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.
What if algae borne of fertilizer runoff that pollutes rivers and lakes could be harvested and used as biofuel feedstock? What if the leftovers could be recycled into farm soil nutrients, eliminating at least some of the need for artificial fertilizers in the first place? Western Michigan University researchers have a plan.
Manufacturers of plastic parts recognize the potential of conformal cooling to reduce molding cycle times. Problem is, conformal molds require additive manufacturing (AM), and technologies in that space are still evolving. Costs also can be high, and beyond that, many manufacturing organizations lack the knowledge and expertise needed to apply and incorporate additive technologies into their operations.
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.