ITT Industries Hybrid Posi-Lock Quick Connectors. Slip on, latch, and click, and these connectors mate to standard SAE endforms shaped on metal tubing or injection molded components—eliminating push-on or compression fittings and their time-consuming joints. The latest metal-stem (hybrid) version, initially developed for automotive fuel systems, provides metal-to-metal contact for greater strength. The Posi-Lock slips over the male endform, but only if completely seated for full lock travel will the connector's latch grab the integral ring. Locking gives an audible click and tactile feedback of a secure connection. Pressing on the dual retainer tabs allows the latch to slide open and disconnect. For a white paper on this quick connect technology, go to www.designnews.com. (www.ittconnects.com/terminals) Enter 632
RFID COUPLER MONITORS PROCESSES
Colder Products Co. Smart Coupling™ Technology. The RFID tag inside the package-coupling inserts of these quick connections can contain history of container contents—to ensure correct sequencing and quality control. Because engineers could not find an off-the-shelf RFID interrogator (read/update) unit small enough (0.8 inch square) to fit easily on the coupling, they developed a one-chip solution, notes Rick Garber, Smart Technology Business Unit manager. His team used a Microchip Technology PIC microcontroller and developed the firmware. The reader features a small interrogation field, out to 1.5 inches, to avoid inadvertantly reading nearby tags. An overmolded, wrap-round antenna within the insert allows signal pickup under any coupler/insert orientation. (www.colder.com) Enter 633
SHORTER, WITH MORE FLOW
Clippard Instrument Laboratory Minimatic® Jumbo Quick Connect fittings. At just under ½-inch diameter, these fittings strike a balance between larger, more cumbersome quick connects and smaller devices with less flow. Although shorter by about ¼ inch than the company's standard Minimatics, these fittings provide more than twice the flow (14 vs. 3 scfm at 100 psi). The reason: A molded Delrin® poppet valve with an O-ring opening/closing against a circumferential surface, rather than a more obstructing tire-type valve. According to Engineering Manager Rich Boutell, the fitting would have to be twice as long to get the same flow with the conventional valve. (www.clippard.com) Enter 634
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.