With 55,000 products, 3M is one of the most interesting, diverse and innovative companies on the planet. The company just sent me several packages of Dual Lock Recloseable Fasteners that could solve my inability to neatly affix my portable GPS to the dashboard of my car. My first blog post in November described how the Garmin windshield suction cup bracket continually failed.
3M will probably won't like me saying this, but Dual Lock strikes me as a better Velcro-like product. Actually, the Velcro folks (yes, Velcro is a company, too) might be more mad because the Velcro company makes a lot more than what I and certain many think of as Velcro - those cheap strips, sticky on the side, hoop and loop on the other - that you buy at Home Depot. HD carries both Velcro and off-brands. Velcro, the company, has hundreds of Velcro-like products (there I go again) that I am sure rival many of 3M's similar fasteners.
After the suction cup on the bracket repeatedly failed, I tried Velcro-like strips from Home Depot. They failed, too (they probably were not the Velcro brand). So now, I will try some variant of 3M's Dual Lock Reclosable Fasteners from the company's Industrial Adhesives and Tapes Division. What nice is that the technology feels stronger, holding more uniformly across the two fasteners parts that are joined. What's more, they snap into place, but can be separated like Velcro although a screwdriver is is some cases may be needed. And they don't just rely on a sticky back…several of the Piece Parts come with recessed screw holes, clips and protuberances providing for a secure, neat and permanent bond to, say, a car dashboard. The come in both tape and a very solid feeling hard polypropylene.
So stay tuned to find out if Dual Lock works. The GPS unit doesn't weight much, but with the swivel bracket which I will still use, the unit is a bit unwieldly, progressively pulled down by the weight of the cord for the cigarette lighter power adapter. Over time, weight, vibration and hand movement of the display separated the Velcro-like tape and weakened the stickum even with the application of a few small drops of a Super Glue-like adhesive (Loctite, as I recall).
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.