August 03, 2021 Volume 17 Issue 29

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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Fluke 831 Laser Shaft Alignment Tool

Misalignment causes at least half of all damage to rotating machinery, but instead of fixing the problem, teams often just treat the symptoms by replacing bearings, couplings, and seals. The new Fluke 831 Laser Shaft Alignment Tool makes shaft alignment easy with an intuitive guided user interface that enables quick and complete shaft alignment without advanced training or complicated programs.
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Image sensor for virtual reality, drones, machine vision

OMNIVISION has just announced the OG0VE global shutter (GS) image sensor, a small-form-factor, high-sensitivity device for AR/VR/MR, metaverse, drone, machine vision, and barcode scanner products. This new-generation image sensor is 26% smaller and more than 50% more power efficient than its predecessor. It supports one-lane MIPI D-PHY at up to 800 Mbps and was designed to address the high market demand for the smallest and lowest power-consuming cameras.
Learn more.


Smallest Smart Motor Module for DC fan applications

Alpha and Omega Semiconductor Limited has introduced an extension to its compact Smart Motor Module (SMM) family. Available in an ultra-compact, thermally enhanced 3-mm x 3-mm QFN-18L package, the highly integrated AOZ9530QV SMM is a half-bridge power stage with a slew of features and protections that simplify motor drive designs. It is suitable for use in a large number of BLDC fan applications ranging from PC and server fans to seat cooling and home appliances.
Learn more.


Application Note: Wireless -- Decoupling high-frequency signals from a DC supply

From 5G systems to radio and antenna applications, wireless communication accompanies us throughout our daily lives, so the demand for universal high-frequency amplifiers is correspondingly high. By selecting the optimal passive components, the transmission characteristics of the amplifier can be improved during development. A well-designed layout further improves RF performance. The aim is to transmit both RF signals and the DC supply on a single line without interference or cross-talk. A key component is the inductor for decoupling the RF and DC supplies.
Read this in-depth W├╝rth Elektronik application note.


Smallest all-in-one LIN driver propels relay window lifters

Melexis' new LIN pre-driver IC for relay DC motors offers a combination of high power, compactness, and attractive pricing. The MLX81160 is the latest addition to the company's Gen3 family of compatible embedded motor drivers. Its 48-KB of memory (16 KB ROM for the included LIN protocol and 32 KB Flash for the application software) is suitable for applications like window regulators.
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Pull-type solenoids in a range to meet tons of applications

Magnetic Sensor Systems (MSS) has released their S-20-100X model of high-efficiency, low-cost Pull Type Tubular Solenoids (1 in. diameter x 2 in. long). Their S-20-100X series features 18 different solenoids to select from based on the voltage, duty cycle, force, and stroke requirement of the user. MSS solenoid coils typically use Class F 23- to 40-AWG windings with Class A insulation for better protection of the solenoid during longer duty cycles. Applications include: vending machines, medical dispensing, mixing, valve control, farm machinery, disconnects, transmission shifting, fire suppression systems, cabinet locks, door controls, and sorting equipment.
Learn more.


Industrial imaging at warp speed

When fast-moving scenes need to be captured in all their details, a high-performance transmission interface is essential in addition to the right sensor. With uEye Warp10, IDS Imaging Development Systems GmbH is launching a new camera family that, thanks to 10GigE, transmits data in the Gigabit Ethernet-based network at a very high frame rate and virtually without delay. The first models with the IMX250 (5 MP), IMX253 (12 MP), and IMX255 (8.9 MP) sensors from the Sony Pregius series are now available.
Learn more.


Top Tech Tips: How to specify electric rod-style actuators for optimal performance, reliability, and efficiency

Andy Zaske, Vice President, Tolomatic, provides his Top 10 Tips for specifying electric rod-style actuators, which have a higher initial cost, more advanced design, and more predictable performance compared to fluid power cylinders. This is a really thorough presentation filled with useful information.
Read the full article.


Standard IP65 slip rings with short lead times

The Orbex Group, a leading manufacturer of high-performance electric motors and slip rings, introduces standard slip rings with an IP65 protection rating, providing washdown tolerance in many food, beverage, and pharmaceutical manufacturing applications. These washdown-ready slip rings feature stainless steel or aluminum housings. They offer flexible mounting options with through-hole diameters ranging from 25 to 100 mm, or capsule style when a through-hole is not required.
Learn more.


New polymers engineered for e-motor applications

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has expanded the use of its Thermally Conductive, Electrically Insulating (TCEI) materials to produce walled slot liners for electric motor applications. The company's TCEI material grades demonstrate superior thermal conductivity and better electrical insulation when tested against other thermoplastic materials currently available.
Read the full article.


Heatsink solutions for electronic housings

Phoenix Contact has increased the breadth and depth of its popular Industrial Case System (ICS) housing family to include both customizable passive heatsinks and heatsink fillers. New heatsink solutions allow design engineers to choose from a wide range of thermal management solutions to keep their components from overheating. To support the new heatsink solutions, a web-based, intuitive platform for thermal assessment has been incorporated into the Electronic Housing Online Configurator tool on Phoenix Contact's website.
Learn more.


