In automated control-valve applications, large, expensive, and cumbersome actuators (solenoids, motors, or cylinders) often dwarf the actual valves that they control. By splitting the upstream pressure, the BP valve conquers an old problem: the need for large operating forces. Instead, counterbalanced pistons, linked to a common shaft, roll open with relative ease, reducing valve size, mass, and power requirements.
Three components at the heart of the concept include a reciprocating cylindrical seat, a reciprocating solid plug, and a fixed-axis rotary shaft. A seated plug presents a solid face to block flow. When unseated, fluid flows around the plug and through the seat cylinder. Although fluid pressure pushes these two elements in a downstream direction, rotary-shaft linkage prevents movement. Because the pressure-induced forces on the seat and plug act on the shaft in opposite directions, they balance each other. Consequently, a slight torque applied to the shaft moves the plug and seat cylinder in opposite directions to each other, even with very high upstream pressures.
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.