Improving production efficiencies of carbon composite processing is front and center at Apple and Daimler. Apple sees carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) as a way to reduce weight for housings used on iPads, laptops and other portable electronics equipment.
Daimler has signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with German automobile major Daimler AG to develop automobile parts made of CFRP. The focal point of the project is High Cycle Resin Transfer Molding (RTM), a molding process technology developed by Toray. Toray, in addition to developing optimal CFRP materials, handles design and molding processes, with Daimler being responsible for developing technologies for joining of the parts. The companies aim for adoption of the newly developed parts in Mercedes-Benz models within next three years. Daimler plans to mold CFP parts in a captive plant in Germany.
Daimler has set a target of reducing the weight of the body-in-white of its cars up to ten percent for all models under its Mercedes-Benz series compared with their existing models.
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.