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September 13, 2016Volume 12 Issue 34


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

  • Thermionics: Modernizing vacuum-tube-era tech
  • Robotics inspired by nature
  • Rubbery coating could ice-proof airplanes, more
  • Wheels: Elvis’ BMW 507 has left the building
  • Cool Tools: Easy vibration measurements
  • Engineer's Toolbox: 12 key factors in bellows design
  • Encoders: Rotary motion control in extreme environs
  • Motion: Toothed-belt linear axes in customizable sizes
  • Bearings: Never have to be re-lubed
  • Cabling: Gore Ethernet selected for F-16 upgrades
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • A flyover view of the readychain® factory
    • Drone with arms makes its debut
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Wheels: World's fastest truck
    • What's wasting power at your house?
    • NASA bets on bulk metallic glass gears
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: Elvis' long-lost BMW 507 found and restored

News

Johnson Controls and Tyco complete merger

GE acquiring two 3D-printing companies for $1.4B, going into additive-manufacturing service biz

Army and General Motors partner to develop fuel-cell vehicle

DARPA's Gremlins program takes flight to provide unmanned air systems recovered by plane in mid-air



Image - Expanded Die Spring Line Available
Expanded Die Spring Line Available
HEFTY™ Die Springs are heavy-duty metal compression springs manufactured using round wire, specifically designed to be used as Die Springs or as heavy-duty coil springs in any heavy-stress, heavy-load application. Lee Spring's HEFTY™ Die Series has expanded in 2016. Find more choice throughout the range of sizes, including more Free Length options over 6" (152.40 mm). HEFTY™ Die Springs are available in five load types and are shot peened for extended life.

Click here to learn more.


Feature articles
Thermionics: Modernizing vacuum-tube-era tech to generate cheap power
When two scientists left Stanford University last year to join Cyclotron Road, a Berkeley Lab program for entrepreneurial researchers, their vision was to take thermionics, an all-but-forgotten technology, and develop it into a clean, compact, and efficient source of power. Little did they know that soon after arriving they'd discover a shortcut -- an unprecedented insight into the inner workings of devices that convert heat to electricity.
Read the full article.
Image -
IER3 Optical Encoders are perfect for demanding positioning applications.


Image - Robotics inspired by nature: <br>Coreless DC motor applications
Robotics inspired by nature:
Coreless DC motor applications

As walking is a natural process, it's obvious that the designs and control systems of many walking machines are based on natural examples. In the case of LAURON (Legged AUtonomous RObot Neural-controlled), inspiration came from the Indian stick insect. The robot was designed for use in settings that are too hazardous for people, or are difficult to access with wheeled or chain-powered systems.
Read the full article.

Image - Rubbery spray-on coating could ice-proof airplanes, power lines, windshields
Rubbery spray-on coating could ice-proof airplanes, power lines, windshields
On your car windshield, ice is a nuisance. But on an airplane, a wind turbine, an oil rig, or power line, it can be downright dangerous. And removing it with the methods that are available today -- usually chemical melting agents or labor-intensive scrapers and hammers -- is difficult and expensive work. That could soon change thanks to a novel and durable, inexpensive ice-repellent coating developed by University of Michigan researchers.
Read the full article.

Image - Model-Driven Innovation for Better Designs
Model-Driven Innovation for Better Designs
In an increasingly competitive market, engineering organizations feel the pressures of cost control and time to market. To avoid delays often caused during the integration of subsystems from different domains, organizations are turning to Model-Driven Innovation, which makes multidomain, system-level modeling the core of their design activities. This approach provides time and cost savings, with early identification of potential problems while projects are still in developmental stages, thus making them easier to correct.

Learn more.


Image - Wheels: <br>Elvis’ BMW 507 has left the building
Wheels:
Elvis’ BMW 507 has left the building

The story of Elvis’ long-lost BMW 507 and its restoration is full of twists and turns. This is not simply a tale about the young GI Elvis Presley. It is also about the experienced “hillclimb champion” Hans Stuck, kissable lips daubed on white paint, a retired space engineer and a warehouse for pumpkins, a Chevy engine that was much too big, rubberized coconut mats, and door handles printed in a 3D process.
Read the full article.

Image - Cool Tools: See how easy vibration measurement can be on phones or tablets
Cool Tools: See how easy vibration measurement can be on phones or tablets
The ability to bring high-dynamic-range vibration signals to smartphones and tablets is simplifying and broadening both predictive maintenance and process-improvement uses of sound and vibration. The Digiducer Piezoelectric USB Digital Accelerometer is rapidly gaining acceptance in both industrial and test markets. There are already more than a dozen commercially available software packages that communicate directly with the Digiducer Model 333D01. The device is finding utility in applications from balancing to electric motor monitoring to vehicle vibration. Works with Windows, iOS, Linux, Android, and Mac OS. One new application variant is ACE ControlsVibroChecker PRO native iOS app that turns iPhones and iPads into professional vibration and impact measuring devices.
Click here to learn about the Digiducer Model 333D01.
Click here to learn about the Ace Controls app for iOS.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>12 key factors in bellows design
Engineer's Toolbox:
12 key factors in bellows design

What do you need to know to design your own custom bellows? The specialists at Servometer have prepared this handy resource for you. Typical bellows applications include: volume compensators, actuators, electrical spring contacts, pressure switches and transducers, flexible shaft couplings, and more.
Read the full article.

