January 26, 2021 Volume 17 Issue 04

Mechanical News & Products

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Roller-type LM guide for ultra-heavy loads

THK's model HRX is the company's roller-type linear motion (LM) guide. It features ultra-high rigidity in addition to the ability to handle ultra-heavy loads. On the HRX, each row of rollers is arranged at an angle of 45 degrees. This ensures the LM block receives an equal load rating (high rigidity) in all directions. Made for the development of high-precision, energy-saving, high-speed machines with long service lives.
Learn more.


Live tooling for popular turning center lines

Heimatec, a world leader in live tools and multi-spindle drill heads, announces the immediate availability of live tooling for all popular models in the Hyundai, Miyano, and Nakamura turning center lines. According to Preben Hansen, president of Platinum Tooling Technologies and master North American importer for Heimatec, "We're carrying a substantial inventory of live tools for our customers' machines now, and it represents a substantial financial and warehouse-space commitment we've made to support them in the North American market."
Learn more.


MW Components launches eCommerce experience

MW OnDemand combines over 1 million parts from well-known brands such as Century Spring, Accurate Screw Machine, RAF Electronic Hardware, Servometer, and Maudlin into a single location. Customers can select and purchase products from across the MW Components portfolio, simplifying the entire component sourcing process. Customers can shop tens of thousands of stock spring designs along with fasteners, shims, electrical contacts, metal stampings, tubing products, bellows, and more.
Learn more.


Desktop Metal qualifies 420 stainless steel for high-volume additive manufacturing

Desktop Metal recently announced the qualification of Grade 420 stainless steel (420 SS) for use on its Production System platform, which leverages patent-pending Single Pass Jetting (SPJ) technology designed to achieve the fastest build speeds in the metal additive manufacturing industry. Manufacturers can now leverage SPJ technology for the mass production of high-strength, end-use parts in 420 SS for demanding applications in industries such as medical, aerospace, defense, and consumer products.
Learn more.


Engineer's Toolbox:
How to select the proper pin for your application

Fasteners are some of the most important parts of an assembly. In this technical article, Jeff Greenwood from SPIROL focuses on how to select the proper pin for your application, including pins used as hinges, hub and shaft fixtures, alignment, movement stops, and joining. Press fit pins are discussed here, as they are the most common type of pins used in modern manufacturing. Lots of good info and examples in this one.
Read the full article.


New PETs for automotive exterior components

Polyplastics Group has introduced two new RENATUS polyethylene terephthalate (PET) grades that deliver superior mechanical properties, appearance, and weather resistance for automotive exterior components. RH030 (30% glass filled) and RH045 (45% glass filled) maintain their jet blackness and reduce whitening on the surface of molded articles in outdoor environments, making them ideally suited for applications such as automotive side mirrors and rear wiper arms/blades. Since PET parts are not painted, weathering degradation can occur over time when the glass filler starts to float and the jet blackness decreases. Accelerated weather resistance testing demonstrates that Polyplastics' new PET materials maintain lower index values than competing products, indicating that whitening is being reduced.
Learn more.


Quick release couplings with safety lock

To reduce the time involved in setting up equipment and production lines, JW Winco has incorporated a new coupling in its product portfolio. With the GN 1050 quick release coupling, components can be quickly and securely connected to a machine or device with just a click. A safety locking button protects the coupling from being accidentally opened.
Read the full article.


Wheel nut can't loosen by itself -- even in extreme applications

Designed for flat-faced steel rims, the Nord-Lock wheel nut safely secures wheels on on-road and off-road heavy vehicles by maintaining high clamping force even under extreme operating conditions. When assembled correctly, the Nord-Lock wheel nut cannot loosen by itself. It's a simple and cost-effective way to make wheels safe and secure for more productive and efficient operations.
See how Nord-Lock wheel nuts work.


