One sign of the slowly improving economy is an increase in automotive engineering innovation. The 2010 Innovation Awards Program sponsored by the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) received 62 nominations, the most in recent years.
The entries included a range of fascinating technologies, including several game-changing designs focusing on plastics-enabled assembly that consolidates parts, improves quality, reduces use of fasteners and cuts tooling requirements. Entries came from Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Kia Motors, PSA Citroen, BMW, Hyundai Motors, Ferrari, and Subaru.
Conspicuously absent from the Blue Ribbon judging held today at the Ticona Technical Center in Auburn Hills, MI, were entries covering new technologies for the battery-powered Chevy Volt. GM decided to withhold technical data on the Volt until its public unveiling, which begins this week with introduction to the auto press.
The results of the judging will be made public at a gala awards ceremony Nov. 9 In Livonia, MI.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
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.