For four days in May, the San Jose Center hosted Sensors Expo '98. An estimated 5,000 attendees scoured the booths of 250 exhibitors evaluating the latest in sensors, PLCs, computers, instruments, signal conditioners, and data acquisition equipment. Well-attended conference sessions focused on topics such as microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and biochemical sensing. And more than 70 companies announced new products or services. Here's a look at some of the best.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
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 discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.