Engineer's Toolbox: The secret to living hinges that fold flat
Living hinges are often used to produce a container and its lid as a single molded part. If properly designed, they can open and close thousands of times without ever losing strength or flexibility. Proto Labs provides valuable tips on designing these (sometimes thin and fragile) parts.
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Bottom tapped rails available for quick ship
Bottom tapped rails are useful for mounting from the bottom of a base, as well as when contamination protection is required -- eliminating the need for bolt-hole caps. See the available models from THK, including standard and radial LM guides and standard and radial caged ball. All units are available for quick shipping.
Non-marring blowoff nozzle protects expensive equipment
EXAIR's new PEEK 1/2 NPT Super Air Nozzle™ has been engineered to produce powerful blowoff without damage to expensive equipment. It features PEEK plastic construction and excellent resistance to damage from harsh chemicals and temps up to 320 F (160 C). The PEEK Super Air Nozzle is great for blowoff, cooling, and drying applications located in general industrial or corrosive environments.
Flex thixotropic one-component dual-cure epoxy
Master Bond UV23FLDC-80TK is a moderate viscosity, cationic-type system that offers both UV light and heat curing mechanisms. It cures readily within 20 to 30 sec when exposed to a UV light source. The adhesive can also undergo a secondary heat curing for shadowed areas, typically curing in 60 to 90 min. The system's adaptability to varying depths and applications, such as encapsulation and bonding, enhances its versatility. Well suited for uses where low stress is critical.
Standard parts with signal feedback included
JW Winco standard parts are becoming even more functional -- multifunctional, to be precise. From smart stop bolts that report whether workpieces are precisely positioned in the machining process to cabinet handles with signal lights and fluid level indicators with electronic REED contact signals, intelligent standard parts from JW Winco ensure greater safety, higher efficiency, and increased stability. Many more very useful options available for a wide range of applications.
Particle foam perfectly distributed thanks to simulation with Ultrasim
BASF's Ultrasim simulation solution now includes Infinergy, an expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU) that is used in a wide range of applications to make components with particle foam -- from bicycle tires to the soles on shoes. Identify and solve problems related to pneumatic filling when distributing particle foams in molds, even taking gravity and mold closing into consideration. Avoid those pesky air pockets.
Best practices for making technical drawings
Ambiguities in technical drawings can cost extra money when a part must be redone or reworked, leading to unexpected project delays. It is essential to create clear technical drawings the first time around. Did you remember to include an isometric view if possible? Did you limit the number of hidden lines? Xometry lays out 14 tips that to help engineers create clear and professional manufacturing drawings. A solid review.
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NEW! Semi-automatic pin installation technology from SPIROL -- Better, faster fastening
SPIROL's new video showcases their updated Model PR and Model CR Semi-Automatic Installation Machines for Pins, Alignment Dowels, and Bushings. The video demonstrates how to operate the machine, details standard features, and optional quality and error-proofing enhancements. More than 80% of the components in this installation equipment are standard, pretested, production-proven, off-the-shelf parts. This translates into faster delivery, greater reliability, and lowest cost for equipment of comparable quality.
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Are fasteners over-torqued in your assemblies?
According to Mountz, if you currently use a click wrench for your bolting application, you should proceed cautiously because click wrenches are easily misused, which leads to over-torque events. Replacing a click-wrench with a Mountz FGC cam-over wrench helps prevent operator anomalies and over-torque occurrences, because a cam-over mechanism physically prevents the operator from over-torquing fasteners.
Tools for robotic metal weld grinding
There are many ways to automate grinding processes, but according to ATI Industrial Automation, "Compliance is the key to successful robotic grinding applications." Learn about the pneumatic compliance built into ATI's tools -- the CGV Compliant Angle Grinder and the PCFC Passive Compliant Force Control device -- that exerts a constant force and compensates for surface irregularities to ensure consistent results and facilitate easier robot programming.
How BMW Group uses ExOne binder jetting tech to make parts
3D-printer maker ExOne and BMW have worked together for more than two decades on additive manufacturing projects. This video showcases how the premium automaker uses ExOne binder jet sand 3D-printing technology to manufacture water jacket cores in serial production. Binder jetting is one of the fastest 3D-printing methods for producing high-quality and complex precision parts in high volume.
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NEW: Build parts together with Teamspace from Xometry
Xometry's Digital Manufacturing Marketplace has just launched Teamspace, a new product feature that makes it easy for you and your team to build big ideas together. Teamspace is a collaborative workspace within your Xometry account that gives you and members of your team quick and easy access to quotes, order placement, part status, tracking info, and more. Turbocharge the way you make custom parts using additive manufacturing, CNC machining, sheet and tube fabrication, plastics, metals, and more.
