Designers often don’t think about cables until designs are nearing completion, so there’s little time to examine the complex specifications. Yet for many harsh applications, cables can have a major impact on reliability and downtime. Lapp USA is attempting to simplify that with a labeling technique based on international standards for factors such as oil resistance and flexibility.
“We’re trying to make it easier for an engineer who now has to look at our catalog, which is 800 pages,” says John Gavilanes, Lapp’s engineering director.
The charts show whether a given cable meets U.S., European, or Canadian standards, as well as international specs. Currently, there are four categories: flame resistance, oil resistance, motion type, and mechanical resistance. Each section has six or more levels, providing information such as standards compliance and life cycles. One benefit is that designers moving into global markets can quickly determine whether they’re meeting international requirements, Gavilanes says.
Lapp, which has made cables for nearly half a century, plans to expand by including more standards and categories. “This makes it a lot easier to compare products from different vendors. We think our competitors will look at ways to copy this or improve on it,” Gavilanes says.
Cable Selection Simplified
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
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.