable with solenoids or standard voice coil actuators. BEI Kimco Magnetics' new Moving Magnet Voice Coil Actuator Series allows for precise positioning to meet high accuracy requirements. When combined with smart drive electronics, this actuator can be controlled for speed and desired output force. By keeping the magnet mass low, the system inertia is well controlled, resulting in more precise speed and position control. Typical applications include remotely controlled circuit breakers, medical hand tools, and other delicate instrumentation.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>Why more sensor users are using digital output
Engineer's Toolbox:
Why more sensor users are using digital output

When sensor accuracy is critical and networked communications are desirable, digital communications serve as a more reliable and cost-effective alternative to analog output. By Lee Hudson, applications engineer, Macro Sensors.
Read the full article.

Image - Product Spotlight: <br>Tubeaxial fan sets new performance standard for electronics cooling
Product Spotlight:
Tubeaxial fan sets new performance standard for electronics cooling

AMETEK Rotron has just introduced a tubeaxial cooling and ventilation fan with the highest performance in the industry for its package size. The MIL-XTM Extreme Performance Series fans deliver best-in-class 300 cfm at 1.5 iwg (in. of water gauge). This is a 24 percent increase in airflow over previous models with the same package configuration. With significant advances in aerodynamics, motor, and DC drive, the new fan maintains ruggedness and reliability suitable for mission- and personnel-critical duty. For example, it can be used to cool electronic countermeasures mounted on armored vehicles to prevent detonation of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Additional applications include commercial aircraft electronics, telecommunications, heat exchangers and crew ventilation. Operating at 7,500 RPM, the MIL-XTM delivers up to 42 percent efficiency, a significant increase over a typical tubeaxial fan efficiency of 27 percent.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Product Spotlight: <br>High-strength, vibration-resistant lockbolt fastening system
Product Spotlight:
High-strength, vibration-resistant lockbolt fastening system

The BobTail HuckBolt is Alcoa Fastening Systems' next-generation lockbolt, delivering five times the fatigue strength of conventional nuts and bolts, and engineered to provide the highest level of strength, reliability, and vibration-resistant performance -- even in the most extreme environments. BobTail offers high performance and easy, quick installation for a wide range of assembly applications. The swaged collar design allows the collar to form over the lock thread, eliminating gaps on thread flanks to deliver a more secure connection than is possible with regular nuts and bolts. The installation indicator in the collar flange, a proprietary Huck design, signals that the collar has been fully swaged on, allowing the joint quality to be checked with a simple visual inspection. These lockbolts are not subjected to torsion during installation, allowing them to be taken to higher preload values, which results in a much tighter joint. Available in inch and metric sizes in steel, aluminum, or stainless steel materials.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Product Spotlight: <br>Overhung load adaptors available with corrosion-protected steel shafts for demanding outdoor hydraulic applications
Product Spotlight:
Overhung load adaptors available with corrosion-protected steel shafts for demanding outdoor hydraulic applications

Corrosive operating environments are a constant challenge for system designers of hydraulic systems, particularly in the seal area. When dealing with overhung loads, Zero-Max has an effective, field-proven solution to extend a system's operating life. Overhung Load Adaptors are often used in severe operating environments. Zero-Max is now offering as an option a highly effective corrosion-resistant finish for the shafts of its Overhung Load Adaptors. This new finish not only has greater corrosion resistance, it also has improved wear characteristics. The process is ideal for Overhung Load Adaptors used in brick and block machinery, oil-drilling equipment, mining equipment and vehicles, forestry machinery, marine equipment, and off-highway vehicles. This process is offered at a substantial savings when compared to stainless steel shafting. The corrosion protection shaft option is one of over 1,300 custom designs offered by Zero-Max to meet new and unusual overhung load system requirements.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - 'Magic powder' is secret to inflatable space antenna design for CubeSats
'Magic powder' is secret to inflatable space antenna design for CubeSats
Researchers at MIT have come up with an inflatable antenna design that may significantly increase the communication range of small satellites called CubeSats, enabling them to travel much farther in the solar system. But the real story is in the "magic powder" used to inflate the device.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Schaeffler shows off precision of e-bike torque sensors and bearings at Eurobike 2013
Wheels:
Schaeffler shows off precision of e-bike torque sensors and bearings at Eurobike 2013

At Eurobike 2013, the world's largest bicycle show, Schaeffler showed off its latest contributions to providing comfort, dynamics, and efficiency to electric bicycle (e-bike) makers. At the show held in Friedrichshafen, Germany, the company demonstrated its portfolio of FAG sensor bottom brackets and a range of other bearings and components from the INA and FAG brands on an e-bike from smart (a division of Daimler). The focus was on freedom from maintenance and a long operating life with the highest possible level of smoothness.
Read the full article.
Thanks to licensing deal, you may soon be able to manufacture your own genuine Liquidmetal parts
Liquidmetal Technologies, known for its amorphous alloys and composites used in diverse applications from aerospace to cell phones to golf clubs, has reported delivery of its customized induction melt system, developed to adapt standard plastic injection-molding machines to manufacture Liquidmetal components.
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
Boston Dynamics unleashes WildCat robot
WildCat is a four-legged robot being developed to run fast on all types of terrain. It is the latest creation from Boston Dynamics, famous for its BigDog pack-mule bot aimed for military deployment. So far, WildCat has run at about 16 mph on flat terrain using bounding and galloping gaits. This video shows WildCat's best performance yet. WildCat is being developed with funding from DARPA's M3 program.
View the video.

Video Image
3D-printed RoboHands shared with the world
After South African woodworker Richard Van As lost two full fingers and parts of two others in a work accident, he decided to create his own "trade-friendly" prosthetic. On the Internet, he found a collaborator in U.S.-based Ivan Owen, a special-effects maker who had worked on mechanical puppet hands. Even though 10,000 miles separated the pair, they worked together designing and creating prototype prosthetic hands, each using a MakerBot Replicator 2 3D-printing machine to fashion the parts. After a post on Facebook garnered interest from a needy child's parent, Van As and Owen began to share their RoboHand creations. The rest, as they say, is history.
View the video.

Video Image

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