|The latest information on Electrical &
|| September 3, 2009
One of our main stories in this EE Monthly is an article on a new
piece of equipment that holds a promise to reduce manufacturing costs of
thin-film production. Low-cost production would remove one of
thin-film's major adoption hurdles.
An area that would benefit from low-cost production is energy-efficient
light sources that use flexible, paper-thin, organic light-emitting
diodes (OLEDs). General Electric Lighting, in collaboration with
industrial design students from the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), created a video that shows how truly limitless lighting design and
applications will become in the years ahead with low-cost thin-film
GE challenged the students to conceptualize designs that would take
advantage of two key attributes commercialized OLEDs are expected to
feature: flexibility and thinness. The truly invigorating ideas from
these students shown in the video detail what we might be seeing in a
Until then, you can join the talk on thin-films, OLEDs, and many other
topics in our discussion groups on MACHINE DESIGN's Blogs, LinkedIn, and Facebook accounts. You can also visit the virtual MD Office in Second Life or
follow us on Twitter.
-- Robert Repas, Assoc. Editor
Solid-state tests for transformers
Manufacturers test thousands of distribution transformers at
worldwide locations each week. The primary incentive is to make sure the
transformers meet manufacturing specifications. But there is an economic
factor as well. Companies that make large distribution transformers that
fail to meet minimum load-loss specifications can face penalties of up
to $5,000 for every kilowatt of load loss exceeding the guaranteed
value. Today, high-power electronics can now replace motor-generator
sets for testing distribution transformers.
Plastics Keep Electronics Out of the
Equipment for utilities such as telecommunications, electric power,
and water and wastewater management must withstand permanent, outdoor
installation in demanding weather conditions. To solve the problem of
metal boxes that develop leaks after exposure to solar radiation, heat,
cold, and precipitation, a telecom company talked with a rotational
molding and design firm to develop a rotationally molded plastic telecom
Is That a Genuine UL Mark or a
The century old symbol of the Underwriters Laboratories, the UL
Mark, is a well-known sign to consumers that a product has been honestly
tested and approved as safe for its intended use. Some unscrupulous
manufacturers and marketers, however, put bogus UL symbols on products
that have been nowhere near the Underwriters lab. These guidelines help
users tell the difference between genuine and false marks.
Contactors for Power Factor
Capacitor charging current in a group PFC comes not only from the
main supply power with its internal impedance, but also from other
charged low-impedance capacitors within the bank. For this reason, peak
inrush currents when switching banked capacitors can exceed 150 × In.
That level of current far surpasses the make capacity of standard
electromechanical contactors. The contacts would weld after just a few
hundred switching operations. To handle current at this level requires
special contactors and design considerations.
Putting the Thin-Film Revolution on the Fast
A new device being developed by South Coast Photonics could
revolutionize roll-to-roll manufacturing of electronics. The Camara
Oscura (CO) will make electronic devices out of virtually any film on a
wide variety of substrates. Hardened housings let it use high
temperatures and pressures, as well as vacuums, which some newer
thin-film processes and devices need but prevents them from using
current r2r machines.
Cables for Clean Rooms
Moving cables generate particles, but only recently has this
phenomenon been quantified. In that regard, cables for motion-control
equipment sitting in clean rooms are especially prone to throw off
particulates. For one thing, cable movement within the cable chain
contributes to particulation. Second, the amount of force placed on
cable surfaces can cause particulation at those critical points —
whether the force is caused by continuous flexing or arises from the
weight of the cables themselves.
Panel screws permanently mount in thin
PEM® captive panel
screws permanently mount in thin metal sheets. Just punch hole, insert
fastener and press permanently in place. Integral spring keeps screw in
retracted position until fastened. MAThread® anti cross-threading
feature ensures proper thread engagement, speeds assembly and protects
valuable electrical/electronic equipment.
Graphite to Replace Copper for
Copper has long been used to make wires and the small traces used to
electrically connect ICs and electronics on circuit boards. But as
copper connections get smaller, copper’s resistivity rises until its
nanoscale behavior overshadow its macroscale properties. One possible
replacement for copper, say researchers at Georgia Institute of
Technology, is graphene, comprised of thin layers of common graphite.
Keystone's Low Profile SMT Battery
Gold-plated contacts for portable consumer, industrial & medical device
use. These low profile, SMT battery holders are made for: AAA, 1/2AA,
AA, 1/3N (Lithium) & 2/3A (Lithium). Durable, strong with sturdy
lightweight Nylon housings (UL-94V-0 rated) they are suited for high
density PCB use. Importantly, low contact resistance & suitability for
reflow & low temperature soldering are featured. Supplied in bulk or
tape and reel for vacuum pick & place assembly.
Semicon West Show: Conditions Much Worse than
Suppliers are bailing out and looking desperately for customers in
other industries. Semiconductor-equipment makers have gone through waves
of layoffs and see few “green shoots” of new business. Sound like a
description ripped from today’s headlines? Guess again. This is how it
was for semiconductorequipment makers in the last big downturn of 2001
and 2002. Things are even worse today.
Sensor Sense: Wireless Sensor
Modern automation controls offer many new capabilities beyond
systems of just a decade ago. But controls often need information on the
position or condition of the object they manage. That usually means
modern machines have more sensors than their predecessors in many
positions throughout the machine, including some in locations where
wiring is almost impossible.
