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Product News

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Product News


The 600V Benchmark HEXFET(R) power MOSFETs have RDSon values that are 1/10 as low as industry standard types in the same package size. The devices are targeted at high-end, space constrained applications requiring high power MOSFETs, such as multi-kilowatt SMPSs in high-end computing, and telecom applications, as well as high power PFC front-ends. In these applications Benchmark reduces the number of paralleled power MOSFETs, decreases power dissipation and shrink, and eliminates heatsinking.

International Rectifier, 233 Kansas St., El Segundo, CA 90245; FAX (310) 252-7100;


HB50 streamlined valve assembly combines block and bleed capabilities into a single unit. The valve minimizes leakage points by replacing the series of threaded connections created by the use of nipples, valves, and fittings required by conventional instrument valving. Valves are produced from carbon or stainless steel, or specialty alloys, with 1/2 or 3/4 inch inlets.

Hex Valve, 3170 Wasson Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45209; FAX (513) 871-0105;

Turning tools

MDT tools measure 8mm and are intended for aggressive turning, grooving, and profiling applications that require higher metal-removal rates. In sideturning applications, the 8-mm inserts have depth-of-cut capabilities of up to 0.236 inch, and feed rates up to 0.020 inch.

Carboloy, Box 330237, Detroit, MI 48232; FAX (810) 497-5602;

Metal fasteners

PEM(R) Type TSOTM, TSOSTM, and TSOATM self-clinching threaded standoffs provide permanent threads in ultra-thin aluminum or steel sheets to enable stacking or spacing of PC boards and other components. The fasteners deliver high pushout and torque-out resistances when installed in metal sheets as thin as .025 inch.

Penn Engineering & Mfg., 5190 Old Easton Rd., Danboro, PA 18916; FAX (215) 766-0143;

Harsh climate automation

SIMATIC outdoor products for harsh plant environments or outdoor installations are targeted for applications such as traffic light controls, guidance systems, and refrigerated warehouses in the food industry, for operation in temperatures ranging between -25 to 60C.

Siemens, 4900 Old Ironsides Dr., Mail Stop 1211, Santa Clara, CA 95052;

Timing belts

The 50 T20/7500 BFX DL timing belts are intended for use in foil-converting machines. Both sides of the belt can carry the same loading, and the steel cord tension members prevent post elongation. The belts are available in endless lengths up to 22m, and longer lengths are available upon requests.

Breco-Flex, 222 Industrial Way W., Eatontown, NJ 07724;

Spur gearhead

Spur gearhead offers speed reduction or torque multiplication ratios ranging from 6.4:1 to 5752:1 in a compact, 16-mm (0.63-inch) package. Maximum continuous torque is up to 0.03 Nm (4.2 oz-inch) and 0.1 Nm (14 oz-inch) on an intermittent basis. Maximum radial load is 2N (7.2 oz) and recommended input speed is &6000 rpm. Weight varies from 9 to 12 gm (0.31 to 0.42 oz). Operating temperature is -15 to 100C.

Maxon Precision Motors, 838 Mitten Rd, Burlingame, CA 94010; FAX (650) 697-2887

Molding compound

Acrylite(R) DQ 501 acrylic molding compound offers high digital quality with increased storage capacity for Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) replication. Other features include low birefringence (less than 20 nm), 92% light transmittance, high surface hardness, precise mold surface reproduction of small pits, and high elastic modulus. This results in an unchanged planarity rotation. Other applications include CD, CD-R, CD-RW, and minidisk formats.

CYRO Industries, Box 5055, Rockaway, NJ 07866; FAX (973) 442-6117.

USB trackballs

Two-button and buttonless versions of the company's MOUSE-TRAK(R) are USB compatible. According to the company, the bus architecture allows OEMs to avoid software complexities of interfacing devices for instrumentation and control. The panel-mount MOUSE-TRAKs are 4.5 inches sq and project 1.5 inches below a mounting surface. The no-button model has connections for four keys to be supplied via the designer's choice of externally mounted switches. The devices permit prototyping systems in order for them to be available by the time bus-compatible Windows2000(R) is launched.

ITAC Systems, 3113 Benton St., Garland, TX 75042; FAX (972) 494-4159.

Speech recognition IC

RSC-364, a system-on-a-chip speech recognition solution for consumer electronic products and telephony applications, uses Sensory Speech 5.0 technology and offers lower operation and numerous on-chip features that decrease system cost by more than 20% compared to previous products. With the RCS-364, a complete high-accuracy speech recognition system can be built for less than five dollars total system cost. Speech 5.0 includes new noise-immune algorithms. The technology is Fast Digit Recognition, which provides speaker-adaptive recognition for consecutive digit dialing applications, where accuracy requirements per digit must be greater than 99.5%.

Sensory Inc., 521 E. Weddell Dr., Sunnyvale, CA 94089; FAX (408) 744-1299.

PC/acrylic alloys

Series of specialty compounds based on a polycarbonate (PC)/acrylic alloy is said to offer greater impact strength than PC, while maintaining the ease of processing associated with acrylic materials. RTP 1800A series alloys also process at lower temperatures than PC, decreasing the cooling and cycle times for injection-molded parts. The materials incorporate wear additives, flame retardants, EMI shielding, permanent anti-static protection, and color.

