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December 08, 2015Volume 11 Issue 46


Image - Completely Updated New Full Line Catalog: <br>Full of New Fasteners
Completely Updated New Full Line Catalog:
Full of New Fasteners

Micro Plastics introduces its new 300-page catalog #40 containing thousands of fastening solutions for engineers and product designers. Find hundreds of new problem-solving products, including Spacers, Washers, Clips, Clamps, Ties, Bushings, Screws, Nuts, Rivets, and Plugs. Micro Plastics specializes in Nylon threaded fasteners, but the company also offers extensive product lines for wire management and circuit board hardware. FREE samples are available upon request.

Click here for more information.


In this issue of Designfax

  • Serviceable spacecraft make a comeback
  • Electroforming basics of mini/specialized components
  • FlatCam is a tiny lens-less camera
  • Wheels: Ford licenses robotic testing tech to automakers
  • Mike Likes: Push switch with sharper ‘snap’ feeling
  • Engineer's Toolbox: Robot antenna testing
  • Switches: Replace buttons with capacitive touch
  • Fasteners: Quick mating with plastic fasteners
  • 3D metal printing: Parts way tougher than stainless
  • Motors: Next-gen steppers with more options
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • How Universal Robots optimize laptop assembly
    • Broadband: Is Li-Fi the new Wi-Fi?
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Wheels: Polymers for plastic engine project
    • Army researchers add power, range to artillery
    • Forest harvester wins Swedish Steel Prize 2015
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: Ford licenses robotic testing technology

News

Satellite sensors aim to deliver global fire coverage

Using high-energy X-rays, Caterpillar and Argonne National Laboratory look for affordable ways to optimize cast iron

Father of robotics Joseph F. Engelberger dies at age 90

At the nano level, metal defects can be pretty much eliminated



Feature articles

Image - Serviceable spacecraft make a comeback
Serviceable spacecraft make a comeback
Ever wonder about the future of space science? Hop inside a time machine that transports you back 40 years and you may get a good idea about where things are headed. History, it would seem, has a funny way of repeating itself. Serviceable spacecraft are once again de rigueur.
Read the full article.

Image - Electroforming basics of miniature and specialized components white paper
Electroforming basics of miniature and specialized components white paper
Servometer's proprietary electrodeposition process produces lightweight parts with unique geometries in five specialized steps. Learn how electroformed components are manufactured and how they can be applied to a variety of applications.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Look ma, no lens! FlatCam aims to change how cameras are designed into products
Look ma, no lens! FlatCam aims to change how cameras are designed into products
How thin can a camera be? Really really thin, according to Rice University researchers. FlatCams can be fabricated like microchips, with the precision, speed, and the associated reduction in costs. "We can make curved cameras or wallpaper that’s actually a camera. You can have a camera on your credit card or a camera in an ultrathin tablet computer," says one of the technology developers.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Ford licenses homegrown robotic testing technology to other automakers
Wheels:
Ford licenses homegrown robotic testing technology to other automakers

Ford is licensing robotic test-driving technology to other automakers. The industry-first technology saves time and spares human drivers from such physically demanding tasks such as driving over curbs and through potholes -- over and over and over again -- in durability testing.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>Push switch with sharper ‘snap’ feeling
Mike Likes:
Push switch with sharper ‘snap’ feeling

SMK Corp. has expanded its existing product lineup of push switches with the HCF (High Click Feeling) Series featuring an improved click ratio of minimum 35 percent. This switch was developed to operate automotive equipment requiring a high force typically required in keyless entry systems and car audio devices. Also works well in TVs, DVD players, industrial equipment, home appliances, and healthcare products. The small switch has a crisper “snap” feel while retaining the high operating force of 4.8N in line with the current switches in the SMK lineup. It has the same external dimensions as the current products in this line. Great for applications where board space is limited and a high force is required.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>Robot adds new twist to NIST antenna testing
Engineer's Toolbox:
Robot adds new twist to NIST antenna testing

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been pioneering antenna measurement methods for decades, but a new robot may be the ultimate innovation, extending measurements to higher frequencies while characterizing antennas faster and more easily than previous NIST facilities.
Read the full article.

