Mentioned several times in this trend watch supplement, regulations, standards and certifications provide a driving force for new products. From the size of the motor (i.e., NEMA 17) to how communications are handled within a network (i.e., Profibus or fieldbus) and even the type of facility that manufactures the product (i.e., ISO 9000 certified), standards play a critical role in establishing trends as suppliers implement new technologies and processes to meet these standards.
Standards aim to reduce and simplify the design effort, yet in many cases, there are so many standards manufacturers must provide several variations in one unit or several different products to address each standard.
Users looking for products with specific capabilities know exactly what IEC IP67 or NEMA 6 ratings mean to a product's ruggedness and waterproof status. But is being ATEX certified important in the application? For those who don't know, the list below could prove very useful.
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.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
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.