May 21, 2024 Volume 20 Issue 19

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Build-to-order knobs and hand hardware

Rogan Corp.'s innovative use of two-shot plastic injection and insert molding has been providing customers with high-quality plastic clamping knobs, levers, and control knobs for almost 90 years. Rogan offers concurrent engineering, product design, and assistance in material selection to ensure customer satisfaction for standard or customized parts, with a focus on cost optimization and on-time delivery. Custom colors, markings, decorative inlays, or engineered materials to meet special requirements, such as adding extra strength or utilizing flame-retardant material, are all offered.
Learn more.


Slewing ring bearing made of wood and plastic

The PRT-02-30-WPC slewing ring bearing is another step forward by igus toward integrating renewable raw materials into industrial production. Made of 50% wood and 50% high-performance plastics, the cost-effective and lubrication-free slewing ring bearing balances strength and durability with a proven low CO2 footprint. The materials incorporate solid lubricants, making the new slewing ring bearing smooth running and maintenance-free.
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Flex Locators for quick fixture changeover

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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Copper foam -- so many advantages

Copper foam from Goodfellow combines the outstanding thermal conductivity of copper with the structural benefits of a metal foam. These features are of particular interest to design engineers working in the fields of medical products and devices, defense systems and manned flight, power generation, and the manufacture of semiconductor devices. This product has a true skeletal structure with no voids, inclusions, or entrapments. A perennial favorite of Designfax readers.
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New torque inserts provide design flexibility

Reell's TI-330 torque insert completes the gap in torque range between the TI-320 and TI-340 models in the TI-300 series, providing enhanced design flexibility for a wider range of applications. With torque options ranging from 1.0 to 2.5 Nm, the TI-330 features a powdered metal package configuration designed to be press-fit into round holes for quick and easy installation. Mounting profile options include exposed knurled shaft end and a knurled zinc adapter for installation into plastics.
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Superior fastening solution for securing rotating components to a shaft

SDP/SI Shaftloc® fasteners offer distinct advantages over other fastening methods when securing rotating components to a shaft. The key to this compact, efficient design is its asymmetric thread geometry that produces a greater clamping force -- outperforming other fastening methods. Shaftloc is a patented fastening system manufactured by SDP/SI.
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Great design: Handle with integrated lighting/signaling

Signaling and indicator lights, switches, and buttons -- elements that hardly any machine can do without. The new JW Winco cabinet U-handle EN 6284 integrates all these functions into a single, compact element. The new U-handle is designed to enhance the operation of systems and machines. It features an integrated button and a large, colored, backlit area on the back of the handle. These elements can be used individually or in combination, providing a versatile tool for system control and process monitoring that can be seen from across the room.
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SOLIDWORKS: FeatureManager tips for assemblies

Discover tools to make your SOLIDWORKS assembly Feature-Manager design tree display easier to view and use. Learn options to limit the amount of information in each component listing, combine multiple instances of a component into a single listing, and separate fasteners mates into a new folder. Lots more tips on the SOLIDWORKS YouTube channel.
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Top die casting design tips: Xometry

Optimize your die casting project's manufac-turability with these 23 top design tips from Xometry. Ensure your work is cost effective too, so you can hit the ground running and have the highest chance of success. Tips include: fillets and radii, wall thicknesses, ribs and metal savers, holes and windows, parting lines, finishes, and more.
Read the Xometry article.


8 top ways to wreck your coupling-driven system

Engineers at Ruland Manufacturing Co. have compiled the eight best ways to consistently sabotage or damage your coupling-driven system -- and how to avoid these pitfalls in the future. Misunderstanding performance criteria such as misalignment, torque, or rpm can be all it takes to cause a critical and costly failure.
Read the full article.


New washer tech for leak-free automotive sealing

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has just launched the Rubore® Washer, a unique solution offering virtually leak-free sealing beneath screwheads to safeguard critical systems in vehicles, especially electric ones.
Read the full article.


How Reell electric wrap spring clutches work

Electric wrap spring clutches are ideally suited for critical timing applications requiring consistent, repeatable engagement and disengagement performance. Wrap spring technology used in Reell clutches provides the capability to transmit a large amount of torque in a small size -- package sizes smaller than other clutch technologies such as friction disk, tooth, or magnetic particle. Reell's technology has very positive engagement characteristics and also limits the effects of wear.
Read this informative Reell article.


New 'breathable' rupture disk tech provides overpressure and vacuum relief

To increase equipment safety and reliability, a new rupture disk technology activates at a set burst pressure, but it can also "breathe" to relieve minor pressure fluctuations. The patent-pending, dual-function device from BS&B Safety Systems is ideal for use on low-pressure vessels that are susceptible to ambient temperature changes.
Read the full article.


