The Timken Co. is using a $1.4-million grant from the US Department of Energy to develop an online ultrasonic measurement system that increases the efficiency of manufacturing seamless steel tubing. The new manufacturing process uses a laser-ultrasonic system for providing on-line measurement of wall thickness and eccentricity of steel tubing for manufacturing control. According to the US Department of Energy, the system improves productivity of seamless mechanical steel tubing by 30 to 50% while reducing energy consumption and emission of pollutants. How? First, consider that current methods require stopping production runs for manual measurement. Machinery adjustments for each run result in a loss of approximately three of ten tubes made. "And while you stop the machinery and make adjustments three or four times, your plant sits idle," says Robert Kolarik, an engineer and project manager for the Timken Co. "The new online ultrasonic measurement method eliminates the need for stopping the machine for manual measurements. "Just like traditional ultrasound, we use sound waves. Knowing the acoustic velocity of the steel allows us to determine the wall thickness and eccentricity," he says. Scrapped tubes resulting from out-of-tolerance specifications are eliminated. Call the Timken Co. at (330) 471-3514.
Lithium-ion battery prices will drop rapidly over the next 10 years, setting the stage for plug-in vehicles to reach 5%-10% of total automotive sales by the mid- to late-2020s, according to a new study.
Two researchers from Cornell University have won a $100,000 grant from NASA to continue work to develop an energy-harvesting robotic eel the space agency aims to use to explore oceans on one of the moons of Jupiter.
Is the factory smarter than it used to be? From recent buzzwords, you’d think we’ve entered a new dimension in industrial plants, where robots run all physical functions wirelessly and humans do little more than program ever more capable robotics. Some of that is actually true, but it’s been true for a while.
A recent Design News-exclusive study proves that engineering professionals are at the very forefront of this push into the future and making direct financial, performance, and value impact on their organizations by being personally involved or final decision-makers on automation solution and component choices.
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