The Hydraulic Launch Assist™ by Eaton Corp. (www.eaton.com), which displayed the technology in a U.S. Army truck at last March's Society of Automotive Engineers Show in Detroit, has a regenerative braking system that can reportedly improve fuel efficiency by 25 to 35 percent, with similar reductions in emissions. The system works by recovering a portion of the energy wasted as heat by the vehicle's brakes. The recovered energy is held in fluid form in an on-board accumulator until the vehicle accelerates. Eaton says the HLA is fit for vehicles with daily routines of much start-and-stop driving.
Both traditional automation companies and startups are developing technologies to improve processes on the factory floor, while smart sensors and other IoT-related technologies are improving how products are handled during transport and across the supply chain.
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