The difficulty of producing modern aircraft has gotten plenty of attention over the last year. On a large plane like the Airbus A380, one of the biggest challenges comes with wings. They are huge, carry thousands of gallons of fuel and they must be rigid yet slightly flexible.
Airbus turned to Electroimpact Inc. to get a material handling system that could provide a stable control system for wing assemblies. One of the key elements is to position six panel loader arms precisely. Integrated encoder position sensors from MTS Systems Corp.’s Sensors Div. help maintain precision down to 1 mm accuracy, checking position every 4 msec.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
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 discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.