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Articles from 2006 In December


Story behind the Story: Metal defects in plane's switch suspected in crash


Download an MP3 of this chat

Retired MIT metallurgist and DN Calamities editor Ken Russell explains how metal defects in a DC-9's flight director switch was the suspected culprit in a horrific 1973 plane crash in Boston. He wrote in depth about the topic in the Dec. 11 issue of Design News. DN editor in chief John Dodge is the interviewer.  Recorded 12/14/06, length, 7:18 

Delta (as in faucets), we have a problem

Delta (as in faucets), we have a problem

I found out some interesting things why the threads my Delta model 474 NN faucet stripped. Delta director of quality John Wright said he did some checking and found that there is a problem with soft threads. How widespread he did not say. "There have been reports of it. I'm not satisfied with what I found and there's been more than I'd like," he said in a phone interview this week. In my original post, I complained that the aerator's plastic threads in the spout stripped (see picture). I thought the plastic was too soft. Wright says it's made of glass-filled polypropylene (a common plastic) for several reasons: 1) to bond with plastic nubs that create the spray option, 2) to fasten to the metal housing, and 3) to look good. A colorfast material was important, too.

The model 474 NN (NN stands for brushed nickel), which is made in a Delta factory in Jackson, Tenn. among other Delta factories, came out in the late nineties, according to Wright. Apart from its design, it represented a departure in materials for Delta which at the time was moving from mostly brass parts to plastic. Several million units have been sold and the unit has won a couple of prestigious design awards, says Wright.  

In my original post, I praised Delta customer service (the product carries a lifetime warranty) for shipping out a new spout on Monday. Now it's Friday, four days later, and unless it's here in a week, my patience could wear thin. But it's the Friday befrore Christmas and time to lose the edge.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!

Delta Faucet 474 NN

Military conference looks at lead-free challenges

Military conference looks at lead-free challenges

The defense and aerospace industries are faced with the shift to lead-free components even though there are technically exempt from RoHS laws. Problem is, the components industry is converting to lead-free parts and discontinuing their leaded production. For the defense and aerospace industries, this means many of the components they’ve been buying are now lead free. The challenges that come with adopting lead-free components will be addressed at two presentations during the Military Technologies Conference and Exhibition which will be help on March 27 and 28 in Boston.

The first presentation, “A Protocol for Reliability Testing of Aerospace and High-Performance Lead-Free Electronic Assemblies,” will be presented by representatives from Raytheon and Boeing. They are part of a team set up by the Aerospace Industries Association and the Government Electronics Industries Association with the goal of defining a default method for reliability testing of products containing lead-free solder. The team also set out to establish a protocol for designing, conducing and interpreting results from reliability tests. The presentation will report on the team’s progress.

The second presentation, “Methodology for Evaluating Data for Reverse Compatibility Solder Joints,” will be presented by a team from the Navel Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division. The presenters will look at the issues involved when lead-free components are used to repair legacy military electronics.

Motor ‘System’ Solutions

These new products – which were recently introduced to the market – offer solutions that drive motor “system” performance. JVL has introduced what it says is the first wireless integrated servo motor and a modular concept that makes it extremely easy to adapt the motors for a wide range of applications. Other new products are pursuing the same goal by providing daisy chaining for up to 16 axes and offering motor/drive integration that uses closed-loop control to eliminate missteps and loss of synchronism.

Wireless Integrated Servo Motors

The MAC00-FB4 module from JVL International facilitates control of MAC wireless integrated servo motors, providing total freedom from cables. The new module uses a direct Bluetooth connection to the motor for set up and control which offers the same possibilities as a serial connection. Functionality is identical to the company’s nano PLC module but, instead of using the serial connector, the module is equipped with an antenna. The module can be programmed via JVL’s MacTalk software. Control is typically done from a mobile phone or a PC. MacTalk can be used directly on a PC and commands or programs can be sent from your own program.