RTP Co., 580 East Front St., Winona, MN 55987; FAX (507) 454-4629.

Inverter platform

The MC Series of three inverters power large LCDs and backlit displays. The inverters, which can power up to ten cold cathode fluorescent tubes, are of an open frame design, with on-board transformers that are fully encapsulated. The units are offered with multiple dimming options and in a variety of package configurations.

Endicott Research Group Inc., Box 269, Endicott, NY 13760; FAX (607) 754-9255.

Strain sensors

Model DTD 3625 foil strain sensors measure fatigue load experienced by aircraft under speed, weight, and mission configuration conditions. The sensors measure 0.45 @ 0.25 @ 0.14 inches, are self-temperature-compensating, and available for all materials used in aircraft fabrication.

Columbia Research Laboratories Inc, 1925 MacDade Blvd., Woodlyn PA 19094; FAX (610) 872-3882.

Infrared sensors

HOA 1888 and HOA 2006 Series transmissive infrared sensors sense an interrupter that requires a side-slot width. The slot width of 12 mm (0.47 inch) permits use of larger interruptive media, and accommodates lateral motion parallel to the gap. A pc-board snap-in/retention feature promotes accurate mechanical location of the sensor. These pre-leaded sensors are for use in copiers, printers, exercise equipment, and assembly and medical equipment.

Honeywell, Micro Switch Div., 11 W. Spring St., Freeport, IL 61032; FAX (815) 235-6545.

Fastening products

Karen Auguston Field Executive Editor

Pick of the Issue

Adhesive for interiors

A double-coated, pressure-sensitive adhesive, FT 8708, is a rubber-based product that passes all Ford bonding and low-fogging requirements for interior soft trim components. That's key, because automotive interior components, which are frequently made of low surface-energy substrate materials such as molded polypropylene and ABS plastics, are notoriously difficult to bond.

Avery Dennison Specialty Tape Div., 250 Chester St., Painesville, OH 44077.

Ball bushing bearing

Metric ball bushing bearing features a newly designed ball recirculation path for smooth operation. The bearing is available in stainless steel and brass construction and 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6-mm bore sizes. When purchased as a matched set, a bearing/shaft fit-up has a clearance of 0.0025 to 0.0075 mm. Applications include silicon wafer processing and microprocessor circuit board assembly.

Thomson Industries, 2 Channel Dr., Port Washington, NY 11050; FAX (516) 467-9814;

Conductive adhesive

TRA-BOND 2960, an electrically conductive adhesive, cures in three minutes at 150C and can withstand operating temperatures up to 175C. Silver-filled adhesive provides high electrical and thermal conductivity. Applications include high-speed component attachment of electronic modules, printed circuit boards, and electronic shielding.

Tra-Con Inc., 45 Wiggins Ave., Bedford, MA 01730; FAX (781) 275-9249;

Ball nut

The Internal Return 0631-0200 RH ball nut is for standard rolled thread screws. These ball nuts feature a small swing radius and a low profile, which allows for integration into linear slides and actuators, machine tool part replacements, and other precision lead screw applications. A pre-loaded version with zero backlash is available.

Nook Industries Inc., 4950 East 49th St., Cleveland, OH 44125; FAX (216) 271-7020.

Self-clinching fasteners

Self-clinching threaded inserts require a minimum amount of space to install. The miniature fasteners are made of stainless steel in free-running or locking-thread versions. Self-locking threads provide a prevailing torque on the mating screw and, to aid installation, a dry film lubricant finish is provided. The insert also has an aggressive knurl, which can withstand a high torque-out resistance after it is pressed into the sheet metal.

Captive Fastener Corp., 19 Thornton Rd., Oakland, NJ 07436; FAX (201) 337-1012.

Lube station

The SPR-2000 Programmable Lubrication Station applies controlled amounts of lubricants at up to 22 lube points. When connected to a pressurized fluid supply, each lube point can be independently timed for precise and uniform fluid release. The system saves up to 60 programs and can monitor critical functions such as fluid level, pressure, and flow. Applications include metal forming and cutting.

UNIST, 4134 36th St., Grand Rapids, MI 49512; FAX (616) 949-9503;

Edge clamps

Tiny ViseTM edge clamps provide horizontal clamping force and downward thrust to prevent workpieces from lifting. Sizes range from #8-32 thread size to 1 inch-8 thread with 2,500-lb clamping force. Clamps provide force by positive screw action with the turn of a hex wrench. A serrated edge provides maximum grip. A double edge version is available for clamping two workpieces.

Carr Lane Mfg, 4200 Carr Lane Ct., St Louis, MO 63119; FAX (314) 647-5736;

Automotive Software Products

Laurie Ann Toupin Associate Editor

Pick of the Issue

Racecar software

Hands down, this is my favorite product for this issue. The software almost makes me want to change jobs from writing to designing racecars! Performance CalculatorTM for Windows, an automotive design and racing software suite, uses the power of personal computers and more than ten years of research and development to give users a vehicle design tool that calculates, simulates, and compares a broad range of automotive performance-related data. The interactive program covers engine, chassis, suspension, and performance so users can find the optimum setup or design via computer modeling rather than expensive, time-consuming trial and error. The program addresses electric vehicles, cars for road racing, circle track, or drag. Users need a PC running Windows 95/98 or later. The company claims that an on-line manual makes the program easy to use and serves as a good teaching tool.

