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August 04, 2015Volume 11 Issue 29


Image - Using the Right Coupling for your Motion Control Application?
Using the Right Coupling for your Motion Control Application?
Servometer® precision motion control couplings are available as both flexible bellows couplings and rugged beam couplings. These versatile, flexible nickel and stainless steel shaft couplings are capable of accommodating misalignments for parallel, angular and axial motion. Our newly released video showcases their unique characteristics, capabilities, design and various applications.

View the video to learn more.


In this issue of Designfax

  • NTSB: SpaceShipTwo breakup was human error
  • LVDT position sensors: Connectors vs. lead wires
  • Super Wi-Fi: Data over active TV channels tested
  • Wheels: Ford using 'Terminator 2' 3D-printing tech
  • Mike Likes: 360-degree display on pressure transducer
  • Engineer's Toolbox: Sandia's new 6DOF vibration table
  • Solar: IDEC adds Chilicon Power solar products
  • Board-level EMI shielding: DIY in minutes
  • Motion: Drive electronics for micro stepper motors
  • Materials: Plastics that resist chemical attack
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • Universal Robots doubles production: Tegra Medical
    • Improve your cost-estimating process
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Honeycomb design claims superior impact protection
    • Lean Thinking: Redefining work
    • Wheels: Stealthy Army mortar system
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: NTSB findings on Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo crash

News

Researchers build a transistor from a molecule and a few atoms

New tamper-detecting seal is tough to fool

Cylinder deactivation and flywheels are tested to amp up EcoBoost engine fuel efficiency

U.S. Army, Air Force take bomb disposal to new level with lasers



Image - MICROMO Launches High Performance Stepper Motor
MICROMO Launches High Performance Stepper Motor
MICROMO presents a new FAULHABER stepper motor series, the FDM 0620. Measuring just 6mm in diameter and 9.7mm in length, including all components and connections, and with a holding torque rating of 0.25mNm, the FDM 0620 is an ideal choice for applications in robotics, optics, photonics, as well as medical devices, in which high power is required in the most compact spaces.

Click here to learn more.


Feature articles
NTSB: Cause of Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo in-flight breakup was human error
The National Transportation Safety Board has determined the cause of the Oct. 31, 2014, in-flight breakup of SpaceShipTwo, the Virgin Galactic rocket plane designed to take commercial passengers on a ride to the edge of space. NTSB cited the spacecraft maker's failure to consider and protect against human error and the co-pilot's premature unlocking of the spaceship's feather system, which performs some mechanical gymnastics to slow the vehicle down as it cruises back to Earth.
Read the full article.
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Protogami shows the interaction of materials and surface finishes, and demonstrates features like clips, slots, and hinges. Get your Protogami today!


Image - LVDT position sensors: Connectors vs. lead wires
LVDT position sensors: Connectors vs. lead wires
Connectors and lead wires provide the electrical connection between the coils of a linear variable differential transformer (LVDT) position sensor and signal-conditioning electronics. Michael Marciante, Applications Engineer, Macro Sensors, provides some helpful tips to guide you in deciding whether to specify a connector or lead wires for your next sensor.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Super Wi-Fi: Rice tests wireless data delivery over active TV channels
Super Wi-Fi: Rice tests wireless data delivery over active TV channels
Rice University engineers have demonstrated the first system that allows wireless data transmissions over UHF channels during active TV broadcasts. If the technology were incorporated into next-gen TVs or smart remotes, it could significantly expand the reach of so-called “super Wi-Fi” networks in urban areas.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Ford using Carbon3D's 'Terminator 2' CLIP 3D-printing technology
Wheels:
Ford using Carbon3D's 'Terminator 2' CLIP 3D-printing technology

Engineers at Ford Motor Company have been beta testing Carbon3D's Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) technology, the mind-blowing 3D-printing method that grows plastic parts from a pool of heated resin. In December 2014, Ford began testing a pre-release version of Carbon3D's first CLIP-based device, which was inspired, in part, by a scene in "Terminator 2."
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>360-degree display on pressure transducer/switch
Mike Likes:
360-degree display on pressure transducer/switch

The TDEPD transducer from Transducers Direct features a unique proprietary design that senses pressure by using a time-to-digital converter (TDC) to measure the duration of a capacitive discharge across the changing resistance in a Wheatstone bridge atop the diaphragm. Clever circuitry splits the signal from the bridge, creating duplicate signals that ensure continuous machinery operation if one half should fail. The all-digital, field-proven design eliminates amplifiers, filters, amplified noise, and signal delays, producing a high-resolution signal without analog variability or noise in the circuit. Plus it has that cool display.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>Sandia's new 6DOF vibration table promises different ways of testing
Engineer's Toolbox:
Sandia's new 6DOF vibration table promises different ways of testing

It took decades for technology to catch up with the math David Smallwood worked out to control vibration table shakers. Smallwood, a retired Sandia National Laboratories researcher who consults at the labs, knew that shaking in all directions at once was the key to realistic parts testing. Now Sandia is putting the algorithms he developed more than 30 years ago to the test by shaking up nuclear weapon components using a new six-degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) machine.
Read the full article.