Motor-Controller-Driver Package

A two-phase stepper motor with a micro-stepping driver and DSP-based motion controller, the SMC-Pollux motor/controller/driver package, has been introduced in the North American market by MICOS USA. The motion controller utilizes a multi-drop serial interface that allows daisy chaining of up to 16 axes. Ultra-high micro-stepping rates up to 5000 micro-steps per full-step provide motion that is extremely smooth and keeps mechanical resonances to a minimum. VT-80 and DT-80 stages are available as standard products with the integrated SMC-Pollux units. MICOS specializes in high precision positioning components and systems for vacuum, ultra-high vacuum, clean room and extreme climate environments down to 77 Kelvin.

Stepping Motor and Driver System

AlphaStep from Oriental Motor is an innovative stepping motor and driver unit that uses closed-loop control to eliminate missteps and loss of synchronism. The system uses a newly developed sensor to detect step motor rotor position by sensing the change in inductance between the moving rotor and the stationary stator teeth. This position detection sensor constantly monitors the rotor movement and, if synchronism is about to be lost, closed loop control is used to ensure there is not a loss of control or position. The ac input AS series has the pulse input and built-in controller packages. The dc input ASC series has a pulse input package.Three motor types include the standard motor type, IP65 rated and a geared motor type.

Motor ‘System’ Solutions

Motors add features for communications and advanced control

Test and Measurement: Thermistors by the Numbers


December 21, 2006
Spotlight Story:

Thermistors by the Numbers
Thermocouples measure temperatures over a broad range and at high temperatures. But when a task calls for precision measurements over a smaller, lower temperature range, somewhere from about -80 to 300C, thermistors do the trick. And because thermistors come in small packages, they exhibit fast response times.Full Story
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Streamlining Product Development through Integrating Physical Test with Mechanical Design and Analysis
See first hand how to instrument your SolidWorks models with sensors, and compare the physical sensor measurements from LabVIEW with the simulated sensor values from COSMOSWorks analysis on a 3D geometry model using NI INSIGHT. View the webcast today. Click Here.
Electronics, Test & Measurement in the News:
Manufacturers Need to Develop a Green StrategyManufacturers need to develop strategies to cope with emerging environmental rules. They should keep an eye toward designing products for recycling, says a report from Gartner Inc. of Stamford, CT. Full Story
House Calls Make a ComebackDigital technology and broadband communications are fast becoming channels through which the electronics industry aims to supply health care to the world, in an effective, cost-conscious manner. Full Story
LVDS Technology Could Replace Fiber Optics in Automotive MultimediaA new low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) technology could enable automakers to eliminate fiber optic cabling and connectors from high-end automotive multimedia systems. The new technology, expected to reach the automotive electronics market in January, could have a profound impact on automakers who are interested in employing the MOST (Media Oriented Systems Transport) networking standard. Full Story
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Expanding Accelerometer Applications
Instead of a fixed gain level, the ability to select a specific range and sensitivity makes motion sensing easier in portable products. What do you think of the potential to make measurements in both 1.5 and 6g range using a single accelerometer?Post a Reply
Have a design problem? Design News and its hundreds of thousands of engineer correspondents can help. Post your question on the new E2E Forums! In order to participate, please create a forum screen name.
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Thermistors by the Numbers
Manufacturers Need to Develop a Green Strategy
House Calls Make a Comeback
LVDS Technology Could Replace Fiber Optics in Automotive Multimedia
Expanding Accelerometer Applications
Contact Us



John Titus,
Contributing Editor
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Not fake in any way

Not fake in any way

Anyone following the problem of Ninetendo Wii controllers inadvertently flying will get a kick of this hilarious video. Click here. Where did Ninetendo's engineering go wrong?

Safety, The Movie

Safety, The Movie

Very seldom will you find a movie recommendation in this motion control blog, but here's one you might want to know about."SAFTEY: Uncover The Competitive Advantage" is a 45-minute film that Siemens Energy & Automation will be showing at movie theaters around the country starting on January 23.The movie's "cast"of safety experts will address changes in safety standards and strategies for bringing safety into the machine design process. And anyone attending the movie will get more than a screening and some popcorn. The movie will be followed by a Q&A session and attendees will receive a Safety Workbook that contains practical advice on OSHA standards, risk assessment, and more.

