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.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
ABI Research, a firm based in the UK that specializes in analyzing global connectivity and other emerging technologies, estimates there will be 40.9 billion active wirelessly interconnected “things” by 2020. The driving force is the usual suspect: the Internet of Things.
Just in time for Earth Day, chemicals leader Bayer MaterialScience reported from the UTECH Europe 2015 polyurethane show on programs and applications using its materials to help reduce energy usage. The company also gave an update on its CO2-based PU as that eco-friendly material comes closer to production.
Solar and wind energy are becoming more viable as a source of energy on the electric grid. For decades, the major drawback to solar and wind was that they’re temperamental. A cloudy day kills solar and a still day renders the wind turbines useless. Automation tools, however, are providing a path to help these renewables become practical.
In honor of Earth Day, the National Security Agency has launched the STEM Recycling Challenge in Maryland schools to encourage kids to think about where the garbage they throw out every day actually goes. The agency has also introduced “Dunk,” a muscular blue cartoon recycling bin wearing shorts and sneakers.
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.