Image - Encoders: Rotary motion control in extreme environs
Encoders: Rotary motion control in extreme environs
Novotechnik U.S. introduces the Vert-X 51 Series of rotary magnetic encoders, which feature up to 16-bit resolution and repeatability to 0.1 deg, depending on model. Measurement range in this series is 0 to 360 deg, and physical measurements of the housing are 30 mm x 50 mm. These encoders are ideal for harsh environments with ingress protection to IP 67, and stainless steel housing and shaft are available. Vert-X 51 Series is designed to operate with shock up to 50 g and vibration to 20 g as well as axial and radial shaft loads to 45 N. Ideal for marine propulsion, off-highway, and other applications
Click here to learn more.

Image - Motion: Toothed-belt linear axes in customizable sizes
Motion: Toothed-belt linear axes in customizable sizes
To simplify product selection of maintenance-free, self-lubricating linear guides, motion plastics specialist igus has developed a modular construction kit for belt-driven DryLin ZLW linear axes. Using the new ZLW toolkit, customers can customize their own solutions, including rail widths, system length, etc. -- even for small installation spaces. Cross beams, rails, and/or carriages are available in either aluminum or stainless steel to suit a wider range of application requirements, especially food and lab settings. These systems were developed for high-speed applications with low loads and are better for high accelerations than ball bearings. Underwater applications are possible via a special toothed belt.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Bearings: Never have to be re-lubed
Bearings: Never have to be re-lubed
SKF has centralized the production of bearings with Solid Oil to promote timely delivery throughout North America and has introduced enhanced formulas to benefit more applications across industries. Made in Cleveland, OH, these bearings are filled with an oil-saturated polymer matrix, which creates a consistent lubricant supply able to withstand very cold temperatures (down to -65 F, -53 C), aggressive chemicals, contaminants, and high centrifugal forces. The polymer matrix contains two to four times more lubricating oil than standard grease-filled bearings, and the bearings never have to be re-lubricated. As a result, maintenance lubrication challenges are eliminated, especially benefiting applications where the accessibility to manually lubricate bearings is unsafe, impractical, and/or impossible.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Cabling: Gore Ethernet selected for F-16 upgrades
Cabling: Gore Ethernet selected for F-16 upgrades
GORE Aerospace Ethernet Cables have been successfully integrated into the upcoming F-16 upgrade initiatives. Gore’s new 10GbE cables exceed Cat6a electrical requirements by delivering reliable signal integrity with sufficient margin for high-speed data transmission over longer distances. These cables are qualified according to C21091 Specifications for F-16 upgrades that require exceptional electrical and mechanical performance in harsh aerospace environments to ensure mission-critical success.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - Wheels: World's fastest truck is Volvo's Iron Knight
Wheels: World's fastest truck is Volvo's Iron Knight
Volvo Trucks’ 2,400-hp turbodiesel nicknamed the Iron Knight is the world’s fastest truck -- twice over. In June it beat the world speed record in the standing-start 500-m (13.71 sec) and 1,000-m (21.29 sec avg over two runs)categories at a closed-off test track in northern Sweden. Top speed was 168 mph (avg over two runs). The 4.5-ton record-breaker that features 6,000 Nm of torque is custom built in every way apart from the engine and the series-manufactured I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission. It has a fiberglass cab and many other weight-saving technologies. The mid-mounted engine is a significantly modified D13 unit with water-cooled intercooler and four turbochargers. The winning records are being reviewed by the FIA, the international motor sport association.
View the video.

Image - What's wasting power at your house?
What's wasting power at your house?
Researchers at MIT have developed a device and software that can figure out exactly how much power is being used by every appliance, lighting fixture, and device in a home, with pinpoint accuracy and at low cost. The new MIT system has some key advantages over other approaches, including simplicity and data privacy.
Read the full article.

Image - NASA bets on bulk metallic glass gears for icy missions
NASA bets on bulk metallic glass gears for icy missions
NASA is developing technologies that will allow exploration of promising places in the solar system ranging from Mars to the icy moon of Jupiter, Europa. These locations have extreme environments that require hardware to withstand temperatures below -150 deg C. Researchers are developing unheated gearboxes to operate in these environments using custom bulk metallic glass (BMG) alloys invented specifically for this application.
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
A flyover view of the readychain® factory
Get a look inside the igus® readychain® factory, from cable production to final harnessing. In this video tour, see everything that goes into creating a fully harnessed igus® energy supply system, along with a range of available options and accessories.
View the video.

Video Image
Drone with arms makes its debut
The industrial and commercial drone market has focused largely on using drones for photography and filming, mapping, surveying, spraying pesticides, etc., but there is an increasingly strong demand for drones to be able to perform specific "hands-on" operations directly. The PD6B-AW-ARM from Japan-based PRODRONE is a large-format drone equipped with two robotic arms. Application examples include the abilities to grasp and carry differently shaped cargo using its arms, attach or join things, cut cables, turn dials, flick switches, drop life-saving buoys, retrieve hazardous materials, and more. Maximum payload is 44 lb. We don't know if it is a great drone, but it is a great idea.
View the video.

Video Image

New products

Electrical/Electronics
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Mechanical
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Motion
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