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What You Need to Know About Conflict Minerals
Guest Blogs 
7/28/2015  4 comments
Practically all electronic devices today contain metals that may be coming from conflict-ravaged African countries. And political pressures will increasingly influence how these minerals are sourced and used in products.
How Light-Curable Conformal Coatings Protect Automotive Electronics
Guest Blogs 
7/22/2015  Post a comment
Conformal coatings present themselves as space-saving alternatives to enclosures for protecting the circuit boards of automotive electronics. They can also provide electrical insulation.
A Tool for Simplified Runner System Analysis and Quicker, Reliable Mold Simulation
Guest Blogs 
7/16/2015  Post a comment
Design for manufacturing (DFM) in mold production means that mold designers evaluate the manufacturability of their molds in the early stage of mold development by collecting all relevant information and applying it to their designs. They also have to consider many other factors, including flow balance, structural stress, and assembly tolerance, in order to ensure successful molding production.
Hybrid Structural Instant Adhesives Combine Strength and Speed
Guest Blogs 
7/15/2015  Post a comment
Some adhesives provide strong structural bonds but take hours to fixture and attain handling strength. The technologies that offer the fastest cure do not bear loads or withstand stresses. A new class of adhesives aims to make both stick.
The Success of Wireless Health Begins with Engineers
Guest Blogs 
7/14/2015  Post a comment
The continued growth of wireless health is a near-certainty. And engineers will be the key to developing and advancing technology solutions.
Processing Power, Programming Ease Keep DSPs Rolling Along
Guest Blogs 
7/14/2015  Post a comment
Digital signal processors have become a mainstay in the electronics industry. Their strengths of low power, powerful processing, and small size play to the needs of not just today’s systems but also those new and exciting applications that are just now coming into view.
The Engineer Shortage Is a Problem We All Can Solve
Guest Blogs 
7/13/2015  16 comments
There are serious challenges engineering and technical workforce managers face over the next 15 years. We have to view it as a supply chain problem with talent. Taking action now could well mean not being left by the side of the business road.
Motion Control in Packaging: 11 Tips for Improvement
Guest Blogs 
7/10/2015  Post a comment
Automation combined with trained personnel will provide faster, more efficient and cost-effective production. With automation products and software becoming so much more reliable and affordable, the days of the purely mechanical system are numbered, if not already spent.
A Look at the Impact of IoT on Motion Control and Fluid Power
Guest Blogs 
7/10/2015  1 comment
As the Internet of Things makes more industrial automation data available, translating that data into information and knowledge can yield new insights into end users’ operations. In hydraulic equipment, “smart” pumps, motors and valves are able to send diagnostic data directly to end-users, OEMs, and developers.
For MEMS Businesses, It’s All About ‘Show Me the Money’
Guest Blogs 
7/7/2015  Post a comment
To get to a trillion sensors in the IoT that we all look forward to, there are many challenges to commercialization that still remain, including interoperability, the lack of standards, and the issue of security, to name a few.
5 Tips for Remotely Updating an Embedded System
Guest Blogs 
7/6/2015  Post a comment
Today, no matter where in the world the device is located, it can call home and ask for the latest-and-greatest firmware with bug fixes and feature updates.
A History of Firmware and Its Silent Revolution Today
Guest Blogs 
7/3/2015  4 comments
A decade from now, firmware development may be nothing more than software integration, grabbing vendor and third-party components, and meshing their APIs together to form a final system.
Engineers Need to Do More With Less
Guest Blogs 
7/1/2015  5 comments
Design, simulation, manufacturability, and prototyping: All of these phases are being pushed forward and progressively by underlying technologies.
Using Accelerated Stress Testing to Obtain High Product Reliability
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7/1/2015  Post a comment
From design feasibility, to development, to production, having the right information to make good decisions can ultimately keep a product from failing validation. The key is highly focused information that doesn’t come from conventional, statistics-based tests but from accelerated stress testing.
Quantum Entanglement & Other Technologies that Should Be On Your Radar
Guest Blogs 
7/1/2015  1 comment
There’s a good chance that a few of the things mentioned here won't fully come to fruition in 2015 but rather much later down the line. However, as Malcolm X once said, "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today."
Identifying and Reducing Stresses in Pressure Vessels
Guest Blogs 
6/26/2015  1 comment
Pressure vessels are part of common equipment utilized in plants to store liquids and gases under high pressure. It is certain that pressurized fluids will develop stresses in the vessel, which when exceeds failure limits, will lead to hazardous incidents and fatalities.