Motion Control: Recipe for Automated Press Feed

December 19, 2006
Dear Reader:
Motion control is vital technology for state-of-the-art machine control and automation. Our goal is to help engineers keep up with the latest new products and technology trends. Send me an email ([email protected]) if there are topics you feel need more coverage in Design News. Have a great Holiday.
Al Presher
Spotlight Story:

Recipe for Automated Press Feed
Streamlining setup using an integrated control architecture has created a recipe for simplifying press feeder operation. The operator selects the right recipe, and the software sends the instructions that allow the machine to automatically adjust itself to the correct parameters for the job within seconds. Full Story
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In the News:
Automation Control Software Integrated development is a key trend in motion control and automation software. Check out the newest products offering tightly coupled solutions for motion, logic, HMIs and factory data networking. Full Story
New Motion Control Association A new industry association puts the focus on motion control and plans to strengthen support for motion control trade shows, conferences and online training resources. Visit the group’s website for news and technical articles. Full Story
Fluid Power Solutions: Smaller and Simpler
Miniaturization, corrosion-resistance and simplified operation are key trends in new fluid power products. Check out how some of the newest products are offering solutions for fluid power applications. Full story
Gigabit Ethernet PowerlinkEthernet Powerlink now includes new Gigabit operation that offers a 10x boost for high performance automation systems. Other news items include EPL support by frequency converter manufacturers and a new product catalog. Full story
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Say Goodbye to Cable-Installation Hassle
E-Z and Zipper Energy Chain® cable carriers from igus® facilitate fast, easy assembly and cable maintenance. With the E-Z chain split crossbar, just press the conduit into the carrier. Zipper chains have interconnected lids that are pulled back like a zipper. Both are available in most Energy Chain sizes and styles. Get free design consultation and samples. Click Here.
New Generation Motion Controllers Learn how improvements in the areas of microprocessor performance, power devices and Ethernet communication simplify system design and leads to better performance.

Five Essential Technologies for Motion Control The newest advancements in software and hardware have made it easier to develop machines with motion control that are lower in cost and more efficient than ever before.
"Heat dissipating" motor shaft coupler
I am looking for a supplier who makes a shaft coupler that will permit enough steady state heat dissipation so that a temperature difference from one side of the coupler to the other will be approximately 450deg F. I have a servo motor controlling a mechanical assembly inside an oven (600deg F) and I need to maintain a direct, inline connection with the motor shaft (100-150deg F).
Have a design problem? Design News and its hundreds of thousands of engineer correspondents can help. Post your question on the new E2E Forums! In order to participate, please create a forum screen name.
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SpotFast™ Fasteners
PEM® SpotFast™ self-clinching fasteners permanently join two pieces of sheetmetal without protrusion from either side of the panels, providing a clean, smooth appearance. Replaces riveting or welding and can even serve as a "pivot point" if required. To install, simply press into punched mounting holes in the panels. The fastener creates "cold flow" of panel material which holds the fastener in place. Click Here.
The Latest Motion Control Resources Available:
NB TOPBALL® SLIDE PRODUCTS
NB Corporation Twenty four pages of detailed dimensional and mechanical information on NB’s TOPBALL® slide products, which offer 27 times more travel life to automation equipment, machinery and instruments.
NB LINEAR SYSTEMS
NB Corporation
Over 400 pages of detailed drawings and tables provide dimensional and mechanical information on slide guides, slide screw, ball splines, TOPBALL®, slide shaft, slide way, slide table, gonio way, actuator, slide, stroke and rotary bush products.
NB SLIDE GUIDES
NB CorporationNB slide guides are high-precision, high-rigidity linear bearings with low friction, non-stick or slip mechanisms that provide smooth linear motion even under high loads. Detailed drawings and tables provide dimensional and mechanical information. 3-D CAD now available.
   
