Three advanced plastics welding processes are used in a novel fuel cell based on electroconducting polymer and transition metals in an effort to avoid use of adhesives. “We are using orbital vibration to weld the different membranes (anode and cathode) producing the energy,” comments Didier Perret, sales manager of Branson Ultrasonics in Switzerland. “We are using advanced ultrasonic welding for several assembly operations (to replaces screw, glue or others). And finally we use the latest infrared laser technology GEN 3 to weld the fuel tank with a high safety level.”
The 100-percent solar-powered Solar Impulse plane flies on a piloted, cross-country flight this summer over the US as a prelude to the longer, round-the-world flight by its successor aircraft planned for 2015.
GE Aviation expects to chop off about 25 percent of the total 3D printing time of metallic production components for its LEAP Turbofan engine, using in-process inspection. That's pretty amazing, considering how slow additive manufacturing (AM) build times usually are.
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 radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.