Understanding the Differences between Strategic Sourcing Goals, Objectives, and Requirements
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6/23/2015  Post a comment
Unlike a mission statement, goals, objectives, and requirements are tools that will be used actively in the sourcing project once it reaches the decision-making stage.
3D CAD Is Saving Time and Resources in the Entire Design Process
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6/16/2015  Post a comment
For entrepreneurs and inventors, 3D digital designs of ideas and inventions save both time and resources, since 3D CAD can be used to initially test product design theories and understand all of their aspects without the need for building actual prototypes.
5 Ways to Set Up Your Project for Success
Guest Blogs 
6/9/2015  9 comments
Experienced project managers know that proper preparation is the key for any successful project launch. To maximize your chances for success, here are five effective project preparation tips.
Flexible Is the New Fast in Redefined Automation and Manufacturing
Guest Blogs 
6/5/2015  Post a comment
We are entering a new era of manufacturing -- one in which mass production is giving way to mass customization. A global marketplace, built on rich e-commerce platforms and make-to-order product configurations, is making “now” a great time to be a consumer -- but a challenging one to be a manufacturer.
Low-Power FPGAs: Just Like Jumbo Shrimp?
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5/29/2015  Post a comment
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?
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.
What Industrial Companies Must Do for Effective IIoT Telemetry
Guest Blogs 
5/21/2015  Post a comment
In order to keep in line with safety protocols, industrial networks need to be filtered in a semantic way so that only information related to diagnostics is flowing back to the vendor and that any communications that could be used for remote machine operations are suppressed.
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.
Bayshore Networks: Industrial-Strength Cyber Security Requires Trust
Guest Blogs 
5/20/2015  Post a comment
As the Industrial Internet of Things and machine-to-machine communications movements gain speed, some companies are asking themselves, “Wait. How much information do we really want to flow in and out of our premises? Aren’t we supposed to be doubling down on cyber security?”
Pneumatic Support Keeps the Air Force’s Warthog in the Skies
Guest Blogs 
5/15/2015  Post a comment
To carry out the program, Boeing built five custom carriages using a custom, upgraded pneumatic rod lock system developed by Advanced Machine & Engineering Co.
Aluminum Extrusion Increases Options to Optimize the Supply Chain, Part 2
Guest Blogs 
5/14/2015  Post a comment
Extruded aluminum continues to gain traction as a mainstream OEM choice for designing, engineering, and producing component parts. The alloy and the technique have marched aggressively through the awareness and understanding phases and are now solidly in adoption territory.
A Robotic Approach to Refueling Satellites
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5/12/2015  Post a comment
Robot uses teleoperated commands sent over long distances and sophisticated servo operation to successfully transfer fuel for effective satellite operations.
Rethink Robotics: Collaborative Robots Continue to Raise Automation Accessibility
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5/12/2015  Post a comment
Advances in digital technology have been reducing the cost of computing and promoting accessibility to factory automation for all manufacturers -- not just the biggest ones.
Mastering Embedded Software Development through the Processor
Guest Blogs 
5/11/2015  Post a comment
“The Devil is in the details” is a common statement used to describe how a seemingly simple concept may be far more difficult to implement than first meets the eye. For an embedded software developer, understanding these details is crucial to developing an efficient and real-time system.
The End of Throwing It Over the Wall
Guest Blogs 
5/8/2015  5 comments
We do not need to go back to the days of the workshop where the artist and the craftsman worked side by side, but we do need to get beyond the idea of specializing in one function and pushing a product design down the line to the next colleague.
5 Challenges in Wearable Product Design You Can’t Afford to Forget
Guest Blogs 
5/6/2015  1 comment
Because of the increasing ubiquity of wearable technology, it would be easy to think that design of wearable devices is routine and involves common design and engineering knowledge. Missed efforts in development will be remembered once the devices are used in the field
Integrating Testing and Certification Elevates Product Development
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5/6/2015  Post a comment
As governments, associations, and NGOs around the world seek to protect consumers, national and regional standards are becoming mandatory, challenging manufacturers and making testing and certification necessary for any product developed and brought to market.
Plastics Industry Is Hot for Conformal Cooling but Constrained by Additive Technologies
Guest Blogs 
5/4/2015  Post a comment
Manufacturers of plastic parts recognize the potential of conformal cooling to reduce molding cycle times. Problem is, conformal molds require additive manufacturing (AM), and technologies in that space are still evolving. Costs also can be high, and beyond that, many manufacturing organizations lack the knowledge and expertise needed to apply and incorporate additive technologies into their operations.