Rapid Line Industries, Inc., 455 N. Ottawa St., Joliet, IL 60432; FAX (815) 727-9568;

Controllers and framing engines

SAFE, a new family of scalable architecture framing engines, and PACE, packet and cell engines for WAN devices, target high-bandwidth and high line aggregation tele- and data-communication applications for the Internet. The PACE family of products is high-level data link control (HDLC) and ATM cell delineation devices, offering 2048 logical channels. The company claims that this is the only controller that can interface directly with up to 84 T1 channels through VLSI's open architecture TDME bus, thus eliminating interconnecting logic and resulting in smaller board space and lower cost. The SAFE family is T1 framing devices integrating 28 T1 channels with extended features for highly integrated voice and data applications.

VLSI Technology, San Jose, CA;

Graphics accelerator

WildcatTM 4110 graphics accelerator delivers a sustained 6 million triangles/sec. and a peak texture fill rate of 143 Mpixel/sec. Company officials claim that WildcatTM 4110 is the fastest 3D graphics performance on any platform, including Windows NT and UNIX. The accelerator is based on Wildcat 3D technology that employs Intense3D's ParaScale architecture. Other features include: an AGP Pro graphics accelerator, support for Linux, 3.2 GFLOPS geometry engine, dedicated 64 MB frame buffer and texture memory, and support for all standard graphics APIs.

Intense3D, Los Angeles, CA;

Automotive software

Jack Occupant Packaging Toolkit helps manufacturers design vehicle interiors for comfort and performance. An add-on to EAI's Jack human modeling and ergonomics analysis software, the toolkit introduces six additional human factors. Designers place virtual humans in seated positions inside a digital environment and Jack OPT predicts posture, assesses comfort, analyzes reach, and defines anthropometry. OPT also provides the Society of Automotive Engineers vehicle interior placement packaging guidelines, as well as a specialized automotive parts library. VisEPM links users to enterprise product information and provides a platform for applications such as digital prototyping, factory design, flow and analysis solutions, and dimensional and quality management solutions.

Engineering Animation Inc. (EAI), ISU Research Park 2321 N. Loop Dr., Ames, IA 50010; FAX (515) 296-7025;

Reverse engineering software

CopyCAD 2.1 focuses on surfaces offering new sketching and construction techniques. An automatic filtering algorithm eliminates rogue points that generate wrinkles in surfaces. Improved data translation capabilities ensure high quality results regardless of the source of the original data. To verify the quality of surfaces, CopyCAD 2.1 offers smoothness shading to check for discontinuities, multiple scan alignment to eliminate tolerance stackups, and tools to check the accuracy of points in relation to other points.

Delcam, 3270 Electricity Dr., Windsor, Ontario, Canada N8W 5J1; FAX (519) 974-8170;

CAD viewer

VoloTM View Express software, an Internet-enabled viewer for AutoCAD data, allows anyone, including non-designers, to open, view, and print .DWG, .DWF, and .DXF files. AutoCAD 2000 users can send their files via the Web e-mail, or FTP to others on the design team. Users can also print to any Windows-supported printer. The viewer also supports ACIS solids and embedded raster images, views multiple layouts, controls layer display, and offers a new ClearScale technology from Autodesk that improves drawing visibility and readability on the screen. The program is available for download at the Autodesk Volo Web site:

Autodesk Inc., 111 McInnis Pkwy., San Rafael, CA 94903;

Thermal analysis

Enhancements in FLOTHERM(R) Version 2.1 make it faster and easier to use. These include a better solver with algorithmic acceleration of the radiation exchange-factor calculator that enables users to perform advanced calculations as quickly as simple ones. The FLO/MCAD solid modeling engine has been upgraded to ACIS Version 4.0. The database system has been replaced with a simpler, more thoroughly integrated one. The visualization window optimizes background operations to improve performance on low-end, 8-bit graphics platforms, and dynamic memory allocation increases its efficiency.

Flomerics Inc., 2 Mount Royal Ave., Marlborough, MA 01752; FAX (508) 624-0559.

Automation PC

The D7L series incorporates Pentium II and Pentium III technology with a 100 MHz host bus. The automation PC allows users to choose between hard drives, Super DiskTM, floppy disks, tape backup or ZIP drives to be built into one of the three 3.5 inch option bays. The series has six available slots for any combination of three ISA, two PCI, and one shared card to be used to expand the system per your application requirements. Autosensing 10/100 MB Ethernet and crystal-sound cards are built in.

Cutler-Hammer, 4201 North 27th St., Milwaukee, WI 53216; FAX (414) 449-6221;

Desktop digital factory

Tecnomatix' Process Model Platform and Process Planning software is a desktop for extended enterprise manufacturing engineering activities with a Microsoft interface and drag & drop capabilities. Process Model Platform complements digital product development and management, as enabled by CAD and PDM systems.

