Boeing tomorrow will offer its second quarterly update on the progress of the 787 Dreamliner as it awaits its maiden voyage which could be delayed. Boeing has been saying late summer which technically means within the next 18 days, but the Seattle Times (ST), citing unnamed sources, reported Saturday that the first flight could be delayed until late October or beyond due to a fastener shortage. The 787 fastener shortage was broken in the Wall Street Journal on June 19. The ST story said that the plane rolled out on July 8 for the plane’s debut was held together with temporary fasteners which had to be replaced with permanent ones. "Power on" when all electrical systems are switched on is still weeks away, the ST reported.
Orders for the plane - 684 at last count, according to the company - have been so strong that the company is considering building 14-16 a month, double the highest rate for the any widebody jet from Boeing or Airbus, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. No doubt, the Boeing’s Everett plant is a busy place these days where Boeing execs and engineers try to reconcile booming demand with parts shortages and complex manufacturing logistics.
The Witchita Eagle also ran the ST story about the possible delay and said the company is seeking to temporarily transfer 60-80 mechanics from Boeing’s defense plant in Wichita to Everett, presumably to alleviate the 787 crunch.
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.