Snap-Tite Series CP74 Coupling. High residual or thermally generated pressure, often found in circuits of construction and utility equipment, can prevent mating of standard quick-connect couplings. The connect-under-pressure (CP) feature of this push-to-connect coupling allows either half to be placed on a hydraulic circuit with pressures up to 3,625 psi (250 bar). Previously, only male fittings could contain the required pop-off valving. To work for the female, a trapped, molded-polymer T-cross-section seal allows only a small volume (0.07 cm3) of high pressure fluid to vent as the seal passes over the flow opening, preventing seal damage or dangerous spillage. Once connected, the coupling half can join with 74 Series or other ISO 16028 mates. (www.snap-tite.com) Enter 588
SAFE AIR VENTING
Parker Tool-Mate PES and PBS Series Exhaust Couplers. Because they are thermoplastic, these couplings are lightweight and won't scratch surfaces, such as auto windows, painted panels, and furniture, if inadvertantly dragged over them during manufacturing. But not being as rigid as metal couplings, engineers had to balance expansion-with-pressure and temperature strength of the material, says Mario Calvo marketing development manager. Easy to use with one hand, the exhaust couplers provide safe venting of downstream air-line pressure before disconnect—preventing hose whip. (www.parker.com/quickcouplings) Enter 589
COUPLING SPEEDS LUBE CHANGE
Aeroquip FD14 Drain Coupling. Changing gallons of truck engine oil can be time consuming, messy work. This coupling speeds the task. But making the short (only ¼ inch longer than an oil pan plug) engine-mounted male coupling and its female oil-drain system attachment fit within a multitude of vehicle subframe structures was imperative, says Ryan Williams, now development engineering supervisor. So the design team got out and under 300 types of trucks to be sure its compact size and one-hand push/pull, connect/disconnect operation, for minimal spillage, would be workable. For drainage by powered systems or gravity, the valve has a complete through hole for full flow, notes Williams. The valve stem is also riveted, creating an O-ring gland and metal back up to contain the ring, as well as prevent the stem from blowing out. (www.aeroquip.com) Enter 590
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
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.