Powder metal (PM) processes are becoming better known for their ability to produce complex parts with robust mechanical properties while keeping manufacturing costs at bay. The 2006 Powder Metallurgy Design Awards, a competition sponsored by the Metal Powder Industries Federation, illustrated a collection of the best powder metal components used in lawn-and-garden, off-highway, appliance, hardware, electronics and tool applications. Here's a look at three of the winning parts, all of which make smart use of secondary operations to enhance PM's off-the-press properties.
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New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
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 radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.