PM helped shave nearly 20 percent off the cost of a lawn mower blade-stop assembly, which won the grand prize in the competition's lawn-and-garden category. Previously, the assembly's drum and pulleys had been machined, cast and stamped. Burgess-Norton Mfg. Co. used PM to add features that ease assembly to the mower blade. Among them are a molded key on the pulleys and hexagonal pockets on the drum. The pulleys are also sinter bonded together into a single component. Burgess-Norton forms the parts to a density of 6.9 g/cm3 with an ultimate tensile strength of 280 MPa and an apparent hardness of 50-80 HRB. For more information on the Burgess-Norton blade stop, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/4932-547.
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.