With its new 225-hp, six-cylinder Verado engine, Mercury Marine has taken the use of plastics to a whole new level in engineering design.
The engine sports a sculpted, multi-piece cowling assembly that features the world's largest injection-molded nylon cosmetic part. The cowling meets stringent structural requirements at a lower weight than conventional one-piece bucket-like engine covers made from sheet molding compound or thermoformed sheet-and costs less too.
The assembly consists of three injection-molded plastic cowls: The 33.5 x 22.9 x 16.4-inch top is made from a 33% glass-filled nylon 66 and weighs 11.3 lbs. DuPont Engineering says it's the largest injection-molded cosmetic nylon part in the world. A structural real cowl made from the same nylon mates with the top cowl and attaches to an aluminum structural member that itself attaches the engine to the boat. A smaller front cowl molded from two pieces of glass- and mineral-filled Minlon nylon completes the upper-engine housing.
Among engineering advantages of the design is weight reduction. The cowling assembly weighs 30% less than sheet molding compound. Part of the weight savings comes from the thermoplastic's specific gravity advantage vs sheet molding compound. Additionally, while sheet molding compound often requires bulked-up regions for proper molding, the plastic parts have relatively thin nominal wall thicknesses. The injection-molded parts also allow molded-in features that would be impossible with a compression-molded part. The cowling's patented integrated latching system is a case in point. It integrates what were separate hinge-mounting points, cable guides, and brackets right into the top cowl. Result: elimination of bolted-on latches.
The fuel module of the Mercury Verado engine is just one of the components made from plastic.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
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.