NDES products pique engineers' interest

DN Staff

May 6, 2002

8 Min Read
NDES products pique engineers' interest


Need CAD parts quick? Thomas Register demonstrated the one-click, part-insert capability of its CAD-Register.com website. Now rushed designers can grab parts online and drop them smoothly into any major design platform. The site lets users click on any of the 2D drawings and 3D solid models in the CADRegister.com online library. Most CAD systems are supported, including AutoCAD, Mechanical Desktop, Pro/ENGINEER, SolidWorks, SolidEdge, and Catia. Also new from the company is ThomasSpec, a portal that allows buyers and specifiers to compare and purchase software, identify and specify mechanical and electromechanical products, and submit RFQs to numerous suppliers. (Enter 563)...MSC.Software announced it would acquire Mechanical Dynamics, a creator of virtual prototyping products and services. MSC.Software will pay cash for all outstanding MDI shares; the total is about $120 million. The acquisition will combine 1,700 employees in 22 countries, and create a combined customer base of over 10,000 companies using simulation software. (Enter 564)...

Mechanical Dynamics also announced Dynamic Designer for Autodesk Inventor, a midrange virtual prototyping product that acts as a fully embedded assembly motion simulator. Since it's integrated with Autodesk, CAD users can gather performance information before building hardware prototypes. Download a trial version at www.DynamicDesignerMotion.com. (Enter 565)...Advanced Time Studies (Bainbridge Island, WA) introduced AccuStudy, a way to conduct time and motion studies without a stopwatch and clipboard. Running on handheld devices with Windows CE (a future release will run on Windows 2000), it uses handheld touch-screen technology to capture data. Users touch the on-screen icons to start the clock-then AccuStudy times the interval until the next task is selected, and logs a report. (Enter 566)...Blue Ridge Numerics Inc. (Charlottesville, VA) unveiled CFdesign for Autodesk Inventor, letting CAD users perform fluid flow or heat transfer simulations within Autodesk. The product is fully integrated, so 3D CAD geometry created in Inventor can be used in a simulation without translation or conversion. And changes made to geometry within Inventor will automatically be reflected in CFdesign. (Enter 567)...

Intel announced an alliance of software providers, hardware companies, and systems integrators to pre-configure and test IT solutions for the manufacturing sector-including automotive, aerospace, heavy equipment, and energy/utilities. Called "Intel Solution Blueprints," they are turnkey e-Business solutions for such areas as collaborative product development and supply chain management. Companies participating in the Intel Solution Blueprint program include consultants Accenture, PwC Consulting, and KPMG; hardware providers Hewlett Packard, Fujitsu-Siemens, Dell, Compaq, and IBM; and software providers Microsoft, EDS PLM, SAP, i2, and PTC. (Enter 568).


E-Switch debuted sealed-dome tactile switches so new they didn't have product numbers. A mere 0.8-mm high, these switches are surface-mountable to save board real estate. (Enter 569)...New from Omron Electronics was a modular laser sensor where flexibility is key to saving time and money. The sensor's amplifier can interface with three visible-red through-beam and eight visible-red displacement sensor heads. (Enter 570)...The FL Switch 5 TX, a stand-alone Ethernet/Fast Ethernet unmanaged switch for the factory floor, was in the Phoenix Contact booth. The switch connects up to five Twisted Pair Ethernet segments and supports 10 and 100 Mbit/sec transmission rates. (Enter 571)...WAGO was highlighting its Programmable Field Controller (PFC) that combines field-bus coupler functions with those of PLCs. Via a network or locally, users can download simple logic control into each I/O node. (Enter 572)...

Announced at the show, MintMT, a new multi-tasking motion-control programming language from Baldor Electric Co., integrates key functions of motion control, I/O handling, communications, networking, and operator interface into a single language. (Enter 573)...National Instruments was demonstrating the recently introduced Motion Assistant(TM) for building applications that use motors and positioning devices.

The point-and-click interface lets engineers readily program and prototype motion systems, cutting development time. (Enter 574)...New in its metalworking lineup was ifm efector's ferrous-only proximity switch for aluminum machining applications. The multi-coil design provides greater stability and long sensing range. (Enter 575)...Baumer Electric was showing its new ProCoder miniaturized rotary encoder. Its modular bus cover technology allows the freely programmable encoder to simply connect into most major bus systems. (Enter 491)...Also debuted, the Servo-Sensor(TM), with a new ASCII communications protocol, from MTS Systems, has an embedded high-speed loop position controller, eliminating the need for servoamplifiers and PLC setups. (Enter 492)...New at NDES from Lumberg, the FIXCON industrial connector for sensors and actuators has a Plug-and-Lock mechanism to speed connection mating. Based on the M12 standard, the design eliminates a threaded locknut for tightening the connection. (Enter 493)...Belden Electronics Div. was highlighting the after-installation signal-integrity performance of its Bonded-Pair cable technology compared to unbonded cable. (Enter 494).

