Dana Corp.'s Driveshaft Div. has introduced a magnetic-pulse welding process for joining ferrous and non-ferrous material to form lighter, more compact--and in some cases--previously non-producible driveshaft configurations. "The process results in a metallurgical attachment that outperforms conventional MIG welding and competing mechanical attachment processes," says Jim Duggan, Dana's chief engineer of advanced design. The process creates an intense magnetic field by downloading large amounts of electrical energy into a specifically designed coil over a very short period of time. When an aluminum tube, for example, is subjected to the field, it collapses inward with sufficient force to weld itself onto a stationary component, such as a steel or aluminum shaft. The solid-state weld process requires no heat, with the component orientation controlled by machine tooling. FAX (419) 866-2616.
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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