Clean in Place Latches save time and money
Spend less time and money on cleaning and cleaning media with two new standard parts from JW Winco. The new GN 1150 latches are designed to repel dirt and can be cleaned in place. The Hygienic Design latches support the machine and system cleaning concept known as clean in place, or CIP for short. Two versions available: front hygiene (FH) for applications such as switch cabinets that must comply with hygiene requirements only on the outside, and full hygiene (VH) with additional seals for HD quality, even on the latch arm side.
Flex Locators for quick changeover of small and large fixtures
Flex Locators from Fixtureworks are designed for quick changeover of small and large fixtures, automation components, and more. They are ideal for applications that require frequent disassembly, providing excellent repeatability for locating and clamping in a single operation. Manual and pneumatic versions are available. Just turn the handle, knob, or screw!
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Injection-molded heavy-duty plain bearings for high mechanical loads
igus has introduced a new two-component plain bearing for high mechanical loads called the iglide Q3E series. With this new, greaseless offering, igus has, for the first time, found a way to manufacture heavy-duty bearings made of two layers of high-performance plastic using the cost-effective injection molding process. Applications include the construction and agricultural machinery industries.
Satellite design applied to largest aluminum sailing superyacht ever
The superyacht Sea Eagle II. [Photo: © Royal Huisman]
Dutch shipbuilder Royal Huisman applied the same concurrent engineering process developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) for space missions to the design of superyacht Sea Eagle II, due to become the world's largest aluminum sailing yacht when delivered to its owner this spring.
This uniquely contemporary 81-m-long (266-ft) three-masted schooner was recently transported by barge from the company's shipyard in the Dutch city of Vollenhove to Royal Huisman Amsterdam, where its carbon composite rig will be installed, leaving her ready for sea trials and on-board crew training.
Sea Eagle II's modern style extends to its design, which took place using concurrent engineering, taking inspiration from the long-established Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) at ESA's technical center ESTEC in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, where it is employed for performing preliminary design and assessment of potential future space missions and systems.
"Satellites and superyachts are both complex machines, and concurrent engineering is advantageous in designing any complex system," says Massimo Bandecchi, founder of ESA's CDF. "The basic idea is simple: Bring together all necessary experts and design tools into a single room to work together as a team on a shared software model that updates immediately as changes are made, to assess design feasibility and tradeoffs in a much more effective and reliable way.
"While our main focus is fulfilling the needs of ESA engineering, there has also been strong interest in our work from industry. Concurrent engineering's improved performance in terms of time, cost, and efficiency speaks for itself. The result is that more than 50 centers have been built following ESA's original CDF model and are now in operation across Europe -- the majority in the space sector, plus around 10 non-space centers."
Stefan Coronel, Royal Huisman's design and engineering manager, received training from Bandecchi and his team before setting up his own concurrent engineering room. "Yacht building is not rocket science," he says, "but it does involve a complex, multi-disciplinary system, with lots of tradeoffs to be decided."
"The traditional 'over the hedge' design method -- where one knowledge field does its work, then throws it across to the next team in sequence -- demands the subsequent checking of feedback then possible design adjustments, so is quite a time-consuming process. In the modern yard-building world, there isn't so much time to spare.
"That said, compared to the dramatic shortening of satellite conceptual design time achieved by ESA, the main benefit we see from concurrent engineering is not gaining time but that the quality of the final design ends up much better, and more complete -- giving us confidence to proceed to the build phase."
Royal Huisman is now applying concurrent engineering to all of their new builds, and many of their refitting and service projects.
"Our room is not as fancy as ESA's CDF, but has the same basic approach of a place where everyone can contribute," says Coronel, "with means of accessing all normal engineering tools and calculation methods, plus a splinter room for small separate discussions."
In the same way that satellite design is broken down into subsystems, yacht design involves some main disciplines taking part in all the sessions: structural strength and stiffness; deck and sail handling; systems such as propulsion, power, heating, and air conditioning; electronics; and finally interior design -- creating a desirable, luxurious interior. Additional external experts, such as noise and vibration specialists, attend as required.
"The kind of tradeoffs that concurrent engineering makes easier to resolve include such deceptively simple tasks as placing a side hatch or staircase," says Coronel. "In the case of a hatch, it would need to be watertight and endure loads from sea waves, while also integrated with the living space and looking good when trimmed with wood. Any staircase needs to be open and attractive, while also having pipes and electrical cables run through it, and meeting all relevant fire and safety regulations."
The company's adoption of concurrent engineering also meant Sea Eagle II's aluminum panels have had holes and support structures added to them in advance, saving time in construction and the integration of features such as winches or hatches.
European companies and institutions have variously adopted concurrent engineering for educating students, designing automobiles, planning oil platforms, and optimizing the production plant of dairy product company FrieslandCampina.
Source: This article was reposted with permission from the European Space Agency (ESA). Read about more ESA developments at www.esa.int.
Published March 2020
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