Image - Solar: IDEC adds Chilicon Power solar products
Solar: IDEC adds Chilicon Power solar products
IDEC now offers complete solar energy generation and control systems for residential, commercial, and industrial applications from Chilicon Power products. The Chilicon Power solar power system consists of microinverters, a Gateway, cloud-based remote monitoring and control software, and related components. Each microinverter connects to a photovoltaic module and converts its DC power to grid-compliant AC power. Leading the industry with sustained power production of 250 W AC, the Chilicon CP-250 Microinverter has a peak efficiency of 96.6 percent and is backed by a 25-year warranty.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Board-level EMI shielding: DIY in minutes
Board-level EMI shielding: DIY in minutes
ProtoShield sheets from Tech-Etch are depth-etched with a checkerboard pattern for folding, so they can be easily formed into many diverse configurations. In the product-development stage, fully functional shields can be created in minutes with just a pair of scissors and a straight edge for folding. Offered in two sizes: standard (.25-in. squares) and metric (5-mm squares). Both versions are solderable and corrosion resistant due to nickel silver material. Shield prototypes can be directly soldered to the board, or shield clips can be used for easy mounting. Samples available.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Motion: Powerful new drive electronics for micro stepper motors
Motion: Powerful new drive electronics for micro stepper motors
The new FAULHABER MCST 3601 series programmable motion controller can precisely regulate phase currents from 10 mA to 1.1 A. At the same time, it can be operated with a supply voltage that can vary between 9 VDC and 36 VDC. Since the controller is designed as a test electronics system, users can adopt the predefined architecture according to their requirements and integrate the components in the platform of their specific industrial application. Furthermore, the MCST 3601 series can actuate stepper motors in micro stepping mode: up to 256 micro steps per full step. Perfect for applications in optics.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Materials: Plastics that resist chemical attack from hospital disinfectants
Materials: Plastics that resist chemical attack from hospital disinfectants
RTP Company engineers tested a number of polymers for damage resistance to hospital cleaners and disinfectants, and then optimized the best-performing alloy. Known as the RTP 2000 HC series, these thermoplastic compounds can help solve cracking issues in existing devices and open a new realm of possibilities for the design of hospital equipment and plastic housings that require frequent disinfection, such as mobile ultrasound and x-ray machines, enteral feeding devices, drug infusion pumps, blood filtration equipment, and more.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - New honeycomb-inspired design claims superior impact protection
New honeycomb-inspired design claims superior impact protection
Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a groundbreaking new energy-absorbing structure to better withstand blunt and ballistic impact. The technology, called negative stiffness (NS) honeycombs, can be integrated into car bumpers, military and athletic helmets, and other protective hardware.
Read the full article.

Image - Lean Thinking: Redefining work
Lean Thinking: Redefining work
"We need to think about redefining work," says John Shook, Chairman and CEO, Lean Enterprise Institute. "You may be able to create wealth through a variety of business models or ways of thinking. But if you want to create real value, and jobs that value people, you must think hard about how your people are working every day."
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Stealthy mortar system to boost speed, accuracy, enhance Soldier safety
Wheels:
Stealthy mortar system to boost speed, accuracy, enhance Soldier safety

In certain battlefield conditions, such as the mountainous terrain and unimproved roads of Afghanistan, large-caliber indirect-fire weapon systems lack the mobility and maneuverability required to successfully execute an assault. To resolve this concern, engineers at Picatinny Arsenal are developing a revolutionary weapon system called the Automated Direct Indirect-fire Mortar (ADIM), which can be fired while mounted on a light tactical vehicle such as the HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) or its replacement.
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
How Universal Robots doubled production at Tegra Medical
Medical device manufacturer Tegra Medical deployed three collaborative robot arms from Universal Robots to tend the machines manufacturing medical instruments. The UR robots doubled throughput, freed up 11 full-time positions, and enabled the manufacturer to keep up with customer demand while keeping costs down.
Watch how.

Video Image
Improve your cost-estimating process
Explore this quick tutorial preview and learn about some of the features and benefits inside Costimator with 3DFX. This 60-second presentation explains how quick and easy it is to read 3D CAD files and instantly import part features and dimensions for estimating and quoting in Costimator. The new 3DFX automated feature recognition (AFR) add-on to Costimator V14 recognizes CAD features and their parameters from solid models and gives estimators complete control over features they “extract” and import into Costimator for estimating. This is a powerful, long-awaited update to this software tool.
View the video.

Video Image

New products

Electrical/Electronics
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