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Recipe for Automated Press Feed
Automation Control Software
New Motion Control Association
Fluid Power Solutions: Smaller and Simpler
Gigabit Ethernet Powerlink
New Generation Motion Controllers
Five Essential Technologies for Motion Control
"Heat dissipating" motor shaft coupler
Resource Center
Contact Us



Al Presher,
Contributing Editor,
[email protected]?Subject=Motion Control NewsletterE-mail me
Stay connected:Motion Control RSS News Feed


Webcast Available Now: “Mechatronics: 21st Century Design Engineering”
Join your colleagues and learn how the adoption of a mechatronic approach to product development and manufacturing will provide your company with a strategic and commercial advantage. Featuring Dr. Kevin Craig, Prof. of Mech. Engineering at RPI. Register Now
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Fluid Power: MCU Kits Motor On

December 19, 2006
 
Spotlight Story:

MCU Kits Motor On
UPDATED: We tested four microcontroller (MCU) development kits and report how they stack up. Microchip comments on their review. Full Story
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New! Clippard Pneumatic Control Devices Catalog
Clippard recently released their all-new full-line catalog with new products, technical information, product applications, and more. It includes features, specifications, color photographs, and technical drawings for over 5,000 standard products. From cylinders and valves, to modular logical systems to fittings, Clippard is your complete source for miniature fluid power products. Request a Clippard catalog today!
In the News:
Ultra-thin heat spreader relies on fluid core to cool processors and displaysA new heat spreader technology uses ultra-thin chambers of fluid divided by a vaporization zone that are 1.4mm thick, and boast a thermal conductivity of over 5,000 w/m-K, compared to 386 w/m-K for copper or 205 w/m-K for aluminum. Full Story
The Best Casts An investment casting contest showcases complex aerospace, military and electronics components. Full Story
More to plumbing fixtures' power needs than just electronics It's easy to see the world through a filter of electronic control circuits, but at some point designs interact with mechanical devices. Tim Regan, ace apps engineering manager at Linear Technology, addresses the technology behind new automatic plumbing fixtures.Full Story
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Goodbye Design Constraints and Hello DryLin Linear Guides
Lubrication-free DryLin® linear guide systems are corrosion-free with self-lubricating plastic glide elements. Replace bulky, messy ball bearings with clean, compact, maintenance-free DryLin. Get solutions for extreme environments, space restrictions and flexible designs. Igus® offers free design consultation and samples. Click Here.
The Latest Motion Control Resources Available:
NB BALL SPLINES NB Corporation NB Ball Splines are endlessly adaptable to high load linear motions. 38 pages in NB catalog contain detailed drawings and tables providing dimensional and mechanical information. 3-D CAD now available.NEW FILTERS-REGULATORS-LUBRICATORS
Bosch Rexroth Pneumatics US
The 144-page catalog provides information for the new Rexroth Series AS award-winning FRL line. The Series AS family features smooth, polymer surfaces and includes individual filters, regulators and lubricators plus additional modular components such as lock-out valves.
   
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Why should a company consider embracing a mechatronic approach to design?
Join an expert in the field of mechatronics, Dr. Kevin Craig, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at RPI for a special webcast presentation, "Mechatronics: 21st Century Design Engineering." This webcast is available for viewing now. Click Here.


MCU Kits Motor On
Ultra-thin heat spreader relies on fluid core to cool processors and displays
The Best Casts
More to plumbing fixtures' power needs than just electronics
Technologies in Motion: Microsoft's Robotic Move
Motion Control & Fluid Power Resource Center
Contact Us


Technologies in Motion: Microsoft's Robotic Move Microsoft Corp. this week released the commercial version of its Window-based robotics software development kit. Called Microsoft Robotics Studio (MSRS), it consists of a visual robot programming language, 3D physics-based simulation tools and a services-oriented runtime architecture. Read More
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Arash Hadipanah, web producer
Regina Lynch, web editor
PRIVACY MANAGER
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Oak Brook, IL 60523
Fax: 630-288-8394
Privacy Policy
Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.

Don't miss a thing! Add [email protected] to your address book today to ensure our newsletters get delivered.