One of the beauties of the Internet is that you can get information on virtually any technology with just a little surfing. Often, your surfing will carry you to a professional society organized to provide members and others with data, research, and opportunities for networking. For example, CAD users can check out www.cofes.com, the website for The Congress On the Future of Engineering Software, or www.daratech.com, the website for Daratech, a research and analysis firm. Engineers specifying materials can log onto www.socplas.org, the website for The Society of the Plastics Industry, or www.mpif.org, for The Metal Powder Industries Federation.
Likewise, in the world of motion control and automation, independent websites can lead engineers to information they can use. The website for The ARC Advisory Group, www.arcweb.com, is loaded with information for engineers. There are technical articles on various automation and manufacturing topics, newsletters, technical papers, and trends information. Also, you'll find information on ARC's 9th Annual Forum On Performance-Driven Manufacturing, Feb. 1-3, 2005.
Interested in motors? Check out www.smma.org, the homepage for The Motor and Motion Assn. Particularly interesting on that site is the list of courses the association offers and the notices about its conferences. Nov. 3-5 are the dates for its Fall Technical Conference in St. Louis, MO, where there will be presentations on materials, new motor technology, and motor design. Also, the association's Motor and Motion College will be presenting a course on The Fundamentals of Brushless Motor Control at the conference. The website has details.
Engineers interested in robotics can go to www.robotics.org, the website for The Robotic Industries Assn. The association has newsletters, technical papers and tips, employment opportunities, and a special Q/A forum, where engineers can get answers to their robotics questions. You'll also find information on the association's upcoming Robotics Industry Forum (Nov. 17-19) in Orlando, FL, where there will be sessions on use of robotics in the automotive, medical, and nanotech industries, and a session on general trends in the technology.
Another informative site is www.mttusa.com, run by Motion Tech Trends, a network of marketing and technical research professionals who cover electric motors, drives, and power conversion. There too you can find technical reports and articles among other information.
Each of those organizations worked with Design News in the planning of our special E2E online technical conference on Motion Control and Automation. The conference, held Oct. 19, featured a keynote interview with Dick Morley, inventor of the PLC, and five individual webcasts on such topics as central and distributed control, electronic drives, soft motion, basics of motor selection, and software-based motion control.
The webcasts were panel discussions and presentations by engineers, each followed by lively Q/A sessions.
Keynoter Morley gave his views on what manufacturing will be like in 2020. If you couldn't make the online conference on Oct. 19, you can still view it at at www.designnews.com/E2E. Also at that site is a virtual library for each of the webcasts that contains white papers, research reports, technical data sheets, and other material to help you in your job.
Reach Teague at firstname.lastname@example.org.