Image - Switches: Replace mechanical buttons with capacitive touch
Switches: Replace mechanical buttons with capacitive touch
mTouch controllers from Microchip Technology offer a turnkey solution for developing touch applications in low-cost embedded applications like light switches, home automation, office equipment, toys, white goods, and appliances without sacrificing performance. With no software to write and a very simple interface, developers can improve their products by quickly updating mechanical keypads to capacitive touch. These 2-, 5-, and 8-channel MTCH102-5-8 controllers replace mechanical buttons with a simple digital output, making it easy to add proximity and touch detection to any application that is constrained by size, power, or cost.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Fasteners: Quick mating with plastic fasteners
Fasteners: Quick mating with plastic fasteners
New PEM self-clinching flush-head studs integrating unique X-Press threads enable quick mating with push-on plastic nuts, wire tie products, or other plastic fasteners in thin metal assemblies. Their coarse thread design -- larger threads relative to the stud’s diameter -- reduces assembly time by allowing for easy mating of plastic parts and promotes especially high retention force of the stud upon installation. The thread design additionally accommodates paints and coatings without compromising fastener performance in service. These PEM X-Press studs (Type FHX) install permanently in metal sheets as thin as 1 mm.
Click here to learn more.

Image - 3D metal printing: Parts that are way tougher than stainless steel
3D metal printing: Parts that are way tougher than stainless steel
3DX Industries has expanded its additive manufacturing capabilities by introducing new NanoSteel metal powders for printing complex, wear-resistant parts. Using Binder Jet additive manufacturing for prototypes and production runs, 3DX can print your parts in a variety of sizes and complexities at significantly reduced lead times -- and often more cost effectively than other additive manufacturing processes. 3DX now offers parts made with NanoSteel BLDRmetal J-10 and J-11 metal powders, which are designed for components that operate in abrasive environments and have 3X (J-10) and 10X (J-11) the wear resistance and impact toughness of an equivalent 420 stainless steel in lower-impact applications.
Click here to learn more about this new 3DX capability.
Watch the NanoSteel BLDRmetal powders in action.

Image - Motors: Next-gen steppers with more options
Motors: Next-gen steppers with more options
The PMX series from Kollmorgen adds smaller 08, 11, and 14 frame sizes to the company’s traditional 17, 23, and 34 frame size offering. Thanks to a wider range of sizes and options, OEMs now have added flexibility to meet multiple performance and application needs from a single motion source. Each frame size is built with high-quality construction, which translates to reliability in the field and long service life. These stepper motors offer increased design flexibility, high torque/dollar, minimal drive adjustments, flexible manufacturing, and localized technical support.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - Wheels: <br>Specialty polymers chosen for plastic engine project
Wheels:
Specialty polymers chosen for plastic engine project

The Polimotor 2 project, led by legendary automotive innovator Matti Holtzberg, has selected Solvay Specialty Polymers' high-performance Torlon polyamide-imide (PAI) to replace conventional metal in a cam sprocket design for a nearly all-plastic combustion engine.
Read the full article.

Image - Army researchers add power, range to artillery
Army researchers add power, range to artillery
Picatinny Arsenal engineers in New Jersey are improving artillery by extending its range, power, and versatility by using an electrically responsive method to control energetic materials such as propellants. The Army uses artillery rounds that have two different types of motors for their extended-range propellants.
Read the full article.

Image - Ponsse forest harvester design wins Swedish Steel Prize 2015
Ponsse forest harvester design wins Swedish Steel Prize 2015
This year’s winner of the international Swedish Steel Prize is Ponsse from Finland. The prize was awarded Nov. 19 in Stockholm, Sweden, for the company’s new generation of forest harvester, the Scorpion, which uses high-strength steel in an impressive design that improves both performance and driver comfort.
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
How 60 Universal Robots on the line optimize laptop assembly
Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Wistron is now able to stay ahead of its competitors, improve staff retention, reduce training costs and increase productivity by using the collaborative UR robots. Watch how the robots handle tasks such as picking and placing laptop cases, partial assembly, and screw insertion.
Watch Universal Robots at Wistron.
Learn the benefits of collaborative robots.
Locate a distributor in your area.

Video Image
Broadband: Is Li-Fi the new Wi-Fi?
As connected devices become more popular, Wi-Fi networks may not be able to keep up with demand. Enter Li-Fi, which uses ordinary LED room lights to transmit data around a space at speeds that could reach 50 MB/sec or more. Wired UK talks to Prof. Harald Haas, professor of engineering at Edinburgh University and the original inventor of Li-Fi technology, to find out how his invention will help enable the Internet of Things.
View the video.

Video Image

New products

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