Latest from the Ethernet field-bus turf battle (www.designnews.com/article/ca371404) finds Beckhoff Automation reporting burgeoning numbers of customers and end-users signing up for its EtherCAT® Technology Group (http://rbi.ims.ca/3846-531). According to Jeff Brown, product marketing, since the group's formation was announced in November of last year, membership has grown to well over 50—with 43 of those coming aboard in the first 19 days.
The company announced the open real-time Ethernet network targeted at I/O level automation at the April 2003 Hannover Fair. In July last year, pre-series devices were testing at a press-application customer.
Next major event in fielding the network happens the 9th and 10th of this month at a conference in Raunheim, Germany to formulate the EtherCAT ASIC specification. The specs will be frozen in April in order to start ASIC development. Moving right along to May will see evaluation boards and starter kits becoming available along with publication of the complete EtherCAT protocol.
Brown notes that the first ASIC should be out in October 2004, with series production underway by the end of the year. "The ASIC will be available to everybody to guarantee interoperability," he adds.
Lantronix Inc. has expanded its line of controllers for sensor networks with the release of a rugged controller that improves management of automation systems used in a number of industries, including manufacturing, oil and gas, and chemicals.
Inspired by the hooks a parasitic worm uses to penetrate its host's intestines, the Karp Lab has invented a flexible adhesive patch covered with microneedles that adheres well to wet, soft tissues, but doesn't cause damage when removed.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is