Tecnomatix Technologies Inc., 39810 Grand River Ave., Ste. 100, Novi, MI 48375-2108; FAX (248) 471-6147.

Electrical/Electronics products

Rick DeMeis Senior Editor

Pick of the Issue


Improved performance and reliability are two qualities design engineers strive for, especially in the competitive, high-volume automotive industry. Low-voltage Hexfet(R) power MOSFETs are aimed at automotive applications including new 42V integrated starters/alternators, braking, and power steering. The company says that by using its new low-voltage planar-stripe silicon technology and "Super" series packaging, twice the silicon can be packed into the same footprint, resulting in lower R-DS(on), and a more efficient thermal path. Values of R-DS(on) range from 3 to 5 m, which, it says, are 50 to 28% lower than competing devices. As a measure of ruggedness, the Hexfet MOSFETs have avalanche energy ratings from 2,000 to 4,000 mJ, which it notes, is 4 to 7 times higher than current technology components, so designers can eliminate external passive devices to protect power MOSFETs.

International Rectifier, 233 Kansas St., El Segundo, CA 90245; FAX (310) 252-7100;

Circular connectors

More than 30 intermateable, sealed and unsealed, circular connector body types for cable and panel mounting are available. Contact configurations include multipole, coaxial, triaxial, mixed, high voltage, and thermocouple in standard or custom designs. Shells are brass, stainless steel, aluminum, and plastic. Connectors are supplied with integral shielding for sensitive applications and meet EMC 92, and sealed connectors are rated at IP68. Sealed connectors mate with unsealed counterparts. The connectors can operate up to 200C.

Fischer Connectors, 115 Perimeter Central Pl. Suite 1060, Atlanta, GA 30346; FAX (770) 352-0992;

Rotary position sensor

Hall effect, non-contact rotary sensor has 2.5% accuracy, a 120 degree rotation range, more than 10-million-cycle capability, and works from -40 to 150C. The package is designed for custom mounting on the drive face with either a zero-tolerance D-drive or spring-loaded blade, with electrical connector or cabling options on the opposite side, in both stand-alone and integrated applications. Automotive uses include throttle and shift positions, suspension height, and EGR valve position.

Wabash Technologies, 1375 Swan St., Huntington, IN 46750; FAX (219) 356-3846;

FireWire data acquisition

The DAQPad(R)-6070E multifunction I/O device is, according to the company, the first data acquisition device for the IEEE-1394 FireWire(R) serial bus. The unit connects directly to Windows 98 PCs equipped with a -1394 serial port or PCI-to-1394 adapter and, as a FireWire product, is hot pluggable. Features include: sampling 1.25 Msamples/s, 12-bit A/D resolution, 16 analog inputs, 2 analog outputs, 8 digital I/O lines, twin 24-bit counter timers, and mass or BNC termination. While FireWire specification stipulates that the device be within 4.5m of the bus socket, the company says up to 16 units can be daisy-chained to span up to 72m.

National Instruments, 11500 N Mopac Expwy., Austin, TX 78759; FAX (512) 794-5759;

Contactless ring sensor

Contactless sensor for antilock braking systems can detect wheel movement at speeds as low as 1.25 mph. The two-part system is made up of a stationary ring sensor and a multipole wheel mounted on the wheel hub. The ring sensor is mounted on the wheel bearing bolt and features six serially mounted current-fed variable reluctance coils. It provides input signals to the brake controller via a two-pin connector. The system operates from -40 to 150C, with a peak temperature of 170C allowable for up to 10 minutes.

AB Automotive, U.S. Hwy. 70 East, Smithfield, NC 27577; FAX (919) 934-5186.

Fluid Power products

Charles J. Murray Regional Technical Editor

Pick of the Issue

Cylinder controller

Our Fluid Power Pick Of The Issue is a product that fits well in machine tool applications. The new DPQ Digital Controller is targeted for hydraulic injection cylinders with analog feedback. Advanced control algorithms in the DPQ allow for fast, accurate system response while delivering a more repeatable product than was previously possible. It includes a user selectable internal or external (analog voltage) injection profile control, easy set-up, and application flexibility for use with most injection molding machines. A microprocessor-based platform includes the parameters necessary for control of injection molding applications. DPQ can also be used for broaching, honing, and transfer, and in the press industry for compression molding.

Mannesman Rexorth Corp., 2315 City Line Rd., Bethlehem, PA 18017.

Venting valve seal

A patented venting valve seal can be used in automotive batteries or automatic transmission gear boxes. The Ventseal offers reliable opening and closing for venting of closed pressurized chambers. Ventseal solves a critical problem in automotive battery operation: If battery valves don't open or close correctly as a result of a jamming valve, structural damage can occur in their cells. The Ventseal ensures safety with lower leakage, as well as safe opening and closing.

Busak + Shamban, 2701 S. Coliseum Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46803;

Proportional and servo valves

Closed Loop Proportional and Servo Solenoid valves provide precision zero overlap at the mid-position area, instant response to rapid signal changes, excellent resolution, reduced filtration requirements, precise repeatability, and improved productivity. The valves can be applied as the final control element in electrical, closed control circuits for maintaining flow or velocity, pressure or force, and torque or position.

