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.
The IIoT Has No Place for Warring Communication Protocols
Blog 7/28/2015 1 comment Weaned on the relatively effortless connectivity of today’s massive variety of consumer electronic products, automation users in the IIoT will likely not tolerate too many competing, piecemeal standards for long. And the Industrial Internet Consortium is trying to preempt history.
Your Supplier Is Not Your Friend
Blog 7/21/2015 5 comments Sometimes outsourcing comes with a healthy dose of pushback. And that pushback from the supplier, warning of supply chain transgressions that could sink your product design, is good for you.
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.
This Fuel Cell is an Unexpected Answer to Carbon Capture
Blog 7/7/2015 29 comments Engineers at Fuel Cell Energy have found a way to take advantage of a side reaction, unique to their carbonate fuel cell that has nothing to do with energy production, as a potential, cost-effective solution to capturing carbon from fossil fuel power plants.
Update: More About Algae, Pollution & Biofuel
News 6/12/2015 Post a comment A team at Rice University has found that some algae strains can remove more than half of the nutrient pollution from municipal wastewater streams. Using those nutrients to grow algae could clean the water while growing more sustainable and perhaps less costly biofuel.
The Plant’s Been Smart for Years
Blog 5/28/2015 5 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.
3D-Printed Working Motorcycle Demonstrates What the Tech Can Do
Engineering Materials 5/27/2015 13 comments Why would the biggest connector company in the world design and build the first fully functional 3D-printed motorcycle? To show TE Connectivity's engineers what the technology can really do in making working load-bearing production parts, and free up their thinking when approaching design problems.
Researchers Make Breakthrough in Capturing, Storing Solar Energy
Blog 5/19/2015 2 comments One of the biggest challenges to implementing solar power on a larger scale is how to store the energy to use it when the sun doesn’t shine. Now a researcher in Denmark has made a significant breakthrough in this endeavor, developing molecules that can take energy from the sun, store it, and then release it for use when needed.
Researchers Take Algae From Pollution to Biofuel
News 5/4/2015 17 comments What if algae borne of fertilizer runoff that pollutes rivers and lakes could be harvested and used as biofuel feedstock? What if the leftovers could be recycled into farm soil nutrients, eliminating at least some of the need for artificial fertilizers in the first place? Western Michigan University researchers have a plan.
Tesla Targets Home Energy Storage
News 5/1/2015 14 comments Tesla Motors Inc. took another big step into the battery market last night, officially unveiling a strategy that would enable it to sell batteries into home and grid storage applications.
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.
Learn How to Add Energy Harvesting to Your IoT Apps
News 4/24/2015 1 comment If you’re developing a product with lots of sensors and no access to the power grid, then you’ll want to take note of a Design News Continuing Education Center class, “Designing Low Power Systems Using Battery and Energy Harvesting Energy Sources."
BASF Pushes Sustainable Materials, Design
Engineering Materials 4/22/2015 Post a comment BASF has developed tools and initiatives to help engineers use more of its renewable materials in their designs, more effectively, as well as to build parts using them with more predictable performance.
Bayer MaterialScience Gets Green with PU Foams
Engineering Materials 4/21/2015 Post a comment Just in time for Earth Day, chemicals leader Bayer MaterialScience reported from the UTECH Europe 2015 polyurethane show on programs and applications using its materials to help reduce energy usage. The company also gave an update on its CO2-based PU as that eco-friendly material comes closer to production.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.