The Plant’s Been Smart for Years
Blog 5/28/2015 2 comments Is the factory smarter than it used to be? From recent buzzwords, you’d think we’ve entered a new dimension in industrial plants, where robots run all physical functions wirelessly and humans do little more than program ever more capable robotics. Some of that is actually true, but it’s been true for a while.
How Do International Machine Safety Rules Apply to the US?
Guest Blogs 5/27/2015 Post a comment “How can European standards affect me, especially since I only use machines built in the US?” This is a common question, and one way to answer this is to look at how machine safety is enforced, where the information comes from, and how well you can prove you followed the regulations.
The Supplier Strategic Sourcing Process Explained
Guest Blogs 5/21/2015 Post a comment While people may talk about the procurement process, the procurement discipline actually encompasses a number of different processes. They include spend analysis, supplier relationship management, and contract management, just to name a few.
Capturing the Essentials of Low-Power Design
Blog 5/18/2015 Post a comment Along with low-power requirements have come other design challenges, such as shrinking circuit board real estate in portable and wearable electronics and the Industrial Internet of Things requiring wireless and energy-storage-based design.
The Slow Track to the Future
William Ng 5/14/2015 Post a comment It doesn’t take a genius like Dean Kamen to see that business and technology investment and innovation opportunities will be lost if unified, coordinated, and decisive action doesn’t take place.
The Growing Need to Solve Light-Load Motor Efficiency
Blog 5/13/2015 2 comments As manufacturing companies become more mindful of the amount of energy they use in order to cut energy bills, become compliant with corporate energy targets, or meet government regulations, they have turned their attention to the motors they operate.
PTC Doubles Down on IoT Market
Blog 5/12/2015 3 comments PTC has invested half a billion to stake its claim in the burgeoning Internet of Things world, including some significant acquisitions in the IoT market to boost its position.
10 New Fasteners & Adhesives Keep It All Together
Engineering Materials 5/6/2015 7 comments This grab-bag of new fasteners and adhesives work with a range of materials they can attach to, as well as a wide variety of applications. Several are for use in consumer applications, such as wearables or other compact electronic assemblies, and some of the adhesives have extended service temperature ranges and cure at room temperature.
Streaming Video Versus Machine Vision: How Do They Compare?
Guest Blogs 5/1/2015 2 comments Machine vision and video streaming systems are used for a variety of purposes, and each has applications for which it is best suited. This denotes that there are differences between them, and these differences can be categorized as the type of lenses used, the resolution of imaging elements, and the underlying software used to interpret the data.
Graphic Novel Draws Kids to STEM Careers
STEM Connection 5/1/2015 2 comments Comic books long have appealed to kids as a fun way to introduce reading and art without being overly didactic. Now a software engineer and project manager from Oklahoma thinks the medium can be used to get them interested in STEM careers.
9 New & Notable 3D Printers: From Desktop to Industrial
Engineering Materials 4/30/2015 5 comments Several of the new and noteworthy 3D printers in this slideshow are breaking some boundaries in build volume, new metals printing techniques, or working with high-profile development partners to ensure very high-quality parts and controls.
The 10 Greatest Inventors of the Mid-20th Century
Blog 4/24/2015 7 comments The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Sustainability Expert: Solar Energy Can Help Alleviate Drought
Blog 4/22/2015 37 comments Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
Automation Tools Bring Viability to Renewables
Blog 4/21/2015 Post a comment Solar and wind energy are becoming more viable as a source of energy on the electric grid. For decades, the major drawback to solar and wind was that they’re temperamental. A cloudy day kills solar and a still day renders the wind turbines useless. Automation tools, however, are providing a path to help these renewables become practical.
What’s the Future of the World’s Costliest Fighter Jet?
Blog 4/14/2015 12 comments The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is the most advanced military aircraft developed by the US. It is also the most expensive in history, with a lifecycle cost of $1 trillion. With the fighter jet inching toward initial operating capability in 2017, we asked Bill Sweetman, an editor at Aviation Week & Space Technology, to discuss its engineering advances but also setbacks.
Embedded Vision Is Guiding the Path of Smart Industrial Machinery
Guest Blogs 4/14/2015 2 comments The Internet of Things (IoT) is frequently defined by consumer or healthcare applications. It’s important to remember, however, that IoT offers at least as much potential to industry. One of the most promising subsets of industrial IoT is embedded vision -- or machinery that can see, interpret data, and act accordingly.
Researchers at the University of Maryland have achieved a first in lithium-ion battery science: the development of a successful lithium-based battery using one material for all three core components of a battery -- anode, cathode, and electrolyte.
The online Bar Steel Fatigue Database for automotive design engineers has been updated for the fifth time and now contains 134 iterations, or grade/process combinations. It provides better predictability for designing parts with long-term reliability and durability.
FPGAs use programmable fabric to create custom logic, but this flexibility comes at a cost -- usually around 10 times more silicon real estate and 10 times the power dissipation. Can we really claim any FPGA is low power?
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