Sustainability is at the top of the list of trends seen by Nypro, a large custom molder based in Clinton, MA. “Bio materials have been on our radar screen for the past seven years,” says Michael P. McGee, director of technology at Nypo. “”In the last 12 to 18 months, it has started to take off.” He also said that while there is a lot of creativity in thinking about materials made from renewable resources, there ”hasn’t been a lot of connectivity to the marketplace.” Nypro is working on its first sustainability report which will measure the company’s carbon dioxide footprint (electricity consumption) and water usage as a percentage of sales. Nypro is also working with suppliers to index levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in coatings. In a presentation at MassPlastics, he also acknowledged a lot of confusion about what sustainability really is, noting that he has counted more than 300 different definitions.
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
Researchers at MIT's d'Arbeloff Laboratory are developing shoulder- and hip-mounted robotic arms to help workers in aircraft manufacturing perform difficult or complex assembly tasks that would normally require two people.
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