The assumption has been that as computer chips get smaller, the need for new production equipment becomes more urgent. Not so, according to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers. Current equipment uses 193-nm wavelength light. However, immersion lithography uses a thin layer of water like a lens to shorten the effective wavelengths of ultraviolet light, enabling the same equipment to create features as small as 45 nm. For more info, visit www.nist.gov/public_affairs/techbeat/current.htm#water.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
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 radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.