Rockwell Offers New Bundle of Machine Control Design Tools
Screenshots from a new bundle of machine control tools from Rockwell Automation that offers an all-in-one solution for designers of machine control applications. The Connected Components Accelerator Toolkit includes an entire set of automation engineering design tools for machine control app development, the company said. (Source: Rockwell Automation)
In efforts like this, companies tend to stick to a proprietary system. Its initiatives like this that keep innovative ideas out of the public's hands. They don't have to go open source, but how about a generalized software package? Something like what universal CAM software packages can do already. For example, many CAM packages can handle brand name machining centers as well as DIY machines.
As in any new product, someone has to come up to speed in the learning curve. Is this so expensive only huge companies can afford it, or can a regular street engineer get a copy and make himself useful?
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
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.