Fluid Power

Bimba introduced its new air-to-air booster at the 2002 NDES. The booster is a compact, self-contained unit that amplifies input pressure at a 2:1 ratio. The unit's valve components allow it to automatically reciprocate. It operates on air pressure alone. Outlet air pressure up to 250 psi is possible with a maximum input pressure of 125 psi. (Enter 495)...Fluent Inc. displayed examples of customer applications using its computational fluid dynamics software. In automotive applications, for example, the software is used for designing airbags, fuel tanks, windshield wipers, cooling systems, exhaust systems, and shock absorption components. The new Fluent 6.0 version works on flows ranging from incompressible to highly compressible supersonic and hypersonic flows. (Enter 496)...Festo exhibited their new fluidic muscle that uses material deformation and flexure for achieving linear motion. It has no piston. When compressed air is introduced into the system, a pulling force is generated in the axial direction, resulting in a shortening of the muscle as internal pressure increases. Festo also introduced a miniature 10-mm valve for standard sub-base, sub-D connector, and PCB-mounted manifolds and a software program called ProPneu that links to the company's electronic catalog. (Enter 497)...

Caterpillar Inc. announced it is opening its patent vaults for licensing hydraulic, electronic, and other technologies. The construction and mining equipment giant has more than 7,000 patents and is interested in licensing, joint ventures, and acquisitions. (Enter 498)...Ametek exhibited gauges for off-highway equipment. (Enter 499)...ASCO introduced a new line of pressure sensors. (Enter 510)...Firestone Industrial Products displayed air springs. The company's Air-stroke actuators have no pistons, rods, or dynamic seals, but they perform functions of pneumatic actuators and vibration isolators. Firestone also exhibited Air Picker and Air Gripper end effectors and a line of springs called MarshMellow that are used for vibration problems. (Enter 511).


GKN Sinter Metals offered its Powder Metal University courses. The company will travel to user facilities to make all-day advanced presentations to educate design engineers in taking advantage of the parts fabricating technology. (Enter 512)...Rogers Corp. was highlighting its new Celluflex(TM) engineered polyolefin foam line, which includes elastomeric and plastomeric materials. The mid-price line's targeted uses include automotive and handheld-device gasketing applications. (Enter 513)...AK Steel announced AK Coatings, which allow manufacturers to obtain antimicrobial coatings on all carbon and stainless steels. The AgION(TM) compound is silver-ion based and suppresses growth of microbes including bacteria, molds, and fungi. (Enter 517)...Improvements to the hardness of Armoloy(R) TDC (Thin Dense Chromium) metal coating were being noted in The Armoloy Corp. booth. A 78Rc is claimed for the coating to increase wearability and durability of metal components. (Enter 518)...Dow Plastics was talking about its new Appearance Engineering technology to streamline the aesthetic process. The software integrates a digital characterization of the proposed surface texture with a part's CAD file, and polymer and color data, to get a representation of a product's appearance. (Enter 519)...

The recent FMR2002 front-mount threaded retainer assembly from Accurate Screw Machine Corp. was also shown. The fastener installs from the front by simply drilling and tapping without any special tools, and without distortion of the base material. (Enter 698)...PEM(R)Fastening Systems introduced self-clinching cable-tie hooks for hanging bundled wires in an enclosure. A hook feature allows easy removal and reattachment of tie-bundled wires when accessing components or replacing wires. The cable ties need not be cut and the wires remain wrapped. (Enter 699).

Motion Control

Animatics Corp. exhibited its SM2337DT OEM Series SmartMotors that integrate servomotor, amplifier, and controller into a single frame. Using the company's PC Resident VNC (Virtual Numeric Control) software, engineers can turn any PC or laptop and two or more SmartMotors into a complete CNC control system. (Enter 700)...Quicksilver Controls showed off its beefy, 3,200 inch-oz NEMA 34 servomotor that similarly integrates motor, driver, encoder, and controller into a single compact package. With a maximum power of 600W, the new SilverMax 34HC motor is offered in 4 stack lengths. (Enter 701)...On the smaller side of integrated motor, driver, and controller concepts, Myostat Motion Control applied its Cool Muscle technology to a new compact actuator called the Mouse. (Enter 702)...A little blue box called the i Drive was running every motor in the Bayside Motion Group booth. Each digital servo drive in the new family is a complete point-to-point digital amplifier. Available in seven models with power ratings ranging from 0.5 to 3 kW, it can be used for both velocity and position control of synchronous and asynchronous motors. (Enter 703)...Thomson Micron had its new TitanTRUE Gearmotors on display. The design uses a modular, segmented, extrusion concept that allows engineers to more quickly customize their selection of four basic power transmission components: gearhead, motor, brake, and feedback device. Integrating these components provides a compact gearmotor package. Bearing seals, gasket, and o-rings on the modular enclosure provide an IP64 and NEMA-13 protection on standard models. (Enter 704)...By integrating magnets, coils, bearings, and feedback into a self-contained linear motor line, California Linear Devices has come up with an integrated, tubular, linear motor design that's simpler to use. In the 4000 Series, peak force ranges from 375 to 1,200 lbs, and stroke ranges from 2 to 20 inches in 2-inch increments. (Enter 705).

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