Miller Fluid Power/CKD Corp., 800 N. York Rd., Bensenville, IL 60106; FAX (630) 766-3012.

Power Transmission & Motion Control products

John Lewis Regional Technical Editor

Pick of the Issue

Steering effort sensor

Airbag-compatible steering effort torque sensors offer continuous, non-contact torque data from a low-mass rotating sensor. A chain and gear mechanism drives a 7,200-pulses per revolution encoder that attaches directly to the windshield and offers selectable high- and low-resolution for various steering ranges. Available in 200, 500, and 1,000 inch-lb torque capacities, the system's FM transmitter and receiver transmits and captures signals, and provides analog outputs for torque, rate, and angle.

Sensor Developments, 1050 West Silver Bell Rd., Box 290, Lake Orion, MI 48359; FAX (248) 391-0107;

Miniature bearings

Precision-instrument, miniature-ball bearings available in both inch and metric sizes, come with outside diameters that range from 0.1181 to 1.000 inch. One of the most popular applications in the automotive industry for miniature bearings is the anti-lock braking system that uses a variety of precision small bearings in electric motors. Other applications include the throttle assembly, as well as the cooling fans and idle control motors. Also available from NMB are precision mechanical assemblies, stepping motors, self-aligning roller bearings, and fasteners.

NMB Technologies, 9730 Independence Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311; FAX (818) 709-0387;

Linear actuator

Recent design improvements allow the HLT II encapsulated linear position system to achieve longer strokes (up to 142 inches), with less non-linearity (55%) in both hydraulic and pneumatic applications. To protect its magnetostrictive transducer and corrosion-resistant probe from environmental conditions, the design encapsulates them within the endcap. By eliminating contact between sensor components the actuator provides long-term, maintenance-free operation, and is available with digital or analog outputs. Improved precision, along with a higher operating temperature (185F) make this actuator useful in applications such as clamping, bending, transfer lines, and other automotive industry applications that require motion control.

Hydro-Line, Box 2045, Rockford, IL 61130; FAX (815) 654-3393.

Two-wire motors

Brushless motors and amplifiers typically have complicated wiring systems, a problem when upgrading from dc brush technology to more reliable dc brushless technology because drive electronics and cabling must be changed. This patented two-wire motor solution makes replacing brush-type motors with brushless ones easy and error free. The design uses an integrated amplifier and encoder to provide a compact servo assembly. By reducing the number of wires from eight to two, the design reduces cost, assembly time, and weight. Typical automotive applications include electric vehicles, power steering pumps, blowers, and coolant pumps.

Bayside Motion Group, 27 Seaview Blvd., Port Washington, NY 11050; FAX (516) 484-5496;

EMI/RFI shielding

Flexible bellows electrodeposited with nickel or copper can be an excellent method for shielding critical components from EMI/RFI. Bellows diameters range from 0.125 to 7.0 inches. Rigid electroformed nickel or copper EMI shields can be produced in virtually any shape if flexibility is not required. Materials presently available for electroforming include nickel, copper, gold and silver. Flexible and lightweight bellows are targeted at weight-critical applications such as satellites, aircraft, and cellular phones.

Servometer, 501 Little Falls Rd., Cedar Grove, NJ 07009; FAX (800) 785-0756.

Hollow-shaft encoders

The AHG926 is a true mechanical absolute encoder, providing an absolute value even if power is interrupted. Hollow shafts come in up to a 16-mm diameter bore, and IP65 version encoders are available. The 93-mm diameter, 26-bit absolute programmable encoders offer DeviceNet, Profibus, Interbus and SSI compatible interfaces, and provide programmable resolution, presets, and offsets. Magnetic construction resists shock and vibration, and units operate in -40 to 85C temperatures. Applications include rolling mills, process lines, hoists and cranes, presses, coil winders, transfer lines, and general automation equipment.

Stegmann Inc., Box 13596, Dayton, OH 45413; FAX (937) 454-1955;

Test, Measurement, & Control products

Jean Young Gonzalez Western Editor

Pick of the Issue

Sensor assembly

The accelerator pedal sensor assembly replaces typical throttle linkages and cables by transmitting the driver's pedal inputs to the engine electrically rather than mechanically. The unit is installed in 1999 Mercedes S-class vehicles. A specially designed redundant friction cable, which produces force hysteresis, or resistance, on the bowden cable, provides a "feel" identical to a conventional pedal. If the return spring should fail, the redundant cable guarantees pedal return, although the tension is halved. The assembly also contains a redundant sensor as a backup should the primary sensor fail. The accelerator pedal module uses a Hall-effect sensor to determine the angle of the pedal. The sensor is programmable to meet specific customer requirements. Pedal functions are integrated into the sensor, including idle speed, full throttle, and kick-down pressure and switching points. The electronic signals are compatible with both analog and digital engine control units.