Join carbon materials and more with innovative C-Solder

C-Solder tin-based soldering alloys from Goodfellow enable the joining of carbon materials as well as carbon to metals (copper, aluminum) and aluminum to aluminum. The resulting bond is mechanically strong and electrically conductive. C-Solder is both flux-free and lead-free, has a melting point of 232 degrees C (solidus temperature), has excellent flow, does not leave a residue, and is not affected by cleaning solvents.
View the 1-minute video.
Learn more from Goodfellow.


Tiny crossed roller bearings boast big capabilities

IKO International has unveiled its newest crossed roller bearing, the CRBT105A. This ultra-small, ultra-thin unit is designed to provide exceptional rigidity for space-constrained automated machine applications such as robots with articulating arms and compact surveillance cameras. The CRBT105A features a 10-mm bore diameter, 21-mm outside diameter, and a narrow width of 5 mm. Despite its compact size, this bearing offers rigidity up to four times greater than double-row angular contact ball-type bearings.
Learn more.


Steel disc couplings with updated design offer backlash-free operation in drive applications

RINGFEDER has released an updated version of its proven TND Series of steel disc couplings, which feature backlash-free torque transmission and excellent positioning accuracy in machines that involve synchronous operation, frequent starts and stops, or reversing operations. Typical drive applications include printing and packaging machines, compressors, pumps, and variable speed drives. Two coupling types are available: High Deflection (HD), which offers excellent shaft misalignment compensation, and High Torque (HT), which incorporates a higher power density. TND Series couplings achieve superior concentricity, maximum operational reliability, smooth operation, and low vibration levels.
Learn more.


Custom modifications for material handling rollers and bumpers

Imao-Fixtureworks offers custom modifications for its standard material handling rollers and bumpers. By modifying off-the-shelf products, a significant amount of time and money is saved. The products can be custom modified in various dimensions, shapes, and sizes to meet specific application requirements. For example, the outside diameter (O.D.) of a roller could be turned down, or a bumper of a certain width could be produced. These modifications eliminate the typical design and production time necessary for a custom roller or bumper to be tooled up and molded.
Learn more.


Optimal damping: Continental develops special bearings and other elements for EVs

Continental has developed special elastomer compounds for electric vehicles. They absorb the vibrations in the high-frequency range and are also lightweight. The company is also adapting other bearing elements such as battery mounts for buses or air press bearings in truck driver cabs to the requirements of e-mobility.
Read the full article.


Advanced graphenes for composites and thermoplastic applications

NeoGraf Solutions has extended its range of next-gen graphite materials with the launch of Graf-X graphene nanoplatelets (GNP) and graphene precursors (GP). Both high-performance additive materials deliver enhanced strength, performance, and reliability in a broad range of thermoset and thermoplastic applications. The new graphene materials can increase the toughness of plastics by up to 2.5 times without a significant weight increase. They can also double thermal conductivity and push the electrical conductivity of plastics into the anti-static and static-dissipative ranges.
Learn more.


You asked. We answered. Wave Spring FAQ E-book

Finding the best possible solution for your design challenge is no easy task. Smalley engineers have created a brand new Ask the Expert -- Wave Spring FAQ E-book that answers all of your wave spring questions in one simple guide. In this E-book, you will learn about wave spring performance, the design process, materials, and common applications.
Download Now!


Shades get a little weird: Wider range of car colors rolled off the world's assembly lines in 2020

The automotive color "Parolis Purple" by BASF.

 

 

The BASF Color Report 2020 for Automotive OEM Coatings shows the automotive color palette shifting in unconventional ways, unveiling a wider range of chromatic colors rolling off the world's assembly lines.

Diverse shades like blue and yellow are making gains in some regions, while red and violet are slowly cutting the lead held by the achromatic colors in other parts of the world. The expanding color spaces made the overall spectrum broader than 2019 and added a flash of brilliance.

Despite the shift in colors, the achromatic colors -- white, black, silver, and gray -- followed a familiar pattern, coating the majority of the vehicles produced. As it has been for several years, white is still the most popular car color around the world.

The data cited throughout the report shows lower total vehicle production than in past years. It includes times when automakers had to shut down due to COVID-19. The global pandemic has deeply affected the mobility economy and the world.

