There was a time not too long ago when any discussion of pneumatic connections involved the air and power supplies. Yet today’s pneumatic systems increasingly have to make another type of connection–to industrial Ethernet. At last week’s Pack Expo show in Las Vegas, pneumatic suppliers showed off valve manifolds and related I/O systems that can bridge the gap between air and electricity. Not all of them are brand new, but these systems continue to evolve with the addition of new connectivity options. Ethernet IP support, in particular, has become important for pneumatics. “Ethernet IP is really hot right now,” says Dave Thomas, a senior applications engineer with Festo. Others suppliers agree. “Ethernet IP is growing quickly in big markets like packaging and automotive,” says Kjell Lyngstad, pneumatics manager for Bosch Rexroth. Click here for a look at three pneumatic systems with growing connectivity options.
The Dutch are known for their love of bicycling, and they’ve also long been early adopters of green-energy and smart-city technologies. So it seems fitting that a town in which painter Vincent van Gogh once lived has given him a very Dutch-like tribute -- a bike path lit by a special smart paint in the style of the artist's “Starry Night” painting.
For decades, engineers have worked to combat erosion by developing high-strength alloys, composites, and surface coatings. However, in a new paper, a team at Jilin University in China turned to one of the most deadly animals in the world for inspiration -- the yellow fat-backed scorpion.
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