Ab Elektronik GmbH, Klocknerstrasse 4, Werne D-59368 Germany;

Impedance meter

The 1710 Digibridge impedance meter measures inductance (L), capacitance (C), and resistance (R) for electronic component testing. Secondary parameters of dissipation factor (D) and quality factor (Q) can also be measured. The unit offers two digital displays, one for L, C, or R and another for D or Q. Users can select a measurement frequency of 120 Hz or 1 kHz, with a basic accuracy of 0.2% at a rate of 3 per second and display the percent deviation from a user-programmed nominal value. The meter is targeted for incoming inspection, engineering labs, and production applications.

QuadTech, 100 Nickerson Rd, Marlborough, MA 01752; FAX (508) 485-0295;

Ultrasonic sensors

M18 ultrasonic rugged metal sensors feature an 18-mm diameter barrel and a single transducer that functions as both emitter and receiver. A single potentiometer sets the far limit of the M18's sensing range, and its fixed near limit, determined by the blind zone directly in front of the sensor, allows background suppression.

TURCK Inc., 3000 Campus Dr., Minneapolis, MN 55441.

Chamfer gauge

Ch700 electronic chamfer gauge measures the major diameter of inside and outside chamfers, tapers, tapered holes, and center-drilled holes. Plungers are available in five diameter sizes to measure features from 0 to 90C and from 91 to 130C. The CH700 requires no setting master and can output directly to SPC collection systems.

Federal Products Co., 1144 Eddy St., Providence, RI 02940; FAX (401) 784-3246;

Clock generator

M1's new time-interval measurement feature allows a test operator to set up and start testing a DRCG device, and walk away. This feature will reduce the time it takes to perform a full characterization of a DRCG from eight hours to less than one. The feature collects all of the DRCG N-Cycle and Duty-Cycle jitter worst case values together on a single screen window. If failures should occur, during the test the user can view the number of acquisitions that had at least one failure in them and the total number of failure events over all acquisitions. The average failure size also is calculated. The statistics for positive and negative edge events are shown. M1 Time-Interval Measurement Solution will support: Hewlett-Packard HP54720D, HP54845A, Tektronix TDS784, TDS794D, TDS694C, and LeCroy's LC584 Series scopes.

Amherst Systems Assoc. Inc., Box 24, Amherst, MA 01004; FAX (413) 596-9686;


Thermoformed plastic shields are manufactured from 15 mil PVC, and protect the control panel during the rigorous installation and testing process for commercial aircraft radio components. The shields wrap completely around the control panel edges, ensuring a snug fit and protecting the control panel edges from damage. Each shield can be removed, and the panel can be accessed during aircraft assembly and testing.

Brookdale Plastics Inc., 9909 S. Shore Dr., Plymouth, MN 55441; FAX (612) 797-5252.

Gas sensing kit

Gilway's infrared development kit for gas sensing applications includes components necessary to create a collimated source for use in dual beam gas detection of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and other hydrocarbons. Each development kit includes two gold-coated MR3 parabolic reflectors; two lamp bases; and a selection of 5V, T-34, and T-1 sized miniature lamps. The lamps produce usable output ranging from 0.6 to 4.7 microns. The bi-pin lamps insert into a Teflon base which threads directly into a gold-coated reflector, and the beam is adjustable from parallel to fully focused.

Gilway Technical Lamp, 800 W. Cummings Park, Woburn, MA 01801; FAX (781) 938-5867;

Temperature transmitter

AI-1000 R2 temperature transmitter features automatic self-calibration to on-board reference standards. The transmitter accepts any thermocouple or RTD, millivolt, or ohm input and can be configured for field or panel mounting. Al-1000 R2 is accurate to plus or minus 0.05%. A plug-in display or PC configuration allows for programming and reading directly from any transmitter without the need for a handheld terminal. Applications include heat exchangers, custody transfer, progress monitoring, and control. Explosion-proof, waterproof, and gang mounting enclosures are available.

Accutech, 15 Robert Bonazzoli Ave., Hudson, MA 01749; FAX (978) 568-9085;

Pulse generator

Model 507 precision current pulse generator offers digitally controlled current pulses from 0 to 10A and pulse widths from 0.1 to 100 ms. Precise current control and time-domain resolution allows for electronic systems characterization. Synch outputs are designed for video capture or other test parameters. Model 507 is offered in 2, 4, and 8 channels. Applications include automobile airbag squib testing, industrial fuse breakdown testing, and precision laser triggering and driving.

Berkeley Nucleonics Corp., 3060 Kerner Blvd. #2, San Rafael, CA 94901; FAX (415) 453-9956;

Pressure transducers

Model 120/220/320 wet-to-wet differential pressure transducers offer pressure ranges of 0-500 PSID through 0 to 5,000 PSID. Static line pressure is 10,000 PSI with a single-sided overpressure rating as high as three times the sensor range. Standard outputs available are 3 mV/V, 0-5V dc, and 4-20 mA. The units are constructed of non-corrosive stainless steel for harsh industrial applications. An internal shunt calibration circuit allows the user to calibrate the transducer's output signal without an external pressure source.

Viatran Corp., 300 Industrial Dr., Grand Island, NY 14072; FAX (716) 773-2488.

