San Gabriel, CA —Will Page understands that retaining some aspects of an old product design is important to a new product design.
As the chief engineer and supervisor at Tinker and Rasor, Page knew that the look of the electromechanical analog meters used in the company's pipeline inspection equipment was important to equipment operators. Interpreting information presented by the old meters was considered an important skill, so he wanted to retain their appearance. But when the company introduced a new line of portable pipeline equipment, the analog meters had to go.
Page found his solution in a customized liquid crystal display (LCD) from Crystaloid Electronics (Hudson, OH). The LCD emulates analog meters in appearance and function, but eliminates the problems associated with them.
The new meter has solid state circuitry that uses the equivalent amount of the electric power needed by the previous electromechanical meter. The LCD has no moving parts, so there is less chance of equipment failure in the down-and-dirty, rough-and-tumble world of on-site pipeline inspection. The single display module also replaces what had been five different electro-mechanical meters.
"There were a number of stock meters or displays that might have been used or adapted, but none gave us all that we were seeking," says Page. "By working with a supplier that developed their specialty to meet our needs, we now have a display that retains the appearance of our traditional analog meter."For more information about LCDs from Crystaloid Electronics: Enter 533
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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.