Brecksville, OH —MP Technologies is a company that needs flexibility for changing its manufacturing operations. The company makes prototype machines and robotic systems for many types of process operations, so the ability to quickly and easily adapt its equipment to changing needs is important to Design Engineer Mike Koubek.
"We had a standard cam-driven indexer, but we were locked into a fixed number of indexing points," says Koubek. He decided to try a new type of rotary table called the AccuRing from Centricity (Girrard, OH), a programmable table with an open center. "The open center was a deciding factor," he says. "We brought ducting, wire, and posts up through the table's center, which enabled us to work products from the inside and outside of the table," he says.
The table's programmable drive allows for quick product changeover, addition or deletion of production operations, and integration into secondary operations. "The software and controls are easy to use. It's also very flexible, and that's what we need," he says.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
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.
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.