Siemens Automotive has under development a second-generation, common rail system for high-pressure diesel fuel injections. The technology has as its goal the reduction of nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions and the noisy operation of diesels. High-pressure fuel injection resulting from the common rail (CR) technology is said to be a key to better diesel spray atomization, improved fuel/air mixing, and more efficient combustion of fuel in engine cylinders. The system incorporates piezohydraulic valve technology to precisely regulate the high-pressure injection of the fuel. The modular design incorporates the rail, valves, fuel injectors, sensors, and actuators into a single package that, according to Klaus Eggers, Siemens project leader for diesel systems, "will provide design flexibility and cost savings." Siemens engineers say piezohydraulic valves react up to four times faster than solenoids currently used, responding to voltage pulses within 0.1 msec. FAX (248) 253-2998.
Two researchers from Cornell University have won a $100,000 grant from NASA to continue work to develop an energy-harvesting robotic eel the space agency aims to use to explore oceans on one of the moons of Jupiter.
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.
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