Berke on Safety: Warning Labels Do Not
Generate Safety -- CO Still Kills
Underwriters Laboratories recently published UL 2201, a Standard for
Portable Engine-Generator Assemblies. UL Director of Standards Don
Snyder explained the rationale behind the standard. He pointed out that
almost 370 generator-related deaths occurred between 1990 and 2005, many
of them after a hurricane or major storm. He also said most of the
reported incidents involved carbon-monoxide (CO) poisoning, which is why
UL thinks it is critical for manufacturers to place prominent warning
labels on the equipment.
Inductive Rotary Encoders
The Exl 1100 Series rotary encoders now come in versions whose
mating dimensions are the same as those of common resolvers. The
encoders, with EnDat 2.1 interface, have an inductive scanning method in
which the single-turn resolution is increased to 18 bits. Position
values are produced by the encoder’s electronics and then transferred
as purely digital information to the higher-level electronics over the
fast bidirectional EnDat interface.
The MR2 magnetoresistive encoder delivers accurate positioning at a
controlled speed with factory-programmable resolution from 4 to 512
lines in discrete steps. Regardless of the desired resolution, the MR2
encoder package remains the same with a simple factory programming
Portescap, a Danaher Motion Co.
The Series 3130 photoelectric analog sensors feature a 10 to 100-mm
sensing range, temperature stability between –25 and 55°C, and
outstanding repeat accuracy. The sensing range is independent of the
color or surface structure of the object to be detected.
Sanitary RTD Sensors
The PRS-3 Series sanitary RTD sensors are used in food, dairy,
beverage, and biopharmaceutical clean-in-place applications. The sensors
come with heavy and standard-duty probes. The stepped design of the
heavy-duty 3/16 to 3/8-in.-diameter probe stem offers added strength.
The standard duty has a 0.25-in.-diameter probe. Both versions have
standard probe lengths of 3, 4, 5, and 6 in. and feature wetted surfaces
of 316L stainless steel and surface finishes of 32 μin. or better.
Omega Engineering Inc.
Wireless Sensor Node
The HS-Link high-speed wireless node has 100-kHz sample rates on its
three channels. During user definable sampling sessions, HS-Link stores
bursts of data in a buffer. Once data-sampling is complete, the data
transfers to nonvolatile Flash memory.
Workstation Outlet System
The KeyConnect Workstation Outlet System accommodates
high-performance copper, fiber, and multimedia applications at the
work-area outlet. The system consists of faceplates, adapters, boxes,
and modules to handle applications that include all levels of data
networking, CCTV and high-definition video, fiber-to-the-desk, and
Check Out the New EET Website
Are you looking for more information on energy efficiency? EETweb.com
features the latest efficiency updates, information on the basics of
energy efficiency and products available for energy efficient designs.
Click here to
visit the site and learn more!
Machine Design Video Spotlight
||Learn more about Proto
||See how Proto Labs, through its First
Cut and Protomold services, provides new product designers and engineers
with the easiest, fastest and least-expensive way to obtain real parts,
Now Available On-Demand
Engineers saw and heard great educational content at the Energy
Efficiency Web Conference and Expo. If you missed the live virtual
event, don’t despair! An archive of the full day’s agenda is now
The Energy Efficiency Web Conference & Expo
Design engineers are required to integrate energy efficiency into their
designs while maintaining lower costs, the highest reliability or both.
The editors of Machine Design understand these challenges
and have developed this conference to help engineers understand the
recently imposed energy mandates. The information presented at this
educational event will help engineers compare the different technologies
and product related to energy efficiency. Attendees will gain access to
the technical information needed to help them make the best decisions
without having to travel or take time away from current projects.
Visit the archive to:
- View informative webinars on energy efficiency
- Visit interactive booths where you can contact suppliers
- Peruse the Resource Center where you can download or link to
additional pertinent energy efficiency information
Optimizing Mechatronic Systems Using Simulation
Sponsored by The MathWorks
DATE: September 10th, 2009
TIME: 2:00pm ET/11am PT
Are you encountering integration errors in mechatronic systems late in
development during hardware prototyping?
systems in one environment that combines mechanical, electrical, and
control system modeling makes it easier to find performance errors early
in your development process. In addition, current simulation technology
allows integration of engineering data from different CAE tools, such as
CAD and EDA, reducing translation errors.
Attend this live webcast and learn how simulation can help you:
Click here learn more and to register!
- Build multidomain mechatronic system models
- Predict and optimize system performance
- Understand and manage complex system interactions
- Detect design inefficiencies and integration errors during
- Verify and test mechatronic systems before building hardware
How to Select the Right Dispense Valve
Sponsored by EFD
DATE: September 17th, 2009
TIME: 2:00pm ET/11am PT
This webinar will provide an overview of the different types of dispense
valves and review criteria for matching valves to specific fluids and
Topics will include:
Click here learn more and to register!
- Common types of assembly fluids
- Fluid/valve compatibility
- Matching the valve to the application
- Choosing a fluid reservoir
- Benefits of using a dedicated valve controller
ARCHIVED WEBCASTS AVAILABLE FOR FREE VIEWING
Here for a list of archived Machine Design webcasts.
LED Assemblies and Indicators
LEDCO delivers high-quality, uniform LED lighting assemblies and
indicators for standard and custom applications. RoHS compliant LED
products include a design kit, board mount, panel mount, and
incandescent and neon panel mount LEDs.
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