One way for suppliers to increase the value of mechanical motion control solutions is to design subassemblies that tightly integrate the positioning devices with the motor driving them. Instead of a family of products that act as "building blocks," the move is toward pre-engineered positioning packages that boost performance and lower total installed cost. A survey of recent new products shows suppliers offering packages concentrating in two areas. Some solutions address specific applications and the positioning needs of specific industries and markets. Others combine mechanical motion control solutions and an integral motor into an engineered solution with an eye to the total cost, performance and testing requirements of the system. Expect to see more of the same in the future, as suppliers use this approach and ongoing engineering investments to squeeze economy and performance from integrated motion control packages.
A few weeks ago, Ford Motor Co. quietly announced that it was rolling out a new wrinkle to the powerful safety feature called stability control, adding even more lifesaving potential to a technology that has already been very successful.
It won't be too much longer and hardware design, as we used to know it, will be remembered alongside the slide rule and the Karnaugh map. You will need to move beyond those familiar bits and bytes into the new world of software centric design.
People who want to take advantage of solar energy in their homes no longer need to install a bolt-on solar-panel system atop their houses -- they can integrate solar-energy-harvesting shingles directing into an existing or new roof instead.
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