Doppler laser vibrometer

CLV-3D is a 3D laser Doppler vibrometer that measures x, y, and z components of structural vibration simultaneously. It focuses three lasers onto a spot 0.5 mm in diameter. The unit works on virtually any unprepared surface such as dark-black molded plastic automobile parts. Each of the three outputs is a precalibrated analog signal proportional to velocity in the range of 510V. Vibration frequency range of the standard system is 0.5 to 50 Hz. Maximum velocity is up 51.25 m/s. Typical applications include hot, lightweight, miniature, tightly curved, or ultrasonically excited structures such as automotive exhausts, micro-electronics, jet engine turbine blades, and medical devices.

Polytech Pl. Inc., 23 Midvale Dr. Suite 212, Auburn, MA; FAX (508) 832-0506;


Model 704D miniature ring-shaped accelerometer features center hole bolt-down mounting, and offers complete 360degree rotation of the output connector to any convenient position. The sensor measures 0.6 3 0.314 inches and weighs 12 gm.

Columbia Research Laboratories Inc., 1925 Mac Dade Blvd., Woodlyn, PA 19094; FAX (610) 872-3882.

Temperature transmitter

The TDY PC-programmable temperature transmitter provides accuracy to plus or minus 0.05C for critical process applications. The transmitter features a two-line digital display that shows real-time process status in the field. The alphanumeric characters can be customized to display input, 4-20 mA output, degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit.

Moore Industries-International Inc., 16650 Schoenborn St., Sepulveda, CA 91343; .


Micro-EyeTM microprocessor-based monitor is available with a Voice Alert feature. Micro-Eye monitors critical functions of internal combustion engines, such as oil pressure and transmission and coolant temperature, using input from existing discrete or analog sensors. If conditions develop that could cause engine damage, Micro-Eye issues an audible warning, then shuts down the engine automatically.

Advanced Control Systems Inc., 7125 Windsor Lake Pkwy., Loves Park, IL 61111; FAX (815) 877-8025.

Car navigation system

Carin 522 car navigation system combines spoken directions with large, easy-to-read pictograms to help drivers navigate turn-by-turn across town or country. The system plots route information, considering detours or traffic jams. A driver activates Carin 522 with an infrared remote control, and can use the system to plot a route based on travel time, travel distance, major highways, or side streets. Drivers can select their destination by using the on-screen keyboard, the on-screen map and cursor, retrieving stored addresses, or calling them up from the system's CD-ROM. A 5 @ 2 7/8-inch display has a 16:9 aspect ratio with hard switch controls for brightness, contrast, and volume. Nine language options are available.

Vdo North America LLC, 188 Brooke Rd., Winchester, VA 22604; FAX (540) 722-4198;

Process calibrator

TechChek(R) 830 process calibrator sources and reads a variety of electronic process signals, and troubleshoots like a multimeter. Typical accuracy is plus or minus 0.025 of span +1 LSD. Optional modules add the ability to measure pressure in 20 engineering units. TechChek measures a variety of dc voltage ranges to 200V dc and sources to 10.25V dc, and can read ac volts up to 250V ac.

Altek Industries Corp., 35 Vantage Point Dr., Rochester, NY 14624; FAX (716) 349-3510.

Signal converter/isolator

Model 4380 Iso Verter(R) II process signal converter/isolator protects electronic circuits by completely isolating the input and output signals from each other and the ground. With bipolar input selection and zero suppression, nearly any standard input/output combination is possible.

Dwyer Instruments Inc., Box 373, Michigan City, IN 46361; FAX (219) 872-9057.

Single-board computer

The Little Guy low-power single-board computer allows program prototyping on a PC and then plugging and playing applications into its 3.5 3 5-inch package. Operation is typically 5V at 150 mA, with a standby mode (12-40 mA) and sleep mode (60-90 mA). The embedded ROM-DOS operating system has hundreds of off-the-shelf programs available. A 486 and Pentium CPU can be had in PC/104 format.

Analog & Digital Peripherals, Box 499, Troy, OH 45373; FAX (937) 339-0070.

Test platform

TS-4500 Series II is a scalable, pre-integrated test platform for testing automotive electronics control modules and smart sensors. The unit, which the company claims will cut the time auto-electronics manufacturers need to deploy a test system, is delivered with 200 auto-tuned control module test routines. TS-4500 can test immobilizers, remote keyless entry devices, airbags, and engine-management systems. Platforms are tuned for functional test of automotive ECMs and include switching and control-module-tuned library routines.

Hewlett-Packard - Test and Measurement Organization, 5301 Stevens Creek Rd., MS54LAK, Santa Clara, CA 95052;

Video measuring machine

YM40 is a video coordinate measuring machine that uses non-contact, software-driven, optical video technology to measure parts too small, intricate or flexible for contact inspection. A 64-cell programmable LED ringlight, arranged in four 16-segment rings, can be used individually or in combination to illuminate part features. Distortion free telecentric optics makes for sharp video images. A Sony CCD color camera, 17-inch Triniton monitor and proprietary video image capture boards are standard components. The work envelope for parts is 16 3 10 3 8 inches in the X-Y-Z axes.

