akwaman, Nicely explained, I agree totally with all the points you've made. I wanted to use SSRs(solid state relays) in wireless Hunter Fan Ceiling Controls but management was against it because of cost. As you discussed in your post, yes the intial cost investment is somewhat pricey but the ROI would have been substantial in terms of reduced customer warranty claims due to failing electromechanical relays. I'm definitely will be sharing this article with my Control Systems class at ITT Tech.
I couldn't agree with you more, naperlou. Solid state is the way to go whenever is makes sense, as far as I'm concerned. In noise sensitive data aquisition matters, electromechanical relays can introduce unwanted noise into a system. These kinds of optical relay technology has many uses. Of course the obious power savings is a plus as is the reliability factor.
Whenever a solid state component is available it will generally be superior to an electromechanical one in most modern applications. I ran into this years ago with amplifiers for communications for satellites. Typically klystron tubes were used. Advances in solid state amplifiers allowed the replacement of these in many cases. They were more reliable, lighter and used less power. I see the same thing with this class of relay. They also, as is pointed out, avoid some of the pitfalls of electromechanical relays. There was an article in Design News about a problem with such a relay recently.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.