EMEA: Greater diversity of chromatic colors and shades
Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) follows the global movement of chromatic colors. In 2020, about 11% of new vehicles in EMEA were coated in blue, making it the most popular chromatic color. Violet is a newcomer to the market, increasing diversity even more. Other chromatic colors are also gaining popularity, especially on smaller SUVs as their market segment grows.

Part of the variety comes from the diversity of shades. OEM automakers used more than 160 distinct shades of blue in 2020 on vehicles in EMEA. Gray was second with 140 shades. Both color spaces were more diverse than white, which only had 70 distinct shades.

In the achromatic spectrum, white is still on top at 28% of the market, followed by gray and black.

"Color variety changes with size. For example, where violet has a unique home in mid-size SUVs, it does not appear in great numbers in smaller or larger SUVs," said Mark Gutjahr, head of Automotive Color Design, EMEA. "The opposite is true with yellow, which shows up in both the very small and the very large, but not the middle. These are specific and unique color positions that appear and disappear throughout the segments."

North America: More blue, just as anticipated
North American car buyers have fewer choices for chromatic colors, but that doesn't mean they're choosing fewer chromatic cars, trucks, or SUVs. Blue gained more popularity as an automotive color in North America, edging out red, while beige and brown have dropped off the list. That leaves green as the only other chromatic color in significant numbers in the region.

Shades of blue are seen as more elegant, and buyers who may have chosen beige or brown in the past seem to be moving to blues or grays. BASF designers could see this coming. As early as 2016, BASF designers described blue as "a major color direction for the automotive industry that will gain market share in upcoming years." Automotive designers often look three to four model years ahead when developing colors, and the market has played out exactly as predicted.

"There's a lot to get excited about with the bright colors we're seeing," said Paul Czornij, head of design, The Americas. "Just as we predicted three or four years ago, blue is having a moment in the sun, and we're using some beautiful effects and pigments that advance the possibilities of hue and texture in this important design space."

Asia Pacific: Black and gray rising, while brighter colors showing up
Asia Pacific is home to the largest volume of automotive production in the world and is a microcosm of global color popularity. While every region is different, Asia Pacific's preferences mirror global data, and its bright colors mirror the awakening that chromatic colors are experiencing elsewhere.

White is still the most popular color in the region, coating about 48% of the vehicles produced. Black and gray continue to improve, following a three-year trend that eats away at the dominance of white.

While the total numbers aren't huge, brown, green, and violet are all consistent in color popularity. It will be a long time before they challenge white for the most popular, but for now, they add to the tremendous diversity of color in Asia Pacific.

"People in Asia Pacific really enjoy choosing colors for their vehicles. Colors are very human-oriented, flexible, and free, showing the diversity of the region and its people," said Chiharu Matsuhara, head of design, Asia Pacific.

South America: Conservative buyers choose more conservative colors
Colors like red and blue, which are so popular in other regions of the globe, are still players in South America, especially among car buyers who are trying to express their individuality with sportier cars. What's more significant is the market's love of achromatic colors.

Historically, South American car buyers have chosen more traditional, less flashy colors. Like other regions, white is by far the favorite, covering about 39% of OEM vehicles. The popularity of gray and silver is higher than in other regions, with 18% for each. Black has the smallest preference among the achromatic colors, with 12%. Altogether, the achromatic colors command an 87% share.

Unlike other regions, red stands out as the top chromatic color with 9%. Diverse shades of blue are important worldwide, while in South America, blue is just 2% of the market. Orange is a newcomer, brown is holding steady, and beige has all but disappeared.

"Trends that are popular in other parts of the world are slower to catch on in South America. While this is a continent with many colorful aspects of its culture, people tend to be more conservative with their cars," said Marcos Fernandes, Director Regional Business Management, Automotive Coatings South America.

The BASF Color Report for Automotive OEM Coatings (available as a PDF using this link) is a data analysis from BASF's Coatings division based on global automotive production and paint application to light vehicles in 2020.

Source: BASF

Published January 2021

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