Parker Hannifin engineers state that they are seeing heavy interest in hydraulic valve technology from the marine industry (including those people who make those several-hundred-foot-long yachts) in applications as wide-ranging as bow thrusters and tugboat control to sail and winch control. The reason? Recent advancements in proportional valve technology, allowing for quicker and more accurate holding of an actuator's position. "At one point, the marine industry thought that electric motors would be the panacea that would solve all of their problems from reducing cost to lowering power consumption, and obviously eliminating the issue of hydraulic leaks," says Michael Gudhe, industrial product manager for the company's Hydraulic Valve Division. "Now they're rethinking hydraulics and recognizing the benefits they bring to the table," he says. Or perhaps he should say deck.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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