Mini-FAKRA cable assemblies for automotive and industrial applications requiring high data transfer rates

Amphenol RF has expanded its AUTOMATE Type A Mini-FAKRA product series with pre-configured cable assemblies. These assemblies feature a straight quad port mini-FAKRA jack on both ends and are designed on low-loss TFC-302LL. AUTOMATE assemblies support data transmission rates up to 20 Gbps, which makes them ideal for automotive and industrial applications that require high data transfer rates to communicate information for safety, performance, and entertainment without lag.
Learn more.


New compact touchless linear position sensors

The TFD Series of touchless linear position sensors from Novotechnik provides wear-free operation in tight spaces. The TFD-4000 Series uses a magnetic position marker to provide a touchless measurement range of 0 to 14, 24, or 50 mm -- depending on model. These sensors make measurements through air and non-magnetic materials. Sensing direction can be either parallel or perpendicular to mounting holes. Applications include textile, packaging, and sheet metal machinery; medical applications; marine; mobile engine management; and construction, agricultural, and forestry machinery.
Learn more.


Top Tech Tip:
2D, 3D, or 2.5D? Choosing a vision system for your automation project

If you're looking at machine vision systems for automation, you will need to decide whether to invest in a 2D, 3D, or 2.5D camera system. That choice will have a major impact on the deployment's cost, complexity, capabilities, and functionality. OnRobot's Kristian Hulgard, General Manager - Americas, explains the differences, benefits, and shortcomings of each system type.
Read this informative OnRobot article.


Next-generation electronic digital comparators

The Millimess 2000 W(i) and 2001 W(i) Digital Comparators from Mahr set new standards in metrology with unique and innovative features such as touch display, inductive measurement system, and integrated wireless connectivity. The systems combine practical and reliable operation with maximum precision using a unique inductive measuring system.
Learn more.


Gaming graphics card allows faster, more precise control of fusion energy experiments

By Sarah McQuate, University of Washington

Nuclear fusion offers the potential for a safe, clean, and abundant energy source.

This process, which also occurs in the sun, involves plasmas (fluids composed of charged particles) being heated to extremely high temperatures so that the atoms fuse together, releasing abundant energy.

One challenge to performing this reaction on Earth is the dynamic nature of plasmas, which must be controlled to reach the required temperatures that allow fusion to happen. Now, researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have developed a method that harnesses advances in the computer gaming industry: It uses a gaming graphics card, or GPU, to run the control system for their prototype fusion reactor.

The team published their results May 11 in Review of Scientific Instruments.

"You need this level of speed and precision with plasmas because they have such complex dynamics that evolve at very high speeds. If you cannot keep up with them, or if you mispredict how plasmas will react, they have a nasty habit of going in the totally wrong direction very quickly," said co-author Chris Hansen, a UW senior research scientist in the aeronautics and astronautics department.

"Most applications try to operate in an area where the system is pretty static. At most, all you have to do is 'nudge' things back in place," Hansen said. "In our lab, we are working to develop methods to actively keep the plasma where we want it in more dynamic systems."


VIDEO: Shown here is a view from inside the reactor: Plasma (bright streams) enters from the injectors on the top of the device and then organizes into a ring around the two cones visible in the middle (view here is from the side of the ring). These plasma streams move very quickly -- this video is only three-thousandths of a second long. [Credit: University of Washington]

The UW team's experimental reactor self-generates magnetic fields entirely within the plasma, making it potentially smaller and cheaper than other reactors that use external magnetic fields.

"By adding magnetic fields to plasmas, you can move and control them without having to 'touch' the plasma," Hansen said. "For example, the northern lights occur when plasma traveling from the sun runs into the Earth's magnetic field, which captures it and causes it to stream down toward the poles. As it hits the atmosphere, the charged particles emit light."

The UW team's prototype reactor heats plasma to about 1 million degrees Celsius (1.8 million degrees Fahrenheit). This is far short of the 150 million degrees Celsius necessary for fusion, but hot enough to study the concept.

Here, the plasma forms in three injectors on the device, and then these combine and naturally organize into a doughnut-shaped object, like a smoke ring. These plasmas last only a few thousandths of a second, which is why the team needed to have a high-speed method for controlling what's happening.

Previously, researchers have used slower or less user-friendly technology to program their control systems. So, the team turned to an NVIDIA Tesla GPU, which is designed for machine learning applications.

"The GPU gives us access to a huge amount of computing power," said lead author Kyle Morgan, a UW research scientist in the aeronautics and astronautics department. "This level of performance was driven by the computer gaming industry and, more recently, machine learning, but this graphics card provides a really great platform for controlling plasmas as well."

Two photos of the team's prototype reactor, showing the three injectors with (bottom) and without (top) the electrical circuits (labeled in green on the right) used to form magnetized plasmas in each injector. The GPU precisely controls each of these circuits, allowing the researchers to fine-tune plasma formation in each injector. [Credit: University of Washington]

 

 

 

 

Using the graphics card, the team could fine-tune how plasmas entered the reactor, giving the researchers a more precise view of what's happening as the plasmas form -- and eventually potentially allowing the team to create longer-living plasmas that operate closer to the conditions required for controlled fusion power.

"The biggest difference is for the future," Hansen said. "This new system lets us try newer, more advanced algorithms that could enable significantly better control, which can open a world of new applications for plasma and fusion technology."

Published August 2021

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