It may have surprised some to see auto CEOs cheer new US fuel mileage guidelines that will require a huge shift to smaller cars. But the fact is that a giant mishmash of regulations have emerged affecting the design of just about everything. CEOs are just glad to know there is a single target and they know what to do, agree or not with the new standards.Design engineers face a similar regulatory chaos with guidelines on high-performance polymers used in electronics. OEMs face rules from the European Union through Reach and RoHS; the Green Chemistry Imitative, which became law in California in 2008; Canada, US law, and various state laws. Every OEM seems to have a different plan to comply. Nokia went halogen free in 2007. Intel banned brominated flame retartdants in 2008. Motorola restricted brominated flamr retardants this year. And so on.
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.