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.
Challenges for Embedded Technology Designers in the IoT
Guest Blogs 
4/30/2015  1 comment
In the face of growing challenges for embedded technology engineers, designers should actually be designing for a new IoT -- the Internet of Tomorrow.
Consider Human Factors Early in the Product Design Cycle
Guest Blogs 
4/30/2015  1 comment
As today’s product design cycles are held to tighter schedules and budget constraints, it’s becoming even more critical to consider human factors up front to catch and fix problems during the initial development stages, when it’s faster and less costly to do so. Overlooking human factors at the beginning of the design cycle could lead to poor user experience, a decrease in effective product performance, and an increase in safety risk to the user.
How Additive Manufacturing Is Making Injection Molding Cooler
Guest Blogs 
4/29/2015  1 comment
Plastic part manufacturers are always looking for ways to reduce cycle time and get more productivity out of their injection molding machinery. One of the longstanding constraints in injection molding production has been cooling time. Removing parts from the mold before they have cooled induces warping or shrinking. But wait time works against productivity.
Aluminum Extrusion Increases Options to Optimize the Supply Chain, Part 1
Guest Blogs 
4/29/2015  Post a comment
Editor’s Note: This is part 1 of an in-depth look at six added-value opportunities -- adjacent to the aluminum extrusion option -- that OEMs can integrate to upgrade supply chain interactions from basic buyer-vendor transactions to critical collaborations on strategic, single-source solutions.
Chemical Industry, Environmentalists Unite on Toxic Substances Control Act Legislation
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4/29/2015  Post a comment
The EPA is responsible for chemical safety issues, and it does so under the auspices of the 40-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which is considered to be sufficient by almost no one.
4 Reasons Why It’s a Dynamic Time in Medical Device Design
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4/28/2015  Post a comment
Cost, product development rigor, the patient-as-a-user movement, and consumer electronics that include wireless connectivity are just a few hot topics swirling around medical devices. Each brings challenges that create innovation opportunities. If we briefly look at each one, we can see that one common need will be innovation in simplicity.
UX Design: The Age of Voice Is Here
Guest Blogs 
4/24/2015  17 comments
The age of touch could soon come to an end. From smartphones and smartwatches, to home devices, to in-car infotainment systems, touch is no longer the primary user interface. Technology market leaders are driving a migration from touch to voice as a user interface.
Soft Starters Spare Wear & Tear on Motors, Help Control Peak Energy Usage
Guest Blogs 
4/24/2015  5 comments
Soft starter technology has become a way to mitigate startup stressors by moderating a motor’s voltage supply during the machine start-up phase, slowly ramping it up and effectively adjusting the machine’s load behavior to protect mechanical components.
What Does It Take to Evolve from 2D to 3D CAD Modeling?
Guest Blogs 
4/23/2015  2 comments
Despite the astronomical benefits offered by 3D modeling, it is quite surprising that nearly 75% of the manufacturing industries still perform design operations using 2D CAD systems. What is the reason that keeps companies hesitant from adopting 3D technology?
Using Energy Harvesting to Power MCUs and FPGAs
Guest Blogs 
4/22/2015  4 comments
Energy harvesting in particular seems to be moving at an accelerating pace. We now seem to be at a point where it is possible to run low-power systems primarily from energy harvesting sources. This is a big shift from even just a couple of years ago. Three key trends seem to have accelerated this dramatic shift.
IoT Will Improve Design Engineering Relationships with Vendor Managers
Guest Blogs 
4/21/2015  Post a comment
ABI Research, a firm based in the UK that specializes in analyzing global connectivity and other emerging technologies, estimates there will be 40.9 billion active wirelessly interconnected “things” by 2020. The driving force is the usual suspect: the Internet of Things.
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.
Can You Optimize this Example MCU-Based Design for Low Power Operation?
Guest Blogs 
4/14/2015  3 comments
Going back to older application notes or archived CEC courses remind us of some of the most useful tricks and techniques we can use to reduce the power dissipation in an MCU-based design.
Wiring the Factory of the Future: Passive or Active?
Guest Blogs 
4/10/2015  1 comment
The Internet of Things is bringing smarter production processes to the factory floor and simultaneously driving data volume and diversity up -- quickly.
Hydraulic Solution for Flash-Butt Welding
Guest Blogs 
4/7/2015  Post a comment
New flash welding innovation uses hydraulic motion control, and enables patented welding process for as much as 50% less cost.
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