Times may be tough, but companies with strong engineering have a better chance of riding things out.
Example: A Canadian company called Camoplast, developed a dramatically different technology for making hulls for personal watercraft that is economical and creates large parts that are lighter and stronger. The company’s engineering director, Yves Carbonneau, forged ahead even though he told his concept was impossible.
Hulls for the watercraft have been made for decades by the well-known fiberglass processes using polyester in SMC. A customer told Camoplast they wanted something better. Carbonneau worked with two key suppliers-Bayer MaterialScience and KraussMaffei-to develop a polyurethane process using insertion of chopped long glass fiber at the mix head. Bayer developed a new material with far superior flow characteristics, allowing more detail in the mold. The result: a
first time capability to design-in ribs, for example. Huge breakthrough.
“Camoplast’s mission is to set a goal and take all the necessary steps to reach it, one at a time,” says Carbonneau. It took seven years of collaboration and hard work, but the new boat hull is now a reality.
Many of the new adhesives we're featuring in this slideshow are for use in automotive and other transportation applications. The rest of these new products are for a wide variety of applications including aviation, aerospace, electrical motors, electronics, industrial, and semiconductors.
A Columbia University team working on molecular-scale nano-robots with moving parts has run into wear-and-tear issues. They've become the first team to observe in detail and quantify this process, and are devising coping strategies by observing how living cells prevent aging.
Many of the new materials on display at MD&M West were developed to be strong, tough replacements for metal parts in different kinds of medical equipment: IV poles, connectors for medical devices, medical device trays, and torque-applying instruments for orthopedic surgery. Others are made for close contact with patients.
New sensor technology integrates sensors, traces, and electronics into a smart fabric for wearables that measures more dimensions -- force, location, size, twist, bend, stretch, and motion -- and displays data in 3D maps.
As we saw on the show floor this week at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing and co-located events in Anaheim, Calif., 3D printing is contributing to distributed manufacturing and being reinvented by engineers for their own needs. Meanwhile, new fasteners are appearing for wearable consumer and medical devices and Baxter Robot has another software upgrade.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.