Packaging machinery still accounts for a relatively small portion of the market for servo technology, both in the U.S. and in Europe. But in both regions, the packaging industry's use of servos is expected to grow more rapidly than servo use in factory automation.
According to estimates by Motion Tech Trends (MTT, Inglewood, CA, the U.S. market for brushless servo axes consumed by packaging OEMs totaled $75 million in 2002. That was part of a $950 million market for servo consumption by all U.S. factory automation equipment suppliers. In Europe, packaging OEMs accounted for $85 million of a $790 million total factory automation market for brushless servo axes last year. These estimates include only sales of brushless electric motors and drives used in closed-loop applications.
The potential for growth is greatest in the U.S., where only about 20% of packaging machine axes today are equipped with servos, compared to a 40% penetration level in Europe, MTT estimates.
MTT projects 8% annual growth in brushless servo consumption by U.S. packaging OEMs over the next three to five years.
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.