Sony Precision Technology America Inc., 20381 Hermana Circle, Lake Forest, CA 92630; FAX (949) 770-8408;


Charles J. Murray Regional Technical Editor

Pick of the Issue

Anodize process

Nituff(R) PTFE-penetrated anodize process increases the durability of aluminum components by creating an extremely hard, wear- and corrosion-resistant finish. Nituff process permits the substitution of aluminum for heavier metals, and is often applied in brake calipers, fuel system components, and window guide services. The finish also is appropriate for aluminum components that have unusual surface durability and nonstick sliding action requirements.

Nimet Industries, Box 3628, South Bend, IN 46619; FAX (219) 287-0777.

Transfer fluid

Paratherm NF(R) non-fouling transfer fluid provides uniform temperature control in process applications to 600F. The fluid will not coat the system's heated surfaces with baked-on carbon deposits when severely overheated, is human-safe, and has passed Bioassay. The fluid can also be safely combined with spent lube oils, and sent to an oil recycler.

Paratherm, 1050 Colwell Rd., Conshohocken, PA 19428;

Platinum-cured silicone hose

SILBRADE MED-X hose introduced by NewAge Industries is said to offer the ultra-purity of platinum curing with the increased pressure capabilities of braid-reinforced hose. The hose conforms to USP Class VI biocompatability requirements.

NewAge Industries Inc., Box K, Willow Grove, PA 19090; FAX (215) 657-6594.

PVC & elastomers

TekbondTM TPEs, a series of elastomer compounds that open new design possibilities for soft touch parts, such as knobs and handles, are offered with a variety of other PVC and elastomers. These TPEs provide molecular bonds when overmolded onto an array of rigid substrates, including polycarbonate, acrylic, ABS, ABS/PC alloys, and nylon

Teknor Apex - Plastics, 505 Central Ave., Pawtucket, RI 02861; FAX (401) 725-8000;


Semi-crystalline aliphatic polykeytones (PK) are applied in the automotive industry, and noticed for high barrier properties, low gasoline permeability, resistance to a broad range of fuels, transmission fluid, and high and dimensional stability. Polymers provide the necessary resistance to fuels and additives at the elevated temperatures required for use with direct injection and common fuel rail technology.

Shell Chemical, Box 2463, Houston, TX 77252; FAX (713) 241-1606.


Corrugated tubing is for wire and cable sleeving in automotive applications and thermal protection in appliances, medical devices, robotics, and toys. Tubing is available for delivery in either nylon 6 or a special blend of medium- and high-density polyethylene, and with a slit along the length for quick wire insertion. The nylon material will handle temperatures from -40 to 300F, and is stocked in black with a grey stripe.

New Age Industries, 2300 Maryland Rd., Willow Grove, PA 19090; FAX (215) 657-6594.

Conductive rim

Conductive RIM technology is a combination of the physical properties of RIM with electrical conductivity, and has a volume resistivity between E8 and E10 ohm-cm. Applications include automotive fascia, on which it is capable of achieving class A paint finishes with successful Florida Aging Test results.

Mearthane Products Corp., 16 Western Industrial Dr., Cranston, RI 02921; FAX (401) 943-8210.

Spray release coatings

Plasmadize(R) 2139 Series of enhanced, thermal spray release coatings for tooling are used to fabricate automotive parts replaces toxic silicones. The coatings allow manufacturers to select smooth or matte surfaces, and parts can undergo final finishing immediately after demolding. Specific coatings are available for use on Invar and ferrous tooling; aluminum; non-ferrous, fiber reinforced plastic; and a variety of others.

General Magnaplate, 1331 US Route 1, Linden, NJ 07036; FAX (908) 862-6110;

Stainless steel

The longer service life of stainless steel in a number of key areas in the automotive industry has created a demand for Grade 347 and 430 stainless steel. The materials are often applied in exhaust system parts, seat belt buckles, windshield wipers, numerous fasteners, gaskets, and many other components where rust or surface appearance are a concern. As well as stainless steel strip, manufacturer also processes foil, wire, and other forms.

Ulbrich Stainless Steel, 57 Dodge Ave., North Haven, CT 06473; FAX (203) 239-7479;


Duralon(R) composite ball spherical bearings with split steel outer race, are composed of Teflon woven fabric construction. These self-lubricating bearings are supported by a filament-wound fiberglass shell. There is no metal-to-metal wear, and dynamic loading capacities are 30,000 psi. Bearings can be retrofitted into applications using standard, fractured, outer-race lubricated steel-on-steel bearings, and are usually applied in hydraulic cylinders, foundry equipment, and military vehicles.

Rexnord; 2400 Curtiss St., Downers Grove, IL 60515; FAX (630) 969-8752.

Polyurethane casting system

CONATHANE(R) UC-35 two-component system cures at room or elevated temperatures at a hardness of 84 Shore D and tensile strength of 10,900 psi. Uses include flame-retardant castings, electrical housings, computer cases, prototypes, and numerous simulated thermoplastic parts.

Conap Inc., 1405 Buffalo St., Olean, NY 14760; FAX (716) 372-1594.

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