With tires rising to nearly eye level, Bigfoot is hard to miss. The Ford truck is known for jumping and climbing over anything in its path, but its driver touts its speed. "I can go from zero to 80 in four seconds," he says, noting that a 572 cubic inch engine provides 1,600 horsepower.
Bigfoot is hard to miss
Bigfoot sits in the Lawson Products booth, which also include subsidiaries Drummond American and Cronatron Welding. The companies have a broad range of products, including hoses and fasteners, hydraulics and pneumatics, welding equipment and supplies along with specialty chemicals and maintenance services. The three companies offer inventory control services to augment their broad product lines.
The NASCAR racer in the Sprint booth is also attracting plenty of attention, particularly when Robbie Gordon showed up to sign autographs. Sprint also demonstrated its Fanview, a handheld module that uses Sprint's wireless technologies to bring fans closer to the drivers, providing real time video and audio from the racer as well as data.
Sprint provides a number of wireless technologies for manufacturing plants. The company will install networks that assure coverage in every corner of a large facility or campus, eliminating the dead spots that can otherwise occur. The Sprint-Nextel phones provide walkie talkie links for the factory, while giving personnel the ability to contact suppliers or other facilities using cell phones. The networks also support Blackberries and other handheld computers. Handhelds can also be tied to bar code readers, giving personnel a way to track data anywhere around the enterprise.
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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