Engineer's Toolbox: 9 considerations for specifying a slewing ring bearing

In applications that require a bearing to support a structure while it rotates (e.g., cranes, radar, tank turrets), premature bearing failure can put people and equipment at risk. While slewing ring bearings have proven themselves countless times in such applications, designers must consider many factors when specifying them. According to engineers at Kaydon, the bearing's support structure, mounting (including bolt strength, tensioning, and hole patterns), installation, and even storage are all factors in a bearing's success or failure.
Read the full article.


ClampDisk micro fastener is new alternative for automotive and consumer electronics

Designed as a unique alternative in assemblies for the automotive and consumer electronics markets, the ClampDisk Press-on Fastener is a new offering from PennEngineering that delivers a fast, simple way to achieve sheet-to-sheet clamped fastening while replacing the use of standard screws, nuts, and adhesives. The most common challenges that can be eliminated or reduced by using ClampDisk include over installation, cross threading, stripped screw heads, broken screws, and damaged product. This fastener can be removed easily with a sharp-edged tool.
Learn more and see how ClampDisk works.


Eye-opener: Copper can't be mined fast enough to electrify the U.S.

According to a new University of Michigan (U-M) study, copper cannot be mined quickly enough to keep up with current U.S. policy guidelines to transition the country's electricity and vehicle infrastructure to renewable energy.

The Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law in 2022, calls for 100% of cars manufactured to be electric vehicles by 2035. However, an electric vehicle requires three to five times as much copper as an internal combustion engine vehicle -- not to mention the copper required for upgrades to the electric grid.

"A normal Honda Accord needs about 40 pounds of copper. The same battery-electric Honda Accord needs almost 200 pounds of copper. Onshore wind turbines require about 10 tons of copper, and in offshore wind turbines, that amount can more than double," said Adam Simon, U-M professor of earth and environmental studies. "We show in the paper that the amount of copper needed is essentially impossible for mining companies to produce."

The study examined 120 years of global data from copper mining companies and calculated how much copper the U.S. electricity infrastructure and fleet of cars would need to upgrade to renewable energy. It found that renewable energy's copper needs would outstrip what copper mines can produce at the current rate. The study, led by Simon and Cornell University researcher Lawrence Cathles, was published by the International Energy Forum and discussed in a webinar, "Copper mining and vehicle electrification."

The shortfall is, in part, because of the permitting process for mining companies. The average time between discovering a new copper mineral deposit and getting a permit to build a mine is about 20 years, according to Simon.

Copper is mined by more than 100 companies operating mines on six continents. The researchers drew data for global copper production back to the year 1900, which told them the global amount of copper mining companies had produced over 120 years. They then modeled how much copper mining companies are likely to produce for the rest of the century.

The researchers found that between 2018 and 2050, the world will need to mine 115% more copper than has been mined in all of human history up until 2018 just to meet "business as usual." This would meet our current copper needs and support the developing world without considering the green energy transition.

To meet the copper needs of electrifying the global vehicle fleet, as many as six new large copper mines must be brought online annually over the next several decades. About 40% of the production from new mines will be required for electric vehicle-related grid upgrades.

"I'm a huge fan of the Inflation Reduction Act. I think it's fantastic. I've got solar panels, batteries, and an electric vehicle," Simon said. "I'm fully on board with the energy transition. However, it needs to be done in a way that's achievable."

Instead of fully electrifying the U.S. fleet of vehicles, the researchers suggest focusing on manufacturing hybrid vehicles.

"We are hoping the study gets picked up by policymakers who should consider copper as the limiting factor for the energy transition, and to think about how copper is allocated," Simon said. "We know, for example, that a Toyota Prius actually has a slightly better impact on climate than a Tesla. Instead of producing 20 million electric vehicles in the United States and globally, 100 million battery-electric vehicles each year, would it be more feasible to focus on building 20 million hybrid vehicles?"

The researchers also point out that copper will be needed for developing countries to build infrastructure, such as building an electric grid for the approximately 1 billion people who don't yet have access to electricity; to provide clean drinking water facilities for the approximately 2 billion people who don't have access to clean water; and wastewater treatment for the 4 billion people who don't have access to sanitation facilities.

"Renewable energy technologies, clean water, wastewater, electricity -- it cannot exist without copper. So we then end up with tension between how much copper we need to build infrastructure in less developed countries versus how much copper we need for the energy transition," Simon said.

"We think our study highlights that significant progress can be made to reduce emissions in the United States. However, the current -- almost singular -- emphasis on downstream manufacture of renewable energy technologies cannot be met by upstream mine production of copper and other metals without a complete mindset change about mining among environmental groups and policymakers."

Source: University of Michigan

Published May 2024

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